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Meet the Organizer Behind Friday's Public Scolding of Gov. Rick Scott

Political consultant Peter Schorsch helped organize a social media campaign to boo the Florida governor at opening day for the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG - Peter Schorsch is a political consultant who writes a well-read daily news blog on Florida politics called Saint Petersblog. Schorsch also is the "boo-ster" who helped organize a highly publicized protest Friday of Gov. Rick Scott at opening day for the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

Hundreds of people lined the streets outside and filled the bleachers at Tropicana Stadium to boo the Florida governor, who made the ceremonial first pitch in a game between the Rays and Baltimore Orioles. They responded to a social media campaign that Schorsch helped lead to protest some of Scott's recent spending cuts.

"For so many reasons, Gov. Scott deserves a good ol' fashioned 'Bronx Cheer,' " said the Facebook invitation that drew 1,238 positive responses. "Even if you are not going to the game, you can take a moment to turn on the TV, tune to the Rays game and boo the Governor."

Dubbed "Boo Rick Scott on Opening Day," the Facebook campaign drew almost as much media attention locally and statewide as the Major League Baseball game itself.

Schorsch, a St. Petersburg resident, answered questions about the reasons for the protest and its effectiveness.

Q. How did this media campaign get started?

A. The social media campaign began as a brain child of my friend Mark Ferrulo and myself, after watching Gov. Scott get booed off the field at a Spring Training game. He and I were so upset with so many of the recent decisions by Scott, particularly the idea to immediately cut funding for the developmentally disabled.

Q. How many people do you estimate turned out?

A. I have to admit that I don't know how many people the event turned out, but I believe it motivated several hundred, if not thousands, of Floridians to take a moment and contemplate just how off-track the Governor is going.  More than 1,200 people signed up on Facebook (people are still signing up!) and the resultant media attention made it the first significant anti-Scott protest since he became Governor.

Q. Will you be doing this type of organizing again in the future when the governor is at a public event?

A. So long as the Governor continues to pursue policies which negatively impact the neediest among us, yes, we will continue to protest Scott's actions.

Q. Were you paid, as a political consultant, to organize this event? Who else was involved in creating this?

A. No, I was not paid or compensated in any fashion to organize this event.  In fact, the effort probably got me in trouble with many of my Republican clients and/or allies.

Q. What is your political affiliation, and how did it play into this event?
A. I am an independent, but I am known as a progressive.  Yet, I work hand in hand with many Republicans.  I was actually one of the very few liberals/progressives to ask for the left/Democrats to give Gov. Scott time to get accustomed to office -- that maybe he would be the strong medicine the state needed.  Unfortunately, my hope turned out to be a waste.

Q. Anything else?

A. I am earnest when I say I wish Gov. Scott the best, because I believe in the power of good, smart government.  Unfortunately, all of the worst-case scenarios about Gov. Scott -- such as the conspiracy that he simply "bought" the Governor's office to further his business interests -- look more plausible every day.  I am not a radical or anything like that; in fact, most would say I am an "establishment" guy, but I fear that the story of Gov. Rick Scott is not going to end well.

Bob April 04, 2011 at 07:40 PM
"I am an independent, but I am known as a progressive" = laughable. This guy is no different than the WU union thugs except that he probably dresses better. Scott has been in office for such a short period of time yet we're going to boo him at a ball game? Liberals always whine when they don't get their way, and now that someone else's money is all dried up, expect to hear much more of this complaining from transparent leftists like our buddy Pete, here. This isn't news...it is, however, ridiculous.
Donna Gilbert April 04, 2011 at 08:03 PM
And thank goodness for those leftists! Wasn't it Ghandi who said a society will be judged by how it treats the needy and less fortunate? Seems the only ones being protected here are the rich, mean spirited and selfish! I think the man should be booed wherever he goes - Florida continues to be an embarrassment and the laughing stock of intelligent critical thinkers nation wide.
gary larsen April 04, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Keep up the good work!
semira April 04, 2011 at 11:38 PM
GREAT WORK. Hope to hear more from others.
Limp Wrist April 05, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Rick Scott has a mob associate in his leadership coalition. The man to get Florida back on track is Joe Ardolina of American Truck Sales. He's a former vice president in the now defunct H&W Refuse Service whose president was Anthony Carione, fingered by law enforcement along with his brother Frank Carione, as then active figures in the underworld. Another brother, Joseph Carione, plead guilty to defrauding the government as a co-defendant in a case that involved Colombo crime boss Andrew Russo.
Gwen Thomas April 05, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I applaud the effort to stand up and 'boo' Rick Scott at the Ray's game. Despite what party affiliation you are, there remains the fact that when you accept a roll as a public servant, you should conduct yourself based on this fact. Rick Scott is acting like a CEO while governing our state and should be reminded that he works for us. Florida is not a corporation!
Myra April 06, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Great job! We should stand up for what's right. I'm on your mailing list now!

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