Florida becomes a nightmare for Trump — and its residents

Florida becomes a nightmare for Trump — and its residents

Politico reports:

The staggering unemployment exploding on President Donald Trump’s watch would worry any incumbent running for reelection, but troubles in Florida are injecting an added dose of fear into a jittery GOP.

Already anxious about Trump’s chances in the nation’s biggest swing state, Republicans now are dealing with thousands of unemployed workers unable to navigate the Florida system to apply for help. And the blowback is directed straight at Trump’s top allies in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott.

Privately, Republicans admit that the $77.9 million system that is now failing Florida workers is doing exactly what Scott designed it to do — lower the state’s reported number of jobless claims after the great recession.

“It’s a sh– sandwich, and it was designed that way by Scott,” said one DeSantis advisor. “It wasn’t about saving money. It was about making it harder for people to get benefits or keep benefits so that the unemployment numbers were low to give the governor something to brag about.”

Republican Party of Florida chairman Joe Gruters was more succinct: “$77 million? Someone should go to jail over that.”

With hundreds of thousands of Floridians out of work, the state’s overwhelmed system is making it nearly impossible for many people to even get in line for benefits.

After a record number of claims were reported Thursday, DeSantis said the state would resort to paper applications, build a mobile app to handle the flood of traffic and deploy hundreds, even thousands, of state workers to provide stopgap help.

Congress last week delivered relief in the form of a $2 trillion stimulus package that directs cash to the unemployed. But to get that money into the pockets of Floridians, the state will have to duct-tape the rickety web-based unemployment system to deliver it. [Continue reading…]

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