There’s nothing quite as satisfying as telling someone off—especially when that person is the most powerful man in your state.
Such is life for Cara Jennings, a Lake Worth, Florida, resident who is quickly becoming famous online for giving Gov. Rick Scott a piece of her mind at a Starbucks in Gainesville.
A video posted to YouTube on Tuesday by Stephen Bender captures Jennings laying into the Florida governor for his refusal to expand Medicaid, a key component to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the state level, as well as the restrictive anti-abortion bill Scott signed on March 25 that stripped Planned Parenthood of state funding.
“You cut Medicaid so I couldn’t get Obamacare,” Jennings yelled. “You’re an asshole. You don’t care about working people. You should be ashamed to show your face around here.”
Jennings brushed off Scott spokeswoman Jeri Bustamante with a quick “I’m not talking to you” before the governor responded by saying, “We’ve got a million jobs.”
“A million jobs? Great, who here has a great job,” Jennings responded. “Or is looking forward to finishing school? You really feel like you have a job coming up?”
The exchange continues as Scott and his entourage exit the coffee shop without their coffee.
“You stripped women of access to healthcare. Shame on you, Rick Scott,” Jennings continued as the governor sped out of the cafe. “We depend on those services. Rich people like you don’t know what to do—when poor people like us need health services, you cut ’em. Shame on you Rick Scott! You’re an embarrassment to our state.”
A former Lake Worth commissioner, Jennings first appeared in the public eye in the 1990s as a founder of the activist performance art troupe Radical Cheerleaders. [Full disclosure: I was a member of Radical Cheerleaders and know Jennings personally.] She later made news as the first self-proclaimed Anarchist to be elected to public office in Florida when she won her campaign for city commissioner in 2006. A 2010 feature in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times described Jennings’ collective house as an “underground railroad of anarchists” and noted the clashes with local politicians and conservative bloggers that her outspoken protests often raised.
“It started out very calm. I saw his profile, and wasn’t sure if it was him,” Jennings told the Daily Dot in a phone interview. “So, I just said ‘governor Scott,’ and he turned towards me. I asked, ‘Why did you pass that awful law last week that impacts women’s healthcare choices?’ and he said, ‘I don’t vote on bills,’ which is so incredibly disingenuous. If I didn’t understand the political process, at that point I would have thought, ‘Oh I got the information wrong,’ and I would have dropped it.”
On Facebook, Jennings explained that the governor’s anti-abortion bill was what instigated her impromptu Starbucks rant.