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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - August 19, 2013

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POLITIFACT REISSUES RULING DEBUNKING RICK SCOTT'S JOBS MATH

Rick Scott halfway to jobs promise? Not so fast [Politifact] "Gov. Rick Scott celebrated Florida adding 34,500 private-sector jobs in July (really, 27,600 net jobs, counting public-sector job losses) by reprising his favorite new one-liner. 'We are more than halfway to our goal of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years,' Scott said in a Aug. 16 statement. PolitiFact Florida has visited this topic many times, most recently when Scott used a similar version of the talking point as he signed the 2013-14 state budget in May. We rated the claim Mostly False then. It’s still Mostly False today."

 

TAMPA BAY TIMES SLAMS RICK SCOTT'S EMBRACE OF PAY-TO-PLAY TACTICS

Editorial: Scott's pay-to-play boondoggle [Tampa Bay Times] "How do you turn a budget turkey into a peacock? Contributing at least $210,000 to Gov. Rick Scott's re-election effort does wonders. That's how much cash the governor received between vetoing state money for a Sarasota rowing center in 2011 and approving millions for the boondoggle he celebrated last week. The rowing center symbolizes Scott's transformation from a candidate who paid for his campaign himself to an incumbent who embraces Tallahassee's pay-to-play culture...Scott spent more than $70 million of his own money to become governor, campaigning against the special interests and pledging to be different. It turns out he is not different at all. His political committee just collects bigger checks."

 

PALM BEACH POST HITS ENTERPRISE FLORIDA'S "INSIDER FAVORS"

Editorial: At Enterprise Florida, insider favors is Job 1 [Palm Beach Post] "Florida may be recovering economically, but the recovery doesn’t justify a $630,000 bonus for employees of the state’s insider economic development agency. Last week, the board of Enterprise Florida approved that payout, which Enterprise Florida’s 80 employees will share. The biggest share, $70,000, will go to President and CEO Gray Swoope. Mr. Swoope got a similar bonus last year, to go with his salary of $230,000...But we see a bigger problem with Mr. Swoope’s bonus: What has he done to deserve a 30 percent bonus, especially when teachers are learning — big surprise — that their supposed $2,500 bonuses will be less than that?...Gov. Scott, who recruited Mr. Swoope, touts what he says are 350 agreements to bring jobs to the state. As the record shows, however, the jobs in such deals often don’t come, and don’t always stay."

 

RICK SCOTT'S FLORIDA "NECK-DEEP" IN CRONYISM

Florida's political system is neck-deep in cronyism [Orlando Sentinel] "Politicians hatch deals, trade favors and occasionally get caught enriching themselves or pimping out public resources for political support. Former Brevard County clerk Mitch Needelman's arrest this week on bribery and bid-tampering charges would be encouraging if alleged favoritism-for-political-support exchange wasn't so common...It gets worse. BlueWare was actually awarded $1.3 million in state incentives by Gov. Rick Scott's Enterprise Florida to relocate from Michigan last year and create 190 jobs. To get that money, the state Department of Economic Opportunity notes the company was planning to put up $5.7 million in capital — the same amount Needelman awarded BlueWare before leaving office. 'Enterprise Florida has a poor track record of vetting companies,' said Dan Krassner, executive director of the government watchdog group Integrity Florida. 'It's time for legislators to hold Enterprise Florida accountable.' It's a testament to Florida's cronyism climate."

 

COMPANY PRAISED BY RICK SCOTT, GRANTED ECONOMIC INCENTIVES, HAD "NO CORE BUSINESS" CHARGED WITH BRIBERY

Documents reveal allegations BlueWare had 'no core business' [Florida Today] "The high-tech company implicated in a political scandal that resulted in the arrest a prominent former elected official and the company’s top executive is a business based on 'smoke and mirrors,' according to its former chief operating officer. But, last May, local and state officials trumpeted the decision by BlueWare to relocate to Melbourne from Cadillac, Mich. 'BlueWare's choice to move to Florida is a testament to the strength of our business climate and the result of a common vision for economic growth by local, regional, business and government partners,' Gov. Rick Scott said in the news release announcing the move. 'Today’s announcement is a great win for the Space Coast, as well as for the entire state.'"

 

PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL: RUBIO SHOWS "COWARDICE" AND REVEALS HIS "COSMETIC EMPTINESS AND PHONY TALENT"

Wherefore art thou, Rubio? [Pensacola News Journal] "We Floridians have to wonder: Was there ever a time when Sen. Marco Rubio had true leadership abilities? Or was he always just a booster-seat byproduct of big Jeb Bush’s reign in Tallahassee?...It’s cowardice that’s hardly surprising from a man who doesn’t even have the guts to stand up for his own signature legislative accomplishment. But that cowardice is unacceptable for anyone vying to be a legitimate leader of a party in desperate need of one....[Rubio] is revealing himself to be just another politician with all the cosmetic emptiness and phony talent you’d expect from Miami hype."