NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTYFor Immediate Release: Aug. 27, 2010
Rick Scott Now on Inside Team of Scandal-Plagued Republican Establishment
While newly-minted Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott ran his primary as an “outsider” he’s quickly making himself very comfortable on the inside, evidenced by his desire to join with party leadership who have been plagued by scandal and corruption in Tallahassee.
“It only took Rick Scott one day to become everything he attempted to decry — a tool of the discredited Republican Party of Florida,” said Eric Jotkoff, spokesperson for the Florida Democratic Party. “It’s clear there is only one choice for Floridians looking for an outside business leader who is ready to take on the establishment and special interests and clean up the corruption — and that leader is Alex Sink.”
Rick Scott routinely attacked Bill McCollum, the state’s Republican leadership, and the RPOF for the well-documented scandals. But today Scott and RPOF Chair John Thrasher are talking up the “merger” of Scott’s campaign and the party apparatus – bringing Scott right “inside” the scandal-plagued bureaucracy of which he’s now the titular head.
“It’s fitting that Rick Scott has ‘merged’ with the state Republican party, where fraud and abuse have been standard operating procedure– and not surprising that Rick Scott has found a home on the inside,” Jotkoff continued.
RHETORIC: SCOTT TOLD VOTERS HE WAS AGAINST THE BACKROOM MENTALITY OF THE RPOF LEADERS AND THE HANDLING OF THE JIM GREER CASE
Scott Criticized The “Backroom Deal Mentality,” Held By The Four RPOF “Horsemen,” Calling It “Out Of Step With Voters Who Are Demanding Accountability And Openness.” “Jim Greer and Delmar Johnson called them ‘the four horsemen.’ The sobriquet referred to a band of powerful Republican politicians who earlier this year played an integral role in the ouster of Greer and Johnson from the helm of the Republican Party of Florida: Attorney General Bill McCollum, future House leader Dean Cannon, future Senate leader Mike Haridopolos and current party chairman John Thrasher. The names appear numerous times in a criminal investigation that led to the June indictment of Greer but the four GOP officials were never questioned, according to evidence released[.]” Rick Scott criticized the “backroom deal mentality,” calling it a “out of step with voters who are demanding accountability and openness.” [St. Petersburg Times, 7/1/10]
Scott Compared Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher To Indicted Past Chairman Jim Greer. “Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher – whom Scott … had compared to indicted past Chairman Jim Greer – was set to meet with Scott … to discuss how he would use the state party.”
RHETORIC: SCOTT TOLD PUBLIC HE WOULD CLEAN HOUSE AND THAT HIS PRIMARY VICTORY WAS A MESSAGE TO THE TALLAHASEE INSDER ESTABLISHMENT
Rick Scott Said His Primary Victory Was Sending A Message To “The Tallahassee Insiders.” Rick Scott: “Tonight we sent a clear message to the Washington insiders, the Tallahassee insiders and the special interests that fund both of them. “It’s time to clean house and hold government accountable.” [Scott Election Night Speech, 8/24/10]
Rick Scott Said His Primary Victory “Rocked The Political Establishment” And “The Deal-Makers Are Crying In Their Cocktails.” Rick Scott: “‘In Tallahassee tonight, the deal-makers are crying in their cocktails,’ Scott told supporters in Fort Lauderdale. ‘Today’s vote rocked the political establishment in this state. The voters have a mind of their own and they found that out tonight.'” [Scott Election Night Speech, 8/24/10 and Palm Beach Post, 8/25/10]
Scott Indicated That “It’s Time To Clean House.” Scott won even though Tallahassee special interests teamed up with GOP legislative leaders to funnel millions of dollars into TV ads depicting him as corrupt. ‘It’s time to clean house and hold government accountable,’ Scott said late Tuesday.” [Herald/Times, 8/25/10]
REALITY: SCOTT STRUCK DEAL WITH THE RPOF INSIDER ESTABLISHMENT BECAUSE HE’LL PUT HIS OWN INTERESTS BEFORE THE INTERESTS OF FLORIDIANS
Scott Pledged To Fundraise For The Nearly Broke RPOF And The Party Agreed To Unleash Its Get-Out-The-Vote Efforts For Scott. RPOF Chairman John Thrasher said Rick Scott “pledged to help the nearly broke party raise money. And he said the party would unleash its get-out-the-vote efforts for the nominee[.] … After Scott and his wife, Ann, spent $50 million of the couple’s money on the primary race, the nominee is now looking to finance his campaign … largely through conventional contributions from individuals and corporations, Thrasher and Scott spokeswoman Jen Baker said.” [The News Service of Florida, 8/26/10]
Rick Scott Said Alliance With RPOF Was Like A Business Merger. RPOF Chairman John Thrasher: “I think Rick Scott put it very well. It’s like a merger. We’ve gone through the talks, the bargaining. But we now agree that we have to move ahead.” [The News Service of Florida, 8/26/10]