With state agencies in disarray, his campaign caught breaking the law, and Republican insiders growing increasingly nervous over the governor’s never-ending missteps, it’s clear for all to see that Rick Scott had an awful week.
The week started with a growing scandal centered (yet again) around Rick Scott’s chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth, who broke the governor’s lobbying ban to kill high-speed rail and score hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds for his former employer. As you will see below, things only got worse for the governor…
AP: Some in GOP worried over Fla. governor’s missteps
“Republican Gov. Rick Scott is a multimillionaire and flies in a private jet, yet his campaign decided to criticize Democratic challenger Charlie Crist as an elitist for wearing a Rolex watch. Democrats pointed out the hypocrisy, and the ensuing media coverage reminded voters that Scott’s net worth dwarfed Crist’s. Several more of Scott’s attacks backfired, and the campaign made other gaffes, including alienating one of its biggest donors.”
Miami Herald: Scott draws complaint over on-duty officers at campaign event
The complaint was filed by Jeff Marano of Fort Lauderdale, a 30-year PBA member who cited a state law that makes it a misdemeanor for public employees to engage in political activity during working hours, except for elected officials such as sheriffs. “Rick Scott’s political campaign facilitiated the violation of (law) by soliciting the assistance of on-duty law enforcement officers — under the false pretense of security — only to repeatedly feature them as props in the background of campaign events,” Marano’s complaint alleges.
Tampa Bay Times: Scott’s veto of Medicaid fraud money disappoints key GOP lawmaker
In politics, optics matter. Gov. Rick Scott, who will spend the next few months fending off familiar criticism of the health care fraud at his former hospital company, had a chance to put more money into fighting health care fraud in Florida. But to the disappointment of a key Republican lawmaker, he said no. One of Scott’s little-noticed line item vetoes in the new $77 billion budget would have set aside more money to investigate fraud in the Medicaid program. Scott gave no reason for the veto at the time he signed the budget.
Rick Scott released a new ad that was debunked within an hour by the Orlando Sentinel.
As the Sentinel reported, the hyperbolic ad “fudges education numbers” and ignores the “real world”. In his eagerness to throw the kitchen sink at Charlie Crist, Rick Scott even tried to blame him for state debt racked up under Jeb Bush!
Tampa Bay Times: Tampa Bay cops at odds over Scott’s handling of campaign event
Police officers in Tampa Bay differed Thursday on whether they were duped, perhaps illegally, into attending an event to promote Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election…”We obviously didn’t know we were going to a campaign event,” Previtera said. “Had we known it was a campaign event, we wouldn’t have been there.”
Miami Herald: Dems attack Scott’s education record in new Spanish-language ad
Democrats are taking aim at Gov. Rick Scott’s education record — en Español. On Thursday, the party released its first Spanish-language TV ad, a 30-second spot called “Recortes,” or “Cuts.” It opens with an image of the Republican governor on a chalkboard. ”Our community needs a governor who fights on our side,” a woman says in Spanish. “That’s why it’s alarming to know that Gov. Rick Scott cut more than a $1 billion from our public schools.”
WFTV: Gov. Scott’s high-speed rail decision may haunt election
It’s been three and a half years since Governor Rick Scott decided to kill a planned high-speed rail line stretching from Tampa to Orlando…Critics are accusing the governor of misleading the public and killing the top speed rail not because it was a risky venture, but because he wanted the benefits of a top advisor.
Paula Dockery: Scott’s signature agency a mess
Gov. Rick Scott created the Department of Economic Opportunity to symbolize his focus on job creation, attracting new industry and reducing unemployment. Unfortunately, taxpayers are slow to see many details of the deals due to the nature of the negotiations and what Enterprise Florida refers to as “trade secrets.” They’re also in the dark about whether the deals eventually measure up to expectations years after the splashy VIP ribbon cuttings. So we have to rely on Panuccio to safeguard our investments.
Tampa Bay Times: FBI and FDLE open new probes into inmate deaths
New investigations are underway by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the deaths of three inmates whose bodies were found in state prisons over the Fourth of July weekend, authorities confirmed Wednesday. The deaths bring the total open, in-custody state prison death cases under scrutiny to 10 — nine of them being handled by the FDLE. The Miami Herald also confirmed Wednesday that an FBI investigation is ongoing at Suwannee Correctional facility, the site of an October prison riot by inmates who attacked five prison guards.