Florida Leaders Call Rick Scott Out for Continued Financial Scandals
Scott has been inundated with scandals during his first month in the race
Democratic leaders on Friday called out Rick Scott, who has been in the campaign for Senate for a month now, for his incessant financial scandals and refusal to disclose his finances and therefore his conflicts of interest.
Former state Sen. Jeremy Ring, Democratic candidate for chief financial officer, and state Sen. Bobby Powell called out Scott for his scandals and placing himself ahead of the people of Florida. Powell and Ring shared their concerns during a Friday conference call with reporters.
Ring criticized Scott for accepting more than $50,000 in contributions to his political committee from executives after he directed $250 million in new business to their firms.
"The retirement system should never, ever be political," said Ring, who has called Scott's actions unethical and possibly illegal. He said no one else nationally is crossing those ethical lines.
Ring called on Scott to return the campaign contributions and for the pension business to be "clawed back." He said Scott should step down as one of the trustees for the pension system after the ethical lapse.
Powell said Scott continues his effort to hide his finances – the same ones that have led to his massive conflicts of interest that have allowed him to increase his wealth by $46 million as governor.
The senator outlined why Scott's finances are important – pointing to two major conflicts of interest as examples – with him prioritizing himself and his financial interests above the people of Florida.
Scott owned almost a half-million-dollars in the medical device company called Covidien when his administration approved $865,000 in tax incentives for that company.
He purchased financial interest in the phosphate company Mosaic while he was in office. Scott owned shares in the company when a fertilizer plant Mosaic owned in Mulberry dumped more than 200 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into an aquifer used by millions of Floridians for drinking water. Scott's administration did not inform the public for almost three weeks despite the contamination of drinking water.
"We're talking about our drinking water," Powell said of Scott's neglect to inform the public.
Scott is going out of his way – still fighting in state court and filing extensions – to hide his finances and how he became $46 million richer as governor. He has refused to disclose his finances after seven years as governor and a month in the Senate race, has had multiple FEC complaints filed against him for not following election law, and it was reported Scott gave more than $250 million in state pension business to executives at firms who contributed to his Super PAC.
The Florida Democratic Party launched this digital clock when Scott announced his candidacy to track how long he has been in the race while hiding his finances.