Rick Scott's Campaign Remains Under a Cloud of Financial Scandals
Just three weeks into his U.S. Senate campaign, Rick Scott is facing more financial scrutiny as he continues to keep his finances and conflicts of interest secret while taking criticism from retired workers and others concerned about incessant financial scandals that have plagued his time as governor and now, his senate campaign.
"He's putting his own self-interest above all of the hard-working Floridians," retired state worker Dave Jacobsen told Bay News 9 after reports that Scott gave lucrative state pension business to firms owned by contributors to his political campaign accounts.
After months to prepare for his bid and the various disclosure requirements, Scott filed for an extension last week to continue hiding his secret financial bank account from Floridians—a pattern of him hiding his finances for the last seven years, while enriching himself by $46 million. The reality is this: the person really doing better in Rick Scott's Florida, is Rick Scott and his donors. Even with limited disclosure, there has already been a host of conflicts discovered where Scott and his administration took actions that helped companies he invested in.
Florida Democratic Party spokesman Sebastian Kitchen: "Rick Scott's campaign has been inundated with financial scandals during its first three weeks after seven years of scandals as governor, where he is still fighting in court to keep his accounts and conflicts secret as he managed to make himself $46 million richer. Retired workers and campaign finance watchdogs are speaking out because they know Scott's self-serving politics are only looking out for himself and his donors—not the people of Florida."
Bay News 9: Critics Accuse Gov. Scott of 'Pay-to-Play Politics' Over State Pension Fund
- "As Gov. Rick Scott campaigns to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, critics are accusing him of engaging in pay-to-play politics by leveraging his stewardship of the Florida state pension fund for political contributions."
- "The pension fund in 2014 and 2015 steered $250 million in investment commitments to two equity firms represented by executives who donated a combined $55,000 to a Scott-aligned super PAC last year."
- "For some retired state workers, the donations represent what they believe is the clearest evidence yet Scott has abused the power of his office."
- "Gov. Scott has moved into an area that he should not be doing, with accepting money from organizations that directly benefit from him," said Dave Jacobsen, president of the Northwest Florida AFSCME Retirees. "He's putting his own self-interest above all of the hard-working Floridians."
- "The governor's political detractors, however, say the donations are questionable at best, skirting federal law potentially to the point of illegality. And while a probe appears unlikely, they're pledging to make the issue a prime exhibit on the campaign trail."
- "He's taking that same pension plan and playing politics with it," Jacobsen said.
The first three weeks of Rick Scott's campaign have been plagued with repeated financial issues including: the campaign finance watchdog group End Citizens United has filed two FEC complaints detailing how he illegally coordinated with his Super PAC; and Scott's repeatedly ignored questions on the campaign trail about disclosing his assets. Scott is also facing an ongoing state lawsuit over his refusal to disclose his secret account.
The Florida Democratic Party launched this digital clock to track how long Scott has been in the race while hiding his finances.