With 100 Days Left, Rick Scott Swamped With Scandals, Controversies, Gaffes
Where do we start? Over the last month Rick Scott has been involved in so many scandals, controversies, and gaffes that it’s difficult to keep up with them all. The only thing Rick Scott was able to successfully accomplish this month was to effectively remind Floridians exactly why they cannot trust him with another four years.
To help everyone keep track, we have compiled a list of the self-inflicted crises Rick Scott has found himself at the center of over the last few weeks.
- National ridicule over his inability to answer questions. Rick Scott’s inability to answer questions got him wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC as well as making Anderson Cooper’s “Ridiculist.” As Cooper summarized, Scott’s refusal to answer even the most basic questions “just insults everybody’s intelligence.”
- Statewide coverage of his inability to answer questions. Nearly every media market in the state covered Scott’s stumbles as he robotically stuck to irrelevant talking points “to the point of stupification.” As WPLG’s Michael Putney said, “When he refuses to answer, just understand: it’s not me he’s disrespecting, it’s you."
- Standing against marriage equality. For weeks Rick Scott refused to answer where he stands on marriage equality. On the civil rights issue of our time, Rick Scott was unable to show an ounce of leadership by simply telling Floridians where he stands. At one point he was directly asked the question four times in a row and he still refused to answer.
- Breaking the law by having on-duty cops at a campaign event. Rick Scott kicked off his earned-media tailspin this month by again hosting on-duty police officers at a campaign event. After getting caught, the Scott campaign first blamed the officers themselves, and then blamed the business owner who hosted the event.
- Opposing minimum wage. After saying the thought of raising the minimum wage makes him “cringe,” Rick Scott spent months trying to dodge the question. Unfortunately for Floridians, he finally caved this week and stated that he opposes paying hard-working Floridians a living wage — a proposal more than 70% of Floridians support.
- Conflict of interest over the Sable Trail Pipeline. The Broward Bulldog, WFTV, and Time reported that Rick Scott’s financial stake in the gas pipeline project he approved raises serious concerns about his conflict of interest. Rick Scott has refused to address the issue, apparently comfortable with public officials getting richer off of the projects the approve.
- Not meeting with scientists until Charlie Crist agreed to. After making national news by refusing to address climate change, saying, “I am not a scientist,” a group of scientists offered to meet the governor. Rick Scott refused to meet with. Then, after Charlie Crist agreed to sit down with them, Rick Scott suddenly had a change of heart and agreed to a meeting.
- Attending a fundraiser with the head of the GEO Group. Rick Scott again made national news by attending a fundraiser with the CEO of the GEO Group, who “makes millions locking up immigrants.” The GEO Group’s prisons are known for their hunger strikes, suicides, inadequate medical treatment, and widespread systemic abuse. That is apparently the company Rick Scott is proud to keep.
- Showing no leadership as the Department of Corrections becomes embroiled in scandal. While investigations are uncovering wide-spread and horrific abuse within he Department of Corrections, Rick Scott has stood on the sidelines. As Paula Dockery wrote, “Gov. Rick Scott has been remarkably quiet about these travesties, even as deaths have climbed and the cover-ups have been exposed. Why isn’t he demanding accountability?”
- Dismal poll numbers. After spending nearly $15 million in misleading television ads designed to tear down Charlie Crist, back-to-back polls showed Rick Scott down 5 and 6 points. The news clearly unsettled the Scott campaign, who felt compelled to release an internal poll to calm donors' uneasiness.
- Continuing to lie about All Aboard Florida. For weeks Rick Scott has continued to repeat the demonstrably false claim that All Aboard Florida is a “100% private venture.” The project has come under increasing scrutiny after reports that Rick Scott’s chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth killed high-speed rail in order to drive millions in taxpayer funds to his former employer.