2 New Reports: Scott Used His Office To Get Richer, Floridians Lost Jobs
MapLight: “Former SEC Lawyer: “There needs to be an investigation into whether the state is subsidizing Rick Scott’s personal returns.”
Tampa Bay Times: “Marianna and Jackson County are worse off today than before Scott took office. They’re not alone.”
Today two new reports showcase why Floridian’s can’t trust Rick Scott to look out for anyone but himself.
The investigative outlet MapLight revealed that “Scott Invested in the Same Financial Firms As Florida’s Pension System,” promoting a former SEC lawyer to call for an investigation. Key points from the investigation — the latest demonstration of his corruption and how he’s used his position as governor to enrich himself.
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his wife have invested at least $18 million in three financial firms managing money for the state’s pension system that Scott oversees — a situation that intertwines the governor’s personal finances with his responsibility for supervising state employees’ retirement savings.
- Critics have raised questions about how blind the Scott family trusts really are. Scott placed one of his longtime business associates in charge of managing his blind trust. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Scott’s blind trust has invested with a private equity firm tied to a high-speed rail project in Florida. The trust also had an indirect interest in a cancer treatment company that received tax breaks from Scott’s administration.
- In 2011, a few months after Scott became governor, the SBA committed $150 million to Highline Capital Partners, a New York-based hedge fund. Scott’s financial disclosure shows that his family’s trusts have invested at least $4 million in the same Highline fund as the state…The SBA also committed $100 million in 2015 to a hedge fund managed by Canyon Capital Advisors, a Los Angeles-based firm created by veterans of the notorious investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, which was driven into bankruptcy as a result of illegal and unethical trading practices. Scott and his family have invested at least $12 million in Canyon funds, according to his financial disclosure.
This report comes on the heels of Politico detailing how “Scott’s blind trust mirrors hundreds of investments also held by wife.”
And a new report from The Tampa Bay Times — “A desperate place left far behind in Rick Scott’s economy” — shines a spotlight on Scott’s broken economic promises — losing jobs and driving wages to the bottom of the nation.
- …there’s another Florida that Rick Scott rarely talks about. Jackson County, an hour west of Tallahassee, is one of three dozen countries that had fewer jobs in 2017 than it had in 2007 before the Great Recession began and three years before Scott was elected on a promise to turn around the state economy. It’s a promise he has kept in some places and broken in others. In his State of the State address two years ago, Scott triumphantly told the Legislature he had “completely” turned around the economy. But it’s not true.
- Not only has Jackson not turned around, but things have worsened in the Scott years, according to the school superintendent, a prominent retired judge and the editor of the local newspaper…Jackson has lost more than 1,600 jobs, its population is smaller and more people are living in poverty today than before Scott took office. Nearly 23 percent of county residents are in poverty, compared to a state average of 15 percent.
- Its latest report said 44 percent of Florida households could not afford basic necessities such as food, housing and child care in 2015. In Jackson County, the figure was much higher at 58 percent, or seventh-worst among Florida’s 67 counties.
From David Bergstein, DSCC spokesman: “Rick Scott lost jobs, drove wages to the bottom of the nation and spiked health care costs because he was focused on doing one thing: using his position as governor to make himself richer. Corrupt, dishonest, and perpetually out for himself – Scott has proven time and again why Floridians cannot trust him in the U.S. Senate.”
Read more: 150 days, over 370 bad stories about Scott.