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Weekend Press Hammers Rick Scott

Tampa Bay Times: “Conflicts of interest are a hallmark of Scott’s tenure.”
GateHouse: “Rick Scott dogged by questions about his investments”
Bloomberg:  “Florida’s Algae Blame Sticks to ‘Red-Tide Rick’”

This weekend new reports, editorials and columns hammered Rick Scott for his self-serving politics — highlighting he’s been “dogged by questions about his investments,” that “conflicts of interest are a hallmark of Scott’s tenure” and how he “wound up labeled ‘Red Tide Rick.’  These stories add to the over 600 bad stories Scott’s suffered in the first 200 days of his campaign, see for yourself:

Bloomberg: Florida’s Algae Blame Sticks to ‘Red-Tide Rick’ in Senate Race
Christopher Flavelle and Anna Edgerton
October 29, 2018

  • A mermaid was among a line of protesters in Englewood, Florida, during morning rush hour earlier this month, chanting at the passing cars. “Defeat red tide! Defeat Rick Scott!” they shouted, getting more thumbs up than middle fingers from drivers.
  • Democrats blame Republicans — especially Governor Scott, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate whom they call “Red-Tide Rick.” The nickname stuck, and it’s dragging down other GOP candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot, said Alex Patton, a Florida-based Republican consultant. Environmental experts also say the responsibility for the algae problem lies largely with the state government.

Tampa Bay Times: Scott promised to be the greenest governor, but wound up labeled ‘Red Tide Rick’
Craig Pittman
October 29, 2018

  • His campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Bill Nelson has been haunted by scenes of environmental disaster from around the state
  • Budget cuts, regulatory rollbacks and other steps he took — or failed to take — during his nearly eight years in office have combined to exacerbate both disasters, say environmental advocates. They say Scott and his administration guided polluters on ways to get out of paying fines, replaced experienced regulators with people who had previously worked for industry and failed to clamp down on the sources of the pollution fueling the blooms.
  • “For this guy to claim he’s Mr. Environment is a joke, a sick joke,” said Jerry Phillips, a former attorney for the state Department of Environmental Protection who now runs the Florida chapter of the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. When it comes to enforcing the state’s environmental laws, he said, “Scott is definitely the worst.”

Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: Gov. Rick Scott’s blindness to conflict
Staff
October 28, 2019

  • The Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Bousquet reported that Scott and his wife, Ann, have invested at least $5 million in a hedge fund that owns $127 million in Conduent stock, and Scott attended a Senate campaign fund-raiser in May hosted by a major Conduent shareholder as well as another in August hosted by Conduent’s Tallahassee lobbyist. It’s simply too cozy to dismiss.
  • The details of how his finances intermingle with state business are, in some cases, known only because he is running for U.S. Senate, and federal disclosure requirements shed far more light on the extent of his wealth — and its embedded conflicts — than Scott has voluntarily shared with Floridians.
  • Conflicts of interest are a hallmark of Scott’s tenure in Tallahassee. Even as his eight years in office winds down, new ones keep coming to light — including his financial and political ties to the company that botched the state tolling system. Yet instead of being forthright and transparent, Scott, both as governor and U.S. Senate candidate, sticks by his blind trust claim.

GateHouse: Rick Scott dogged by questions about his investments
John Kennedy
October 26, 2018

  • But JinkoSolar’s soon-to-debut facility also could pad Scott’s vast, personal bottom line. He’s an investor in a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, the parent of utility giant Florida Power & Light.
  • Scott’s Senate disclosure shows the governor and his wife, Ann, have a number of investments — some disclosed for the first time — that could be affected by his administration’s policies.
  • In the case of JinkoSolar, the governor played a very public role in bringing the company to Jacksonville. According to the Senate disclosure of his investments, Scott owns as much as $250,000 in NextEra Partners stock, and his wife has holdings up to $500,000.

Tampa Bay Times, Ruth: Scott investments are hardly blind
Daniel Ruth
October 26, 2018

  • Since the state’s official hologram entered the Governor’s Mansion nearly eight years ago, Scott has essentially treated the office as his personal ATM.
  • Since he embarked on a second career as an elected Tallahassee hustler, Scott’s so-called blind trust has evolved into a sort of Peek-A-Boo trust.
  • What has emerged from those federal filings is an uncanny pattern showing investments by Scott family members which closely mirror the very same investments being made in health care, rail, a natural gas pipeline, prescription drug manufacturers, mosquito control and oil services companies by the governor’s blind trust the governor is supposed to know nothing about.

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