FL FRONT PAGES: “Falling homeowner rates in Florida cloud Rick Scott’s campaign message. “

A new report from GateHouse — which ran on front pages across Florida — examines how the state’s record low homeownership rate contradicts Rick Scott’s campaign message. The report also details how Scott and his wife bet against homeowners during the recession by owning more than a million dollars of stock in a company profiting off the housing crisis. It’s the latest report adding to over 370 bad stories Scott has faced in the first 150 days of his campaign.

From David Bergstein, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman: “Lost jobs and low wages, spiraling health care costs and record low homeownership — it’s all the consequences of a governor like Rick Scott who only cares about using his position to make himself richer. And these reports, dominating front page news across the state, just reinforce why Floridians cannot trust Scott to look out for anyone but himself in the Senate.” 


Gatehouse: Falling homeowner rates in Florida cloud Rick Scott’s campaign message.
John Kennedy
September 22, 2018

Key points:

  • While Gov. Rick Scott campaigns on the strength of Florida’s economy, there is no mention of a bleak milestone the state just reached – a record low homeownership rate.
  • It’s also shining a light, again, on Scott’s vast personal wealth, which included a $1 million investment in a mortgage security firm, whose value peaked when the housing market was cratering in Florida and nationwide.
  • Scott and later his wife, Ann, owned shares in Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp. around the time the Obama administration launched the Hardest Hit program to help struggling homeowners in Florida and 17 other states. Anworth was dubbed a “recession-loving” stock that had performed strongly during the housing crash.
  • While Florida struggled with handing out Hardest Hit dollars, state financial disclosure forms show Scott held almost $500,000 in Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp. stock in 2010 and 2011. Ann Scott also acquired more than $600,000 of Anworth stock, mostly during her husband’s earliest months in office.
  • The couple sold their holdings in the company in early 2012, not long after Anworth filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission warning that mortgage loan modification programs could “adversely affect the value” of the company going forward.
  • “This is another example of how Rick Scott has used public office to enrich himself while doing a poor job for Floridians, including those left behind during the broader national economic recovery,” said Nate Evans, a Nelson spokesman.
  • The disclosures show Scott and his wife have a number of investments that could have been affected by the governor’s policy decisions. Earlier this year, GateHouse Florida newspapers reported on the couple’s extensive holdings in Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company whose drugs were widely used to combat Hepatitis C cases, which have swelled with the opioid crisis. The Miami Herald also reported that the Scotts have invested in a credit fund run by the parent company of All Aboard Florida, which is building the Brightline railroad from Miami to Orlando.

Read the full report here.

See the front pages:

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