Senate Brief: Rick Scott’s Toxic Algae Nightmare

Week of Monday, July 16, 2018

IN BRIEF: Rick Scott’s policies are poisoning Florida’s waterways with toxic algae, forcing businesses to close and families to evacuate — and even stopping one church from performing baptisms

The blue-green algae grows in Central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee because of years of Rick Scott’s negligent environmental policies that put special interest polluters first. The algae releases dangerous, foul-smelling vapors, is dangerous to touch and is toxic to ingest. Commerce along the affected waterways is brought to a standstill.
Rick Scott has a seven-year record of putting special interests ahead of Florida’s environment. He’s kicked the can down the road on toxic algae for seven years, kowtowing to his wealthy financial backers; he’s advocated for drilling off the Florida coast; he’s banned state government from even uttering the words “climate change”; and he’s weakened oversight of polluters.
That’s why Florida newspapers are blaming Rick Scott for the crisis. Sun-Sentinel says Scott is “to […]

Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Floridians Blast Rick Scott’s Algae Crisis: “Have Him Bring His Children Here”

WINK News in Fort Myers is reporting that Floridians are being forced to abandon their homes due to Rick Scott’s algae crisis, as medical experts advise residents to stay as far away from the toxic algae as possible.

Floridians are blaming Rick Scott for years of lip-service and inaction that has caused the current algae crisis: 

“Have him bring his children here. All of these politicians that want to turn up and give us empty promises and answers,” Fort Myers resident Joanne Kreise told WINK News. “I feel like they’re just abandoning us.”

Rick Scott’s administration isn’t even picking up the phone: “She says her husband’s been on the phone all day and they can’t seem to get answers for this problem.”

Watch WINK News’s report on Floridians suffering from Rick Scott’s algae crisis here:

Read more after the jump.

Editorial Roundup: Toxic Algae is “Part of Rick Scott’s Legacy”

While Rick Scott is trying to twist out of his abysmal record of siding with special interests over Florida’s environment, newspapers across the Sunshine State are condemning Scott’s spin and holding him accountable for causing the toxic algae disaster plaguing communities on Florida’s east and west coats.

Here’s a sample of what Florida’s newspapers are saying about Rick Scott’s toxic algae crisis:

Gainesville Sun: Editorial: Algae blooms are part of Scott’s legacy

“Gov. Rick Scott is facing an environmental crisis of his own making.”
“Scott and the GOP-controlled Legislature have made it easier to pollute Florida’s natural environment during his two terms in office. They’ve slashed the budgets of water managers, eliminated an agency that regulated growth, cut enforcement of environmental regulations and spent money slated for land conservation on other uses.”

Sun Sentinel: Gov. Scott’s spotty record on algae crises

“With Florida facing yet another Lake Okeechobee-related crisis, Gov. Rick […]

Read more after the jump.

BREAKING: Questions Swirl Around Rick Scott’s $120 Million Investment Payout

“It’s literally unprecedented for a Florida governor to make $120 million while in office — and Floridians have no idea how Rick Scott made this massive windfall. What unethical conflicts of interest did Rick Scott use to make these millions? Since Scott continues to hide his vast wealth, Floridians are still in the dark — but it’s crystal clear Scott’s still only looking out for himself,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Florida Bulldog: What did Gov. Rick Scott do with mysterious $120 million in cash?
By Dan Christensen, 7/11/18

“When newspapers across Florida reported recently that Gov. Rick Scott’s net worth jumped $83 million in 2017, what got missed or downplayed was that Scott also pocketed an astounding $120 million in unexplained outside income.”
“What did Republican Scott do with that $120 million? What was the ultimate source of all that money? The financial disclosure form the governor filed June 29th doesn’t say, […]

Read more after the jump.

As Florida’s Toxic Algae Bloom Crisis Grows, Some Point Finger At Gov. Scott

“Rick Scott has a seven-year record as governor of putting special interests first, and Florida’s environment last. Now that it’s an election year, Floridians know he’ll say or do anything to win their vote — even lie about his record on the toxic algae polluting Florida’s waterways. But they know Rick Scott is to blame,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

News 13: As Florida’s Toxic Algae Bloom Crisis Grows, Some Point Finger At Gov. Scott

By Troy Kinsey | July 9, 2018

“As toxic algae blooms ravage Florida’s coastline for the third consecutive summer, progressive environmentalists are accusing Gov. Rick Scott of contributing to the crisis through his administration’s deregulatory agenda.”
“Throughout his two terms, Scott has sought to foster economic growth by eliminating or curtailing many of the state’s growth management and environmental protection functions.”
“His critics point specifically to the abolition of the Department of Community Affairs and the downsizing […]

Read more after the jump.

Rick Scott’s Senate financing still mostly a mystery

“The longer Rick Scott is governor, the more his net worth rises and his shady conflicts of interest pile up. Floridians know exactly why Rick Scott is keeping his money a secret: there’s something in there he doesn’t want them to see,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Palm Beach Post: Rick Scott’s Senate financing still mostly a mystery

By John Kennedy | July 8, 2018

“Three months since he announced for U.S. Senate, and $10 million in TV advertising later, Floridians still don’t know much about who is funding Gov. Rick Scott’s free-swinging campaign.”
“Still, the few glimpses into Scott campaign spending that so far are available show he’s hardly an outsider but is relying heavily on support from well-lined pockets of political and corporate power.”
“Despite the maverick sheen, Scott has crossed the country for fundraisers, including Washington events with House and Senate Majority Leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. In San Francisco, Scott […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: GOP Senate Candidates Are (Almost) Nowhere To Be Found. What Are They Hiding?

Week of Monday, July 2

IN BRIEF: Recess? What recess? Rather than use the July 4th recess to campaign across their states, Republican Senate challengers are hiding from voters. While every Democratic Senate incumbent has held multiple town hall meetings this year, GOP Senate candidates’ schedules have been shockingly thin — and once again this recess, public events are practically nonexistent.

Over the next seven days, not a single top-tier Republican Senate candidate will be holding an in-person town hall or any public event at which citizens can ask questions.
In fact, Republican candidates across the country have only announced 5 events total over the coming week. GOP Senate candidates are hiding from voters — further evidence that they’re terrified of being confronted about their healthcare sabotage, their failed tax bill, or their brutal and botched immigration policies.
Republican candidates claim the newly open Supreme Court seat is a boost for their campaigns, but they’re even too scared to broach […]

Read more after the jump.

Counties fault Rick Scott’s staff over voting money restrictions

Key Point: “‘The timing and the restrictions are somewhat devoid of logic,’ said Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. ‘I’m not sure why we have additional restrictions solely at the discretion of the secretary (Detzner) … It’s almost as if politics are permeating election administration.’”

 

Tampa Bay Times: Counties fault Rick Scott’s staff over voting money restrictions

By Steve Bousquet | June 29, 2018

“County elections officials and Gov. Rick Scott’s administration are at odds again, this time over new state requirements on how millions of dollars in cyber-security money can be spent across the state.”
“Florida was awarded $19.2 million from the feds in March, and most of the money is to help counties fortify their voting equipment against the ever-present threat of cyber-attacks from Russia and elsewhere, as they plan primary and general elections.”
“In addition, the state said the cyber-security money is for this election cycle only, and any money counties receive that […]

Read more after the jump.

Scott’s Chronic Negligence Harms the Most Vulnerable Floridians

Scott’s State Budget Left Out Critical Language
Allowing Grant Funds to Reach Homeless Coalitions

“Rick Scott’s chronic mismanagement of the state government is harming the most vulnerable Floridians — and once again, he’s failed to take responsibility,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Families are at risk because of Scott’s refusal to do his due diligence, his persistent cronyism, and his neglect of key programs. Floridians deserve better than Rick Scott.”

Naples Daily News: Families near eviction at risk because of state budget snafu

By Liz Freeman | June 28, 2018

“Subsidies to needy families for housing expenses and for other homeless prevention programs are at risk if Tallahassee budget officials don’t resolve a glitch that will prevent $4.1 million from being released July 1.”
According to Eugene Williams, president of the Florida Coalition for the Homeless,language in state budget documents allowing “challenge grant” funds to be transferred to homeless coalitions was […]

Read more after the jump.

Rick Scott Ducks Responsibility (Of Course) For Eastpoint Fire

“Rick Scott is once again ducking responsibility for a disaster caused by his own negligence and incompetence. The wealthy cronies and donors he appointed to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission failed to protect the town of Eastpoint — but Rick Scott is refusing to take responsibility. Instead, he rushed to the scene of the fire to take a photo-op. Yet again, Floridians are seeing that Rick Scott only ever looks out for himself and his wealthy donors,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Tampa Bay Times: Playing with fire: Rick Scott, a raging inferno, and a $50,000-a-head fund-raiser

By Steve Bousquet | June 28, 2018

“Thirty-six homes and 800 acres are reduced to charred rubble. Residents of a close-knit, hardscrabble community are left without food and shelter. As they assess their lives in 95-degree heat, all they have are questions.”
“It’s the result of a raging wildfire Sunday that decimated part of Eastpoint, a fishing village […]

Read more after the jump.