Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott’s Outsider Image as Senate Candidate Cashes with Florida Reality

A damning new report in today’s Tampa Bay Times rips off Gov. Rick Scott’s phony “outsider” mask and details Scott’s “long and controversial record of thriving in Tallahassee” that will “leave with the status quo intact and insiders still in control.”

“Gov. Rick Scott’s outsider pose couldn’t be a bigger lie. Instead of keeping his promise to end the power of special interests in Tallahassee, Rick Scott took lobbyists on dinner dates and made them even richer — then asked them for massive campaign checks. Rick Scott has always only looked out for himself and his cronies — not Floridians,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott’s outsider image as Senate candidate clashes with Florida reality

By Steve Bousquet and Alex Leary | June 1, 2018

  • “It’s the thrust of Gov. Rick Scott’s message as a U.S. Senate candidate: He’ll shake up the system and fix Washington.”
  • “But his populist image clashes with reality. Scott is a two-term incumbent with a long and controversial record of thriving in Tallahassee. He came in as an outsider, but he will leave with the status quo intact and insiders still in control.”
  • “‘He’s not the same guy he was in 2010,’ says Phil Handy, a Republican business executive in Winter Park. ‘I consider him much more a part of the establishment, especially in the way he raises money.'”
  • “Scott has pulled in special interest cash like no governor before him, stocked state government with friends, drawing charges of cronyism, and regularly socializes with top lobbyists.”
  • “Even allies struggle to find ways that he changed the culture in a capital where he is by far the best-known politician.”
  • “Scott and the special interests that control Tallahassee soon closed ranks and helped create a fundraising colossus.”
  • “Money fuels the political ‘swamp,’ but Scott has not moved to curtail its influence and arguably enabled it to grow.”
  • “And he’s traveled to Washington often to raise money alongside quintessential insiders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and lobbyist Haley Barbour.”
  • “Scott has not used his enormous power to question a revolving-door culture in which lawmakers and staff members become lobbyists, trading on their relationships.”
  • “‘It’s a little hard to go full-out populist when you’ve been governor for eight years,’ said Patrick Murray, a national pollster at Monmouth University.”

Read the full story here.