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Gambling Group Raises the Stakes for Rick Scott’s Re-election

December 17, 2012 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott wasnt a proponent of expanding gambling in Florida as a proposal was debated in the Legislature last spring.

Then again, he never really came out in opposition to the bill before it died in the House.

Now the group that is building up his campaign finances for his 2014 re-election effort have picked up a $100,000 donation from the business behind last sessions drive to allow casino gambling to proliferate in the Sunshine State.

The Genting Group-related firm Bayfront 2011 Development LLC dropped the donation Dec. 17 into the coffers of the Lets Get to Work electioneering organization.

Earlier this month, Malaysian-based casino giant Genting withdrew its plans to collect signatures to ask voters in 2014 to support a constitutional amendment on casinos.

The Miami-based Bayfront donation was one of 10 worth a combined $284,000 that was reported on Lets Get to Works website.

Others who chipped into Scotts re-election since Oct. 1 included investor Lloyd Miller of Palm Beach, whocontributed $50,000; Flagler Medical Management, $10,000; and St. Joe Co., $10,000.

While Scott has said he doesnt intend to dip into his personal wealth for his re-election bid after spending an estimated $75 million in 2010, the Lets Get to Work war chest continues to pose a hurdle for any challenger.

Entering the fourth quarter, the electioneering organization had collected $4.4 million since the start of the year, far outpacing the just over $58,000 raised by Democrat Nan Rich, the former state senator from Weston.

Alex Sink, the states former chief financial officer, drew $28 million when running as the Democratic Party candidate for governor in 2010.

Former governor and newly born Democrat Charlie Crist, as a Republican was able to muster $60 million in 2006 but could only scratch together just over $13 million four years later when running for U.S. Senate as an independent.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

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