Rick Scott Can't Let the Race Turn Into a Spending Contest

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: August 23, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Rick Scott came into office in 2010 by running as a fiscal conservative but, as he faces a tough re-election challenge from Charlie Crist, he’s increasingly calling for more spending on government programs. 

Scott upset Bill McCollum and beat Alex Sink by stressing his business background and how he would use that experience to be fiscally responsible in Tallahassee and keep the state government out of the way so the private sector would grow and create jobs. Despite Scott’s awkward public persona, it worked. Floridians gave Scott the keys to the car instead of career politician McCollum or Sink who had some private-sector credentials of her own.

But now Scott’s attitude increasingly seems to be if you can’t beat them, join them. Scott is calling for an extra $800 million for transportation projects, called for $1 billion spending on the environment earlier this month and, on Thursday, boasted that he would raise education spending to its highest level based on per-student spending.

Even though Crist has a long past with the GOP, Scott has nailed down the Republican base despite some grumbling on the right over immigration and other matters. After trailing badly in the polls for all of 2013 and the start of this year, Scott has moved up and now has a narrow lead over Crist in most surveys. While not fond of the governor, independents are backing Scott over Crist in the polls. Scott’s recent rash of spending proposals seems designed to keep the independents behind him as opposed to going back to Crist.

But there are dangers in this strategy. Republicans are more likely than Democrats -- and much more likely than independents -- to come out and vote in off-year elections. The Republicans who come out to the polls are often the most committed conservatives, and if there is one thing they agree on, it’s that there’s too much government spending.

Scott faces the challenge of trying to woo independents with more spending on education and the environment while keeping conservatives in the Republican base happy. He might be counting on the GOP’s continued dislike of a turncoat like Crist to keep conservatives behind him, hoping they’ll overlook his plans for more spending.

But Crist can also play this game. Crist is already going after Scott on education and environmental spending, saying, if elected, he will work with the Legislature to spend more on both fronts. Scott won’t be able to win if the race turns into a contest of who can spend more. The Democrat can win that contest hands down.

Scott has one issue at his disposal which could give him an advantage over Crist: tax cuts. The governor’s chief legislative priority this year was $500 million in tax cuts, including rolling back the vehicle registration fees Crist enacted by $400 million.

For the moment, Scott has put tax cuts on the back burner. But, if he insists on going toe-to-toe with Crist over who can promise to spend the most, Scott might want to put tax cuts front and center to remind the GOP and independents who want to keep a few bucks in their pocket why they should keep him in office.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (12)

2:15AM AUG 25TH 2014
Charlie Crist is a flip flopping fraud devoid of any core beliefs. Anyone who would trust ONE word he says needs their head examined. My family is with Rick Scott, 1000%.
la la land
4:32PM AUG 25TH 2014
Hee Hee Laura is probably a bean counter for the Bush, Scott, Rainwater on going hospital Medicare fraud schemes. They flipped into Tenet and Jeb's running that scheme now. That's how Rick and Jeb count their Medicare profit margins 1000% percent increments.

Anyone with real brains thats not stealing more than they can count knows you can get any better than 100% of anything.

That's unless Jeb Bush and Tom Feeney let you use their vote fixer chips like the did their NWO brother Barack when he got 141% of the votes cast in St Lucie County Florida.
8:00PM AUG 25TH 2014
There was not a vote count of more than 100 percent in St. Lucie or any other county.
3:39PM AUG 25TH 2014
Laura, you sound like a Tea Party nut job. Only a Tea Party nutjob would want to re-elect a criminal like Rick Scott.
Go Charlie
3:45PM AUG 24TH 2014
Check out the facts. Richard Rainwater, Rick Scott, George Bush were all partners in various Rainwater schemes beginning in the early 1980's.

With the Bass family money Richard Rainwater leveraged out Disney. He single handedly hire Michael Eisner in 1984. By 1995 Eisner Disney) bought his old employer ABC and other TV, print and media outlets.

In 1987 Richard Rainwater and Rick Scott arrived in Miami to pick of the pieces of Jeb Bush and Miguel Recarey's IMC hospitals who were still collecting $30 MILLION PER MONTH from Medicare. Jeb was able to get the assets over to Humana who renamed them GALEN. Rick Scott and Richard Rainwater have been partners with the Bush boys for years.

They keep the lame stream media off their butts with the friends like Michael Eisner. Even though he's gone from DIZZY he's still the most powerful media person on earth.

Remember in 2010 the FBI was breathing all over Tallahassee. Ray Sansom was indicted and every Republican up there including Prince Marco Rubio was shaking in their sneekers. They turned Sansom loose and kissed hs behind. He working of Jeb's Charter School friend Billy Rader at the Rader Group now. Jim Greer took the fall for all of them.

Charlie Crist had no where to turn. Not saying he's perfect, but saying he just wouldn't bend over for Jeb Bush and his clan.

Jeb Bush and Rick Scott have been partners for decades. Jeb has still got enough mob connections around to use those Clint Curtis chips to make the scanners elect Rickey Poo. And they will darn well do it again. How do you think Jebs NWO brother buttie Barack got 141% of the vote in St Lucie County, Fl in Nov. 2012?

Charlie Crist is the only change we have to get a governor that is not owned by Jeb Bush and family in the governor's office. If we fail this time it's Katie bar the door because the mob intends to draft Jeb Bush into the white house in 2016 to finish his Common Core national takeover of the programming of the youth of America and bring their New World Order takeover of America to fruition.
Jerry Lewis
3:21PM AUG 23RD 2014
The fact that Rick Scott needs to spend $100 million to beat Charlie Crist as an incumbent goes to show you how abysmal of a candidate and a governor Rick Scott really is. Lets get rid of this guy.
9:06PM AUG 23RD 2014
correct Jerry, Rick Scott with the largest Medicare Fraud fine of all time, when he was CEO. I have an Idea, let's let him be Governor instead of going to prison. Then he lies and says the ACA makes Florida give up the right to approve non-profit Blue Cross rate increases. Now nobody is looking after the consumers. Wait, Blue Cross is like Scott's biggest cash cow. I guess if you want 17.6% rate increases like Blue Cross you have to give Scott a mountain of money. What a corrupt crook.
Florida Gator
3:14PM AUG 23RD 2014
It's time to vote out that thieving felon Rick Scott out of office. Charlie Crist all the way in 2014. The only position Rick Scott deserves is as an inmate in prison along with the rest of his cronies that have stolen from Floridians and American taxpayers for too long. Scott is too busy making secret deals with special interest groups at King Ranch, using mysterious email accounts for his illegal activities, and dodging questions to be a good governor. Wake up people, Pink Slip RICK SCOTT is the WORST GOVERNOR IN FLORIDA'S HISTORY.
John D. Field
10:28AM AUG 23RD 2014
Charlie Crist is getting my vote. Rick Scott only cares about the super rich and his cronies. He doesn't care about working stiffs or folks on a fixed income. He lacks compassion and frankly it just gives me the creeps looking at him. There is something so dishonest about his face.
the common denominator
10:15AM AUG 23RD 2014
Back to Orlando Chris.

Did you know by chance that the man who leveraged the 1984 buy out of Disney for the Texas Bass Brothers was one Richard Rainwater?

It was Richard Rainwater who single handedly hired Michael Eisner that year. By 1995 Eisner and Disney had bought ABC Eisner's old employer and soon Eisner become the most powerful man on earth in the media. He's still got his hands up to his elbows in all world media to this day!

It was also Richard Rainwater who set up the purchase of the Texas Rangers by bringing in his partners; Dallas lawyer Rick Scott, George W. Bush, Tom Hicks and Rusty Rose.

Then in the summer of 1987 when George W's brother Jeb Bush who was partner's with Miguel Recarey, Jr. and had enhanced Recarey's "International Medical Centers" Medicare reimbursements with his calls to HHS while daddy was VP under Reagan sent out the SOS call to Texas.

Again back to Florida Richard Rainwater and Rick Scott to the rescue. As Recarey fled the US under federal indictments Rainwater and Scott originally formed various corporations and picked up the pieces of IMC, shortly acquiring GALEN which was the IMC assets the government had passed on to HUMANA. When HUMANA was handed the IMC assets along with it come $30 MILLION PER MONTH IN MEDICARE CHECKS!

On the other hand CharLIE Crist is a product of the Mel Sembler Straight, Inc. houses of horror which later spun off to other child abuse facilites including some in Orange, Osceola and Lake Counties. Sembler and his friends have destroyed the morals of thousands of America's youth with their goals of homo - nizing them . Charlie Crits father Dr. Crist credits Mel Sembler with CahrLIE's funny lifestyle. Some even say Mel Sembler pared Charlie up with his one son Brent Sembler.

At any rate in both of these cases they got straight to the Bushes. Both Bush presidents appointed Mel Sembler to Ambassadorships. Along with thei fellow jewish friends including Villages developer Gary (Schwartz) Morse they hve funded the Repubs for decades to the point it is they who "ruin" the party and they to anoint and apoint what we are led to believe is supposed to be our elected officials.

If Adrain Whllie or any other person in Florida could somehow overcome their underground government dark side controls to win the office of governor it would be a wonderful day for honest, moral Floridians.

The trouble is Jeb Bush and tom Feeney had a guy named Clint Curtis fix a little computer chip that they can put in the optical scanners and no matter what the paper ballot says you voted for that little chip will select the one the mobsters want in office. Than while governor Jeb Bush come along and passed one of those Obama like executive orders forbidding the hand counting of any paper ballots that have previously been run through a vote counting scanner.

And we didn't even mention co-governor's Rick Scott and Jeb Bush and their common core NWO programming for our youth. Rick Scott just changed the name of it again like Obama changes Obamacare, but a wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf!
9:34AM AUG 23RD 2014
Adrian Wyllie deserves my vote and yours too. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round, election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of Florida and stop voting for these 'paid for' career politicians that are only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians. Even if it's just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do what is right for our (yours and your children's) future and vote for Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very powerful. Visit his website today.
The Swampfox
8:54AM AUG 23RD 2014
What do you say about Charlie "The Man Without a Party Crist" who spent face time on national TV about 6 yrs. ago hoping to be a presidential candidate? Then changes party for the sake of running for office? I would say the democrats needed a candidate and Charlie needed another narcissistic job! If he tanked his ideology beliefs changing parties what makes you think he wouldn't sell the entire state of Florida out for anything less? The worse kind of politician is a political whore that stops at nothing to be elected and will cave to the highest bidder. Charlie was well trained by his previous employer you know the law firm that's "For the People?" oh BTW and also a HUGE......JA (stealing a car dealers tag line) democratic rainmaker. If you love this state just look to the north NY,CT,VT, and see what a fiscal mess they are in. If you welcome that kind fiscal irresponsibility vote for Christ. I won't, that's why I moved to Florida, getting away from that part of the country like many of you have. If you are a fan of liberalism move up or back north, nothings stopping you? Lets keep the decay of failed policies where they belong and keep Florida safe.

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