Rick Scott: RPOF Can Think on Its Own
Around the State
If you want to know why the Republican Party of Florida has opposed the retention of three Florida Supreme Court justices, "ask them." That was Gov. Rick Scott's answer when reporters asked him repeatedly on Tuesday.
Talking to the media in his Capitol office following the state Cabinet meeting, Scott responded to a series of questions about the RPOF executive committee's decision to oppose the three justices, as well as his support for a party fundraising letter that focused on removing noncitizens from the lists of registered voters.
"The Republican Party makes the decision about what they want to get involved in," Scott said.
Scott also added that he doesn’t get involved in the state party and that "Lenny Curry runs the Republican Party of Florida."
RPOF Chairman Curry has previously denied that Scott was involved in the decision last month by the executive committee to take on the retention of Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince.
“It is important to note that the decision to oppose these justices came in the form of a unanimous vote of the executive board of the Republican Party of Florida, which took place after a grassroots groundswell raised the issue ahead of a board meeting,” Curry wrote on Sept. 28.
“And while these judges and their political allies have attempted to drag Governor Rick Scott into the fray and blame him for the decision of the RPOF executive board, they couldn’t be more out of touch with reality. The idea came from the grassroots of the party -- people who are fed up with these justices -- and the governor had nothing to do with it.”
The three justices have long been a thorn for the RPOF, going back to the Florida Supreme Court’s 2000 stances in Bush v. Gore.
Earlier this week, the justices warned of what they said would be dire consequences for the state’s legal system should voters not elect to retain them on the November ballot during a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Florida, the Florida State University Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity, and the Florida State University Women in Pre-Law Society.
Scott would appoint replacements for any of the judges who fall in the retention vote.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.