Rick Scott Still Inches Ahead of Charlie Crist, New Poll Shows

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 18, 2014 11:45 AM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

A poll from the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) unveiled on Monday shows Gov. Rick Scott has taken a 3 percentage-point lead over former Gov. Charlie Crist -- the man who spent most of his political life as a Republican, yet is the favorite to win the Democratic primary next week.

Scott takes 44 percent in the poll of likely voters against Crist's 41 percent.

When Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is added into the mix, Scott’s lead expands. In that scenario, Scott takes 41 percent, Crist gets 35 percent and Wyllie 4 percent.

“While top concerns for voters remain jobs and the economy, their support of Gov. Scott is a signal they approve of his strong ability to create private-sector jobs,” said Marian Johnson, the senior vice president of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. “This is evidenced by the fact that 43 percent of the voters believe Florida’s unemployment rate is lower since Rick Scott took office.”

“I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scott’s private-sector, pro-jobs plan is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber.

The poll finds both candidates securing their bases. Despite having been a Democrat only since December 2012, Crist gets 70 percent of his new party while 11 percent of them go for Scott and 2 percent break for Wyllie. Scott gets 73 percent of Republicans while 8 percent back Crist and 3 percent support Wyllie. Voters outside the major parties go for Scott over Crist, 31 percent to 25 percent. But Wyllie does well with these voters, getting the support of 14 percent of them.

There is a gender gap, according to the poll. Scott takes 47 percent of men while 30 percent back Crist and 6 percent go for Wyllie. Crist leads with women taking 41 percent while Scott gets 35 percent and 2 percent support Wyllie.

Despite carrying the state twice, President Barack Obama is underwater in Florida, according to the poll. A majority of those surveyed -- 54 percent -- disapprove of Obama while 41 percent approve of him.

The poll of 627 likely voters was taken Aug. 10-13 by Cherry Communications and had a margin of error of +/-4 percent.  

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow himm on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments (5)

2:52PM AUG 21ST 2014
I am very pleased that Adrian Wyllie will be a part of the debate. Floridians deserve to hear from all the candidates to be well informed. 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 Kingmakers
9:39AM AUG 19TH 2014
The Common Denominator between George W. and Jeb Bush - Rick Scott and Disney’s Michael Eisner-

George W. Bush can thank his father for a well-known name, for much of his personal wealth he can thank Richard E. Rainwater, a billionaire investor from Fort Worth.
The vast bulk of the $18.4 million Mr. Bush and his wife reported in 1998 income came from the sale of the Texas Rangers and other investments in which Mr. Rainwater, a man hardly known outside of Wall Street, played a major role. Mr. Rainwater, is considered a master investor, and has built fortunes for others as well as for himself. The son of a grocer and a J. C. Penney sales clerk, Mr. Rainwater gained his reputation by skillfully marshaling the assets of the legendary Bass family of Fort Worth, whose original holdings were in oil. He soon created his own fortune, recently estimated by Forbes magazine at $1.2 billion, by building a real-estate empire and helping to found the nation's largest chain of hospitals, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation.

Because of their financial relationships, Mr. Bush's ties to Mr. Rainwater have long been a target for his political opponents in Texas. In Mr. Bush's first campaign for Governor, in 1994, a spokesman for his Democratic opponent. Gov. Ann W. Richards, declared that Mr. Rainwater ''owned'' Mr. Bush.

A review of Mr. Bush's relationship with Mr. Rainwater did not produce evidence that Mr. Bush, as Governor, has sought to aid the businessman, though there would be more potential for conflict if he became President. Mr. Rainwater is involved in companies that are heavily regulated and have hundreds of millions of dollars in Government contracts. One, which operates psychiatric hospitals, is the subject of Federal and state investigations into patient mistreatment and Medicare fraud.

Mr. Bush said in a statement: ''Richard Rainwater is a friend and a former business partner who is very successful. Some of my investments in his companies have been successful as well. Richard has never sought a favor for any of his companies nor would I have offered any.''
Mr. Rainwater declined to comment on the relationship, saying through a spokesman that it would be inappropriate during Mr. Bush's Presidential campaign. In an interview in 1994, Mr. Rainwater said, ''George Bush happens to be one of about 100 people that can make the statement that their involvement with Richard Rainwater has had a very positive'' effect on their wealth.

As he prepared to run for the Republican Presidential nomination, Mr. Bush liquidated a blind trust created to hold his assets when he was elected Governor. One reason for doing so, said the accountant who managed the trust, Robert A. McCleskey, was to eliminate the appearance of any conflicts of interest, including any investments with Mr. Rainwater.

''You get people inquiring about the Rainwater interests -- is there a conflict?'' Mr. McCleskey said. ''So it was decided that the best thing was to get rid of it.'' Get rid of it? GW just moved it over into the Northern Trust – another blind trust – he says he doesn’t know who owns it. But public records prove it’s owned by the Bush family. Obama knows who owns it – Northern Trust provided him the purchase money mortgage to buy his Chicago home from it’s home office address at 50 S. LaSalle Street Chicago, Il. The same address shown on George W. Bush’s filing papers to run for President of the United States in 2000.

To be sure, the wealth of many politicians has been shaped by others, and many national figures have had close friendships with people heavily regulated by Government. In 1976, for example, Hillary Clinton quickly turned a $1,000 investment in commodities futures into a gain of nearly $100,000 with advice from a friend who was then the top lawyer for Tyson Foods, the nation's biggest poultry producer.

Mr. Bush, for his part, invested $385 in 1991 in a group set up by Mr. Rainwater to provide consulting services to the Americredit Corporation, a company that secures car loans to high-risk borrowers. Three years later, when the investment paid off, Mr. Bush received $45,512.
A spokesman for Mr. Bush, Dan Bartlett, said that the investment was ''passive'' and that Mr. Bush did no consulting. Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Rainwater was not born into a world of connections. He attended public schools in Fort Worth, where his father operated a family grocery, and where he regularly won races at a local drag strip in a souped-up Buick. He attended the University of Texas and then the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

At Stanford, he was a classmate of Sid R. Bass, the eldest of the four Bass brothers, and it was Mr. Bass who soon hired him to help direct the investments of Bass Brothers Enterprises. He so aggressively invested the family's oil wealth in languishing companies like Walt Disney [where in a leveraged buy out in 1984 he acquired enough Disney stock to gain the power to hire and install Michael Eisner as Disney CEO] that by the time he left in 1986, $50 million had grown to $5 billion. By 1995 Michael Eisner and Disney had acquired his former employer ABC and it’s networks. Along with other media acquisitions Eisner became the most powerful media leader on earth!

Not long after going out on his own in 1986, Mr. Rainwater connected with another Texan, Richard L. Scott, a lawyer who believed that investor-owned hospitals could be both efficient and highly profitable. They soon joined forces with Rainwater’s old partner George W. Bush and his brother Jeb and the results was Columbia/HCA. With the Bush brothers help Rainwater and Scott picked up the remnants of the IMC hospitals operated by Jeb’s partner exiled Cuban mobster Miguel Recarey. Jr. who fled the country under federal indictments – with the beginnings of IMC assets acquired Scott and Rainwater turned Columbia/HCA into the nation's biggest chain of for-profit hospitals.

Rainwater’s current holdings also include energy, oil rigs, office buildings and the sumptuous Canyon Ranch resorts. So sprawling are his interests that gamblers can bet in casinos operated by one of his companies or seek treatment for their gambling compulsion at another.
''He is a king maker,'' said J. Thomas Schieffer, who was a partner with Mr. Bush, Rick Scott, Tom Hicks, Rusty Rose and Mr. Rainwater in the Texas Rangers. It’s like magic!
And reality is Richard E. Rainwater has shaped much of Florida politics as well. He made multi-millionaires out of Jeb and George Bush and their partner Rick Scott……….
And he made a multi-millionaire out of Michael Eisner as well……How many more of these special friends have gotten rich off the likes of Richard Rainwater and other Kingmakers?
lets have some Scott Bush Eisner Rainwater facts here
8:26AM AUG 19TH 2014
Old Tampa Florida born mob boss Santo Trafficante, Jr. was run out of Havana, Cuba by Fidel Castro in January 1959 along with the rest of his mob, one of which was Miguel Recarey, Jr. Trafficante is said to have financed Recarey’s venture into International Medical Centers.

By 1984 Recarey was having problems with his Medicare percentages and recruited Jeb Bush to help solve those problems. Jeb called both HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler and a top aide, C. McLain Haddow and successfully convinced them to waive the regulation for Recarey, Haddow testified to Congress. Bush’s lobbying of HHS took place during the same period that top-level Congressional testimony proves Jeb made calls to Washington DC and the Medicare funds flowed.

In July 1987 Recarey was indicted for Medicare Fraud and other federal crimes and fled the country. Federal regulators accused Recarey of the largest Medicare Fraud in US history!
Recarey resigned from IMC and was immediately replaced by John Ward. (Ward had been law partner to Reagan-Bush campaign manager John Sears. And Sears had also been a lobbyist for IMC.) But Recarey's Medicare scam would never get to a public courtroom airing. Before his trial on the wiretap charge, Recarey skipped the country. His getaway was remarkable: just in time for his flight, the normally tight-fisted IRS expedited a $2.2 million income-tax refund, which Recarey claimed he had coming. Recarey's last act before becoming a fugitive was an attempt to wire $30,000 into the bank account of Washington consultant and lobbyist Nick Panuzio -- whose partner was then managing George HW Bush's 1988 presidential campaign. (The wire transfer failed only because, in his haste, Recarey had gotten Panuzio's account number wrong.) It was only after Recarey was safely out of the country that the U.S. attorney in Miami -- a political appointee -- filed formal charges of Medicare fraud against him.

In October 1987 Jeb Bush with the help of his brother George W. Bush contacted investor Richard Rainwater to put together investors to take over the former assets of International Medical Centers of which most had been sold by state regulators to Humana, Inc. along with $30 million in monthly Medicare income payments - Humana an insurance company rolled it’s newly acquired IMC hospital assets into a new corporation called Galen Hospitals, Inc.
Rainwater’s team was in Miami forming corporations and acquiring hospital assets - among others Rainwater brought along Dallas Lawyer Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott, Johnson and Swanson Law Firm and former partner with George W. Bush, Tom Hicks, Rusty Rose and Rainwater in the Texas Rangers buy out. Soon they settled on the corporate name of Columbia Hospital for their new acquisitions. Scott pulled off his first megadeal: the $3.2 billion acquisition of Galen Health Care, formerly the hospital arm of Humana Inc. on August 16, 1988 along with all those millions of monthly Medicare funds that come with the deal.
Richard Rainwater, best known for his leveraged takeover of Disney in 1984 and his hiring of Michael Eisner to run the Disney empire who later purchased Eisner’s former employer ABC along with other media groups making Eisner the single most powerful media control person in the world.

As Rick Scott and investors grew Columbia he was eventually contacted by Dr Tommy Frist – Nashville for-profit HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) CEO with a merger offer. HCA was started by Frist’s father (co-founder of KFC with Colonel Harlan Sanders) who was also the father of Tennessee US Senator Bill Frist who supported George W. Bush’s nominee John Roberts for Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court who controls US security and appoints NSA Judges for life!
One member from the Columbia side of the Columbia/ HCA corporate marriage: T. Michael Long, was partner at investment banker Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

NOTE: In 1919, George Herbert Walker [Grandfather of George Herbert Walker Bush (41) organized W.A. Harriman & Co which merged with the British Brown Brothers in 1931 Prescott Bush [father of Bush (41)] was an officer of the W.A. Harriman bank since 1926, and was a director of the Union Banking Corp from 1934 through 1943.
HCA had agreed to the same kind of deal as Galen had: a "pooling of interests" merger. Finalized February 10, 1994, the deal produced a $10 billion giant. It was Scott's dream: "I had picked the name Columbia because it sounded good in front of HCA." Three months later, Scott announced another billion-dollar merger, this one with Medical Care America (MCA), the country's largest chain of outpatient surgicenters, with 96 sites.
That merger was completed on September 16, 1994. Three weeks later Scott announced the most recent merger. HealthTrust Inc. - The Hospital Company, with its 116 hospitals and $5 billion price tag, would join Columbia/HCA, in a deal that both sides expect to complete in the first quarter of 1995. This brought the other big chunk of what had been HCA - the smaller, more rural hospitals - into the Columbia fold.
With the continued positive results of the 1984 Jeb Bush phone calls to the HHS supervisors on behalf of the former IMC from 1987 until 1997 – Columbia/ HCA was the [filtered word] that laid the golden Egg.

By 1997 their Medicare schemes was once again breathing down their necks. In 1995 Rick Scott had taken the Fifth – 75 times to avoid criminal prosecution himself in what federal regulators was now calling -Columbia/ HCA- the largest Medicare Fraud to date in US history.

March 1997, federal agents raided Columbia offices in El Paso and carted out documents by the truckload, Frist met privately with Scott and urged him to adopt a more statesmanlike stance. Scott listened, but did he hear? Publicly, anyway, the CEO has not conceded that he needs to modify either the substance or style of his approach. "There are certain things beyond your control," Scott told BUSINESS WEEK in a June interview. "But what I like about this industry is that if we do a good job of taking care of patients, things will work out."

February 1997, Rainwater reaffirmed his faith in Scott and Columbia's prospects in an interview with BUSINESS WEEK. "As far as I'm concerned," said Rainwater, who still owns 9.8 million shares of Columbia stock to Scott's 9.4 million, "Rick will lead the company forever, or until he wants to step down." But on Monday, July 21, 1997 - Rainwater suddenly backpedaled from his unconditional embrace of the status quo, saying only that significant developments were imminent.
Almost immediately, reports surfaced that Columbia was talking to Tenet Healthcare Corp. about a merger. Both companies declined to comment on the reports. Tenet, the industry's second-largest company, is roughly a quarter of Columbia's size. Its CEO, Jeffrey C. Barbakow, guided the company through its own Medicare scandal four years ago when he forged a settlement of massive fraud charges for $380 million. Many in Washington and in the industry believe prosecutors won't let the next violator off with just a fine, but will seek jail terms. The rumors gave a lift to Columbia's battered stock, which had fallen as low as $32.as investors fled.
May 9, 2007 - Tenet Healthcare Corp announces it is placing John Ellis (JEB) Bush on it’s board of directors-

This is the same Tenet that had to pay $900 million to Uncle Sam last summer (2006) to settle charges that it had overbilled Medicare and Medicaid over many years.

The U.S. attorneys announcing the settlement accused the company of "fraud" and trying to "manipulate and cheat the system.". It's also the same Tenet that just paid $80 million to the IRS after an audit found it owed back taxes going back as far as 1995. The company recently had to restate nearly five years of earnings statements after an investigation into its books. As of the 2014 corporate filing Jeb Bush is the only director; Paul A. Castanon is the secretary and Trevor Fetter is the president – they all have an address of 1445 Ross Ave Ste 1400 - Dallas, Tx 75202. So, it is fair to say that Jeb Bush controls the Tenet Healthcare Corp, lock, stock and barrel.

In fact if you follow the corporate records and follow the players put in place from time to time to protect the Bush family interests you will see Jeb Bush and his partnership with Cuban exiled mobster Miguel Recarey, Jr. with financial support from Tampa born mob boss Santo Trafficante, Jr. (who was run out of Cuba by Fidel Castro) instigated and enhanced the International Medical Centers Medicare Fraud using his Washington DC connections at the time his father Bush (41) was vice president under Reagan. In 1987 as a disgruntled federal HHS employee who had been documenting their Medicare Fraud for years with the help of a couple of congressmen and the Miami office federal organized crime unit was able to shed the light of day on this massive scheme. To rescue their massive fraud scheme in late 1987 Jeb and brother George W. Bush recruited their Dallas, Texas investor friends headed by Richard Rainwater who had already been successful in overtaking Disney and installing Michael Eisner as CEO and who had headed up George W’s investor group including Rick Scott in the Texas Ranger’s buy out.

Their hospital scheme began with IMC, was shifted to Humana, Inc by Bush controlled state Regulators. Humana packaged it into Galen Hospitals, Richard’s Rainwater and Scott picked up Galen and rolled it into Columbia. Along come the Frist brothers Tommy and Bill and added their HCA to the scheme. Then when Columbia/ HCA crumbled under the largest Medicare Fraud scheme in US history, they rolled Columbia/ HCA into the Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Then after Jeb Bush left the governor’s office he took over control of Tenet Healthcare. In 2010 Jeb’s old hospital scheme partner Rick Scott took $70 million dollars he acquired from Medicare Fraud and used it to buy the governor’s office where he works for the people for 12 cents per year.
3:17PM AUG 18TH 2014
Home > News > Opinion
Chip Thomas: Nan Rich would be more effective governor


By Chip Thomas
August 18, 2014

Endorsements are piling up for Charlie Crist in the primary, not because he is the best candidate or would make the best governor, but because Nan Rich — with her lack of name recognition and campaign funds — supposedly can't win against Gov. Rick Scott in the general election. Is such rationale rational?

While it's true she is far behind Crist and Scott in name recognition, that gap would narrow considerably during the 10 weeks of media coverage leading up to the November election if she were the Democratic nominee. Besides, name recognition may be a negative for Crist and Scott, given their high disapproval ratings.

As for funding, Democrat and anti-Scott money will go to whoever the Democratic nominee is. And if it is Rich, Charlie Crist will be under immense pressure to pass along much of his substantial war chest to her — along with his endorsement.

When it comes to the general election, is it unreasonable to think a lifelong Democrat (Rich) would inspire a higher turnout among Democrats than the chameleon of party affiliation (Crist)? Especially when the enthusiasm for Crist is between "meh" and "hold your nose and vote?"

Is it unlikely that Rich would get more votes from moderate Republicans disgruntled with the tea party governor than the GOP despised "turncoat Charlie?"

Is it far-fetched to suggest Independents, known for evaluating candidates for merit instead of party affiliation, would be more supportive of Nan Rich than the self-serving, narcissistic Charlie Crist?

Given the high level of "anyone but Scott" sentiment, either candidate will get plenty of consideration in November. But how effective would a Gov. Crist be when the Legislature is predominately Republican, the party he is held in contempt by? Look no further than President Obama to see the problems that can pose.

Furthermore, how can we ever expect to reduce the influence of big money in politics if we continue supporting candidates backed by big money in lieu of those who aren't?

Despite conventional wisdom, Nan Rich may well have as good — or better — chance than Crist of beating Rick Scott. Moreover, she would likely be a more effective governor.

Nobody knows whether Nan Rich can win the governor's race. But we can be certain of one thing: Not voting for her because she can't win will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Chip Thomas is a resident of Tampa.
3:10PM AUG 18TH 2014
The Charlie fade is happening while Nan Rich is surging.

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