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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: First Responder Calls out Rick Scott and His “Platinum Parachute”

May 30, 2024

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: First Responder Calls out Rick Scott and His “Platinum Parachute”

On Tuesday, Firefighters Union President John O’Brien denounced Rick Scott for his selfish so-called leadership in Florida. O’Brien declared that a Scott victory in November relies on voters’ “amnesia” regarding his destructive policies for hardworking Floridians.

Sun Sentinel: Firefighters union president: Rick Scott hopes voters have forgotten his past

  • Prior to his political candidacy in 2010, Scott led Columbia/HCA — then the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain. Columbia/HCA was accused of massive Medicare and Medicaid fraud under Scott’s watch. In 2000 and 2002, the company pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to pay more than $1.7 billion in fines. Scott was never officially questioned in the federal investigation, but in a separate civil case in 2000, Scott took the Fifth Amendment 75 times, even refusing to say whether he was employed by Columbia/HCA. The company ousted Scott, though his platinum parachute, packed with $300 million in stock, a $5.1 million severance, and a $950,000-per-year consulting contract for five years, provided for a comfortable landing.
  • As governor, Scott continued receiving notoriety as he racked up firsts. Scott became Florida’s first governor to be successfully sued for violating Florida’s Sunshine Laws, a subversion of public records. Scott was fined $700,000 as part of a settlement, shamelessly using Floridians’ hard-earned tax dollars for payment.
  • In 2011, Scott delivered a blow to public sector workers, signing harmful reforms to the Florida Retirement System pension plan into law. Scott prospectively eliminated cost-of-living adjustments, mandated employee contributions, and increased employee retirement age. With rising inflationary pressures, these reforms will leave fixed-income retirees feeling suffocated. Indeed, Scott left public workers such as firefighters, teachers, police officers, and cafeteria workers, feeling lingering effects of malaise long after departing the Governor’s Mansion.
  • Scott has drawn a formidable challenger in Democratic front-runner Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former one-term member of Congress from Miami-Dade County with deep roots in academic administration and non-profits. Mucarsel-Powell has built a reputation of working with anyone to deliver — bringing in $200 million in Everglades funding to Florida, fighting for $100 million in transit for South Florida, and writing the bill to expand Medicare.
  • This November, Rick Scott is counting on voters to suffer from electoral amnesia, forgetting how his policies have hurt Florida’s working class. After slashing working-class retirement savings and plundering public funds to pay personal fines, Scott was again rewarded, this time with elevation to the U.S. Senate. Now, it’s up to Florida voters to deliver Scott some long-overdue accountability at the ballot box.

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