Bill Nelson – Page 2 – Florida Politics

Florida’s delegation presses for Kennedy Space Center launch support money for NASA’s next big rocket

Congressional letters signed by a large majority of Florida’s delegation are urging congressional leaders to support full funding not just for NASA’s next spacecraft and rocket but for critical upgrades at Kennedy Space Center to launch them.

The letters to chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees subcommittees overseeing space have drawn signatures of 21 of Florida’s House members and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and also have support of others who couldn’t appropriately sign because they’re on the committees, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

The letters focus on the multi-billion dollar projects to build NASA’s big new rocket, the Space Launch System, and the Orion Spacecraft, which are to carry astronauts into deep space. That’s not new. But the letters give equal weight now to urging full funding for the related Kennedy Space Center upgrades, to exploration ground systems, and for a new mobile launcher, huge boons to the space business at Florida’s Space Coast.

A letter sent last month by U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, the Rockledge Republican who sits on the House Space Subcommittee, and co-signed by 10 other members of Florida’s delegation, urges $557 million for the exploration ground systems improvements in the 2019 federal budget, and another $17 million for other construction. It also calls for $150 million in 2019 to build a new mobile launcher that could support the SLS rocket for 40 years, a recent NASA policy direction change from plans now seen as problematic to retrofit the current mobile launcher. The letter also calls for another $2.15 billion for the SLS rocket development, and $1.35 billion for the final Orion crew vehicle development.

The rocket’s debut has been pushed back, but still is possible by the end of 2019, or in early 2020.

Most of the ground systems work has been underway for several years, but risks falling behind without full funding, and that could further delay the first launches of the SLS, even if the rocket and Orion spacecraft are fully developed and ready to go, the letters argue.

“The exploration ground systems are an indispensable part of the infrastructure of space exploration,” Posey’s letter states.

Posey’s letter drew signatures of 11 of Florida’s members of the House: Posey, Gus Bilirakis, Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Ron DeSantis, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, Daniel Webster, and Ted Yoho.

A follow-up letter from Republican U.S. Sen. Brian Babin of Texas, making the same pleas, included 163 members signatures from throughout the country, and drew most of the 11 Florida members who signed Posey’s letter, plus ten more from Florida: Al Lawson, Val Demings, Dennis Ross, Brian Mast, Francis Rooney, Alcee Hastings, Lois Frankel, Ted Deutch, Carlos Curbelo, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Three other House members from Florida, Tom Rooney, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are, like Rubio, on the main committee receiving the letters, and so do not sign under Congressional protocol.

Thirty-one senators including Nelson signed the Senate version, sent out Tuesday by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.

Rubio’s office said he’s supportive, had an active role in pushing for $2.15 billion for the SLS rocket, $1.3 billion for Orion, and will “continue to push for increased funding in order to keep the ground system upgrades on track.”

Already a comeback: Poll shows Bill Nelson leading Rick Scott by six points

It’s only been three days since Gov. Rick Scott announced he would challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and a new poll shows him six points behind the longtime lawmaker.

The survey from Public Policy Polling finds that 50 percent of Florida voters are in favor of Nelson getting a fourth term in the Senate, while 44 percent said they would pick Scott for the job. The remaining six percent said they were unsure who they would vote for.

Another bit of good news for Nelson: he scored a plus-10 in the favorability poll, with 47 percent of voters saying they saw him favorably compared to 37 percent who did not.

The positive rating comes from voters who in the same poll had a not-so-negative outlook on President Donald Trump. He was slightly underwater, with 46 percent finding him favorable compared to 48 percent who of him.

Scott’s favorability score came in at a middling plus-1, 47-46.

The survey represents an 8-point swing from another recent poll of the high-profile U.S. Senate race that found Scott with a 2-point lead over Nelson, 43-41.

Part of the difference between the new PPP poll and the month-old Clearview Research poll can be explained by their turnout models.

PPP assumed registered Democrats will outnumber Republicans at the polls by 1 point. That’s a major break from past midterm elections, but is reflective of the expected enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans this cycle.

The Clearview poll gave Republicans a 2-point advantage at the voting booth, citing 2014 turnout numbers. As a midterm, it is the most recent comparable election, the firm said at the time.

The new poll was conducted April 10 and 11 and took responses from 661 Florida voters. Democratic consultant Christian Ulvert of EDGE Communications paid for the poll. He is currently serving as a senior adviser to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine’s gubernatorial campaign.

Florida’s U.S. Senate race has national implications. Nelson is one of 10 Senators up for re-election in 2018 in a state that voted for Trump in 2016, and defending his seat is a near requirement for Democrats to have a shot at retaking the chamber.

Survey of Florida politics by Peter Schorsch on Scribd

Republicans’ Google Ads target Bill Nelson’s tenure

Citing an early poll showing almost half of Florida’s voters don’t know enough about Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson to determine whether or not he’s doing a good job representing the state in Washington D.C., national Republicans are trying to convey to curious voters that Nelson is a no-show lawmaker.

On Wednesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a Google Ads campaign in the Sunshine State that targets Floridians searching for Nelson online.

Now, inquisitive voters typing in “Who is my Senator” or “What has my Senator done” could be met with an ad titled “Who is Bill Nelson? DC Career Politician” and smaller text reading “30 years in Congress. Only 10 bills passed. FL deserves better. Click here.”

Additional search stimuli prompting the ads: “How to make money for nothing,” “Getting paid for nothing,” “Can I get paid not to do anything,” “Getting to work,” and “Ready to work.”

In January, the NRSC hit Nelson with a Facebook ad that blamed the Chipley native for the government shutdown. The Google Ads launched Wednesday mark an uptick in interest from the NRSC that follows Gov. Rick Scott on Monday announcing he would officially challenge the incumbent senator.

“Bill Nelson is a no-show Senator who has gotten ZERO results for Florida even though he’s been in Congress for 30 years,” said Katie Martin, NRSC Communications Director. “Governor Rick Scott is the only person in this race who has delivered proven results for Florida, and voters will be reminded of that every day until Election Day.”

The long-anticipated contest in which Scott will try to unseat Nelson became official on Monday.

Scott formally entered the race with an announcement in Orlando, and the contest is considered one of the keys to control of the U.S. Senate.

The Nelson-Scott contest will be a marquee event in Florida on a ballot that also will feature a governor’s race, contests for the three statewide Cabinet positions and potentially more than a dozen proposed constitutional amendments.

Rick Scott disclaims responsibility for federal elections complaint about ‘New Republican PAC’

Gov. Rick Scott, a newly-minted candidate for Senate, faces his first Federal Elections Commission complaint a day after his campaign launch.

In comments Wednesday in Jacksonville, Scott disclaimed responsibility for the issue when we asked him if he had used the New Republican PAC, a federal Super PAC, to skirt campaign finance laws by fundraising without formally ‘testing the waters’ for a Senate bid.”

“As you know, I’m only responsible for the campaign account. The campaign account is what we’re responsible for,” Scott said.

“You’d have to reach out to people at New Republican. We’re very transparent in what we do,” Scott added. “I’m responsible for the campaign account. You have to separate it when you have federal races.”

On Tuesday, the political action committee “End Citizens United” charged Scott with using “his position as chair of the New Republican PAC, a federal Super PAC, to skirt campaign finance laws by fundraising without formally ‘testing the waters’ for a Senate bid.”

Per the formal complaint, “Scott appears to be using the super PAC, New Republican PAC, of which he is the chair, to raise and spend soft money to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate.”

The complaint contends that the PAC was ultimately an arm of the Scott campaign.

“On April 9, 2018, the same day that Scott declared his candidacy for Senate, the Committee revamped its website and mission. Though the PAC’s website previously indicated that its purpose was to support President Trump, Committee transformed overnight into ‘an Independent Expenditure-Only PAC (i.e., a Super PAC) focused on the election of Rick Scott in the race for Florida United States Senate.’”

“It does not appear as if Scott has relinquished his role as Chair of the Committee since declaring his federal candidacy,” the complaint continues, adding that Scott has paid consultants out of the PAC since May 2017.

We asked Scott about fundraising for the New Republican PAC in February; he had little to say about it at the time. As was his tendency, he said that all questions about a Senate campaign should be left to the “pundits.”

However, the complaint contends that the PAC was ultimately an arm of the Scott campaign.

“On April 9, 2018, the same day that Scott declared his candidacy for Senate, the Committee revamped its website and mission. Though the PAC’s website previously indicated that its purpose was to support President Trump, Committee transformed overnight into ‘an Independent Expenditure-Only PAC (i.e., a Super PAC) focused on the election of Rick Scott in the race for Florida United States Senate.’”

“It does not appear as if Scott has relinquished his role as Chair of the Committee since declaring his federal candidacy,” the complaint continues, adding that Scott has paid consultants out of the PAC since May 2017.

Republicans target Bill Nelson with ‘Fake News Nelson’ Twitter account

The Republican National Committee was quick to pounce on revelations of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson‘s habit of spreading false, politically charged information after recent tragedies in Florida.

On Tuesday, the RNC launched a Twitter account with the handle @FakeNewsNelson “to hold the Senator accountable for spreading fake news,” according to RNC Florida Communications Director Taryn Fenske.

The creation of the parody account follows a Miami Herald report published Monday detailing two incidents in which Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat spread misinformation. On Sunday, Nelson tweeted he had heard assault weapons were used at a shooting in South Florida’s Liberty City. The Herald reports that local police determined handguns were used in the shooting, which killed two, rather than assault weapons.

In his tweet, Nelson attributed his claim to Democratic state Representative Kionne McGhee of Miami. When confronted by Herald reporters about his inaccuracy, Nelson shifted the blame back to the representative.

“That was from Kionne. That was Kionne’s impression,” Nelson told the Herald.

In February, following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Nelson appeared on CBS Miami and falsely claimed the charged shooter Nikolas Cruz wore a gas mask and tossed smoke grenades during the attack.

And again, Nelson shifted that blame, this time to the FBI, when confronted by Herald reporters.

“I was told this by the FBI … The [Broward] Sheriff’s Department, days later when I went to the school, corrected it,” Nelson told the Herald. “They said the FBI’s mistake was that they saw… with the smoke and they assumed it was a gas mask, as it turned out it was a ski mask.”

Ahead of the Herald report, POLITICO Florida reporter Marc Caputo on Twitter highlighted the inaccuracy of Nelson’s Liberty City shooting claim. The RNC also sourced that tweet in announcing the new account.

“Space-Cadet Bill Nelson finally got called out for spreading fake news,” wrote Fenske, citing Caputo. She also claimed Nelson has jumped ahead of authorities and officials by reporting unofficial numbers to get media attention throughout his tenure.

Added Fenske: “Maybe next time he’ll leave the facts up to experts instead of saying anything to get a TV hit.”

While ‘Fake News Nelson’ was spawned to hold the senator accountable, recent tweets indicate it might manifest as more of a hate page for the Sunshine State’s veteran politician as he contends against Gov. Rick Scott in one of the marquee matchups of the 2018 election.

Email Insights: FEA lays into Rick Scott’s record on education

In a Monday email, the Florida Education Association said Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t deserve the vote of anyone who cares about public education.

The email, sent out hours after Scott announced his U.S. Senate campaign, said the two-term governor “has been a real dud” when it comes to strengthening public education.

The teacher union dinged Scott for cutting per-pupil funding in public schools and for adding testing days with the first bill he signed into law as governor. More recently, the group takes umbrage with his approval of HB 7055, the 2018 education bill that contains a union-busting provision aimed at FEA.

“A candidate who cares so little about our public schools — and our students, teachers and staff — doesn’t deserve another job on the public dime,” FEA said in the email.

Also taking Scott to task was FEA President Joanne McCall, who said: “Rick Scott may be hoping that education voters get a case of amnesia at the ballot box this fall, but we will not forget.”

“We will stand against candidates who have harmed public education, whether they’re running in a local race or for federal office.”

Scott is running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for the Senate seat. He is the only major Republican in the race.

Donald Trump expected to loom over Rick Scott-Bill Nelson battle

More than $100 million will likely be spent during the next seven months as two of Florida’s top elected officials go head-to-head in the mid-term contest for a spot in the U.S. Senate.

The long-anticipated contest in which Gov. Rick Scott will try to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson became official on Monday.

Key issues that could shape the contest include the mass shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and hurricanes Irma and Maria.

But a third man not in the ring, President Donald Trump, is expected to play a pivotal role throughout the campaign.

Alex Patton, a Republican political consultant from Gainesville, simply called the contest a “proxy battle” about Trump.

“No issue will take as much importance other than, ‘Will you support Trump?’ ” Patton said. “Hell, I’m not sure it’s even about supporting Trump’s agenda — it’s about do you support him.”

Scott formally entered the race Monday with an announcement in Orlando, and the contest is considered one of the keys to control of the U.S. Senate.

Neither Nelson nor Scott would be described as overly charismatic.

Scott, 65, is in his eighth year as the state’s top executive. Nelson, 75, the only statewide elected Democrat, is completing his third term in the Senate.

Susan MacManus, a political-science professor at the University of South Florida, said the race will be “highly nationalized.”

“By Election Day, Floridians will be thinking Trump and (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi are on the ballot along with (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and (House Speaker) Paul Ryan,” MacManus said. “Florida Democrats have warned the party not to focus too much on Trump. But for other Democrats, all they need is to see the strong connections between Scott and Trump.”

The Nelson-Scott contest will be a marquee event in Florida on a ballot that also will feature a governor’s race, contests for the three statewide Cabinet positions and potentially more than a dozen proposed constitutional amendments.

Scott’s history suggests he will attack Nelson aggressively as “a liberal and ineffective,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political-science professor at the University of Central Florida.

“Scott will also emphasize his role in restoring the Florida economy in terms of jobs and growth and probably seek to portray himself as successfully dealing with the Parkland shooting and the nursing home deaths in South Florida,” Jewett said, referring to deaths after Hurricane Irma. “Nelson will attack Scott for his ties to President Trump over and over again and also on nursing home deaths after the hurricane and for not doing enough in the aftermath of the Parkland gun deaths. Nelson will point to his moderate-to-progressive record on a variety of issues that are frequently more in step with Florida public opinion.”

Historic trends show the party that lost the White House in the previous election having a strong mid-term surge. Democrats playing up a “blue wave” in November will have to retain Nelson’s seat to have any hope of reclaiming a majority in the Senate.

The Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century anticipates Scott will revert to digging into his own bank account to offset any backlash against the White House.

Scott spent at least $73 million of his own money to win his first campaign and another $13 million four years later. His closely aligned state political committee Let’s Get to Work burned through $5.8 million after the 2016 contest to mostly promote his agenda.

Nelson’s re-election committee has just over $8 million on hand and minutes before Scott’s announcement on Monday sent out an email saying, “The only way we’re going to defeat Rick Scott and protect Florida’s Senate seat is if everyone — and I mean everyone — gives $5 or more right now.”

Patton said even with “oodles and oodles” of money flowing into a Senate contest, which is considered a toss-up by most political prognosticators, the Nelson-Scott match will “pale in comparison” to feelings about Trump.

“Trump will drown everything else out,” Patton said.

Calling the Trump-factor “huge,” Jewett said Democrats appear unified in their dislike of Trump.

“Scott must walk a fine line when it comes to President Trump,” Jewett said. “Scott must not alienate the Trump voters — without them he has little chance of victory — but on the other hand probably will not appear personally with Trump and (will) seek to make the election about the incumbent Nelson rather than a referendum on Trump, which will be difficult to do.”

The governor was an early endorser of Trump and chairs the New Republican PAC, which has raised money for the president. Scott has also embraced their friendship on issues such as securing funding to speed work to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee and getting the Trump administration to issue a statement that Florida would be removed from offshore drilling plans.

Trump during public events repeatedly encouraged Scott to run for the Senate.

However, the governor has on occasion tried to put some distance between himself and Trump, such as when the president used a vulgar slur to disparage Haiti and African nations or when Scott urged Congress to extend the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program for children who are undocumented immigrants.

None of that means the opposing parties won’t zero in on the rival candidates.

Democrats have already focused on low and stagnant wages to counter Scott’s job-growth narrative. Playing up companies that have handed out bonuses or pay increases, Republicans have gone after Nelson for voting against a federal tax overhaul approved by Congress last year. Nelson criticized the tax bill as being unfair in favor of corporations.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has long focused on Nelson, including portraying him as working for “Washington liberals.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last week set up a website called “Self-serving Scott” that seeks to delegitimize Scott’s improved poll numbers.

Nelson and Scott share one part of their political pasts: They both beat Republican Bill McCollum, a former congressman and state attorney general.

Nelson, a Florida native, defeated McCollum in 2000 to move into the U.S. Senate and later defeated former U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris and former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV in his 2006 and 2012 re-election bids.

Nelson has lost only one contest since first appearing on a ballot in 1972 when he ran for the state House. He fell to former Gov. Lawton Chiles in the 1990 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Scott, a former health care executive who settled in Naples, upset McCollum, the party establishment pick, in the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2010. Amid Republican waves, he defeated then-state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in the 2010 general election and former Gov. Charlie Crist in the 2014 election.

In recent months, Democrats, able to focus on special-election contests since Trump’s 2016 victory, have won a number of races nationally in areas carried by Trump. That includes a state House district in Sarasota County that was won by Democrat Margaret Good.

Economic impact of defense in Florida? It’s big, naval regional commander says

The Sunshine State is a hotbed of military activity and in turn, defense spending takes up a decent-sized portion of the state’s economic tally, according to one of the Navy’s top-ranking members.

Rear Admiral Babette “Bette” Bolivar, commander of Navy Region Southeast, spoke to the Economic Club of Florida Monday in Tallahassee. She’s one of two female regional commanders overseeing the 11-unit shore-based organizational structure. 

As expected, much of her discussion focused on economics.

Citing figures from an Enterprise Florida-conducted study of defense spending, Bolivar said that military activity was responsible for $84.9 billion of Florida’s Gross State Product, a little more than 9 percent of all economic activity in 2016. 

The figure factored in procurement, salaries, and pensions or transfer payments “for all those retired veterans who come to settle in the state,” Bolivar said.

Defense spending, Bolivar said, “increased jobs in every Florida county.”

“Most of those jobs are high-wage positions,” she added.

Bolivar, who oversees 18 installations spanning locales in Texas to Guantanamo Bay, said the Navy, specifically, is an economic driver in Florida. Seven installations are peppered across the state, the largest of which, Naval Air Station Pensacola, employs more than 22,000 military and civilian personnel. 

“The real heart of the naval air station is the training,” added Bolivar. She said more than 59,000 members of the military and foreign allies graduate from training programs each year in Pensacola.

Combined with Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Bolivar said, the two Panhandle installations are the “backbone of the naval aviation training pipeline.”

At Whiting Field, 60 percent of all primary and fixed-wing naval aviators receive their training. Every helicopter pilot in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard also is trained at the base.

Another Panhandle base, Naval Support Activity Panama City, has an estimated economic impact of $673 million. It’s the second-largest employer in Bay County, ranked right after Tyndall Air Force Base.

During a brief question and answer session, Bolivar was asked by a member what “the future of Florida bases” looks like, given potential future cutbacks.

Responded Bolivar: “I would say that we’re pretty safe.”

She then gave a nod to Gov. Rick Scott, along with Florida’s U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.

“Between Gov. Scott and our senators, we have so much support in this state — it’s amazing,” Bolivar said. Her last regional operation was headquartered in Guam, where she said the culture was different. There is support there for the military, but it’s coupled with some opposition.

Since she’s taken over the Southeast headquarters in Jacksonville, “it’s been nothing but great support from the community and the state.”

Audrey Gibson pans Rick Scott Senate launch, lauds ‘moderate’ Bill Nelson

Senate Minority Leader-Designate Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat, excoriated Gov. Rick Scott upon his U.S. Senate campaign launch Monday.

“Rick Scott cannot erase seven years of leaving behind my constituents and others throughout this state and now try to take his same show to Washington. His jobs incentive programs have not provided real jobs to the average Floridian because he counts failed potential job creation as a Florida job,” Gibson said.

“A real job is not an alternative fact. His latest slush fund scheme (the Florida Job Growth Fund) of doling out money has fallen short of long-term job creation with little to no reach deep into communities where unemployment and community development remains an issue,” Gibson added.

Gibson went on to note that Scott’s record of job creation wouldn’t have happened without “stimulus money” from President Barack Obama.

“Rick Scott backtracked on his promise and refused to expand Medicaid, hurting millions of Floridians and financially strapping the hospitals who take care of them in emergency rooms at a much higher cost. But what does he care,” Gibson said. “He made his money in a hospital scam and refused to testify about the details.”

“Scott has refused to consider raising wages so that families can survive in a very service industry state and supported policies that grossly undermine public education including cutting education funding and touting a .47 cent increase in base student allocation as an historic increase,” Gibson added.

“And lest we forget Scott hid from responsibility for the lives of seniors lost in South Florida and the over a year of not providing information to FEMA to collect millions in Hurricane Matthew funds even after Hurricane Irma hit. Floridians cannot afford Rick Scott anymore,” Gibson added. “Our families and our quality of life deserve better.”

Much of Gibson’s press availability was dedicated to criticism of Scott, in keeping with Democratic events like this in major metros throughout the state today.

“There really wasn’t a message delivered by Gov. Scott in Orlando,” Gibson said, finding it ironic that Scott was introduced by the Lt. Gov of Puerto Rico since Florida was “very slow” in lending the territory help after Irma.

“The first thing the Governor said this morning was that he was not going to ‘fit in’ to Washington,” Gibson said, noting that he may not fit in given his advocacy of term limits for Congress on Monday.

Scott’s relationship with President Donald Trump, Gibson asserted, is something voters should “definitely” consider, given Trump’s lack of “decorum” and “predictability.”

Besides, Gibson joked, Trump may not be President for very much longer.

As well, Gibson doubted Scott’s ability to be a “consensus builder,” which “moderate” Bill Nelson has been for years.

“He may not necessarily characterize himself that way,” Gibson said of Nelson as a moderate, but lauded his ability to “build a bridge” and bring “balance to his position as a Senator.”

Additionally, Scott is as much a “career politician” as Nelson, Gibson said, given that he’s running for one office from another.

Rick Scott

Email insights: State workers blast Rick Scott for ‘record of failure’

AFSCME said in a Monday email that Gov. Rick Scott’s announcement he would run for U.S. Senate against Bill Nelson was met with “fear and disgust” by state employees.

“Not once as governor did Scott take the lead in investing in Florida’s services and those who provide them. He looked at the men and women who wake up every day and make Florida happen as his enemy,” said AFSCME, which represents 100,000 Florida workers.

“His policies had such a dramatically negative impact on the state that even he had to sign into law, and in some cases even propose, greater investment in those who interact with some of the state’s more vulnerable citizens.”

Ketha Otis, a Vocational Rehabilitation Technician and president of AFSCME Local 2862, said that she and her fellow state employees are not going to let the two-term governor “falsely portray his slash and burn record.”

Otis slammed Scott for pursuing “partisan goals” and bringing low-paying jobs to the Sunshine State in the wake of the Great Recession.

“Instead of creating the jobs our state needs for the future, over half the counties in Florida are worse off today than before the recession. Where jobs have been created, Scott’s policies have ensured they expand our state’s working poor, creating even greater demand for assistance even as his policies shred our public safety net,” Otis said.

“As you would expect, it takes a lot to keep our state moving forward. That task falls to the hardworking men and women who never quit serving our communities. But Rick Scott’s Florida invests half the national average, leading to underfunded and overworked agencies unable to meet the demands of today, let alone plan for the challenges of tomorrow. If he were to become a backbencher in the U.S. Senate, it would put too much of our national future at stake.”

Otis closed out the email by praising Nelson’s “distinguished bipartisan record.”

“Florida, and our country, faces too many challenges to lose his voice from the U.S. Senate. That is why workers like me will be spending our free time to help him win,” she said.

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