Rick Scott campaign dismissive of criticism from League of Conservation Voters
Dirty Dozen Rick Scott

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The League of Conservation Voters today named Gov. Rick Scott the first of its “Dirty Dozen” list, the morning after he formally won the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

“Rick Scott’s pro-polluter record makes him the ideal first candidate for the 2018 Dirty Dozen,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns.

Scott’s campaign dismissed the move as a Democratic stunt.

“This is nothing more than another thinly veiled liberal group choosing to disregard facts and cherry-pick information in an attempt to distract from Bill Nelson’s utter lack of accomplishments during his decades in Washington,” said Lauren Schenone, spokeswoman for Scott for Florida.

“Gov. Scott, however, has invested record amounts in Florida’s environment, including securing state funding when Nelson and Congress failed to meet federal commitments, and successfully worked to have Florida removed from consideration for offshore oil drilling.”

The LCV Victory Fund for 20 years has targeted state and federal candidates who “consistently side against the environment” and whom PAC leaders feel they can help defeat.

The group boasts that in 2016, four of the federal candidates lumped into that election cycle’s “Dirty Dozen” lost at the polls, including Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who lost to Democrat Charlie Crist. Additionally, nine of 16 state-level candidates targeted by the group went down in defeat.

As Scott ramped up his Senate campaign this year, he worked to boost his environmental record, notably meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and securing a commitment that the federal government wouldn’t open Florida’s coast to offshore drilling.

But the environmental group pointed to a POLITICO story showing that meeting had been carefully choreographed for Scott’s political gain.

“Scott’s election-year environmentalism isn’t fooling anyone,” said Maysmith.

“From censoring climate science to cutting millions from water management and mishandling the current toxic algae crisis, Floridians know that Scott puts Big Oil ahead of their communities every single time.”

The group also noted a 2015 Miami Herald story saying Rick Scott had banned the words “climate change” in Department of Environmental Protection communications.

As blue-green algal bloom plague voters along the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and red tides save Florida’s coastal communities, environmental protection has become a top-tier issue in the Senate race. The LCV Victory Fund attributed that problem in part to $700 million in cuts to environmental agencies during his time as governor.

Nelson hosted an event at a Caloosahatchee restaurant in July where he said Scott had “systematically dismembered the environmental agencies of the state of Florida.” Scott countered that Nelson’s “decades of inaction” in Washington were to blame for the algal issues striking Florida.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].



    August 29, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    It is dishonest for Scott to blame Senator Nelson and liberal Democrats for the many failures of the GOP controlled US Congress to fund and efficiently implement provisions of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Energy Policy Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act, not to mention withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The GOP has controlled the US Congress since 2010 and the Florida Legislature for the past 20-years and has failed to enact and enforce regulations needed to protect public health, safety and natural resources from short-term, greed-driven exploitation.

    • Judy Spangler

      August 30, 2018 at 5:39 am

      Couldn’t agree more. Rick Scott even had the words ” climate change” scrubbed from all government websites! I’ve NEVER heard him express any interest whatsoever in anything to do with climate change and him now trying to blame Nelson for the toxic algae is a JOKE when this state has been under REPUBLICAN rule for more than 20 years….and LOOK at the mess we’re in. Unbelievable.

    • Karen

      August 30, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Humans cause pollution & Florida is overpopulated!

      • Judy Spangler

        August 30, 2018 at 11:02 am

        Yes humans do cause pollution but climate change involves the rising sea levels, the toxic algae blooms, etc. And how can we count on a politian to understand and try to do everything in his/ her power to combat climate change if that same politician won’t even admit climate change exists? Until election time, of course, and then he’ll pay a little lip service to the issue until AFTER the election when he promptly forgets about AGAIN. And yes, Florida may be “overpopulated” but the residents of Florida enjoy the profits that this state, that depends on tourism, provides by enticing more people to move here and to retire here …so…you can’t have that both ways…sorry.

  • Fed Up

    August 30, 2018 at 8:54 am


    • Judy Spangler

      August 30, 2018 at 9:19 am

      #RedTideRick…great name…it suits Rick Scott perfectly. And how perfectly hypocritical if him that NOW all if a sudden he’s interested in environmental issues when for the last 8 YEARS he refused to even say the WORDS “Climate Change”. We need Senators and a Governor who will use 21st century solutions…NOT the current GOP swamp who wants to take this country backwards.

Comments are closed.


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