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Here comes promised Democratic hits on HCA, wealth against Rick Scott

Long before Republican Gov. Rick Scott entered Florida’s U.S. Senate race, Democrats vowed they would attack him for his leadership of the scandal-plagued Hospital Corporation of America and his prospering personal finances since then.

A new ad dropping Tuesday delivers on that pledge.

Majority Forward, a Democratic political action committee that has been pounding Scott with negative television commercials this summer and fall, announced Tuesday it is launching a new television commercial in Florida painting Scott as “a shady millionaire” who got rich as his company was investigated for massive Medicare fraud [and found guilty after he left it,] and then got richer as governor when his investments prospered under his state policies.

The 30-second commercial “Soared” starts by resurfacing the notorious video of a nervous-looking then-HCA President Scott being deposed in the federal government’s fraud investigation, footage which was used extensively by Democrats trying unsuccessfully to stop his gubernatorial bids in 2010 and ’14. The commercial then tries to connect dots between his actions as governor for nearly eight years and his expanding personal wealth, implying the get-rich mindset pattern that Democrats have been alleging.

“Rick Scott. Another shady millionaire who doesn’t look out for you,” the PAC’s commercial concludes.

Scott resigned from HCA in 1997, more than 20 years ago — and well before he ran for Florida Governor. The company has undergone several changes since then.

In those earlier races (as well as the current one), Scott’s campaigns have reminded that he was not charged personally with any wrongdoing in the federal case against HCA. And his campaign has pointed out that throughout his tenure as governor his personal business interests were held in a blind trust over which he had no knowledge or control, while his pro-business agenda helped all businesses in Florida prosper.

“These misleading and outdated attacks are exactly what we have come to expect from a career politician like Bill Nelson,” Scott’s campaign replied Tuesday.

Majority Forward is a 501(c)(4) organization affiliated with the Democrats’ Senate Majority Political Action Committee, though the exact sources of its money are not reported. The Senate Majority PAC is backing the re-election campaign of Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen.Nelson, who faces Scott on Nov. 6.

Earlier Majority Forward sponsored commercials blaming Scott for the algae blooms and red tide disaster along the coasts, and for his policies on health care issues.

“Despite the millions of dollars Rick Scott has poured into his Senate campaign, his standing in the race is diminishing and that is because of Scott’s disastrous record of enriching himself at Floridians’ expense,” Chris Hayden, spokesperson for Majority Forward stated in a news release.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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