Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rick Scott And RPOF Begin November Campaign With Lots Of Questions

Now that the contentious primary is over, Rick Scott will see if the Republican Party of Florida wants to back a winner. There are serious questions whether this will just be a token effort or sincere support.

The Orlando Sentinel has a great piece about the back-story of Scott and RPOF ( The usual cast of characters like powerful money lobbyists that oil the wheels in Tallahassee are understandably concerned. They're used to long term good old boy contacts not some newbie they've, ahem, 'never done business with before.'

And while some insiders are concerned with whether Scott can be bought, others like US Sugar, is looking to cash a $197 check from the state for an overpriced land deal. And the fact that they contributed $100's of thousands of dollars to fund anti-Scott commercials, will certainly make for some awkward moments.

But most intriguing of all might be whether RPOF and Republican state leaders would be happy to not strongly support Scott at all, purposely loosing the election for governor. The reasoning runs that if Scott were to win the governorship, it would strengthen him above the traditional RPOF power structure.

Scott could make wholesale changes in the board of RPOF and spoil state legislator's cozy system with lobbyists. No more trains to nowhere (like SunRail), no more sweetheart land deals (like the US Sugar one), and no more having taxpayers foot the bill for a brand new state prison (that was later given to a private corporation for free).

In order to protect all these 'family secrets' it has been suggested by those in the know, that RPOF may have a lot more to lose if Scott ever moves into the governor's mansion. Therefore a loss is preferable to a win.

To be fair there have been some congratulatory comments emanating from some legislators. A meeting is scheduled in Fort Lauderdale between Scott and party chairman John Thrasher. Wonder if Mr. Thrasher will soften his negative campaign rhetoric against Scott! He better.

But talk is cheap. Let's keep an eye on how Florida GOP executives respond to the 'new guy in town.'

No comments: