Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, today wrote members of the GOP establishment who opposed Rick Scott in the Florida primary, urging them not to support Scott or publicly appear with him during the general election campaign. Scott’s company paid $1.7 billion, the largest fine for Medicare fraud in U.S. history.
A copy of the letter is below and attached.
Dear Gov. Barbour:
Republicans and Democrats disagree a lot about policy and how to best lead this country forward. But there are a few issues that transcend partisanship and politics as usual. One of those issues is our commitment – regardless of party – to do what is right and make sure we punish those who victimize seniors or steal from taxpayers. No matter what else divides us, I would hope that all Democrats and Republicans can agree that the public trust is irreparably eroded when we ignore egregious abuses of the citizens we serve.
To that point, before you hit the campaign trail today, I’m respectfully asking for you not to endorse, support or appear with Rick Scott, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Florida. As you all know, Rick Scott made millions leading the company that paid $1.7 billion in fines, the most ever for Medicare fraud. He is the type of person who is comfortable with pleading the fifth 75 times in a deposition. In effect, he funded his campaign with money that was stolen from the pockets of taxpayers and seniors who depend on Medicare and has refused to answer questions about his business dealings.
During the Republican primary, you and many of your peers lined up against Rick Scott for just those reasons. His theft and deception in business were so egregious that these are just some of the public statements against him:
- Opponent Bill McCollum has too many questions to support Scott, unlike previous primaries in which he was defeated. “But I never had any questions raised either before or after the election about Mel [Martinez]‘s integrity or honesty or character, and I’ve had those questions raised about Rick Scott and they were raised very seriously. And it’s not something that would just idle in the campaign. There are still questions that are out there, I think unanswered questions that trouble me a great deal from his past, particularly at Columbia/HCA, so I’m not going to involve myself in the race. (Bill McCollum, Aug. 29, 2010)
- Rick Scott’s campaign was excoriated in an email to the entire email list of the Republican Party of Florida. “Mr. Scott’s false rhetoric about the state of the Party’s finances and our ability to support our candidates demonstrates a disturbing lack of understanding of federal and state election law,” wrote party chair John Thrasher. (John Thrasher, Aug. 22, 2010)
- Scott failed to explain his “criminal acts.” That was graphically demonstrated in an ad in which his name was transformed into a set of handcuffs. (Florida First Initiative)
Since Scott’s “victory” – if that word can be used to describe a race to the bottom where he failed to win even 50 percent of the vote – some of you have pledged your “full resources” to elect a man whose company pleaded guilty to bilking taxpayers and seniors and paid the largest Medicare fraud settlement in U.S. history. We are asking you to reconsider. We are asking Republicans who have yet to endorse to Scott to oppose his candidacy.
While some of you may question our motives, as we clearly support Alex Sink for governor, this is the first time in our history that we have reached across the aisle to make this request. The unique circumstances in Florida demand this overture. Rick Scott represents the worst of American politics; he’s a multimillionaire who became rich from a firm that stole money from taxpayers and seniors. If this doesn’t disqualify Rick Scott from being governor, you must ask yourselves: What would?
Again, we hope you join us in sending a message to Rick Scott and any candidate – Republican or Democrat – that if you steal millions from taxpayers and seniors, you do not deserve to run for office, let alone the highest office in the state of Florida.
CC: Jeb Bush