The heated race for governor in the Sunshine State is just around the corner, and after throwing his fantrum on national television, Rick Scott needs something of a miracle to win reelection. Luckily for Scott, he’s got the support of the billionaire Koch brothers and their extensive political network: Koch Industries has made large contributions to Scott’s campaign, and the Kochs’ primary political arm, Americans For Prosperity, has put more than 40 paid staffers on the ground in the Sunshine State.
Scott’s ties to the Koch brothers go back a ways. In 2013, Scott spoke at Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Orlando the very same week that he skipped his own three-day education summit, a stark juxtaposition of priorities that drew this rebuke from Tampa Bay Times:
“Unless he’s worried about his base or the lingering threat of a primary challenge, it baffles us that Scott – who couldn’t find time to attend any of a three-day education summit he called himself – would find the time to speak at the AFP “Defending the American Dream Summit”… Maybe he hopes the Koch brothers, who founded AFP, will show some love to Scott’s Let’s Get to Work Committee.”
This year, AFP’s annual summit was hosted in Texas, and Scott’s fellow Republican governor and friend Rick Perry joked about razzing him because the Texas summit was better attended than Scott’s Orlando event. Perry recalled, “Rick Scott always tries to one-up me, so you know, he was the first to call me and say ‘Hey, we got Americans for Prosperity, what’d you get?’”
Of course Scott called Perry to brag about his support from the Koch brothers. And of course the Koch brothers support Rick Scott, they share the same agenda – opposition to raising the minimum wage, denying the science of climate change, refusing to expand Medicaid. It’s a match made in heaven.
When Floridians go to the polls on Tuesday, they should bear this in mind. Rick Scott is the special interests governor. The Koch brothers are just one of his many interests.