Giving Rick Scott Some Sugar

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 28 2010 1:56 PM

Giving Rick Scott Some Sugar

A great catch by Luke Johnson, who checked to see how Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott raised so much money so quickly for his PAC, Let's Get to Work:

The  Florida Liberty Fund , a 527 group that lists its address at 610 South Blvd., Tampa, along with  31 other political committees ,donated $250,000 on Sept. 16. The group is associated with HouseSpeaker-designate Dean Cannon, who campaigned with Scott after theprimary on his "unity tour." The group received $350,000 from U.S.Sugar Corporation on Sept. 15 and 16; the company had donated $945,000to a McCollum-associated 527 group but recently decided to  donate $2 million to Scott.

During the primary, Scott held a press conference with members of the tea party  calling the leasing agreement between the state of Florida and U.S. Sugar forEverglades restoration a "secret sugar deal which will end up a secretsugar tax." Another big Florida sugar company, Florida Crystals,donated $100,000 directly to Let’s Get to Work on Sept. 21.

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Indeed, the "Big Sugar Bailout" was a scorching issue for the last two weeks of the primary, with Scott assaulting McCollum for supporting the deal and taking money from "Big Sugar." Scott hasn't changed his position -- he's against it -- but he's not turning down the money.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.