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Nancy Smith

Media Brainwash: The Strategy to Take Out Rick Scott

September 22, 2018 - 6:00am
Rick Scott
Rick Scott

The Democrats knew they had to do something. The news in Florida was way too good.

When all these things happened under a governor who  made fiscal security his promise to Florida families, the same governor who is running against the highest ranking Democrat Florida's got, you need a drastic, legacy-crushing strategy to beat him.

I Beg to DifferFor the last eight years, the Democrats have been saying, "Rick Scott oversaw 'the largest Medicaid fraud' in U.S. history," hoping that would destroy him. But somewhere along the way, Floridians either had enough of it or their sensibilities grew numb to the charge or they just plain trusted the governor anyway, because in spite of their best efforts, Scott won two gubernatorial elections and now leads in his effort to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Luckily for the Dems, they have a strong left arm to lean on. They have their media partners -- virtually every mainstream newspaper in Florida.

The strategy is a natural. You don't even have to ask your media friends to help. They're there for you, churning out negative Rick Scott stories, every day somebody stretching the governor out on the press -- I call it the Rick Rack -- exposing a secret dastardly deed for voters to discover.  Next day a Party comms operative is there to repurpose the story for distribution to a statewide list. Day after day this goes on. It's like a Chinese torture for voters. Drip, drip, drip. What better way to show Floridians in the middle how wrong they were to trust the governor?

The Tampa Bay Times, the FDP's hip-joined twin, leads the charge.

One Tallahassee lobbyist told me on condition of anonymity, "I imagine a Times war room with a chalkboard and a list of all the subjects in the last eight years Scott might get credit for. Sometime since late spring, early summer the editors began assigning and pushing stories out on each subject on the list.

"So what you do is, every day you can, you sling a little mud and pretty soon some of it sticks."

Here's a small sample from the Times in the last four weeks:

-- 9/18/18: "A bumpy bus tour comes to a close for Rick Scott"

-- 9/17/18: "Hurricane politics: When Andrew Gillum and Rick Scott clashed" 
-- 9/14/18: "A desperate place left far behind in Rick Scott’s economy"
-- 9/14/18: "Was the Iraq War a mistake? With George Bush in town, it took Rick Scott 75 words to not answer" 
-- 9/5/18: "Judge orders Rick Scott to release travel, campaign records; Governor will appeal" 
-- 8/17/18: "Editorial: Editorial: Did Rick Scott’s wallet affect his epiphany on rail line"


These don't even include the wedge of stories I call the Times' "Rick Scott Environmental Disaster Collection" -- or, how Gov. Scott singlehandedly fouled the land, lakes, springs, Everglades, ocean, gulf and beaches. As in the September stories, there's obviously an untold other side to each installment. Sadly, you won't get it from Florida's largest newspaper.

The Times isn't honest these days. I thought it was, once upon a time. As packed with great writing, great storytelling as it is today, it no longer strives to be fair and bipartisan in its news pages. Show me the page in any edition where editors admit what the Times truly is, that it has a liberal agenda and "special" friends and I'll eat my words. This newspaper was out to crucify Rick Scott since his first campaign, when he wouldn't  bow down to the editorial board.  Its jihad against him intensifies with every success for Florida he notches. 

Don't believe me? Google "Rick Scott" & "Tampa Bay Times." Then do the same with  "Bill Nelson" & "Tampa Bay Times". See what you get. Count the stories for each; compare their tenor and content. Then see how many times PolitiFact, a Times entity that developed something called "the scott-o-meter," has actually scrutinized anything out of Bill Nelson's mouth.

In spite of the Democrats' formidable strategy, I agree with RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia.

“The numbers don’t lie," Ingoglia says. "Conservative leadership has helped Florida prosper. Since Republicans took control of the Governor’s Mansion and Florida Cabinet in 2010, Florida’s unemployment rate has been lowered to 3.7 percent and businesses have created 1,615,500 private-sector jobs. ..."

I don't think Floridians necessarily pay a lot of attention to specific numbers. But I'm convinced they're smart enough to know that when they feel good, when they feel safe and their families, jobs and businesses are secure, the steady drip of negative Rick Scott stories won't have any lasting effect. Scott was the right man for the job at a difficult time in the state's history. He grew into the job, he made Florida a powerhouse. He is stronger, more pragmatic, more knowledgeable about the state's direction than he ever has been. Ask any of the people close to him.

Rick Scott's name is going to have the right ring to it in a voting booth.


Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


Really interesting that many of the scientists that comment on blue/green algae and red tide on this website can pin it back to one politician in office. If they truly understood the effects of this issue, the ultra educated clowns might agree that some occurs naturally and alot happens because of the horrible things we as taxpayers do to our own environment. Yes, I hate the sugar creeps. They should be exiled immediately. Realistically, can outlandish outfits like the Everglades Trust and Sierra Club claim their own donors contribute nothing to the environmental woes we have? Some of their fundraising clients live here too and likely have septic tanks in Martin County.

Yeah! Rick Scott, Governor. During his watch, personal income in Florida fell from 19th in the nation to 27th. Public teacher average salary fell from 29th to 35th. In his eight years as governor, household income in Florida remained at 40th out of 50 states. Median Florida income remained among the bottom ten states during Scott's two terms. In his eight years as governor, the poverty rate in Florida held steady at 16th worst in the nation. And, 44% ... that's forty-four percent ... of Florida households can't afford basic needs ... while the Florida is second among all states in economic inequality! (New York is first.) Yeah. Rick Scott, Governor. Scott should have been a felon ... not a governor!

Good points, assuming accuracy. Love when articles lambaste the "liberal media" whist simultaneously being highly selective in the facts they use to prove their point. ALL politicians manipulate the media. If you believe it is only the right or the left doing it, then YOU are the one being manipulated.

Red Tide Rick has to go...

Such a stupid line of attack. You know most people are aware that Red Tide is naturally occurring. Right?

Ehh, it is not that simple. Red Tide is natural, of course. However, it does respond to nutrient levels in the water (e.g. pollution, fertilizer, sewage). Poor environmental stewardship will increase the intensity of the algae bloom.

And there is ZERO evidence that any land runoff is intensifying it. Zero. And less than Zero evidence this is Rick Scott's fault. Some of you are intellectually bankrupt.

You used the word “evidence”, that is something the liberals neither need or care to see at all. You only need a screaming headline and it becomes a fact for the liberal candidate and their screed.

The problem with your whole diatribe is Rick Scott's unemployment rates are consistent with what has happened nationwide. In addition, nothing indicated in the stories you mentioned is untrue. Sure he won two campaigns, against mediocre, at best opponents, that he outspent by most estimates to get the job, 10 to 1. With all that money spent against simpletons, he won both races by 1 to 2 points each race. That should tell you that people were very skeptical and they still are, probably even more so. He has spent more tax payers dollars defending law suits than any Gov in history. Had more ethics and public records complaints than any Gov in history, and he slashed the budgets of the state EPA and SWFMD, and deregulated septic tanks to aid in the algae and red tide fiasco we are currently experiencing. The other PR nightmares and being the national public laughingstock for restoration of voter rights. There is more NOT to like about this Midwesterner, than to like...

Nope. Wrong on unemployment rates, wrong on everything else you say. Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.9 percent keeps on exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.9 percent. In the past year, 121,000 people entered Florida’s labor force - that's a growth rate of 1.2 percent, which nearly doubled the national labor force growth rate of 0.7 percent. As for proving wrong all the media's stories, it sure can be done, but one at a time will take too long for here. Especially the bs environmental stories.

94% of new jobs in Florida pay less than $12.49 an hour...and that is the rest of the story...mike drop.

nice try, but facts speak louder than rhetoric... If its BS, prove it wrong, why? because you can't spin the truth.

Great writeup Nancy. You know its bad when Steve Bosquet has been enlisted in the resist movement. For years, he did a pretty good job at playing it straight. I've known him and his reporting since he covered Lawton Chiles, TK, WD. Covered Jeb somewhat fairly. Now, these guys are all in Resist. I would agree with your quote from the Tallahassee insider. I too can imagine a whiteboard to attack Rick Scott. The man, despite having limited social skills and being a strange bird, has amassed an amazing record of accomplishment in 8 years they are simply trying to challenge and erase. Its why Donald Trump is so successful at attacking the media - because we know its true. Most of them are so blatantly biased its truly FAKE. Here's the good news for many people. Newspapers are dying, and no amount of "Above the Fold" PR crap from Kevin Cate is going to save them. They are dying because people And These stories are exhibits 1-10. They cant die out soon enough.

At the end of the day Billy Nelson loses despite all the help from the media. Reason is that he is way too old and has been a useless senator in his 18 years.

I really don't want to see Scott and his lack of ethics in DC, but it is hard to argue with your points here.

The brainwashing is totally effective on the simpleton's brains. Only question is do we have enough simpletons in Florida who will actually un-ass from the comfy couch on a non-presidental election to defeat Scott? Add to that unknown their only choice is the geratic one foot in the nursing home 75% chance of dying of old age in office Nelson. Nope lazy lefties are sitting this one out. Corrupt Gillium will also make lefties stay home. Good 'Ole Claude does not have to wait until after the election to say I Told You so! I TOLD YOU SO!!!

Scott is airing a tv commercial in south Florida. It's a good commercial. It tries to humanize him a bit. He tells us he grew up in public think about it. He was provided a place to live through HUD housing. How does he repay the federal government? By running the company which committed the single largest fraud against Medicare ever. And if you think he didn't know what was going on while he was CEO, he knew enough to plead the Fifth 75 times. Democrats cant make this up. The fact he runs away from a woman in the coffee shop, or a dozen elderly algae protesters says it all.

As soon as the hookers, drug dealers, and welfare freeloaders realize that under the democratic socialist plan, their services will be given away for free and that welfare benefits will be divided up under a greater number of recipients due to the collapsing economy, the support for the dems will dry up.

Final comment: Florida's bond rating. One way this was done was slashing the number of policy holders with Citizens. In order to depopulate and reduce risk, thousands were sent notices that they were being shifted to private companies. Did you get switched? My concern was the financial viability of these small alternates. Have seen many articles about folks still battling their storm insurance companies over payment and coverage, have seen no comparison of homeowners covered by Citizens compared to those privatized. Also, Scott's interference with Monroe County's storm clean up alone should disqualify him from holding any public office.

Two friends. One worked as a pharmacist for HCA. He watched a good man lose his job (management) because he didn't 'make the numbers', didn't produce. Fired. That really goes to the root of the billing problem and medicare reimbursements. Pushing unnecessary testing and services and inflating charges to make a profit. The other friend took a job with the SFWMD shortly before Scott took office. His job was to collect water samples all over the district. He says they axed most of the higher ups, the scientists. He had been working on his masters and hoped to advance within the district. He took a job in Oregon. Rick Scott leaves an ugly trail.

Democrats did not invent: the business skills and avarice which exposed HCA to a $1.7 billion dollar fine for gouging medicare and the taxpayers. Scott walked away with a golden parachute and used some of that to buy the governors job. Now he wants to walk away from Florida at the height of the latest environmental disaster caused again by his business acumen, having run the state like a robot with a calculator, not understanding the purpose of the WMD and DEP staff and budgets he slashed, so he can go to Washington and give the Oil industry the expansion of Gulf drilling leases they want. After all, his first fundraiser was over in Texas. Democrats don't make this up, they're not smart enough.

What Republicans love to forget is the condition of the national economy as "W" was walking out the door. President Obama and a Democratic congress stepped in to turn it around. While Republicans kept their pledge to make Obama a one term president by opposing everything, the government pumped funding in to refloat the economy. QE and Tarp. We didn't like that bankers still paid themselves bonuses but what we did like was an 8 year recovery. LOOK AT THE FACTS. So when you attribute Florida's recovery to Scott you are ignoring the fact he got elected (barely) at about the same time and Florida benefitted and joined the national recovery which continues, though may be jeopardized by the massive tax cut. Scott was not elected in a vacuum, and Florida is not isolated from the national or world economic condition.

There will come a time where destructive Democrats will be flushed out of all of the dark, anonymous corners in which they hide (stirring their cauldrons of hatred), and their "friends" in the "fake media" (like "Pointers & Setters" who don't truly understand "Freedom & Liberty") will be the FIRST to "shine light into those dark corners" to sniff them out, revealing them to the "hunters"... (BEWARE "the ides of post-elections !")

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. After the Trump Fiasco and the rise of the fascists in the White House and in the Congress ... and given that this is a left-of-center society and country by its very nature, the much greater likelihood is that the Democrats will ultimately take over again, forcing the Republican fascists to go hide in some of the darkest corners of their prehistoric swamp.

Scott's been nothing but a pain to this state. Just like most of the rest of the Republican politicians, a criminal. Taking away 700 million from those that need healthcare. Turning his back to estuaries on both coasts, to keep big sugar thriving. All those numbers look great. But they ride on the back of the nations numbers under President Obama. You remember. The African American President that all Racist Republicans hated from day one. Nice try, though, still voting for Bill Nelson. Anyone who pleads the fifth that many times, has got to be guilty.

Here's one...

There goes Nancy shilling for those destroying her town with algae likely killing another tourist season there!!………….Way to go Nancy!!…………….Next the operative word is it happened while Scott was Governor as it happened in all the states and even more so in such as California...…………...No mention Florida was in such a deep depression because Bush policies caused it taking a $250B surplus and turning it into a $1.1T yrly deficit to pay for huge tax cuts for corporations, the rich...…………….And the people see Scott doing that here and Trump doing it again after Obama, the real reason our economy is so good, brought us out of that depression with repubs trying their stated publicly best to stop the economy from getting better under Obama...………… So way to shill there Nancy. You must be so proud shilling for those against the people and for the 1% and corporations...…………...And well see in November what the people think about repubs, Scott. ;^)………...The population has woken up seeing what not paying attention to politics has brought them, will be voting then, especially women.

She surely shills!

Here's another...

Thanks for writing what needed to be said. Looks like Long Tall Sally at 3:17am is still drinking the left-wing Kool-Aid. Rick Scott has been great for Florida. The only things Democrats are using against him are Algae, climate change and his former company, Columbia Hospital Corporation. Other than that, and as your article stated, he has had great achievements for our great state and will continue to do so as our Senator.


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