Tallahassee, Florida — Today LCV Victory Fund and EDF Action launched a new TV ad tying Rick Scott’s failure of leadership on water issues to the persistent red tide that is battering Florida’s economy. The $2.25 million TV buy will air in the Tampa, Fort Myers and West Palm markets for the next week.
The ad features local business owner Captain Brian Hayhurst, who says that he voted for Scott in previous elections but that Scott has failed to earn his vote this year: “I voted for Rick Scott. But he created this mess and now we’re the ones suffering,” Hayhurst says in the ad.
“Floridians won’t be fooled by Red Tide Rick,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns. “Rick Scott denies climate science and slashed environmental protections, contributing to the red tide crisis that’s devastating Florida business, killing wildlife and threatening families’ health. The environment is a top concern for Florida voters this election, and they need to know that Rick Scott is no environmentalist.”
“Rick Scott has been an abject failure on protecting Florida’s water and coastline — and Floridians are paying the price,” said Joe Bonfiglio, president of EDF Action. “As Governor, Scott has rolled back environmental safeguards, slashed funding for water programs, banned the use of ‘climate change’ on state websites and failed to take the steps to protect Florida’s precious resources. We won’t let Rick Scott run from his record.”
Over eight years as governor, Scott has consistently worked to undermine, ignore and roll back the safeguards that should protect Florida’s precious resources. Scott cut $700 million from water management oversight and gutted budgets for water quality monitoring as safeguard enforcement plummeted. He even worked to repeal a law requiring septic tank inspections.
Scott turned down a chance to acquire land needed to restore water flows to the Everglades — which would have reduced algae blooms on the east and west coast of Florida that likely helped feed the red tide. Unlike other governors of both parties, Scott stood silent when President Trump worked to slash funding for important funding to environmental protection in Florida.
Meanwhile, persistent red tide and a toxic algae crisis have pummeled Florida beaches and coastal economies, increasingly putting families’ health and Florida wildlife at risk due to water pollution.
Scott was named the first member of LCV Victory Fund’s 2018 Dirty Dozen earlier this year, and has tried to deceive voters about his environmental record since deciding to run for Senate.
A script of the ad is below, and research backup is available here.
Reporter: It is hurting our wildlife. It is crippling our businesses… Florida is being battered by red tide…
But Rick Scott still won’t take responsibility…
Reporter: The Governor refused to speak to residents who wanted to share their concerns with him…
Scott took over a million bucks from corporate polluters and savaged environmental safeguards. Slashing seven hundred million from water protection. No wonder he doesn’t want to talk about it.
Captain Brian Hayhurst: I voted for Rick Scott. But he created this mess and now we’re the ones suffering.