Florida Man Buys State: Koch Impacts in the Sunshine State:
The Koch Network’s Support For Rick Scott

AFP President Tim Phillips: Gov. Rick Scott’s Leadership Has Led “To Impressive Job Creation, Better Education And A Balanced Budget, All Without Raising Taxes.” According to the Gainesville Sun, “AFP is welcoming Scott with open arms. ‘Since taking office two years ago, (Scott) has fought hard for the principles of economic freedom,’ AFP Foundation President Tim Phillips said in a statement announcing the governor’s appearance. Scott’s leadership has led ‘to impressive job creation, better education and a balanced budget, all without raising taxes,’ Phillips said.” [Gainesville Sun, 8/29/13]

AFP-FL State Director Chris Hudson: “Gov. Scott Has Continued To Fulfill The Promises He Made To Floridians When He Was Elected, By Cutting Taxes,” And “Trimming The Fat In State Government.” According to the Gainesville Sun, “Chris Hudson, AFP’s state director, said his group applauded the budget based on the tax cuts, budget reserves, efficiencies in state government operations as well as Scott’s efforts to continue to reduce overall state debt. ‘Gov. Scott has continued to fulfill the promises he made to Floridians when he was elected, by cutting taxes, trimming the fat in state government and working to push Florida’s economy to be the best in the nation,’ Hudson said.” [Gainesville Sun, 6/2/14]

AFP President Tim Phillips On AFP Helping Scott Get Re-Elected: “We’re Going To Use That Field Effort, Like We’re Already Doing, To Educate Folks On His Record. And It’s A Pretty Good One.” According to the Tampa Bay Times Blog, The Buzz, “Gov. Rick Scott is getting some help from Americans for Prosperity, which has begun phone banking and canvassing across Florida. The door-hangers pictured here are an example. ‘We’re going to use that field effort, like we’re already doing, to educate folks on his record. And it’s a pretty good one,’ AFP President Tim Phillips said in an interview near the group’s headquarters in Arlington, Va. AFP, which gets funding from the Koch brothers, has 10 field offices across Florida.” [Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz, 6/30/14]

RGA Executive Director Phil Cox At Koch Event: The Presence Of Outside Money In Florida’s Gubernatorial Race This Year Would Help Republicans Keep Pace In “The Most Expensive Race This Cycle.” According to the Huffington Post, “In Florida’s gubernatorial battle this year, Cox said, the presence of outside money would help Republicans keep pace in what he called ‘the most expensive race this cycle,’ Senate contests included. He said the Republican Governors Association would spend more than $20 million to assist Gov. Rick Scott – ‘the largest single expenditure in the RGA’s history.’ But that would be only part of the money going into the election. Cox predicted that ‘well over $100 million’ would be spent in all, ‘maybe as much as $150 million.’” [Huffington Post, 8/27/14]

David Koch Donated $250,000 To Florida Republicans Between August 23 and October 30 of 2014. According to the Miami Herald, “Among the largest contributors to the Republicans between Aug. 23 and Oct. 30 was $1.5 million spent by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino operator who has also financed much of the opposition to the Amendment 2 medical marijuana efforts. […]Everglades Foundation chairman Paul Tudor Jones gave the Republican Party $250,000, for example. Meanwhile, oil and gas billionaire David Koch gave 250,000 to Republicans.” [Miami Herald, 11/1/14]

Scott Attended A “Secretive Policy Retreat” In Colorado Hosted By Charles And David Koch. According to the Miami Herald, “Gov. Rick Scott acknowledged Tuesday what his staff had refused to disclose: He flew to Colorado over the weekend to attend a secretive policy retreat hosted by powerful conservative donors Charles and David Koch. ‘It was very interesting,’ Scott said. ‘They wanted basically to know what am I doing in Florida.’ Scott said he gave an overview of his agenda since taking office in January: education and Medicaid reform, tax breaks for businesses, drug-testing welfare recipients and overhauling the public employee pension system. The billionaire Koch brothers are widely influential in national politics and helped spur the tea party movement through groups like Americans for Prosperity.” [Miami Herald, 6/28/11]

Scott’s Aide Initially Refused To Confirm Or Deny Scott’s Attendance At The Koch’s’ Event. According to the Palm Beach Post, “Florida Gov. Rick Scott attended an invitation-only meeting hosted by conservative billionaire GOP donors David and Charles Koch outside Vail, Colo., the governor’s staff confirmed Tuesday. The meeting, reportedly scheduled from Sunday through today, hasn’t been on Scott’s official schedule this week and his spokesman Lane Wright refused Monday to confirm or deny whether the first-term Republican made or planned to make an appearance, saying he would not ‘speculate as to what he has done, or will do, on his personal time.’” [Palm Beach Post, 6/29/11]

Scott Confirmed Attending The Koch’s’ Meeting After The Event Despite His Public Schedule Showing Nothing On That Date. According to the Palm Beach Post, “Wright confirmed Scott’s attendance only after Scott, in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, told The St. Petersburg Times he had attended the Koch meeting. Wright still refused to say when Scott went to Colorado, although Scott’s public schedule showed events much of Monday and Tuesday in Florida and Washington, D.C., but nothing on Sunday until staff and call time at the governor’s mansion at 8 p.m. ‘I told anybody who asked me,’ Scott told The Times. ‘It was very interesting. They wanted to know basically … what am I doing in Florida.’” [Palm Beach Post, 6/29/11]

Americans For Prosperity Helped Organize Rallies To Support Scott’s Agenda. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “Businessman Charles Koch co-founded the Cato Institute in 1977. He and his brother, David, run the nation’s largest privately held company, Koch Industries. David Koch established Americans for Prosperity, a tea party organization that has helped organize rallies in support of Scott’s agenda. The free-market, small-government philosophy of Cato infuses many of Scott’s public remarks. He has backed up his dislike of a prescription drug monitoring program that some say is crucial to helping solve the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic by saying he believes it is government invading the privacy of individuals. He has made it clear he believes the state must end what he calls ‘job-killing regulations’ and make Florida the most business-friendly state in the nation.” [St. Petersburg Times, 3/21/11]

Gov. Rick Scott Spoke At AFP’s “Defending The Dream Summit” In 2013. According to the Tampa Bay Times Blog, The Buzz, “Gov. Rick Scott has been added as a speaker for Americans for Prosperity’s ‘Defending the American Dream Summit’ in Orlando later this month. The lineup includes Govs. Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson as well as Michelle Malkin and Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld.” [Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz, 2/25/13]