Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What The Hell Is He Hiding?

This is a thing.  Rick Scott is "shielding" about $200 million in assets from required state disclosure forms that he had to report to the federal oversight (Securities and Exchange Commission (the OTHER Sec)) people (via the Tampa Bay Times):

Gov. Rick Scott has failed to report more than $200 million in assets on his state financial disclosure form in violation of the Florida Constitution, Democratic attorney general candidate George Sheldon alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday...
...Sheldon is asking a judge to order Scott, Florida's wealthiest governor, to "immediately and accurately disclose all assets he owns or controls," and to declare the governor's "blind trust" in violation of the blind trust law he signed.
"The lawsuit asks the court to remove the blindfold that Rick Scott has put on the people of Florida so that they cannot see what is going on with his personal assets,'' Sheldon said at a press conference. "The governor likes to talk about how much he has disclosed. The lawsuit is about how much he has not disclosed."
The Florida Constitution requires elected officials every year to make a "full and public disclosure" of their assets and liabilities "in excess of $1,000" so that the public can monitor any potential conflicts of interest...
The complaint follows a Times/Herald story published Sunday that raised questions about the completeness of the governor's financial disclosure in light of the blind trust he created, numerous trust accounts he has established, and the differences in which he reports his finances to the federal government and the public...
...Sheldon's suit argues that a lawsuit is necessary because the Florida Ethics Commission, which oversees the financial disclosure law, does not have the power to compel the governor to file a complete return, only to fine him after the fact. By contrast, he notes, failure to accurately report financial information to the federal SEC or IRS could result in jail time.
Four things:

  • Let's be fair and note that Sheldon - the plaintiff - is a major Democratic candidate for office this year, going against Scott's major political ally Pam Bondi (for state AG).  Let us also note that the only ones who would notice Scott was BS'ing his disclosure statements would be his political opponents (one of the advantages of a multi-party government system over a single-party authoritarian regime: there's someone in a position to actually complain about the high-powered corruption).
  • This isn't some minor blip on an Excel spreadsheet, where someone types in the wrong digit and OOPSIES 200 million bucks just disappears.  It takes effort to ignore all that money in one report filing and then remember it for another report filing.
  • This is money tied into - directly or with his so-called "blind trusts" - corporations doing business here in Florida and doing business with Scott's office and governor's departments.
  • This has got to be f-cking against the law. (Oh, it is!)

Remember what I said before kids: Rick "No Ethics" Scott is only in this for Rick Scott.  He's not interested in serving the public trust: he's interested in taking as much money from the public for himself and his cronies as he can get away with.


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