Following Gov. Rick Scott's deal to sell the largest asset in his financial disclosure, which he had temporarily placed in his wife's trust fund, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith sent a letter today asking the governor to disclose all of the investments of his "immediate family."
"While I understand that Floridians very weak and loophole-ridden ethics laws do not explicitly require this, given the many ethical questions that have arisen since you have been in office, it is your responsibility to do the right thing," Smith wrote.
Scott's spokesman Brian Burgess responded: "Even if the governor gave away all of the assets to Rod Smith and the Florida Democratic Party, they probably still wouldn't be satisfied."
Scott's office has refused to fulfill a Herald/Times request for a copy of Scott's blind trust. Carolyn Timmann, Scott's director of open government, said the trust was not a public record because it was not executed within the executive office.
Here's the letter:
The Honorable Rick Scott, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dear Governor Scott,
As you may have seen today, the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post are reporting that after months of avoiding ethical questions and denying the clear appearances of impropriety on how you could profit from your actions as Governor through your company Solantic, you are finally divesting from this company.
Floridians remain disappointed today, since your actions are too little, too late.
Your selling Solantic comes only after transferring your stock to a trust controlled by your family, which did not pass the smell test in the court of public opinion. It comes after Floridians began protesting outside Solantic locations. And an ethics complaint had been filed against you according to the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald, before you took this action.
For weeks you defended the legality of your actions as Governor, since you technically transferred the stock to the Frances Annette Scott Revocable Trust. But, this simply highlights the fact that many questions continue to exist with your other conflicts of interest.
To show Floridians that you aren’t further profiting from your actions as Governor, it is incumbent upon you to fully disclose all of the assets which are controlled by your immediate family, including those assets held in trust accounts.
While I understand that Florida’s very weak and loophole-ridden ethics laws do not explicitly require this, given the many ethical questions that have arisen since you have been in office, it is your responsibility to do the right thing.
I look forward to your speedy response.
Rod Smith, Chairman, Florida Democratic Party