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Rick Scott's $1 million fundraising month

As Florida legislators sit on their hands with a fundraising ban for session, Gov. Rick Scott has been holding fundraisers and collecting cash -- $1 million of it -- for his political committee, Let's Get to Work. 

Admittedly half of it came in the form of a whopping check of $500,000 check from the St. Petersburg-based William L. Edwards Trust, with other large donations coming from health care, sugar, insurance, utilities, his appointees to boards and even other political committees.

Two of the biggest checks -- from the Treasure Island entertainment and finance mogul Bill Edwards  and Gary Chartrand, the governor's appointee to the Florida Board of Education -- came on March 26. That was the same day the governor launched his new web ad at his new campaign-like web site, ItsWorkingFlorida.com. The checks also came one day after the governor told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board that he couldn't support the $5,000 cap on campaign donations to statewide candidates (and $3,000 for everyone else) in the House campaign finance bill because it was too high. 

(Coincidentally, an amendment by Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, to the House campaign finance bill would have prohibited the governor from soliciting or accepting campaign money during the legislative session, as legislators are required to do. It was voted down by Republicans 71-43 last week on the floor.)

Nevertheless, Scott's campaign committee continues to accept checks of unlimited amounts. Since session began, Scott has held at least one fundraiser -- on March 12 outside of Tallahassee in Havana. According to his political committee web site, he collected $116,000 in checks that day and about $90,000 in the two days after it. 

The largest contributions this month include: 

* $500,000 from William L. Edwards Trust

* $237,500 from Blue Cross, Blue Shield Florida

* $100,000 from Heritage P & C Insurance Co.

* $100,000 from U.S. Sugar

* $50,000 from the Florida Chamber's Partnership for Florida's Future

* $50,000 from the Chamber of Commerce Alliance

* $50,000 from United Automobile Insurance Co.

* $50,000 from Florida Power & Light

* $50,000 from Dex Imaging Inc.

* $50,000 from Gary R. Chartrand Trust



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Randall McMurphy
Randall McMurphy

Ahhh, probably THIS William L Edwards makes more sense, at least from publicly available information:




No More Rick Scott

“The FBI saw that it was a good opportunity for me to get back into the organization and kind of be their eyes and ears,” Schilling said.

He said the FBI wanted help with their search warrants and “just to kind of be that fly on the wall or spy within the organization,” he said.

“I worked my way back into the company. They had no idea I was a government informant,” he said.

Schilling’s case was merged with that of another whistleblower in Montana: former HCA hospital CFO Jim Alderson.

Alderson says he believes he was fired because of his refusal to abide by accounting practices that maintained two separate sets of books: one showing reimbursements submitted to Medicare, and another secret book documenting fraudulent claims that would be rejected if found by Medicare auditors.

The company maintained large reserve funds in case auditors ever discovered the false claims and had to pay up. Alderson says the practice was so widespread, that Scott had to know about it.

“These reserves represented anywhere from 25 to 35 percent of the bottom line of the company in its heyday,” Alderson said.

“It’s just totally unfeasible that a CEO making the kind of money he was making, that you wouldn’t know where 30 percent of your bottom line came from. How could you sit in a board room and say, ‘Gee, I wonder; we had record profits this year. I wonder where they came from?’”

Alderson says fraud also helped Scott grow the company at such a rapid rate.


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