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Heritage deal draws political fire for gov: Gelber says 'the whole thing smells'

A fast-paced deal to give a startup insurance company with ties to former CFO Tom Gallagher a $52 million take-out deal has drawn some political heat, as expected, for Gov. Rick Scott.

Former state Sen. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat, sent a letter to the governor -- and copied the press -- blasting the arrangement and suggestiong the governor's political committee return the $110,000 from the company, Heritage Property and Casualty. Download LettertoScott

We are awaiting a response from the governor's office.

"In truth, the whole thing smells,'' wrote Gelber, who is clearly interested in replacing Scott in 2014.  "Floridians will rightfully wonder if Heritage gave you the money because they support you or because they were, literally, trying to get a $52 million gift from an agency over which you have great sway.

"Who in your campaign received the money and did they know about the deal? Did you know? Even if you did nothing wrong or didn't have direct knowledge, the foul ambience of this deal provides sufficient reason to return the campaign cash you received from Heritage. Keeping it only confirms the dark suspicions so many Floridians have about state government."