On a Friday in February 2013, Gov. Rick Scott stepped aboard a Texas-bound plane to take part in a secret ritual for Florida's power elite.
As other politicians had done before and would do after, Scott was departing for historic King Ranch, one of North America's premier hunting grounds. The trips, records indicate, were financed all or in part with contributions from Florida's sugar industry, right down to the hunting licenses.
Scott won't answer questions about his trip. After weeks of requests from the Times/Herald, his campaign staff released a one-paragraph statement on Friday saying he had gone to King Ranch "in support of his political fundraising efforts."
Also keeping mum: state House leaders who have accepted similar trips in the past three years, ever since U.S. Sugar leased 30,000 acres at the ranch and built a hunting lodge amid its rolling hills.
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