Shouting into bullhorn and dressed in hospital scrubs, the chant from the Republican who called himself “Dr. Dave” interrupted Rick Scott in 2010 after he cast his ballot in Naples at the end of the GOP primary for governor.
The issue of the deposition had haunted Scott in that race.
And Democrats hope it weighs on him again now that they’ve announced a new digital media buy and website, releasethedeposition.com.
“What is so damning that Rick Scott won’t release it, no matter what the price?” the Democrats’ party chairwoman, Allison Tant, said in a conference call with reporters.
Scott won't release it now, essentially the same answer he gave in 2010: "It's a private matter and I will not release the deposition.”
A week before he first announced for governor, Scott gave the sworn testimony in a lawsuit against Scott’s chain of walk-in-clinics, Solantic, which was accused by a doctor of unlawfully using his name in a regulatory matter.
The Democrats' attack has a one-two-punch against Scott because it leads to mention of: his former healthcare company, Columbia/HCA, which had paid a record Medicare fraud; and how Scott once pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times (due to pending criminal investigations) in yet another deposition in a later healthcare lawsuit.
In 2010, Scott’s refusal to release the Solantic deposition badly hurt him in the GOP Republican primary, where internal campaign tracking polls showed his lead over then-Attorney General Bill McCollum dropped precipitously in the wake of the controversy.
McCollum allies funded TV ads about the issue. They also paid two “Dr. Dave” and another heckler dressed in a black-and-white-striped jail outfit named “Inmate 2010” to follow Scott around in an SUV wrapped with a grainy image of Scott’s face and the message “Rick Scott: Release the Deposition.”
A similar message – “RICK SCOTT, RELEASE YOUR DEPOSITION” -- was trailed behind a biplane at a Jacksonville Jaguars game that Scott visited. NOTE: All these pictures in this blog are of Republicans or Republican-paid operatives, not Democrats, from 2010.
Scott won that GOP race and went on to beat Democrat Alex Sink who also put millions of dollars behind release-the-deposition TV ads. Scott, barely won in what was then a Republican-red year.
Scott received fewer votes than any of the other four Republicans on the statewide ballot.
The Republican Party response to the new website/old attack: "Charlie Crist’s campaign of constant distraction and mudslinging is an attempt to hide his own problems with ethics and transparency. Crist is drumming up old, failed attacks because he doesn’t want to talk about the 38 days it’s been since he refused to release his and his spouse’s tax returns, and the 179 days it’s been since he refused to debate Nan Rich.” –Susan Hepworth, RPOF Communications Director