Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff (Photo by Giorgio Viera/Miami Herald)
Gov. Rick Scott will have little trouble finding the location of his latest “Fighting for Florida Jobs Roundtable” near Sarasota on Thursday.
Scott’s 9:30 a.m. stop in Manatee County will be at 1651 Whitfield Avenue, which just happens to be the same address as former U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff’s homebuilding business.
Beruff and Scott have become tight political allies. Scott has appointed Beruff to head an informal health care cost cutting committee, publicly praised his run for the U.S. Senate against fellow Republican Marco Rubio last summer, and two weeks ago picked him to be the chairman of the powerful Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member commission with the power to put proposals directly onto the 2018 ballot.
Scott’s office lists the Thursday rally as being at PropLogix. That real estate lien search company subleases space from the building Beruff had built for his homebuilding business, Medallion Home. It also is a company whose management includes Jesse Biter, a Sarasota businessman who is a member of Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors and whose father was considered for the CEO position of Enterprise Florida last fall.
The rally is part of what is now a two-month push by Scott to travel the state call out Republican legislators by name for voting for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida and another to severely hamper Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency. Scott has also used rallies to praise legislators who voted with him, even if it has meant praising Democrats.
Scott will technically be in House District 70, the home district of State Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg. Just on Tuesday Scott praised Newton at a rally in Tallahassee for being one of 28 House members to vote against the bill to kill Enterprise Florida. He'll also be a stones throw away from Rep. Joe Gruter's District 73. Gruters has been one of the biggest defenders of Enterprise Florida, speaking out against the House Republican leadership bill on the floor and proposing a separate bill that would preserve Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.