Gov. Rick Scott was in Tampa on Monday where he singled out State Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, as one of nine Republicans who voted for a bill that would kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida (Photo courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa)
Call it the Rick Scott retribution tour.
Sure, the Republican Governor’s office called his stops in Cape Coral, Tampa, Panama City, and Jacksonville this week the “Fighting for Florida’s Jobs” tour. But they all coincidentally have one big thing in common.
All four stops have been in the districts of four of the nine House Republicans who last week voted to killed two of his most cherished agencies: Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. And in each stop Scott was sure to remind business leaders that their locally elected representative was part of the group of 9 Republicans defied him and voted to completely eliminate those two agencies, which Scott says have been keys to Florida creating 1.2 million private sector jobs since he was elected.
House Republicans have moved to kill the agencies, saying both are a forms of “corporate welfare” that put the government in the role of picking some companies over others to get funding.
In Tampa on Monday, Scott responded by literally standing in Rep. Shawn Harrison’s district at Tampa when he went off on the Republican for backing the plan.
“I am shocked, right here locally Shawn Harrison voted against Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida,” Scott told reporters after repeatedly telling business leaders at the Museum of Science and Industry that Harrison voted for the bill to kill the agencies.
Harrison responded on Twitter, telling supporters that as a small business owner he's never taken incentive dollars and that "taxpayer funded job creators should prove themselves!"
Later it was off to Flagler Beach, where Scott launched into Rep. Paul Renner, whose district include Flagler Beach.
“I was shocked last week your local state Rep. Paul Renner presented a bill in a House committee to completely eliminate Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida,” Scott told dozens of local business owners.
In case anyone didn't catch the name, Scott went after Renner two more times during the roundtable and singled him out again when speaking to the media later. At one point he accused Renner of essentially saying he thinks Flagler Beach has enough jobs and doesn’t need any more.