There's a reason Democrats were buzzing about billionaire Tom Steyer targeting Gov. Rick Scott: the investor-turned environmentalist is ready to spend big.
On Friday, Steyer's NextGen Climate Florida announced it was doing just that, launching not one but two ads that savage the Republican over the environment. The ads are supposed to run in West Palm Beach, Tampa Bay and Scott's hometown media market in the Naples area.
Fact check to follow. Update:
Scott's campaign spokesman, Matt Moon, said in a written statement that one of the ads is false:
“The FALSE ad by Tom Steyer’s group in support of Charlie Crist blatantly lies by saying the Governor took ‘campaign cash’ from driller Dan A. Hughes. In fact, no political entity associated with Governor Scott has ever received contributions from the company – in this election or 2010. It was Governor Scott’s administration who shut down Dan A. Hughes’ operations, filed suit against the company in Collier County and pulled their permits.
“Governor Scott acted swiftly to protect the environment and he continues to do so with his newly announced $1 billion investment plan to ‘Keep Florida Beautiful’ for years to come. But, once again, Charlie Crist’s allies don’t live by the truth, or the facts. They are lying and our campaign is putting any station airing this ad on legal notice that it would be a violation of the law to air Charlie Crist’s allies’ latest work of fiction.”
The ads land just as Scott has launched his "Let's Keep Florida Beautiful" tour this week. Now Steyer is making sure less flattering aspects of Scott's record are told to voters.
We still don't know how much NextGen plans to drop. But Democratic sources indicate it's at least $10 million.
The press release is below:
NextGen Climate today released two new television ads in Florida underscoring Governor Rick Scott’s record of financially benefiting from wealthy donors—standing with corporate energy interests at the expense of Florida’s kids, health and economy.
The first ad, "Shock," calls out Gov. Scott for letting utility companies—his big-time campaign donors—keep collecting billions from ratepayers on failed energy projects. After Scott's administration approved a plan to let the utility company continue billing consumers for $3.2 billion in higher electric rates to pay for two failed power plants, Duke Energy donated half a million dollars to Gov. Scott's campaign.
The second ad, "Fountain," highlights Gov. Scott’s ties to oil drilling near the Everglades, which threatened drinking water for seven million Floridians. Gov. Scott raked in $200,000 in campaign contributions from oil interests, whose company profited from the pollution.
To view the full ad click here: