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Rick Scott launches TV ad in war with House of tourism spending


Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking to the airwaves to defend the state-funded tourism marketing programs.

Scott is using a 30 second television ad paid for by Let's Get to Work, his political committee, to rip "Tallahassee politicians" who voted to dramatically damage Visit Florida. Last week the Florida House voted 80-35 for a bill that would dramatically cut Visit Florida's budgets and put in place new strict restrictions that Scott's administration has opposed.

State Rep. Paul Renner, a Flagler County Republican, has argued that Visit Florida has to be reined in because it has embarrassed the state over the last few years. He often cites a $1 million marketing contract with Miami pop star Pitbull to promote Florida as a "Sexy Beaches" destination as an example.

The TV ad is just the latest tool Scott has employed to fight the House on the issue. He's traveled the state to home districts of Republicans like Renner to publicly call them out, Let's Get to Work has made videos mocking House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and the committee has also paid for automated phone calls to legislative districts telling voters to call their members of the House who voted for the bill to damage Visit Florida's mission.

Scott has credited the $78 million that Florida spends on Visit Florida as a key reason the state has set tourism spending records for the last 5 years in a row.

Scott's new television commercial will start airing statewide next week, his political aides say.