Gov. Calls Out Lawmakers By Name In Escalating Incentives Fight

Feb 17, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Credit State of Florida, Meredyth Hope Hall

Florida Governor Rick Scott is crisscrossing the state calling out lawmakers by name for voting to gut two state agencies.

Governor Scott is intent on protecting Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida—he believes the state’s economic future depends on it.  He announced the state’s 2016 tourism numbers at the Brevard County Zoo, and while he was at it, took aim at Palm Bay Republican Rep. Randy Fine’s vote to eliminate the agencies.

“What’s more frustrating is you have a local state rep that’s a business person, Randy Fine, and he’s saying the same thing,” Scott said.  “How many people in business think you shouldn’t have to market?  We’ve all heard of Coca-Cola right?  They’re still marketing out there aren’t they?”

In an open letter turning down an invitation to the Zoo, Fine offered to meet to with the governor one-on-one.  He explains it would be easier to meet at the capitol, where they both have offices, than arrange flights to Brevard County.

It was a similar story in St. Cloud, where Scott criticized Rep. Mike LaRosa (R-St. Cloud).

“Your local state Rep. Mike LaRosa last week voted,” Scott paused, “He voted to say we don’t need to market our state any more for tourists.  We don’t need to do any more economic development.”

The escalating intraparty squabble has some worried the fight could derail this year’s legislative session.