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Nancy Smith

When Your Own Treats You Like Dirt: The Rick Scott Story

August 19, 2010 - 6:00pm

Did he forget the secret handshake?

Lose his special decoder ring?

Somebody please tell me what awful thing Rick Scott did in a period of a few months to make the Republicans in Tallahassee so mad at him. Because, I dont get it.

One minute he was running for office, the next minute he was running for his life, chased down by Hagar the Horrible and his bloodthirsty, whats-in-your-wallet, RPOF pals.

On TV, if you have the right card, the Huns leave you alone. Rick Scott has the right card. Hes a Republican, same as they are. A conservative. A fresh face just the kind they said the party needed to invigorate the ranks and run for office.

Were talking about the party of the Big Tent here. Room for everybody. Good Lord, they even made room for me.

But, apparently they didnt mean everybody.

Apparently theres no room for you in the tent

  • If you have an independent spirit like Scott and you don't let anybody dance you around on strings like a city-square marionette.
  • If, like Scott, you're an outsider, haven't "paid your dues," haven't a clue what the club rules are and don't care to know.
  • If, like Scott, you want to run for the same office one of the wink-and-a-nod, good-ole-boys wants -- in this case, entrenched Capitol icon Bill McCollum.
  • If, like Scott, youre a millionaire who will finance your own campaign and wont owe them or their friends any favors after the election.
  • If, also like Scott, you're running for the office of governor, which means, if you win, you become the head of the party, with the power to replace some, upstage others -- in fact, shake up the RPOF top to bottom.

One more thing: The more frantic Republican leadership becomes to defeat Rick Scott, the crazier, most likely sloppier, the money-handling gets. So far, the gubernatorial primary race between Scott and McCollum has cost $51 million. Scott is financing his own campaign. But McCollum is sucking up money from many dozens of sources, a great deal of "bundling" is going on, and if mistakes are being made, they won't be discovered for another two-or-so years. Another important reason for leadership to cling to the status quo.

And, by the way, I'm not making this up as I go. I got it from folks who have been around the Capitol for a very long time. All are Republicans. All of them told me how much fear Rick Scott strikes in the Republican leadership -- in fact, how much fear leadership strikes in them. It answers why all of them said I couldn't use their name. As one woman told me, "This would be the end of me."

If Rick Scott wins Tuesday, does he finally get to make a friend? Better question is, when he looks around, will he want to make friends with the ones he sees? And, can he have a brand new GOP decoder ring?


Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com, or at (850) 727-0859.

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