Rick Scott, the millionaire former health care exec, sees a serious injustice in the state of Florida’s campaign finance laws. The law, he says, unfairly picks on the big spenders.
Scott has tapped his personal fortune to help knock Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) out of position as the de facto Republican nominee for governor in Florida. So far, it’s been working: Scott’s leading by double-digits in the polls. And now he’s asking a judge to strike down a Florida campaign finance law that would award McCollum a dollar-for-dollar match from the state for every dollar over $24.9 million that Scott spends. Scott’s already spent $21 million, according to the Palm Beach Post. So if he spends much more, McCollum stands to start collecting.
In anticipation of this, according to the Palm Beach Post, Scott is arguing that the law “has ‘significantly chilled’ his First Amendment rights because it has forced him to slow down his extraordinary campaign spending.”
“While state taxpayers are being asked to tighten their belts to help solve the state’s budget woes, politicians like Bill McCollum are serial beneficiaries of the taxpayers handouts to fund their political campaign,” the Scott campaign said in a statement.
Scott’s suit asks for an injunction by July 16, so as to cut McCollum off from the state funds due to be given to him in late July, according to the Sunshine State News.
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that Rick Scott, a man who oversaw the most massive Medicare fraud scheme in history, just can’t seem to play by the rules,” said Matt Williams, McCollum’s campaign manager, told the Sunshine State News.
The Scott campaign declined to comment further on the lawsuit.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com