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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Give $25k for the Scott inauguration, get VIP treatment from Florida's new governor



Gov.-elect Rick Scott is asking Republican Party of Florida donors of give up to $25,000 to help pay for his inauguration celebration in January.

If you aren't suffering from unemployment, foreclosure or any other indicators of the state's economic meltdown that Scott often cited from the campaign trail and can afford that kind of gift, here's what you'll get:

• 10 VIP tickets to the prayer breakfast
• 10 VIP tickets to the swearing in ceremony
• Four VIP tickets to the parade viewing stand with Gov. and Mrs. Scott
• Four tickets to the VIP reception prior to the inaugural ball with a commemorative VIP photo with Gov. and Mrs Scott.
• 10 VIP tickets to the inaugural ball
• Listing in all inaugural materials
• One set of commemorative cufflinks
• Commemorative Vineyard Vines tote bag
• One pair of commemorative winter scarves
• Sleeve of commemorative golf balls

The Buzz from Team Scott is that the $25,000 donations will be reported every Friday on starting Nov. 26. Watch for the money to roll in from the special interests and "Tallahassee insiders" that Scott eschewed from the campaign trail.

Scott, unlike nearly every other competitive statewide politician in modern Florida history, didn't need to take special interest money because the wealthy Naples businessman could scratch out a check any time his campaign needed one. He ended up spending $73 million of his own money.

But by financing his own campaign, Scott held himself out as a new kind of politician unencumbered by the favors and deals often associated with campaign contributions. Now, Scott is soliciting special interest cash to help pay for the kind of party - $95 per head - that many Floridians can't afford to attend, although there will be free events for the public in the days leading up to the inauguration.

Four years ago, Gov. Charlie Crist canceled his inaugural ball after he was roundly criticized for seeking donations of up to $500,000. (Cufflinks came with that donation, too.) Crist said the move was out of step with average Floridians who were paying high insurance premiums. But heck, unemployment was just 3.3 percent back then...

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 8:41pm]


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