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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The retooling of Rick Scott; Maybe it's better to be liked



On the same day last week that Gov. Rick Scott ripped up his order to cut care for disabled Floridians, he told Congress that, despite his opposition, he would help create a database intended to crack down on the state's prescription drug crisis.

A day earlier, Scott sold his majority share in Solantic, a chain of urgent-care clinics he founded, after questions were raised about whether the business stood to benefit from his health care agenda.

On Wednesday he wrapped up a two-day tour of the Panhandle. The intent was to highlight the region a year after the BP oil spill, but it was also the first time the well-traveled, media-shy governor invited the capital press corps to tag along.

The rapid succession of shifts from Scott come in the wake of a poll two weeks ago that showed the more Floridians learn about the new governor, the less they like.

"Virtually everybody in Florida seems to have some hostility for him," said Tom Slade, a former chief of the Florida Republican Party and the co-chairman of Scott's campaign. "But these are some big steps in the right direction."

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[Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 8:24pm]


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