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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Will RPOF return Rick Scott's 'ripped off' money?

10

August

Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum is continuing to demonize rival Rick Scott's wealth, noting that the "nucleus" of his wealth came from Columbia/HCA, which was fined $1.7 billion for fraud. McCollum's also raising questions about Solantic, Scott's new company, a chain of walk-in clinics. As McCollum barnstorms the state with the Scott-is-a-fraud attack, RPOF Chairman John Thrasher has been at his side.

"I’m not spending money that I’ve ripped off from senior citizens, veterans and sick people, which is what he did at Columbia/HCA. That was criminal fraud. $1.7 billion they were fined for," McCollum said this morning.

So that brings up an interesting question: Should the RPOF return Scott's contributions since they're so tainted, in the words of the candidate whom the chairman is backing? State and federal election records indicate Scott contributed about $120,000 between 2004 and 2008.

We're not expecting much of a response.

Remember when disgraced Ponzi schemer and Charlie Crist buddy Scott Rothstein poured money into the RPOF? The party gave back a pittance. Now some of Rothstein's victims are suing to get $237K more. More here on that.

Here's what RPOF had to say:

1. Chairman Thrasher is neutral in the gubernatorial primary. He attended one event with General McCollum yesterday – that drew a crowd of his constituents– with Governor Bush – where he spoke about the first day of early voting, Governor Bush and changes at the RPOF. He didn’t mention McCollum or Scott. He attended a campaign event with his constituents, with a former Republican Governor and friend, the incoming House and Senate leadership and a Republican candidate for Governor.

2.       The party gave back a pittance. Considering that you guys have written numerous stories criticizes hotel stays and meals as extravagant….you seem to have a pretty liberal definition of a pittance – the RPOF  returned $145,000 in Rothstein funds to the U.S. Marshall service. Since when is $145,000 a pittance? 

3.       Interesting that the Democrats are using this line of attack considering Alex Sink has never answered questions on whether or not she took thousands for her campaign and a $200,000 contribution for the Florida Democratic Party from Scott Rothstein in exchange for recommending his firm for millions in state work. Not to mention Kendrick Meek’s ties to a developer charged with massive fraud and the fact that he sought millions of federal dollars for a developer who had paid his mother a consulting fee of $90,000 and for  a Cadillac Escalade. And finally, Jeff Greene who has so much baggage it would take more than this e-mail to go through.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:18am]

    

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