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Rick Scott riles Kentucky governor with jobs pitch

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is targeting yet another state in his effort to poach out-of-state jobs — and this time the other governor is firing back.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, took issue with Scott's characterization of the Bluegrass State as a land of high taxes and anti-business regulation.

"Gov. Scott's description of the business climate in Kentucky is so far from the existing reality that one wonders whether he's had too much of that Florida sun (and the high property taxes that go with it)," Beshear said in a statement released Tuesday.

Beshear cited praise of Kentucky's business climate from Area Development magazine and a drop of 2.4 percentage points in the state's unemployment rate. Kentucky's unemployment rate is 7.9 percent; Florida's is 7.2 percent.

On his official website, Beshear touts the news that Toyota plans to begin assembly of the popular Lexus ES350 sedan at its plant in Georgetown, Ky.

Earlier, Scott sent letters to governors of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota, criticizing those states' business climates and seeking to persuade CEOs to move south.

Crist scaring GOP?

Former Republican state Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland says it was "kind of silly" and "dumb" that the Republican Party of Florida mounted a campaign urging that Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich be given speaking time at last weekend's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Hollywood.

Dockery said that by promoting Rich, Republicans showed their true colors.

"It looks like they're scared of Charlie Crist," Dockery said on the weekly public affairs program Florida This Week on WEDU-Ch. 3 in Tampa. "They want to pump up Nan Rich, who was not getting much traction on her own. … I think it just sends the message that they're worried about Charlie Crist and it was kind of a dumb thing."

Rubio clarification

Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday distanced himself from remarks an unnamed aide gave to the New Yorker that some American workers "can't cut it." "The bottom line is the statement doesn't reflect (what I feel)," Rubio said, surrounded by reporters.

Alex Leary contributed to this report.

Rick Scott riles Kentucky governor with jobs pitch 06/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 1:25pm]
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