Monday’s letters: Scott owes Floridians an explanation on investments

Published August 23 2018
Updated August 24 2018

Follow the money on Scott’s
embrace of rail | Editorial, Aug. 19

Governor owes us all answers

Gov. Rick Scott has said he owes no one an apology for getting richer while in public office. But what the people of Florida deserve are answers. For years, Scott has exploited a blind trust as a shield against all such questions.

Now we find out that his wife’s investments — which Scott has full knowledge of and access to — mirror many of those in his blind trust, a situation which on its face defeats the purpose of the blind trust.

The Times reported Aug. 17 that Scott and his wife invested in a company tied to Florida’s high-speed rail project. In an editorial published two days later, you called Scott "a walking conflict of interest."

There are many other examples: The governor invested in the controversial Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline project his administration approved. It’s also been reported that the governor sold a plastics company he owned last year in a deal with a Japanese conglomerate that netted him and a few co-investors a reported $550 million.

The fact is Scott has dramatically increased his net worth during his time in office — and there is a clear pattern of investments linked to state policies and actions. In my opinion, these revelations outlined in several recent media reports point to the need for an independent review of the governor’s investing. Rick Scott and Rick Scott alone can answer these questions, and I believe he should.

Kendall B. Coffey, Miami

The writer, a partner at the Miami law firm of Coffey/Burlington, is a former U.S. attorney.

Sales tax holiday

Schools need money more

So you think the school tax holiday is a good idea? Individuals save a couple of dollars apiece on the tax break that is hardly meaningful, yet collectively the millions in lost government revenue are truly significant. Ironically, if the tax holiday were eliminated, perhaps school districts could afford to repair the air conditioning. Just sayin’.…

Anita Jimenez, Tampa

Report puts lasting stain on Meyer | Aug. 24

A playbook of pardons

Well, the only thing I can suggest to Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer — suspended for three games for misconduct — is to ask President Donald Trump to pardon him. That would fit both of their playbooks.

Susan Freiden, Rockledge

Bull run powers market | Aug. 22

Market isn’t what matters

The U.S. bull market is officially the longest stock market run in modern American history, but what does that mean for Americans?

Increased stock value doesn’t necessarily mean a better quality of life for anyone. The stock market doesn’t account for the well-being of people, or the health of the environment, both of which are regularly sacrificed for higher stock values. The things that matter most to people aren’t captured in stock prices. We can have better lives without a larger stock market. In fact, until we capture the value of things like time with a loved one or of an un-polluted river, we have to avoid some of the easiest ways to improve stock prices. Otherwise the bull market is just bull.

Erin Weber, St. Petersburg