Sen. Bill Nelson's campaign is out with a new cartoon-style digital ad that mocks Gov. Rick Scott's signing of a controversial beach access bill.
The only animated ad of the 2018 campaign in Florida makes this claim: "Rick Scott wants to make it illegal for you to go to some of your favorite beaches."
The spot focuses on HB 631, by far the most controversial bill of the 2018 session, and possibly of Scott's entire tenure. After signing it, Scott took the unusual action of issuing an executive order to override enforcement of the law — the only time that has happened in his eight years in office.
Nearly 1,000 people showed up on a recent Saturday for a public hearing in Walton County in the Panhandle, where speakers denounced the signing of the bill. Walton is the only county in the state where a local beach access ordinance was struck down by the new law.
Politifact gave a "mostly false" to a separate claim that Scott's approval of the access bill privatized most of Florida's beaches.
The debate over beach access, toxic algae blooms on the state's east coast and smelly, fish-killing red tide along the west coast have all combined to make the 2018 election campaign the year of the beaches.
Nelson's ad closes with a protest sign that says "Red Tide Rick Scott." The campaign said it will appear on platforms with a concentration on beach communities. Watch the ad here.