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Did Rick Scott, the Tea Party Republican Governor of Florida, violate election laws?
Florida Democrats think so. The chairperson of the Florida Democrats, Allison Tant, has filed a complaint mid March with the Florida Elections Commission against both Rick Scott and Let’s Get to Work, one of his political committees.
Sleight of Hand?
On March 6th, the electioneering communication organization, Let’s Get to Work, was disbanded and on the same day, a “new” political committee called Let’s Get to Work was formed. The “old” organization then transferred about $27.4 million dollars to the “new” organization according to the Tampa.
Under the law, electioneering communication organizations cannot give money to candidates, whereas political committees can. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Democrats accused both Rick Scott and Let’s Get to Work of campaign finance violations. The Republicans, naturally, say it is all legal.
Penalties for Violating the Law
Violating the law is no small matter. If found guilty, Rick Scott could be fined three times the amount of money he shuffled around, or about $84 million dollars.
With all the other campaign craziness, including a big supporter and campaign fundraiser, Mike Fernandez, leaving and speaking out against the Republican governor, it could give former Florida Governor and Democratic rival Charlie Crist the edge he needs for victory.
Good News for Democrats
According to the HuffPost Pollster, it looks like Rick Scott isn’t going to pull this one out even with his ill-gotten gains. The latest polls show Charlie Crist ahead of Rick Scott. Charlie Crist has 44.3 percent of the vote.
Compared to Rick Scott’s meager 41 percent of the vote, it’s unlikely Rick Scott will pull off another victory. He’ll only dig a deeper hole if he’s found breaking the law.
The news looks bad from other polls as well. The latest polls from Saint Leo University show Charlie Crist with a 4 point lead at 43 percent and Rick Scott at 39 percent with 18 percent still undecided. The University of Northern Florida shows a closer race with Charlie Crist with a 1 point lead at 39 percent, and Rick Scott at 38 percent, with 17 percent undecided.
The undecided voters will definitely come into play this upcoming election, but the Democrats still have a reason to be hopeful, especially if Rick Scott continues to make blunders.
End of the Tea Party in Florida?
Although Rick Scott’s woes don’t herald the end to the Tea Party, it does show that its popularity has waned sufficiently to where they are no longer the powerhouse they once were. People are getting wise and realize that Rick Scott didn’t do everything he promised, and that he is plagued by election scandals as much if not more than other politicians.
It’s likely that the Tea Party will see further losses if Rick Scott’s popularity continues to drop due to his breaking the law.