Rick Scott has spent five times as much as any gubernatorial candidate in Florida history. Critics say the multi-millionaire is trying to buy the election, but his wealth could put him in a unique position to cut state spending.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much!”
You might think of Rick Scott as the atypical politician. He's never run for office before, and he doesn't much care for the trappings of power. At least not if you believe his new ad taking aim at his democratic opponent, Alex Sink.
She billed the taxpayers for over $400,000 of private plane use. Not just any private plane, but two aircraft fully funded by you, the taxpayer.
During her first two years as state CFO, Sink was a frequent flier.
As recently as a year-and-a-half ago, the state airplane hangar was buzzing with politicians, jetting off to Tampa, Orlando, Miami and beyond. But today, it's become a virtual ghost town, a symbol of what many argue is government waste, not to mention a hot-button campaign issue.
Scott is now promising to put the state planes on the auction block if he's elected governor.
“Are we doing things in state government that we don't need to be doing?” Scott asks.
Still, attacking Sink over the state plane is an easy one for Scott because he has access to his own private plane.
State leaders have to be able to get around quickly, and until now most have come from humble means. Sink is hoping voters can understand the difference.
“As they've already been telling me, they have serious questions about Rick Scott,” she said. “About his honesty, his integrity, where he came from.”
But, in the end, many voters may not care seeing the state planes and the leaders who once used them on the taxpayer's dime.
Taxpayers spend nearly $2.5 million on Florida's two executive planes each year. The state airpool's been around nearly 40 years.