Sen. Bill Nelson calls out Gov. Rick Scott while visiting Panama City. Nelson addressed findings from Scott’s federally required financial disclosure.
It shows a Japanese company bought a Michigan-based plastics firm that the Scott family had a major ownership interest. The company sold for $825 million. This was after Gov. Scott had been on an economic mission trip to Japan.
Sen. Nelson is accusing Gov. Scott of using his position for personal gain, he said “Bottom line I think, is what you’re going to see in the course of this campaign, with this kind of information coming out… Is that Gov. Scott has been in public service for himself.”
Gov. Scott’s office responded with a statement on the issue.
“Governor Scott was not aware of the sale and had no role in the sale,” officials wrote. “The Governor’s 2013 economic development mission to Japan was solely focused on strengthening Florida and Japan’s trade relationship and encouraging further investment and job creation in Florida. Japanese companies account for more than 20,000 Florida jobs and the state maintains a sister-jurisdiction relationship with Wakayama Prefecture and nine Florida cities partner with sister cities in Japan.
“The blind trust is managed by an independent financial professional who decides what assets are bought, sold or changed. The rules of the blind trust prevent any specific assets or the value of those assets within the trust from being disclosed to the Governor, and those requirements have always been followed.”