Newly elected Sen. Rick Scott is not, it seems, capable of empathy. If there's one thing Floridians learned about Scott after eight years as their governor, it's there is no amount of shameless, Rich Uncle Pennybags-style money-grubbing that is beneath him.
Well, now he's bringing his own, special brand of avarice to Washington. At 7 p.m. today, Scott's political action committee, New Republican, will hold a swanky, ultra-luxe fundraiser smack in the middle of a government shutdown. At a time when thousands of federal employees — park workers, public defenders, airport security agents, etc. — are toiling without paychecks and struggling to make ends meet, Scott is holding a "black tie optional" fundraiser where attendees are encouraged to spend $10,000 to $100,000.
Ten grand gets you VIP access to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. For $25,000, you can take some cool photos with Scott. Fifty grand gets you six VIP tickets. And the "Platinum" tier, for $100,000, snags you ten VIP tickets, and, we assume, the ability to phone Scott and demand he funnel federal subsidies to the gigantic conglomerate or oil-pipeline project of your choice.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Politico Florida first posted an image of the fundraising flyer this morning. The Florida Democratic Party has already latched onto the fundraiser as an example of Scott's acting tone-deaf and detached from the people he claims to represent.
"Rick Scott made a campaign promise to Florida that he'd 'make Washington work,'" the party said this afternoon in a media release. "But, instead of calling on Mitch McConnell to support a bipartisan bill to reopen the federal government putting government employees back to work, Rick Scott 's first order of business in Washington is to throw a fundraising gala. Rick Scott is just another self-serving politician who cares more about throwing a party while hundreds of thousands of Federal workers have gone weeks without pay."
Of course, it's axiomatic at this point that Scott, an admitted Medicare thief, does not care about human beings who are not millionaires. The only two consistent things about the former corporate executive during his two terms as governor were that he loved his political donors and brazenly flouted basic laws and norms while in power. He continued those habits while running for Senate. He was accused of illegally taking contributions from GEO Group, the Florida private-prison company that — because it's a federal contractor — is supposed to be banned from donating to federal races.
More to the point: Scott was repeatedly accused of coordinating illegally with the New Republican during his Senate run. In classic Scott fashion, he won the race anyway and will now celebrate by donning a tuxedo and getting drunk with oil executives and lobbyists while his federal employees spiral into bankruptcy.