Florida Governor Rick Scott made a little noise recently that he would like to make a speech at the upcoming Republican Convention in Tampa in August, and why not? His state is hosting the convention and Scott would get to bask in the glow of recognition while introducing the nominee of his party, and goodness knows Scott loves the attention. However, Mitt Romney has been avoiding him ever since he got into the race.
With only about a month to go, he still hasn't been invited. Unfortunately for old Pink Slip Rick, that's not an oversight. When asked about a role for Gov. Scott at the convention, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said potential speakers were "yet to be determined." Here's his money quote on Scott:
“I mean he’s the hometown governor,” Priebus said. “I’m sure he’s got, I’m sure he’s got plenty, uh, you know, I’m sure there’s a welcome, you know, there’s a lot of protocol there too, so I don’t want to get into the details because I don’t know what the answer to that is yet.”
I think I speak for many when I say "well, uh...well.....OUCH!"
In other words, the Republican Party seems to feel that Rick Scott and his bottom feeder approval ratings would only add more damage to the train wreck that is the GOP, and "protocol" or not, "Rrrrrreince" Priebus would probably rather be abandoned in the python-infested Everglades than follow it by extending an invite to Rick Scott.
Of course, he's not the only one. Mitt Romney has been to Florida around 53 times, and not once has he appeared in the immediate vicinity of Rick Scott. Polls showed that Scott's unpopularity would be bad for Romney, but I don't think that's the only reason.
I've noticed for quite a while now that Rick Scott and Mitt Romney have a lot in common, and the more we learn about Romney, the more similarities there seem to be.
As I was scanning through the recently released opposition research file on Romney from the McCain campaign in 2008, I came across another similarity, one I had heard referenced months ago but had forgotten about. It's this one:
Back in 1997 there was a man who worked with a company in the medical/health care industry, and that company wound up breaking records for the largest fines for Medicare fraud in U.S. History. Yes, that was Rick Scott, and his company Columbia/HCA, a story that Floridians are well aware of. In spite of the Medicare fraud going on in his company, Rick Scott claimed he had no idea what was going on at the time, and he was never charged. Still, Scott was forced to leave, and he walked away a very rich man.
But just about a year before the Columbia/HCA investigation, there was another man and another company that held the title for highest Medicare fraud fine in U.S. history, the record soon to be broken by Scott and famously written up in textbooks.
That was Mitt Romney:
Romney Was Board Member Of Company Fined Over $100 For Medicare Fraud – At The Time, It Was The Largest Criminal Fine For Health Care Fraud In History
Romney Sat On Board Of Damon Clinical Laboratories, A Bain Capital Portfolio Company Fined Nearly$120 Million In 1996 Due To Medicare Fraud.“A Needham clinical laboratory agreed yesterday to pay $119 million in criminal and civil fines after pleading guilty to charges that it defrauded the nation’s Medicare system by seeking reimbursements on millions of dollars worth of unnecessary blood tests. … Damon Clinical Laboratories Inc. admitted it tried to boost its profits by submitting the unnecessary tests. The company, the government said, misled doctors into ordering the tests, ensuring that they would be covered by Medicare, the federal health care program for the elderly.”(Kimberly Blanton, “Needham Lab Fined $ 119m For Fraud,” The Boston Globe, 10/10/96)Romney Was On Damon’s Board Of Directors While The Fraud Took Place – He Initially Claimed He Was Unaware Of Any Criminal Investigation.“Mitt Romney, former Republican challenger to US Sen. Edward M.Kennedy, who was a member of Damon’s board, said he was unaware of any investigation. … Romney said that[Damon’s then-CEO Robert] Rosen told the board in about 1992 ‘that all current practices at the company were now in conformity with government regulations and that in the past there may have been practices which would not be deemed appropriate.’”(Kimberly Blanton, “Needham Lab Fined $ 119m For Fraud,” The Boston Globe, 10/10/96)“Made Large Profits … From A Criminal Scheme To Fraudulently Bill The Federal Medicare System…”“[Romney] and his venture capital firm made large profits from the 1993 sale of a Needham medical testing company whose robust revenues were generated in part from a criminal scheme to fraudulently bill the federal Medicare system for unnecessary blood tests.”(Frank Phillips, “Romney Profited On Firm Later Tied To Fraud,”The Boston Globe, 10/10/02