Entries in Rick Scott (6)


Florida Gov. Scott Accidentally Cites Phone-Sex Hotline in Meeting

Office of the Governor, Florida(TAMPA, Fla.) -- An honest mistake led to a racy recording after Florida Gov. Rick Scott misread the toll-free number for his state’s Health Department during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, rattling off the digits for a phone-sex hotline instead.

Scott was giving an update on the fungal meningitis outbreak spreading to Florida this week when he mixed up the last four digits of the phone number that the state has set up for constituents to call with information about the deadly outbreak. State officials confirmed this week that the outbreak had spread to Florida after a 70-year-old man was killed by steroid medication contaminated by the fungus.

“You can call the Department of Health’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline set up for this,” Scott said Tuesday before citing an 866 number that, according to Tampa radio station WUSF, connects to an adult-entertainment recording.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a recorded female voice says on the phone-sex hotline.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, said Scott “inadvertently gave the wrong number,” but corrected himself and cited the correct hotline number later in the cabinet meeting.

The number for the Florida Health Department’s meningitis hotline is (866) 523-7339.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jindal Skips Another GOP Convention With a Storm in Mind

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- As Tropical Storm Isaac barrels toward the Gulf Coast, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that he’ll forgo attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa Fla., in order to focus on monitoring and making preparations for the storm.

“I will not be speaking or attending the Republican convention in Florida,” he told a news conference in Baton Rouge. “There is no time for politics here in Louisiana.”

Jindal had been slated to speak Wednesday night.

This is the second time Mother Nature has thwarted Jindal’s convention plans. The Louisiana governor was slated to speak at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn. in 2008, but cancelled because of Hurricane Gustav.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant canceled their trips to Tampa over the weekend, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott called off his convention appearances to monitor Isaac, which is expected to elevate to hurricane status in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected path nearly mirrors the course taken by Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region seven years ago this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Florida Governor: No Plans to Cancel GOP Convention

NOAA via Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday sought to calm fears about a possible hurricane's threatening to close down the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, telling reporters that "right now there is not any anticipation there will be a cancellation."

Scott said it is "still too early" to know exactly where Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to intensify into a hurricane by Friday, will hit Florida and, thus, too early to make evacuation plans or call off the convention.

By most predictions, bad weather looms ahead for Tampa next week as heavy rains and strong winds are likely to pound the city early Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after the start of the Republican National Convention.

Tropical Storm Isaac is heading along a western track, dumping rain on Puerto Rico Thursday morning and swirling about 1,200 miles off the Florida coast as of 11 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.

"The hope is this is going to go away, but if it doesn't, the convention is ready, the state is ready and the local communities are ready," Scott said.

While prediction models are notoriously inaccurate this far in advance, Isaac is projected to slam into Haiti Saturday morning and hit Florida about 100 miles west of Tampa in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The city, which by then will be buzzing with about 50,000 Republican delegates, journalists and protesters, could see 70 mph winds, coastal flooding and heavy rains.

"It will be a dangerous situation," ABC meteorologist Max Golembo said. "It's somewhere between the galoshes and Noah's Ark."

Golembo gave the storm a 50 percent chance of hitting Tampa. After the storm passes over the high mountains of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it is expected to dump 20 inches of rain and cause mudslides and flooding, and through Cuba Sunday morning, prediction models will have a clearer picture of how damaging the storm could be for the Tampa Bay area.

While Isaac looks to be heading farther west of Tampa than originally projected, it will likely deliver hurricane-force winds of 75 mph or greater, strong enough to break windows, down trees and damage roofs, Golembo said.

If winds exceed 45 mph, some of the bridges connecting downtown Tampa, where the bulk of the GOP convention action will be, with the hotels where some delegates are staying, will have to be closed, said Bryan Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

"There are a lot of low-lying areas in the Tampa Bay area that could be flooded as a result of this, and some of those may be locations where the delegates are housed," Koon said. "Beautiful location, wonderful hotels, but they're oceanfront, so they may be impacted by some storm surge issues."

Both the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Convention Center, where the majority of the Republican National Convention's events will take place, overlook the bay and are in evacuation zones.

"If you get a large enough storm in there, there is the potential that the storm surge could drive water up towards them and cause some flooding issues," Koon added.

Republican National Committee spokesman James Davis told ABC News Tuesday that he was "confident we will be able to get the business done of our convention, which is to nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan."

"We are monitoring the storm and we will have more information if it comes closer," Davis said. "Right now, we are looking forward to having a great convention."

Presumptive vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Tuesday night that he did not know what the Republican National Committee's plans were for dealing with any bad weather, only that the committee has a plan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bobby Jindal, Pat Toomey, Rick Scott Line Up Behind Romney

gov [dot] louisiana [dot] gov(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- With Rick Santorum out of the race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and several other high ranking Republicans endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee on Tuesday, saying that he looks forward to supporting the candidate “in retiring President Obama.”

Jindal, who previously backed former presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, endorsed Romney just hours after former Sen. Santorum suspended his presidential campaign.

“I’d also like to congratulate Sen. Santorum for running a strong race and for making the difficult decision to step aside at this time,” said Jindal.  “It’s time for all Republicans to focus their energies on the fall campaign which will give Americans a fundamental choice between Obama’s lurch toward European style big government and the Republican alternative of a thriving private sector with a smaller government.”

Jindal, whose name is already being floated as a potential vice presidential candidate, joined several other Republican leaders in endorsing Romney on the same day that Santorum dropped out.

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, endorsed Romney, urging others to do the same.

“I am proud to endorse Gov. Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president,” he said.  “I am confident Gov. Romney will be a great president and will return our country to the conservative principles that make our nation great.”

“I also congratulate Sen. Santorum on a hard fought primary race.  He put up a valiant fight and deserves to be commended for his spirited effort,” said Toomey.  “Now is the time for conservatives to rally around Gov. Romney and help deliver a victory in Pennsylvania and America this November.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who had also not made an endorsement before Tuesday, backed Romney not even an hour after Santorum dropped his bid, saying in a statement, “Mitt Romney will be our party’s nominee and it is critical that all Republicans coalesce behind Gov. Romney and focus on electing him as president so he can put the policies in place to create jobs, turn our economy around and get federal spending under control.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Rhee's Next Move: Florida Governor-Elect Rick Scott's Transition Team

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An interesting move for former Washington, D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee. She's joining Florida Republican Governor-elect Rick Scott’s education transition team.

Scott’s office made the announcement Thursday, calling Rhee “a nationally recognized education reformer,” who along with 17 other education leaders and experts -- mostly Floridians -- would help the governor-elect “find innovative ways to create a new education system for a new economy.”

It was less than two months ago that Rhee announced she was stepping down as chancellor of the district’s troubled public school system after a controversial three-and-a-half-year term.

During that period, Rhee ignited controversy for her aggressive efforts to reform Washington’s schools and clashed with teachers unions -- a point that has not been lost on Republicans like Scott.

But in the process, Rhee gained national notoriety and her next move has been the subject of speculation in education and political circles. She remained mum about her decision to join Scott's transition team in an appearance on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report Wednesday night.

"What is next for you? What job will you be forced out of next?" host Stephen Colbert joked to Rhee on the program. "Well, hopefully I won't be forced out of any job," Rhee replied, "but I'm trying to figure out what makes sense right now in terms of a next job."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


GOP Leads in Florida Governor Race

Photo Courtesy - Rick Scott for Governor(HAMDEN, Conn.) -- Republican Rick Scott holds a 49-43 percent lead over Democrat Alex Sink in the race to become Florida’s next governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters.  The poll finds that Florida voters' overall low opinion of President Barack Obama appears to be dragging Sink down.

Quinnipiac says its poll, released Friday, is the first "likely" voter general election survey in Florida in this election cycle and "can not be compared with prior surveys of registered voters."

The poll finds that although Scott holds a 6-point lead in the horse race, the candidates have almost identical favorability ratings from Florida likely voters: 39–39 percent for Sink and 41–40 percent for Scott.

Florida "likely" voters disapprove 56–40 percent of the job President Obama is doing.  Democrats approve 83–15 percent, while disapproval is 92–6 percent among Republicans and 56–38 percent among independent voters, according to the poll.

“It’s no surprise that Scott’s campaigning and advertising has been trying to tie State Chief Financial Office Alex Sink to President Barack Obama.  The president’s low ratings, especially among independents who are likely to decide the governor’s race, are a problem for Ms. Sink’s campaign,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from September 23–28.  It surveyed 1,151 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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