Politics
5:54 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Frontrunners For Governor Reveal Finances And Seek More Transparency

18 candidates have filed to run for governor of Florida. The winner will live in this mansion on a hill in Tallahassee.
18 candidates have filed to run for governor of Florida. The winner will live in this mansion on a hill in Tallahassee.
Credit Jimmy Emerson, DVM/flickr

Now that Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist have released details about their finances, the front runners in what is expected to be a very close governor's race are goading each other to be more transparent.

Governor Rick Scott's net worth is well over $100 million. The businessman and former health care executive does not accept a salary as governor.

Scott keeps his assets in a blind trust, where an executor manages them.

“I think it’s the right thing to do. If you’re a governor, you ought to put your assets in a blind trust so you don’t have a conflict," Scott says. "We also released our tax returns. Charlie Crist needs to take our lead. He needs to release his tax returns of he and his wife. So, we’ll find out if he believes in transparency or not.”

The records of former Republican Governor Charlie Crist show he’s worth more than $1 million. Crist is a lawyer and consultant who recently wrote a book about leaving the Republican Party. Now, he’s a Democrat.

A spokesman for the Crist campaign says many more financial records will be revealed.

But, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) isn’t waiting. The group created charliestaxreturns.com. The site is counting the days and even the seconds until Crist releases his returns.

Crist is using every opportunity to talk about Scott’s lack of transparency in a legal case involving Medicare fraud.

“During the course of depositions, Rick Scott plead the fifth amendment over 70 times," Crist told reporters earlier this year. "Who does that? Rick Scott did that. I’ve never plead the fifth in my life. ”

Scott’s former healthcare company eventually paid a $1.7 billion fine to the federal government. The RPOF points out that the Scott deposition was for an unrelated civil contract dispute, and he was never deposed by federal investigators in the criminal case against Columbia/HCA.