American Bridge ad asks “shady” Rick Scott “What is he hiding?”

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American Bridge 21st Century has one simple question for “shady” Gov. Rick Scott.

What exactly is the Republican incumbent hiding?

As Scott approaches his second debate today, the progressive watchdog group looks at his latest “fiasco.”

“Shady Rick: What’s He Hiding?” is a 60-second digital spot released today is a compilation of video clips from several news reports TV reporters who examined Scott’s 2011/2012 tax returns and financial disclosures. What they found was interesting, to put it mildly.

In many cases, reporters found, relevant pages were missing; in others, the math “just doesn’t add up.”

They also discovered several inconsistencies between what the governor reported to the IRS, and what he disclosed to the state.

“Is it possible … that the average person can look at the 2011 and 2012 returns,” a reporter asks in an interview with an unidentified woman, “And know what the governor has?”

“No,” she responds.

A recent lawsuit accuses Scott of failing to disclose more than $200 million in assets on his tax returns.

In another clip, a roundtable discussion puts the fundamental problem with Scott is transparency. Voters want to know where the money is coming from so there is no conflict of interest.

It’s just not that way with Scott, they say. He uses the power of his office to the benefit of his investments.

The ad — with no voiceover — concludes with the text: “Shady Rick: What’s He Hiding?”

“It’s not just a legal issue,” says American Bridge spokesperson Jesse Lehrich. “It’s an ethical issue, one regarding transparency and conflicts of interests.

Lehrich says that Scott has already proven that his is not above making decisions as governor that would be of personal financial benefit. One example is a Miami Herald headline from July 21: “Gov. Scott had stake in pipeline firm whose $3 billion venture he and his appointees backed.”

Since taking the helm in Florida, he adds, there are almost too many ethical lapses to count: systemic fraud at the DEO, using on-duty cops as campaign props, the cover-up of prison inmate deaths and so on.

Lehrich says voters can now add failure to disclose over $200 million in assets on his tax returns.

“And who knows what else Shady Rick is hiding,” he asks.

American Bridge 21st Century is a Washington D.C.-based progressive research and communications organization, formed, in part, to keep Republicans — like Scott — accountable for their words and actions.

“Shady Rick: What’s He Hiding?” is now available on YouTube.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.