Big donors dropped $3.65 million in Rick Scott committee’s sack in September

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September was a darned good month for Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection effort.

During that time, Scott received a whopping total of $3.65 million, with the biggest check coming from Shahid “Shad” Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Governor’s “Let’s Get to Work” committee received $250,000 from the NFL team leader, who owns a home in Naples.

The PAC posted Kahn’s contribution Sept. 30, only three weeks after Scott invited him to the governor’s mansion for a meeting on economic development, reports Steve Bousquet in the Tampa Bay Times.

Khan, who made his fortune in auto parts with the Illinois-based Flex-N-Gate, has been eyeing land development in the Shipyards, an area off the St. Johns River near EverBank Field, home of the Jaguars.

A spokesperson for Khan told the Times the Sept. 8 meeting was “outstanding,” while Scott only mentioned the broad topic of discussion.

Khan’s offering is part of a total of $1.34 million dropped in Scott’s war chest in the last week of September.

Another billionaire to give financial support to Scott is Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who has been using his “Florida Jobs First” PAC to shill for the governor. “First” was created by Ross after a much-publicized feud with House Speaker Will Weatherford over improvements to the Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium.

Also in September, gambling interests were generous towards Scott. The Seminole Tribe gave $500,000, as well as $60,000 from other gaming concerns. As the compact with the Seminole Tribe nears its end, making up for lost revenue through gambling expansion will be one of the main issues legislators will address in 2014.

U.S. Sugar Corp., The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Dosal Tobacco Corp., chipped in $100,000 each; healthcare organizations HCA West Florida gave $70,000, HCA East Florida gave $30,000, and the Florida Hospital Healthcare System gave $25,000.

The money rolled in even faster in the last week of the month, according to the Times, with $140,000 from contributors tied to construction and real estate, $227,759 from donors in the health-care industry, $53,000 from insurance interests, and $362,000 from banking and finance.

So far in 2013, “Let’s Get to work,” has raised nearly $13.25 million, and only spent $1.2 million.  

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.