Charlie Crist issues top ten list of Rick Scott “debate lies”

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As the third and final Florida gubernatorial debate gets underway this evening, the Charlie Crist for Governor Campaign issues a warning: watch out for Rick Scott to repeat his “debunked lies” once again.

To help Floridians spot Scott’s “desperate campaign attempts” – or set up a fun debate-themed drinking game – Crist released this handy top-ten list of the Republican’s “debate lies”:

1). Rick Scott claims Charlie Crist signed into law the nuclear cost recovery fee. No matter how many times Rick Scott says it, it still does not change the fact that the bill was signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush. Scott’s claim has been repeatedly debunked by Politifact.

2.) Rick Scott says he takes responsibility for the crimes that happened under his watch while he was CEO of Columbia HCA. The only responsibility Rick Scott took was repeating 75 times, “Upon advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer the questions by asserting my rights and privileges under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

3.) Rick Scott blames the global recession on Charlie Crist and takes all credit for the national recovery. Under Scott, most of the gains have gone to those at the top. That’s why hundreds of thousands of Floridians still can’t find work, and hundreds of thousands more are underemployed. Florida’s recovery has happened in spite of Rick Scott, not because of him — and it started under Charlie Crist.

4.) Rick Scott blames Charlie Crist for reductions in Bright Futures funding. Rick Scott cut Bright Futures scholarships by more than half, overwhelmingly hurting Florida’s minority communities. A recent report from state universities found that half of Hispanic students who qualified in 2012 would not have qualified the following year.

5.) Rick Scott claims his blind trust eliminates any potential conflicts of interest. As the Miami Herald has reported, “The release of Scott’s tax return, however, left unresolved many questions that have emerged about the accuracy and completeness of his financial disclosures.” Scott and the trust’s manager have been described as “intimate, longtime associates.”

6.) Rick Scott claims to have “the highest funding in history for K-12 and state colleges and universities.” When adjusted for inflation, per-pupil spending was $1,200 higher under Charlie Crist than Rick Scott. Politifact has also debunked this claim.

7.) Rick Scott claims utility rates were higher under Charlie Crist and that Florida’s rates are below the national average. Politifact has completely debunked this claim, writing that, “Scott is off in a lot of ways…There’s so much incorrect in Scott’s statement.”

8.) Rick Scott claims that the deaths of children under DCF care are down under his administration. As the Miami Herald reported, under Rick Scott, the reporting of child deaths “are contorted by years-long delays in completing investigations — thus keeping deaths off the books — by a decision to narrow the definition of what constitutes neglect, and by a determination to ‘unverify’ some child deaths that had previously been ‘verified’ as abuse or neglect.”

9.) Rick Scott claims Charlie Crist “did nothing” for the environment. This laughable claim could not be further from the truth. Crist provided more than $600 million in funding for Florida Forever — a program Rick Scott cut to the bone. Scott has been an environmental disaster, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

10.) Rick Scott claims Charlie Crist voted against raising the minimum wage. As Politifact reported, this claim is completely false, saying, “there’s no evidence.” The 2004 vote Scott refers to occurred while Charlie Crist was not even a member of the legislature.

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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.