Ethics Commission says no conflict in Rick Scott's investments

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The state Ethics Commission ruled Friday that Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t face a conflict of interest based on his current investments or his plan to put his assets in a blind trust, reports the News Service of Florida. The advisory opinion approved by the panel was in response to a request by Scott’s staff that did not include questions about his controlling interest in Solantic Corporation, which Scott is in the process of selling. “Under the circumstances presented, no prohibited conflict of interest exists where the governor has invested in companies and investment funds that indirectly own Florida-based or Florida-regulated entities,” the opinion says. Spokesman Brian Burgess said Scott asked for the opinion shortly after being elected. “Obviously, we’re pleased we can finally put this behind us,” Burgess said. But Democrats view the ruling as far too narrow, given the exclusion of Solantic and the fact that the opinion apparently didn’t consider Scott’s wife’s trust. “Unless Rick Scott is going to fully disclose all of his assets … then no questions are answered by this action,” Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.