NextGen ad attacks Rick Scott for “cozy relationship” with Big Sugar

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After bashing Gov. Rick Scott for campaign contributions from Duke Energy, a new digital ad from NextGen Climate now highlights the incumbent Republican’s “cozy relationship” with the sugar industry.

“Secret” is the latest 30-second spot that capitalizes on the scandal involving Scott’s secret trip to King Ranch, an exclusive ranch in Texas, as a guest of U.S. Sugar.

“Scott has a sweet tooth for donations from the powerful few,” says the NextGen Climate press release. “In fact … Scott has received $756,462.68 in campaign contributions from the sugar industry since 2012, including $100,000 in the wake of signing a bill that left taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up Big Sugar’s mess in the Everglades.”

In this latest ad, Scott faces additional NextGen Climate scrutiny for his decision to name Mitch Hutchcraft, a King Ranch executive, to the water management board that oversees the Florida Everglades restoration project.

“Sweet deals for the powerful few,” the ad concludes. “Not for you.”

In August, NextGen Climate and Progress Florida sent a joint letter to Scott asking the governor to release information about Hutchcraft’s appointment, as well as all information about donations and correspondence related to his King Ranch hunting trip.

NextGen Climate Florida is the local arm of the environmental PAC founded by billionaire liberal Tom Steyer, which has raised $1.86 million through Aug. 21.

Steyer, a former hedge fund executive, promises to use up to $100 million of his $1.6 billion net worth for NextGen Climate Action Super PACs, which spotlight candidates he sees as bad for the environment.

In addition to Scott, NextGen Climate PACs set its sights on Senate races with Democratic-held seats with serious Republican challenges, as in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire as well as governor’s races in Maine and Pennsylvania.

“Secret” 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.