Rick Scott at Tiger Bay on Wednesday

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For most of the summer, your program committee has been wondering whether multi-millionaire Republican Rick Scott would stick to the comfort of the TV studio and Republican audiences or also venture into the Tiger’s Den.  Well, here’s the answer.  Six days before the primary, Scott will be joining us for some talking and some fang and clawing.  The novice candidate’s omnipresent and well-crafted TV ads have earned him a comfortable lead in the polls over Atty. Gen. Bill McCollum.  Can Scott close the deal August 24?  Though Scott has never held office, he has lived in Naples for a dozen years and built a new business empire since his departure from health-care giant HCA.  How much Scott knew about the activities that earned the company a record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud remains an issue.  Lately, though, focus has shifted to whether Scott knows enough about Florida government to lead effectively.  He has advocated an Arizona-like immigration crackdown and corporate tax cuts as the cornerstone of an economic stimulus package.  The more general question may be whether the business chops and tight eye on expenses that twice created huge business successes qualify Scott to lead the nation’s fourth largest state.  Tigers and their guests are invited to come look and listen, then decide for themselves.

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.