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Do Rick Scott’s New Republican web videos crib from Forrest Gump?

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Sometimes, the devil is truly in the details.

Consider the latest video campaign from New Republican, the super PAC chaired by Rick Scott, presumably formed in advance of the Governor’s all-but-certain bid for U.S. Senate in 2018.

A pair of slickly produced YouTube videos – “If You Open Education” and “If You Open Opportunity” – talk about “opening up” education and small business. The campaign seeks to extol the New Republican agenda – to “rebrand and reinvent the Republican Party” – favoring an “open” economy, “open” education system, “open” health care system, among others.

But after looking at both videos, each shot in glorious art-house black-and-white, a few details (if you’re paying attention) also open the door for a few questions.

For example, “Opportunity” starts off with the line: “no more insider deals.”


It is a statement that rings more than a little ridiculous, considering Scott’s current budget battle with the Florida Legislature over the future of Enterprise Florida, the state’s business incentive program.

Using taxpayer money to lure businesses to Florida? Some would argue that is the definition of an “insider deal.”

New Republican is staffed by some top Scottworld veterans. Melissa Stone, Scott’s chief of staff and 2014 re-election campaign manager, is the executive director; finance director is Taylor Teepell, a longtime Scott staffer who also worked with former governors Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal.

This is a group of real pros, people not prone to unforced errors.

So, it would be reasonable to assume that Scott, Castellanos, et. al. would know better than not secure music rights before releasing a big-time super PAC campaign.

Why? If the background music in both videos sounds more than a little familiar, it should. It’s lifted nearly wholesale from Alan Silvestri’s Forrest Gump soundtrack.


According to the New Republic website, the groups talking points includes “doing things differently” to “appeal to and targeting young voters.”

Because nothing appeals to Millennials more than a video sampling unlicensed music from a 90s movie classic.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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