Monday, August 29, 2022

NRSC Chair Rick Scott Vacations on Italian Yacht While GOP Senate Hopes Go Up in Flames

Last week, Florida Senator Rick Scott decided it was a good time to criticize President Joe Biden for "vacationing" at his home in Delaware.  The next day, Axios reported that Scott was spending part of his congressional recess vacationing on an Italian yacht.  

Scott's vacation hypocrisy is the least of his problems.  The GOP's efforts to retake the Senate are crashing and burning.  So Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the arm of the party in charge of helping GOP Senate candidates, thought it was a good time for a European vacation.

Maybe Scott was trying to get out of town because of the heat he had been taking heat over his running of the NRCC.  Newsweek reports:

Critics of Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), resurfaced a past Medicare fraud settlement from his tenure as CEO of a hospital corporation, as his committee reportedly is running short on cash and pulling ads in support of GOP Senate candidates with less than three months until the midterm election.

The NRSC is the primary organization working to raise funds and support Republican candidates in the party's bid to take back the majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)

Scott has led the committee since January 2021, 
but The Washington Post reported on Friday that campaign advisers are asking "where all the money went, and to demand an audit of the committee's finances" as the NRSC pulls ads and runs low on funds.

Many on 
Twitter pointed to Scott's past Medicare fraud scandal during his time as CEO of Columbia/HCA. When Scott was deposed in 2000 amid the investigation, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times.

Columbia/HCA later reached a settlement with the Justice Department of $840 million in 2000, and another settlement of $881 million in 2002, with the combined fines totaling $1.7 billion. At the time, this was the record health care fraud settlement, although it has since been surpassed, according to PolitiFact.

"Rick Scott oversaw the biggest Medicare fraud in history, so the GOP in its genius put him in charge of its national campaign fund and now is wondering where all its money went. Incredible," writer Gary Legum posted to Twitter, commenting on the 
Post's reporting.

"There's clearly been some shift in momentum over the summer. But fundraising collapses like this don't happen in a week or a month. Did Rick Scott defraud the NRSC like he did Medicare? How on earth can they be out of money after a year of GOP surge?" Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall tweeted.

"Rick Scott has gotten amazingly far in politics for a guy who perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud in history but I'm not sure why you'd put the guy who perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud in history in charge of a large sum of money," writer and editor Matthew Yglesias tweeted.

Fortunately for Rick Scott, he was able to avoid being indicted in the scandal.  Amazingly though, a majority of Floridians thought that scandal-riddled background qualified Scott to be Governor and later U.S. Senator.  You would have thought that, given his association with fraud, the Senate Majority Leader would have balked at putting the Senator in charge of a big pile of money. But you'd think wrong.

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