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Thursday, Aug 16 2018

Rick Scott Killed High Speed Rail Until He Could Profit From It

Aug 16, 2018

“Floridians deserve to know exactly why Rick and Ann Scott chose to invest in a rail company that has won massive favors from the Scott administration. Rick Scott killed high speed rail in 2011 to help his special interest allies profit — and to pad his own wallet. This is the very definition of conflict of interest and corruption,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Miami Herald: Rick Scott killed a high-speed rail plan. Then All Aboard rolled up and he bought it.
By Mary Ellen Klas | August 16, 2018

  • “As one of his first acts in office in 2011, Gov. Rick Scott canceled a $2.4 billion federally funded and shovel-ready bullet train from Orlando to Tampa because it carried ‘an extremely high risk of overspending taxpayer dollars.'”
  • “Now, the idea has returned — revived by All Aboard Florida, a Coral Gables-based company that has heavily supported Scott — and the governor has reversed course.”
  • “Scott said in June he believes a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa is a good idea and, in a quiet testament to his confidence in the project, he and his wife last year invested at least $3 million in a credit fund for All Aboard Florida’s parent company, Fortress Investment Group, according to recently disclosed financial documents.”
  • “Rick and Ann Scott are multi-millionaires with an undisclosed amount of wealth. Fortress Investment Group is the parent company of Florida East Coast Industries which owns All Aboard Florida. All Aboard now operates as Brightline — the system of diesel-electric trains that has been running between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale since January and from West Palm Beach to Miami since May.”
  • “The Scotts’ investment in Fortress Secured Lending Fund — the credit and lending division — produced at least $150,000 in income last year, according to Rick Scott’s 2018 federal financial disclosure report.”
  • “Two of Ann Scott’s three holdings in Fortress identify the amount as: “over $1 million” and Scott’s disclosure states that his blind trust holds between $500,000 and $1 million in Fortress.”
  • “But the company’s rail investment, All Aboard Florida, has been a project that Scott and his transportation team have given special attention to since before its inception, steering state money to assist the project as the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Development Finance Corporation provided regulatory assistance and funds.”
  • “Scott canceled a federally-financed high-speed rail project in February 2011, and sent the $2.4 billion in stimulus funds back to Washington.”

Read the full story here.

Published: Aug 16, 2018

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