ETHICS FAIL: Rickpublican corruption runs rampant throughout Florida’s government and has resulted in more federal corruption convictions than any other state from 1998 – 2007.

New Report Said Corruption Is Pervasive At All Levels Of Florida Government, Costing Taxpayers By Driving Up Their Costs. “Saying corruption is ‘pervasive at all levels of government,’ a statewide grand jury released a report…calling for reforms to combat ‘mismanagement and theft’ by public officials. ‘Fraud, waste and abuse of state resources’ punishes taxpayers by driving up the cost of services, the panel said. They called for the repeal of what they dubbed ‘Florida's Corruption Tax.’” [Times/Herald, 12/29/10]

Between 1998 And 2007, Florida Had More Federal Corruption Convictions Than Any Other State “The report notes that if all the federal corruption convictions in Florida between 1998 and 2007 were added together, they top 800, more than in any other state in the nation.” [Times/Herald, 12/29/10]

Republican Who Served For 16 Years Warned That Government/Democracy Was “Being Sold To The Highest Contributors, The Slush Funds And The Corruption.” Former Republican state legislator and former member of Florida’s Public Service Commission, Nancy Argenziano opined: “In 16 years in the Florida House, Senate and Public Service Commission, I have tried to inform people about what was going on in their government and provided the inside scoop that political leaders did not want you to know about. I have been warning for years and providing examples of our representative government/democracy being sold to the highest contributors, the slush funds and the corruption. That it really is about money. … I have seen much corruption, so much so that a grand jury ranked Florida No. 1 in corruption.” [Op-ed, Miami Herald, 6/18/11]

Top Florida Republicans Racked Up Thousands Of Dollars In Lavish Spending On Party Credit Cards – Culminating In The Party Chair’s Ouster And Arrest. “He is accused of lavish spending, forming a secret corporation, and funneling Republican Party money to his own account. It led to the arrest of former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, who is now awaiting trial. … But Greer wasn't the only one racking up big charges on the Republican Party credit card. Speaker Dean Cannon was buying suits and having $2,000 steak dinners. Marco Rubio charged more than $4,000 for flooring at his home, all on GOP credit cards. The GOP money was being spent at such a breakneck pace that Democrats spoofed Rubio in a mock American Express ad. … It was the way the party operated. Greer remembers representatives from the Senate and House coming to him shortly after being elected party leader and explaining how the fundraising and credit cards were used by the party.” [WTSP.com, 10/4/11]

Dozens Of Political Figures Were Tied To The Pay-To-Play Culture Of Corruption In Florida – State Faced An Unprecedented Number Of Corruption Investigations. “Veteran observers of the state's political process can't remember a time when so many officials have been caught up in criminal investigations. … Amid the most tumultuous and unpredictable election year Florida has seen in decades, the names of at least a dozen political figures have popped up in five major federal investigations probing the pay-to-play culture of corruption in Florida[.] … The sheer number of public corruption investigations under way appears unprecedented in Florida, and several observers blame the amount of money that dominates the political process.” [Herald/Times, 5/29/10]

Amid Massive State Budget Cuts And Layoffs, Scott Chose To Spend $500,000 For “Liaisons”, Including Giving A Job To One Of His Tea Party Activist Campaign Supporters. “Gov. Rick Scott has hired a former tea party activist and veterans of his and national campaigns to act as ‘liaisons’ to the public. Scott and other top aides defended the hirings, saying they will help the governor hear from the public. But Democrats criticized Scott and said it is ‘unconscionable’ for the Republican governor to hire his ‘cronies’ while pushing ahead with massive budget cuts. The spending of nearly $500,000 for liaisons follows Scott's signing of an austere spending plan that is expected to result in more than 1,500 layoffs of public employees. … Those hired by Scott recently include Robin Stublen, a founder of a Tea Party group in Punta Gorda who has been critical of government expansion.” [Associated Press, 10/8/11]