Rick Scott Hides Lobbyist Meetings from His Schedule, Giving “Security Risk” Excuse

By Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas, 7/26/2018:

A not-for-profit healthcare company that lost a bid to renew its Medicaid contract has asked for a copy of Rick Scott’s schedule — in the office and on the campaign trail — for the next three months so they could talk to him about their concerns.

They argued that documents, compiled and recorded by taxpayer-paid staff and followed by the state’s top executive, his security entourage and other people on the state payroll, are public record and ought to be available for anyone in the state to see.

But the governor’s office wouldn’t turn them over, claiming the details on those calendars are exempt from public disclosure. His communications staff says it’s about protecting the governor from a security risk — a higher standard than any governor before him.

Scott, the two-term governor who is now running for U.S. Senate, routinely offers fewer details on his public schedules than the three governors who preceded him. There are vast stretches of time in his daily public calendar that are not documented. He frequently lists “work and call time” on his public calendar, but he rarely provides details about who he is working with or calling.

Public record requests for copies of his more detailed calendars, sought after the fact, are heavily redacted and often take months to obtain.

… Scott not only does not release many details about how he spends his day as governor, his campaign also provides few advanced details about where he will be while campaigning. He excludes from the public schedule meetings with lobbyists and their clients and rarely, if ever, acknowledges fundraisers.

… When he arrives in a city and has unscheduled time, Scott has been known to call lobbyists and ask to meet with them or their clients. His schedule is not updated to reflect those meetings.

Read more from national treasure Mary Ellen Klas here.

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