Rick Scott Created a Blind Trust in Name Only to Hide His Vast, Secret Wealth

From Kevin Sack and Patricia Mazzei of the New York Times, 10/17/2018:

Rick Scott had been governor of Florida for barely three months when questions first mounted about conflicts of interest.

… To shield himself from future conflict charges, Mr. Scott, who is now running to unseat the incumbent senator Bill Nelson, created a $73.8 million investment account that he called a blind trust. But an examination of Mr. Scott’s finances shows that his trust has been blind in name only. There have been numerous ways for him to have knowledge about his holdings: Among other things, he transferred many assets to his wife and neither “blinded” nor disclosed them. And their investments have included corporations, partnerships and funds that stood to benefit from his administration’s actions.

… The filing revealed that the Scotts together were worth between $254.3 million and $510 million. (The Senate requires that assets be valued only in ranges.)

… If he wins a tight race for the Florida seat, which is central to control of the Senate, Mr. Scott could well become the richest member of the next Congress. His broad menu of investments might regularly present conflicts that require recusal. He has declined to say whether he would use a blind trust in the Senate, where the rules controlling them are far more stringent.

… The Scotts put more than $70 million into his first race for governor, which he won by a percentage point, and spent $12.8 million more to win re-election in 2014, again by one point.

Among the starkest examples are the Scotts’ investments in numerous companies and partnerships with ownership interests in each of Florida’s three primary natural gas pipelines, which are permitted and regulated by the state.

Read much more here.

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