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Scott spending more than $7.3 million a year on spin doctors

by Dara Kam | April 25th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott – whose mantra is “Let’s Get to Work” – is paying $7.3 million to 126 aides for image-boosting and spin, according to a report released by Florida TaxWatch today.

Scott also hired 71 legislative affairs – many of them former campaign workers – staff for a total of $4.3 million a year. On the campaign trail, Scott questioned the need for legislative affairs staff.

The TaxWatch report comes as lawmakers are grappling with slashing $3.8 billion from last year’s budget.

The combined costs for Scott’s PR pros – including four in his own office – and the LADs is $11.7 million. Without benefits, that comes to $975,048 per month, or $32,056 per day.

“There is no excuse for government waste at any level at any time,” TaxWatch president Dominic Calabro said in a statement. “Every tax dollar spent should gain the highest return for the taxpayer. In a budget year where critical programs are being cut to balance the budget, it is time that our leaders take a serious look at all positions, determine which are essential to the mission of our government and cut the excess. This is what Florida families and businesses have been doing and must continue to streamline. The levels and number of administrative and support bureaucratic staff has been forced to shrink, but too many in our state bureaucracy defy the gravity of downsizing.”

TaxWatch is a business-backed Tallahassee organization whose mission is to ferret out wasteful government spending.

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28 Responses to “Scott spending more than $7.3 million a year on spin doctors”

  1. brad Says:


  2. geoff Says:

    and disgusting

  3. $kin Head Says:

    Get this guy OUT !!!!NOW !!!!

  4. of course Says:

    But he doesn’t care what people think about him or poll numbers! He said so himself!!!

    I don’t understand these contradictions. Head. Exploding.

  5. Blue Man Says:

    Sounds like he needs to double that budget

  6. Big Johnson Says:

    Mr. Scott is a “do as I say not do as I do” kind of guy. What’s good for the goose is good for the goose. I guess he didn’t think he would come under the scrutiny of tax watch groups or have to be accountable for the expenses of the governor’s office itself. Where will all these lying and corrupt little underlings go when he leaves office? Beware Florida, beware….

  7. Oh My Says:

    Apparently it takes a lot more than $7.3 million to make a turd a rose.

    Who knew?

  8. Demps Says:

    Nothing surprising in this article. Ok Tea Party turds, explain this one. Your great leader who rose from the ashes is turning into a bigger pile of crap than anyone in recent history. Everyday I wonder when this idiot will get impeached. Obiwan, where are you????

  9. liars and theives Says:

    This is happening in so many areas of government. It really has become a coven of theives. Lying theives.

  10. Kyle Says:

    I guess you can write anything in a story and say anything on the internet. People who work in the communications offices in state agencies are not novel. They have been around for decades. They hNdle not only external communications with the press and the public, but also communications to state employees.

    THese are real jobs, not fluffy spin doctors. These people work to get news (ie disease outbreaks) out to the public.

    This entire report is stupid. Enough of the government worker bashing.

  11. Rick Scott Says:

    Don’t cry now. You knew what you were getting when I first ran for Gov. Pro-business at the expense of the budget, the environment, our ‘clean’ air, and the middle-class and poor. No surprises. And now you complain? I haven’t even begun and you will never phathom the extend in which I plan to screw FL residences for the benefit of huge corporations that I lie to you and label ‘small businesses’.

    So shut up, open your mouth, and take what I give you–and like it. Or I’ll shove this ice pick in your ear. To hell with your jaw-locking up.

    “I wish I could tell you that the Governor didn’t rape Floridians, but I would be lying. Because that is what the Koch brothers and Rick Scott do to Americans–Lie, cheat, and steal what is ours for themselves.”

  12. Crappy Report Says:

    So, there is no comparison to salaries in the private sector? No comparison of educational requirements?

    TaxWatch is trying to get so far up the rear of this governor, if they spit, it is coming out of his mouth.

  13. Big Johnson Says:

    @Kyle – We’re not talking about the regular public affairs people who have been in place for years and are a vital part of our “Government in the Sunshine”, we’re talking about Mr. Scott’s significant increased spending for more of these folks to do damage control on his blatant restructuring of the state government to benefit big business.

  14. RDC Says:

    So we DO need these people (whom assuredly provide a useful service of some sort, I’m just not sure what it is) but we don’t need regulation and permitting professionals at agencies like DEP and SFWMD. Shows me exactly where the priorities lay with this administration.

  15. Rob Says:

    Does Rick Scott have a say on who gets hired by Adam Putnam, Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater? Did Charlie Crist get a say in who Alex Sink hired as her press flack?

    But hey who needs the facts when they can simply blame Rick Scott for it all!

  16. dark gator Says:

    We assume this is his own money. If it is State dough then it sure seems like an impeachable offense.

  17. ELC Says:

    If this is coming out of his DEEP POCKETS, I certaintly don’t have a problem with it. However, if this is coming out of our pockets-well HELL NO!!
    I didn’t vote for him-personally I think he’s a total idiot(and that’s being nice). One has to wonder why this jerk needs spin doctors so soon…is it because most Floridians know him for the fraud he is. Get to Work…we know where he can strategically place that message.

  18. Whatever Says:

    Ha ha ha to the person who said ” Where’s Obiwan?”. GOOD QUESTION. WHERE ARE YOU OBIWAN?

    This lying scum is wasting more money yet his blind followers still support his lying a**. What gives?

  19. ELC Says:

    You know the biggest complainers happen to be the idiots who voted him in. Now, that they see Rick Scott for what he really stands for they have a change of heart. Unfortunately, its way to late. Suck it up and live with it….he isn’t leaving for awhile. Next time read and learn about who you are voting for so you people won’t be so disappointed when he screws your eyes out.

  20. Unreal Says:

    Ha only 3.5 months and Scott is just another bureaucrat. Funny how it just sneaks up on ya huh Rickey?

  21. Unreal Says:

    Think these are the people.helping Scott be out his anti bureaucrat message. Probably not people you want around.

  22. Plead the 5th 75 Times Says:

    Not surprised at all. Once a fraudulent huckster, always a fraudulent huckster.

  23. Try again Says:

    Dominic, you missed the mark entirely in your sycophant way of attempting to get cozy with a Governor YOU WORKED AGAINST ELECTING while supporting Alex Sink in every thing you did last year. So who will now give you the info you want on background when it comes time for your annual turkeys in the state budget? It’s legislative and communications staff. Your organization also just hired another communications person so clearly you recognize the value of the profession. And didn’t TaxWatch once receive government money itself? A bit hypocritical your comments, no? You have forgotten that Scott’s people may have no knowledge of state history but others do. You missed the mark because you missed how many communications people are in each office, not how many there are. How about 8 in one agency? Does that seem ridiculous? Or three in an agency that receives maybe two calls a day? More to the point, how about those ‘external affairs directors’ and ‘external relations managers’ in state government? What the (*&^ do they do all day and aren’t they doing the job of the leader of whatever state group we’re talking about?—like promoting partnerships with the organization? Nope, just having fun creating and brainstorming all day. Is that the job of government? How do you MEASURE that? You came up short. Again. In your attempt to grab a quick headline. If you’re a real studious organization that wants to make a difference please act like one.

  24. PFM Says:

    Are these public workers going to have to pay into their pensions like the rest of the public workers? I bet not!

  25. Really? Says:

    We’re paying $11.7 Million for 197 Government Employees he’s hired to convince us; we need smaller Government! Well, sure makes for a compelling arguement! I can think of one Govt employee I can do without!

  26. Jake Says:

    He’s got to be stopped. It gets worse every day…

  27. Esther Scott Says:

    He’s a nice boy.

  28. Jacqueline G. Emrys Says:

    This is what happens when over half of you don’t bother to show up to the “mid-level” elections, preferring to leave it to us who care the most to try to cover for you. But it isn’t like the Florida Legislature, who can seem to willy nilly vote for eachother to cover the tracks of senators who don’t even bother to show up to vote for the most important votes that involve Floridians but get credit for it. You’ve got the credit to complain for the next couple of years, but you didn’t have the cojones or the “stuff” to go out there & simply VOTE NO to Mr. Scott & yes to some other candidate? No. You sat back & let the rest of us try to cover you & guess what? It didn’t work. We tried.
    WE failed because YOU couldn’t bother to be a part of the voting public in Florida. I HATE what Mr. Scott has done to this state & will continue to do to people in this state by changing the rules so that NO ONE person has any rights any longer & it will ALL belong to big business by the time he’s done with it.
    He can’t be impeached people, he’s changed the rules & he can’t be taken out that way. There is a way but its not legal, but then again, that isn’t a problem for Mr. Scott, so why should it be a problem for the people that he’s raping?

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