The Capitolist’s Champ and Chump of the Week – 1/24/20: Rick Scott and Nikki Fried

by | Jan 24, 2020

At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena. 


👍🏆 CHAMP: U.S. Senator Rick Scott

Champ of the Week

Maybe it’s because he isn’t known for his witty one-liners, or maybe it’s because The Capitolist’s editor-in-chief used to work for him, but we have to admit that in an otherwise ho-hum news week bereft of political winners, U.S. Senator Rick Scott made us all chuckle at the political circus that is the Trump impeachment trial.

When Democrat Senators are so bored they leave early, you know the impeachment trial isn’t living up to the hype.

Enter Rick Scott, who gives an impromptu interview to the gaggle of reporters massing outside the chamber, managing to unload one of the finest wisecracks of his political career, ripping Democrat Representative Adam Schiff‘s prosecution of President Donald Trump:

“I think he’s done a horrible job trying to present the case. We’ve heard the same testimony time and time again. You know…we saw that protester yell something bad about Chuck Schumer. I’m thinking about possibly doing the same thing so the Sergeant at Arms will take me out also.”

Watch the video on Twitter.

But if that’s not enough for you to agree that Scott is, hands down, the Champ of the Week, then we’ll throw one more item out for your consideration. This week, Florida posted record-low unemployment levels for December, with only 3 percent of Floridians out of work. Governor Ron DeSantis and, truthfully, all hardworking Floridians deserve a share of the credit, too of course.

But for Scott, whose mantra during his two terms in office was “jobs, jobs, jobs,” he wagered his political career on these monthly statistics announcements.  One glance at the unemployment rate chart over the last 40+ years shows that Scott, as Florida’s governor from 2011 through 2018, presided over the single most impressive turnaround since the state began tracking that data. Check it out on this interactive chart.

👎❌ CHUMP: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried

Chump of the Week

Okay, it’s true, we’ve been picking on Nikki Fried quite a bit lately. But she deserves it.

This week, after The Capitolist broke the story that Fried failed to comply with Florida’s ethics laws requiring her to disclose any income for 2018, she quietly dispatched a spokesman to let us know that she planned to file an amended 2018 financial disclosure statement.

In theory, an amended disclosure that includes Fried’s lobbying income would, finally, allow Florida voters to understand how she became a millionaire, virtually overnight. Oh, and maybe we’ll finally learn exactly where that $360,000 in cash came from that she hid in a blind trust.

Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for that updated document. As of press time at 6pm Friday evening, it has not been made public.

And that’s not the only reason Fried is this week’s Chump of the Week.

We also broke the news that Fried submitted a flawed 2017 financial disclosure to the state’s ethics commission, this one riddled with at least two different accounting discrepancies totaling $25,000. This, from the woman whose face is plastered on gas pumps across Florida bearing the words “Inspected and Approved for Accuracy.”

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