Gov. Scott launches latest online ad to fight for Enterprise Florida

By Roy De Jesus, Web Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017, 9:55 PM EDT

Governor Rick Scott launched the latest attack in a back and forth between his office and the Florida Legislature's Enterprise Florida "ad wars."

  • Gov. Scott trying to save jobs recruiting agency
  • Enterprise Florida recently abolished by Florida House
  • Opposition also using online videos to make their case

Scott's online ad campaign aims at saving the jobs recruiting agency recently abolished by the Florida House. The new commercial found on YouTube starts with a narration about how Tallahassee politicians want to stop marketing Florida and competing for jobs.

“The politicians in Tallahassee don't get it,” said Scott in the ad.  “They don't understand how jobs are created."     

The new spot, titled "Every Job's Important," was produced by the governor's campaign arm, "Let's Get to Work." It points blame at the state legislature for any potential jobs losses if Enterprise Florida Inc. truly ends up abolished by the full legislature.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is leading the charge to abolish Enterprise Florida, dismissed the commercial as the governor's political ambitions at work.

"Governor Scott is probably putting his test of whether he runs for the U.S. Senate or not,” said Corcoran.  “And I think that was a jobs commercial and it was a good one."

Monday night the governor also touted a new poll by the Florida Chamber of Commerce finding 78 percent of Floridians support financial incentives to encourage companies to stay in or move to Florida. Those numbers motivated Scott to claim his messaging is working.

In the meantime, the Florida House has its own message they believe is resonating with the public, one Corcoran and his supporters have used to hammer away at Enterprise Florida with their own online video campaign.

The reason their message is working, according to Corcoran, is because they're just putting out the facts.

"You can have a gas station at an intersection. One of them can get incentives. The other three gas stations at the same intersection, we take their money from them to give it to their competitor to beat them out,” said Corcoran. “Nobody believes that's fair. Picking winners and losers is not fair."

Corcoran said instead of incentives for fat-cats and companies that don't need them, Florida lawmakers should focus on keeping property taxes low.

"Right now we're facing a $500 million property tax hike,” he said.  “That will cost us jobs.  The governor should take that out of his budget."

In addition, he pointed out the overwhelming majority of businesses creating jobs are small businesses not receiving the incentives.

"More than 50% of the incentives go to companies with more than 1,000 employees.  The largest recipient is Wal-mart,” Corcoran said.  “Half the companies are companies that are in the state and they come to their politicians and literally extort them and say we're threatening to leave if you don't give us more incentives."