High-stakes gambling casinos have not been a part of Florida's landscape until now. Sheldon Adelson's $250,000 contribution to the Florida Republican Governor's Association has evidently bought him a foot in the door.
Rick Scott's predictable reversal:
Scott said Thursday he is open to the proposals even though while running for governor he rejected the expansion of gambling.
"As you know, I've said in the campaign that I don't want our revenue dollars to be tied to gaming,'' Scott told the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times. ``We've already approved gaming in the state, so we'll look at it going forward.''
Scott's turnabout may be rooted in his campaign promise to pump hundreds of thousands of jobs into Florida's struggling economy and a meeting he had with a major casino executive last November.
Two weeks after the Nov. 2 election, Scott flew his private jet to Las Vegas for a private meeting with Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire. Scott was on his way to the Republican Governor's Association meeting in San Diego, and he brought his wife, Ann, and no other staff to the Sand's opulent resort.
"It was an introductory meeting,'' said Ron Reese, spokesman for the Las Vegas Sands, which also owns casino resorts in Macau, China and Singapore. For the past two years, Adelson's company has been leading the charge for bringing destination casinos to Florida. He has said he is willing to invest as much as $3 billion in a project in Miami.
Actually, it's more likely that his reversal was already in process before his little tete a tete with Adelson, given the nice fat contribution made. Like the Michigan RGA, the Florida RGA was used to launder contributions from the likes of Adelson, Rick Perry, and others in order to finance his ascendance to Florida's governorship.
I'm certain it's only the first of many such reversals. By the time they're done, Florida will be teeming with casinos, crooked health care franchises, tobacco farms and unregulated environmental disasters. I'm betting on offshore drilling as Scott's next push. You?