Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is going into the swamp for his new television commercial attacking Republican Gov. Rick Scott over his past problems in the private sector, his finances and environmental record, labeling him, “Red Tide Rick.”

The 30-second commercial, “Swamp”, features talking cartoon frogs that keep croaking, “Rick” and “Scott” each time a narrator rolls out an allegation about Nelson’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election.

The commercial covers a lot of old ground, reminding viewers that, back when he was president of the big, private, hospital company Columbia/HCA in the 1990s he was forced out during an FBI Medicare and Medicaid fraud investigation that ultimately led to $1.7 billion in fines and penalties against his  former company, while Scott received millions of dollars. And then the ad make assorted charges on Scott’s personal financial gains during his eight years as governor.

But the crescendo comes when the commercial turns to the frogs looking at dead fish on a beach, seeking to burdon Scott with responsibility for the red tides ravaging Florida’s coastlines this fall.

“Now our Florida is poisoned with toxic algae,” the narrator declares. “He’s so slimy. Let’s leave him in Tallahassee. We can’t trust Red Tide Rick.”

“Nope,” croaks one of the frogs.

Scott’s campaign has vigorously pushed back against the charges as they’ve been leveled in various previous ads and statements from Nelson. On Thursday, for example, Scott’s campaign that under Scott’s leadership leadership, Florida passed major legislation to ensure the public is made aware within 24 hours of the release of any harmful substance; that he declared a state of emergency due to the impacts of red tide in August – and since has secured millions of dollars to help impacted communities. It also noted that scientists remind that red tide is naturally occuring, not Scott’s fault.

 

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