A new ad from the political action committee set up by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to provide outside support to his U.S. Senate campaign is painting Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson as a “do-nothing” featuring a retrospective of empty suits starting with a 1970s wide-lapel three-piece.

The 30-second spot, “Empty Suit,” pivots off a 1990 article in Florida Trend magazine that asked on the cover if Nelson was an empty suit. The new ad from New Republican Political Action Committee emphatically offers the answer of yes, as an animated video shows Nelson aging while a series of suits flip past sporting lapel pins starting with Jimmy Carter and running through Hillary Clinton.

It’s the sixth in a series of TV commercials New Republican has run in Florida all with the same themes: that Nelson has been in office way too long, and he has never done anything worth mentioning the whole time. Through last Friday the super PAC had spent more than $9.6 million, mostly on those television commercials.

“In the 1970s, Bill Nelson wears his first suit in Washington; begins unremarkable career,” the narrator says as the suits start changing, first to a salmon suit with a Mondale-Ferraro button.

“He manages to raise taxes and cut Medicare. Nelson is called an ’empty suit’ adored by big money. Nelson even skips national security briefings and leaves hearings about the algae blooms. After nearly 40 years in DC, he votes with his party 89 percent of the time.

“It’s been an empty career, and it’s time to retire empty-suit Bill Nelson,” the narrator concludes.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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