Not always sunny: Wolf slams visit by Fla. gov

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (left) and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

HARRISBURG - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is headed to Philadelphia on Monday - but he's not coming north on a trade mission.

Depending on whom you talk to, the Republican governor is either coming to woo companies to the sunnier, more tax-friendly South, or "poaching" Pennsylvania jobs.

Either way, the Keystone State's new Democratic governor is not amused.

"It's a political stunt," said Jeff Sheridan, spokesman for Gov. Wolf. "The stagnant economy we inherited is not our doing, yet he didn't come under our predecessor."

In a news release, Scott announced his latest "business-development mission" to persuade corporate CEOs to "buy a one-way ticket to the Sunshine State."

Scott is not divulging the company executives he is set to visit.

Accompanying him will be tourism, economic development, and education officials, the release said. A phone call to Scott's communications office Tuesday was not returned.

"Our goal is to make Florida the number-one destination in the world for jobs," Scott said in a statement. "I am leading a delegation to Philadelphia to send a message to all Pennsylvania job creators and families that we want you to keep more of the money you make because we understand it's your money."

(Taxpayers are footing the bill for Scott's trip, according to the Tampa Bay Times.)

Scott went on to accuse Wolf of promising to raise taxes, while promoting Florida as an income-tax-free state with low corporate taxes.

"Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed tax increases and mandates on businesses," Scott said, "will no doubt be heavy blows to Pennsylvania families."

Scott has, in the past, made corporate courtship trips to other Democratic-run states, including California, Illinois, and Maryland.

Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and a Delaware County native, said he had mixed views on the Scott trip, which he thinks is a little political theater.

"As a native Pennsylvanian, I want to grow jobs here," Barr said. "But this is an opportunity to have someone from the outside pointing out places we need to focus on."

 


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