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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

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UF trustee sends nearly $500,000 to GOP causes


Published:   |   Updated: April 16, 2014 at 07:37 PM

Through a network of roughly 15 companies, Steven Scott, a member of the University Of Florida Board of Trustees, has given Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Party of Florida nearly $500,000 so far this election cycle, according to campaign finance reports released last week.

Also chairman of a Boca Raton-based medical investment company, Steven Scott has consistently been a donor to both political parties, but the $472,703 given so far this cycle far surpasses past years. That number includes contributions from him, his wife – Rebecca – and roughly 15 “limited liability companies” Steven Scott has an interest in.

When comparing the cycle-to-cycle figures, the Tribune/Scripps Capitol Bureau used contributions from Rebecca, and a lengthy list of companies tied to Steven Scott.

Most of the money – $420,000 – went to the state GOP, which will spend heavily to re-elect Rick Scott. An additional $51,000 went directly to Rick Scott’s campaign. The couple also gave roughly $3,000 in in-kind contributions for a Rick Scott fundraiser.

Steven Scott was originally appointed to the University of Florida Board of Trustees in 2008 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, who is a Republican-turned-Democrat challenging Rick Scott.

He was reappointed by Rick Scott in 2013, but has not yet been confirmed by the full Senate. His appointment awaiting hearing before the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, which has a meeting scheduled Monday. The committee’s agenda is not yet published.

Steven Scott would have a second chance at confirmation next year if the Senate does not act during the final two weeks of the legislative session. Scott also serves as chairman of the search committee seeking a replacement for outgoing UF President Bernie Machen.

Steven Scott has always been a political donor, but in past election cycles has given much less. For instance, during the 2010 cycle, the last time a governor was on the ballot, he gave roughly $280,000, including $30,000 to the Florida Democratic Party. In 2012, he gave smaller amounts.

Those figures are through an entire two-year election cycle. There is more than six months remaining before election day in November.

Steven Scott’s assistant said he had “no comment” when asked about the increase.

He was founder of Vista Healthplan, which was purchased by Coventry Health Care in 2007 for $685 million. He now serves as chairman of Scott Holdings, LLC, an “entrepreneurial medical investment company,” according to the University of Florida’s website.

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