Protesters Boo Rick Scott Out Of Campaign Event Over His Environmental Policies


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Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a candidate for U.S. Senate, was booed out of a restaurant Monday by protesters angry over Florida’s toxic red tide algae crisis affecting the state’s beaches.

Scott was at Mojo’s Real Cuban restaurant in Venice, Florida, for a campaign event and had to enter through the back door to avoid people shouting “Coward!” and “Hey hey ho ho red tide Rick has got to go!” outside the restaurant, the Herald-Tribune reported.


Scott left the restaurant 10 minutes after and did not give a speech to supporters who were inside. Instead, he mingled briefly before leaving.


The crowd outside was reportedly protesting Scott’s environmental policies, including his decision to cut funding for environmental agencies earlier in his term, which the activists say has attributed to the growing toxic algae bloom in the Gulf beaches and has led to dead fish washing ashore.

Scott signed legislation in 2012 that repealed a state law requiring regular inspections for septic tanks. The inspections made sure untreated waste wasn’t seeping into the water systems.

He also cut funding for the state’s water management companies, which St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky said has led to a mismanagement and a lack of oversight, the Herald-Tribune reported in July.

“The more I learn about red tide the more I can point to Rick Scott making it worse,” Venice resident Rich Peabody told the Herald-Tribune. “It’s not his fault, but he’s making it worse,” he said of the algae bloom, also known as red tide.

Scott’s supporters said it’s unfair to blame one man for the phenomenon that has been occurring for decades. (RELATED: Rick Scott Breaks With Trump Over Hurricane Comments)

“We have an extreme amount of red tide this year, but it’s something we’ve seen since the American Indians,” said Sarasota, Florida, resident Patricia Pool, who was at the restaurant.

The clash between protesters and supporters comes amid a tight race between Scott and Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson for Nelson’s seat in November.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Sept. 13 had Nelson ahead of Scott by one point, but an average of six polls by RealClearPolitics as of Sept. 11 had Scott ahead by 1.6 points.

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