Sen. Rick Scott loves hating on New York and its governor, Andrew Cuomo. But new docs show the Florida Republican investing big time in Big Apple bonds.

  • Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott is a frequent critic of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo because of how he handles state spending.
  • But Scott and his wife are also helping the Empire State and New York City finance public debt by purchasing between $2.2 million and $4.5 million of revenue bonds during September, according to new US Senate investment transaction disclosures.
  • This isn't the first New York-focused investment for the Florida couple. Earlier this year they also disclosed between $1.1 million and $2.25 million worth of New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority bonds.
  • "These investments are unrelated to the fact that liberal states like New York are woefully mismanaged, with bloated budgets, high taxes and unfunded pensions, leading businesses and taxpayers to flee to greener pastures like Florida," Scott's communications director said in response to an Insider inquiry.
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Sen. Rick Scott of Florida routinely chides New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his financial habits.

"Floridians shouldn't have to backfill New York's state budget and pension fund," Scott said in April while blasting the Empire State's pleas for federal COVID-19 relief.

"Cuomo has consistently misused taxpayer dollars and refused to ever cut government waste," Scott in June wrote in a New York Post op-ed.

But Scott and his wife, Ann, are now helping New York finance public debt, purchasing between $2.2 million and $4.5 million worth of revenue bonds during September, according to new US Senate investment transaction disclosures.

The Scotts' purchases include bonds for the New York State Urban Development Corp. (between $1.35 million and $2.75 million), Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (between $500,000 and $1 million), and the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (between $350,000 and $750,000), the Senate transaction disclosures state. 

All of the bonds' rates are 5%. 

The purchases, the values of which are only required to be disclosed in broad ranges, add to the Scotts' already sizable New York government-related debt holdings. Earlier this year, the Scotts disclosed between $1.1 million and $2.25 million worth of New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority bonds.

Investments 'unrelated' to Scott's criticism of New York

Scott ranks among the wealthiest members of the Senate.

He and his wife are also heavily invested in other municipal-, county-, and state-related debt, including that of California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Iowa, and the cities of Houston and Seattle.

They also have millions of dollars invested in the bond of other governmental and quasi-governmental entities, including airport authorities and public school districts. Among their public university bond investments: University of Michigan, Texas A&M University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, each valued somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million.

"Senator and Mrs. Scott have purchased hundreds of municipal bonds over the years from all over the country. Senator Scott has filed dozens of transaction reports since taking office to comply with the detailed and technical reporting requirements of the Senate Ethics Committee," Scott communications director Chris Hartline said in a statement to Insider. 

"These investments are unrelated to the fact that liberal states like New York are woefully mismanaged, with bloated budgets, high taxes and unfunded pensions, leading businesses and taxpayers to flee to greener pastures like Florida," Hartline added.

Representatives for Cuomo did not respond to inquiries.

Sparring between Cuomo, a Democrat, and Scott, a Republican, began in earnest this spring, after Cuomo asked the federal government for financial assistance to grapple with a COVID-19 outbreak that was then ravaging New York state, particularly New York City.

Scott was nonplussed. "We sit here, we live within our means, and then New York, Illinois, California and other states don't. And we're supposed to go bail them out? That's not right," he said in April.

"Who is 'we,' and who is 'them'?" Cuomo retorted during a media briefing soon thereafter, calling Scott out by name. "What an ugly sentiment."

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