PolitiFact: Ad Attacking Rick Scott Misleading but Largely True

TAMPA (2010-10-15) -

PolitiFact Florida editor John Bartosek says a new attack ad against GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott doesn't lie, but it does mislead.

PolitiFact looked at four claims from the commercial, paid for by the Florida Democratic Party.

Claim one: Three executives from the company Rick Scott ran at the time, Columbia/HCA, were indicted for fraud.

That’s half true, Bartosek said, but those charges didn’t stick. Only two of the men were found guilty, but their sentences were overturned on appeal.

Claim Two: Refusing to cooperate, Rick Scott gave a deposition in which he invoked the Fifth Amendment 75 times.

Bartosek said Scott did make 75 Fifth Amendment claims, so it’s mostly true. But Scott took the Fifth was in an unrelated civil case, not the fraud case against Columbia/HCA by the federal government.

Claim Three: Taking the Fifth Amendment mean a truthful answer to those questions would have incriminated Rick Scott.

Bartosek said in criminal cases, taking the Fifth cannot be taken to mean someone is guilty. But this was a civil case, where the jury and judge are allowed to interpret someone taking the Fifth for themselves. So they rated this claim half true.

Claim Four: Images from the commercial show crime tape, police hauling out boxes of evidence and taking notes while a narrator talks about new allegations against Solantic, Rick Scott’s company.

Bartosek said they rated this claim false based on those images. This was a civil, not a criminal, case against Solantic and police never raided a Scott office.

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