This past June, reporters from two of our sister papers, New Times Broward-Palm Beach and the Dallas Observer, hunted down a tip that Gov. Rick Scott has a brother residing in Texas who was living off government handouts and with a criminal record that included drug possession. It was mildly ironic, considering Scott championed a bill that would require all Florida welfare recipients to undergo drug testing.
The resulting story was published here in Miami New Times, and it turns out Governor Scott didn't appreciate it.
Today, for the first time, Scott invited reporters into his office. Previously, the governor, who has a tendency to try to tightly control the press, arranged interviews only outside his office. He held a 60-minute Q&A session with about two dozen journalists.
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Times/Herald reporter Michael C. Bender noted that our article was brought up:
Scott said it was "inappropriate" for the Miami New-Times [sic] to call his brother, Roger, for this story.
Roger Scott lives in a poor area of Dallas. He has a criminal record, is on welfare and has battled with drugs. "I help him, although he doesn't know I help him because it's through my sister," Scott said.
"I love my brother. I wish he'd figured his life out, but he hasn't," Scott said.
Scott had refused to comment about the story at the time of publication.