Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown fires back at Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Jerry Brown rips Florida's sinking land, humidity and bugs

Gov. Jerry Brown responds to Rick Scott's trip to the Golden State, where he is seeking to lure companies away from California.
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Gov. Jerry Brown responds to Rick Scott's trip to the Golden State, where he is seeking to lure companies away from California.

With Florida Gov. Rick Scott arriving in California on Monday in a bid to lure companies to his state, California Gov. Jerry Brown lashed back, urging him to “stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change.”

“I’m writing to welcome you back to California – a state that in the last year has added more jobs than Florida and Texas combined,” Brown said in a letter. “Rick, a fact you’d like to ignore: California is the 7th largest economic power in the world. We’re competing with nations like Brazil and France, not states like Florida.”

Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, has made climate change a priority of his administration, clashing with Republicans across the country on the issue. Scott became a subject of controversy after the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting on last year reported that Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials had been ordered not to use the phrase “climate change” or “global warming” in official communications.

Referring to Scott’s skepticism, Brown wrote, “While you’re enjoying a stroll on one of California’s beautiful beaches this week, don’t stick your head in the sand.”

Scott’s visit is his second in two years. The Florida governor last year traveled to Los Angeles to encourage shipping companies to move their operations to his state.

Business relocations are relatively rare, but Republican governors often seek to score political points in their home states by criticizing heavily Democratic California. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Brown tangled for years over Perry’s visits.

Scott said in a prepared statement that Brown’s “tax and spend administration has spent the past year passing laws that make it even harder for businesses to succeed.” He specifically criticized legislation phasing in a $15 minimum wage, saying “job creators will face a crippling, new challenge on top of California’s already high taxes and burdensome regulations.”

He is California’s longest-serving governor and its oldest, spanning two administrations decades apart. Watch Governor Jerry Brown change over 35 years in this nine-second video.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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