Gov. Rick Scott has come under fire for a recent campaign contribution from Coral Gable’s entrepreneur Miguel Fernandez, chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, a “private equity firm that invests in healthcare companies.” MBF recently gave a committee affiliated with Scott a hefty $125,000 donation, leading some critics to speculate that the donation comes as a “thank you” of sorts for Florida’s Medicaid overhaul.
During his campaign, Scott maintained that he was a political outsider who was not beholden to special interests, but campaign donations like those from Fernandez suggest otherwise. Scott has also received thousands in campaign contributions from two South Florida doctors who had a stake in a bill that would have banned physician dispensing.
“What’s he got to hide?” reads a recent press release from Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action. “Could it be that he doesn’t want to talk about ramming a Medicaid overhaul through the legislature last year that will move all patients into managed care where his buddy Mike Fernandez will be able to reap the profits?”
Scott refused to answer questions about the donation when approached by a tracker for Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action’s Adams Street Project, who posted the exchange on YouTube:
Fernandez is no stranger to campaign contributions and has given to Scott in the past. In September 2010, his company gave $250,000 to the 527 groups associated with Scott’s campaign for governor, Let’s Get to Work. Fernandez was also among a handful of wealthy Floridians who donated to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC associated with Mitt Romney. Fernandez himself gave $500,000, while MBF Holdings gave an additional $500,000.