Gov.-elect Rick Scott (R-FL) is already facing his first mini-scandal just a week after he beat Democrat Alex Sink in one of the nation’s closest and nastiest gubernatorial races. A part-time campaign worker who found the job through an ad on Craigslist is upset that the campaign paid him with an American Express gift card.
Mark Don Givens told Florida’s WTSP News that he was expecting a paycheck after he made phone calls and knocked on doors for the Scott campaign, which made jobs a top issue in the election. Givens said he and other workers were upset after they were told by the campaign that they could not offer them a paycheck and given American Express gift cards instead.
“This would violate both tax laws and labor laws,” Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told TPMmuckraker in an email. “It looks like the newly elected AG will be investigating the newly elected governor.
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“Obviously you can’t pay bills with gift cards,” Givens said.
A spokesperson for the Scott campaign acknowledged to the news station that there was an issue getting Givens paid via check. The Scott spokesperson said that a campaign supervisor decided to give Givens gift cards. He said the cards can be reimbursed for cash (though, as the station points out, there is a surcharge). The campaign said it would pick up that surcharge for Givens or any other campaign workers, or fix the check issue.
As for Givens? He told the station he is “going Democrat.”