FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Gov.-elect Rick Scott told supporters Wednesday that if they support his agenda to create a more business-friendly climate in Florida, then they can't just wait until the next election to let people know.
Scott began the day at The Magnolia Grill, where the crowd was so large it was impossible for many to get through the front door. Speakers had to be set up for dozens of people stuck outside peaking in through the windows.
He told the group to write to newspapers and call radio talk shows to support his plans to streamline government and get rid of unnecessary regulations. Otherwise, he said, special interests will try to prevent change.
"They're all going to be out there and they're all going to be fighting us. So you've got to stay active. This is not just every two years or every four years, we have to keep doing this every day," said Scott, the former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corps.
Scott is touring Florida ahead of Tuesday's inauguration. He said he knows most people can't get to Tallahassee for the event, so he's holding events around the state. He also held events in Panama City and Jacksonville and planned a Miami event Wednesday night.
In addition to promoting inaugural events, Scott repeated his goal to turn the state's economy around. "We're going to focus every day on building jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs," he said. "We're going to go through every regulation and say, 'Why do we have some of those things?' As I've been going through in Tallahassee, I've said, 'Why do we do that? If we hadn't done that the last 10 years, would anything have changed?' Yeah, we'd probably have more jobs."
While flying to Jacksonville, Scott said he's asking business owners and executives to give him a list of regulations that interfere with their companies, then he's asking state agencies what the effect would be of eliminating them. But he said he hasn't begun identifying specific items he plans to eliminate.
"Every regulation makes it more difficult for someone to be in business," he said. "A friend of mine called me ... and said, 'You've changed government already.' He said, 'One of these state agencies was in my office yesterday and they said their job was to help the state build jobs. They've never said that before."'
Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi joined Scott on the tour and Lt. Gov.-elect Jennifer Carroll joined him in Jacksonville, her hometown.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)