POLITICS

Rick Scott Dogged By 'Reagan' Inquiries [UPDATED]

01/15/2013 12:52 am ET | Updated Jan 15, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has long had this trademarked Batman super-villain thing going on, what with all the record-setting fraud and the self-enrichment and the voter suppression and the drug testing that actually ended up costing the taxpayers instead of saving them money. And more recently, this living embodiment to electoral buyers' remorse has been knowingly using bogus figures to bollix up Medicaid expansion in his state. Lately, the only people in Florida who have been willing to say anything nice about him are the Sunshine State's Satanists.

But Rick Scott is not a complete monster, surely! Why, some tell the tale of a Rick Scott who, newly elected to the Florida statehouse, went out and adopted a rescue dog -- a perky Labrador retriever -- who Rick Scott's Facebook fans named "Reagan." Yes, he was the people's pooch, named for a GOP saint, and he'd go from being a rescue dog to living in the governor's mansion.

For a while, anyway. But soon, sightings of Reagan dried up, and reporters wanted to know what happened to him. As the Tampa Bay Times reports -- the search for the dog became a game of cat and mouse as Scott's various spokespeople weaseled around ponying up an answer:

Late Wednesday, Burgess testily emailed that he was working on an answer and recognized "the potential for a PR nightmare if the Tampa Bay Times doesn't receive a photo of Reagan next to today's copy of the Tampa Bay Times. So take it to the bank I'm getting you every bit of info I can lay my hands on.''

On Thursday Burgess said he was referring all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor's new communications director. Sellers responded over two days that she was far too busy to find an answer to the question.

A spokesman for the governor's wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog.

That dog was also a rescued Labrador retriever, but what happened to Reagan? The dog, I mean. Scott finally came clean:

"He was a rescue dog,'' Scott said, "and he couldn't be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn't get better."

Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but "scared the living daylights'' out of people at the mansion. He said one kitchen employee threatened to quit and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog "barked like crazy'' every time he saw him with a camera.

So the Scotts gave the dog back to his prior owner, Scott said, about a month after the family moved to Tallahassee. The governor's office on Monday told the Times it was trying to find Reagan and his new family.

Yeah, I can't help but feel that what Reagan wanted most of all was to escape.

UPDATE, 5:30 pm.: Channel 10 News in Tampa Bay reports that "Reagan" is now named "Pluto" and "is living on a horse ranch," which I hope is not a euphemism.

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Earlier on HuffPost:

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