Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the "Golden Bear," will soon open his substantial checkbook to support Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign, and he's asking others to do the same. The invitations to a Jan. 15 evening event at Jack and Barbara Nicklaus' home in North Palm Beach ask for $10,000 donations to Scott's campaign organization, www.letsgettowork.net.
Nicklaus is a long-time Floridian and a dedicated Republican, and he and Scott have an interesting history.
They hit it off soon after Scott's election in 2010, and after conversations on how to promote tourism in Florida, Scott threw his support behind a legislation in the 2011 session that would have allowed Nicklaus-designed golf courses in state parks, as Nicklaus' lobbyist, Jim Smith, recalled. But the sponsor of the proposal in the House, Rep. Patrick Rooney, R-Palm Beach Gardens, dropped the idea following an avalanche of opposition as the Tampa Bay Times' Craig Pittman reported at the time. Environmental groups were wary of the proposal, and GolfWeek magazine did not think much of the Nicklaus golf trail proposal at the time, either.
-- Steve Bousquet