“Connecticut’s one of the most beautiful states around, but I live in Florida because it’s a better place to do business,” said Scott, a former Greenwich resident and former venture capitalist.
Since he was elected governor in 2010, Scott said he has added 879,000 jobs in Florida and reduced unemployment from 11.2 percent to 5.7 percent, boasting that hedge funds and other Connecticut industries are bailing for his state.
“Paul Tudor Jones moved his office to Florida,” Scott claimed, referring to the billionaire hedge fund mogul from Greenwich.
But a spokesman for Jones, who this spring bought a $71 million Palm Beach estate, clarified things.
“Tudor Investment Corp. is and will remain headquartered in Greenwich, Conn.,” Patrick Clifford said on behalf of Jones. “Tudor will open an office — its 10th globally — in Palm Beach, Fla.”
In 2012, ESL Investments, the hedge fund of Sears investor Edward Lampert, abandoned Greenwich, taking its $9 billion in assets to Miami.
The organizers of the business roundtable — 2012 GOP congressional candidate Steve Obsitnik and Bart Shuldman, CEO of Hamden-based printer manufacturer TransAct Technologies — say the event was not meant to be political and was planned before Scott finalized his itinerary. The Florida governor asked if he could speak to the group, said Obsitnik, a wireless consultant executive from Westport who lost to Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.
“We’ve had enough of this. We’ve had enough business bashing,” Shuldman said. “I think the bomb that went off is clearly GE.”
Malloy was invited to the event, but instead went to Nantucket for a retreat with theDemocratic Governors Association, of which he will be the next chairman. Other Democrats condemned Obsitnik for abetting a governor from another state.
Balletto said it was the equivalent of Republicans cheering for rain on a sunny day.
“This is the level at which Republicans have stooped,” Balletto said.
State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, the lone GOP elected official to sit in on Scott’s question-and-answer session with business leaders, defended Obsitnik.
“I want to hear what the competition is saying,” Boucher said. “I think it’s irresponsible to close your ears.”