Florida station pulls Steyer ad targeting Rick Scott

A TV station in Fort Myers, Fla., pulled an ad backed by billionaire Tom Steyer that targeted Gov. Rick Scott (R), after receiving a cease-and-desist notice.

WFTX Fox 4 station stopped running the ad on Thursday, according to Scott's legal counsel.

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The ad, paid for by Steyer's NextGen Climate group, claimed Scott had benefited from oil drilling near the Everglades and received $200,000 from the industry, but didn't specify any company.

Scott's campaign shot back at the accusations, stating the ad was referring to the Dan A Hughes Co., from which the state's environmental protection office has revoked drilling permits and filed a lawsuit against during the governor's tenure.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to the TV station last week, Scott's counsel said the ad contained "false, misleading, and defamatory information" about Scott.

"Your station can be held liable for distributing defamatory message of political organizations such as NextGen Climate," the letter said.

The law firm Holtzman, Vogel and Josefiak PLLC, also sent a cease-and-desist letter to a TV station in West Palm Beach, Fla., which is running a different NextGen ad targeting Scott.

NextGen Climate stood by its ad, saying Scott should return the $200,000 the ad claims he recieved from oil interests.

"We stand by our ad," said NextGen spokesman Bobby Whithorne. "The fact of the matter is Rick Scott took $200,000 in campaign contributions from oil interests whose family business profited from pollution near the Everglades, which threatened the drinking water for 7 million Floridians."

Scott is facing a tight reelection race against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.