"[N]ew documents obtained Monday by the Times/Herald suggest McCollum is using his name to solicit contributions to the political group and possibly skirting state election laws."
Scott's campaign spokeswoman criticized the way McCollum is hiding his involvement in the attacks. "McCollum linked to attack ad".
"Bill McCollum has sunk to a new low even for a career politician," Jennifer Baker said. "The outrageously false allegations are pathetic, and Bill McCollum should be embarrassed to be associated with such trash."
The 30-second advertisement makes numerous allegations against Scott's hospital chain, Columbia/HCA, for profiting from mistreatment. The most inflammatory claim suggests one of the hospitals in 1997 "turned away a poor man and left him to die outside their door."
Scott's campaign said the man was treated and released, and after his death the emergency room physician was suspended. Baker added that it's ridiculous to suggest Scott played a role in the incident, and noted the Las Vegas hospital in question provided $8 million worth of uncompensated care the same year.
Scott's campaign — which has spent at least $15 million on its own advertising — responded with a negative advertisement against McCollum.
The spot labels McCollum "a career politician," and suggests he is responsible for the mortgage crisis. It notes his votes in Congress and efforts as a lobbyist to loosen bank loan regulations.
And it features a toppling circle of dominos.
"McCollum soliciting contributions for shadowy political group" ("When a Cabinet official who solicits directly (or indirectly) on behalf of a 527, he or she must file a disclosure with the Department of State. McCollum has filed no such disclosure.")
"McCollum's finance director's name appears on an email solicitation for the Florida First Initiative, along with the implication that McCollum's campaign is soliciting funds for the supposedly independent 527 group." "FL's AG Could Be In Legal Trouble Over Fundraising Connections".
Last year a group calling itself - Don't Bank on Sink - created a website (it is no longer up) blasting Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate for governor. This week a group calling itself - Florida First Initiative - is spending $616,282 on TV ads calling Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott a fraud.
What do the two efforts have in common? Both take on rivals of Republican Bill McCollum. And, interestingly, McCollum's team says they know nothing about either effort. "Stafford Jones and Bill McCollum - just a coincidence?"
A third group dubbed led by Mary Cheney, daughter of the former Vice President - Alliance for America's Future - recently spent nearly $2 million on TV ads attacking Rick Scott.
McCollum's team knows nothing about these ads either. Apparently it is all just a coincidence.
Except that McCollum's ad guy - Chris Mattola - is working with both the Alliance and Florida First.
And McCollum supporter Stafford Jones, chairman of the Alachua County GOP, also is part of Florida First and and he was involved with Don't Bank on Sink.
"Qualifying for governor, state Cabinet and legislative seats runs through noon Friday. The sign-up period also includes hundreds of city and county officeholders across the state." "Candidates head to the starting line".
"As the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist backed U.S. sanctions against Cuba and signed a state law hiking costs on agencies that book trips to the repressive regime. But as a newly independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Crist is slated to collect checks from some of the same people who successfully fought to overturn the law last year and who advocate opening a dialogue with Cuba."
Crist's position on Cuba is the latest example of his that-was-then, this-is-now political strategy as he tries to build a statewide campaign outside the traditional Republican party. The heavily Republican Cuban exile community backs strict limits on travel and remittances to Cuba, which they see as financially propping up the communist dictatorship."Supporters of free travel to Cuba are raising money for Charlie Crist".
The Obama administration lifted virtually all restrictions on Cuban Americans' travel to the island last year, overturning a Bush administration ruling that had limited their trips to once every three years.
Crist said Monday that he supports the Democratic administration's decision last year to maintain the long-standing trade embargo but allow Cuban-Americans to freely visit their relatives and send them money. At the time, President Obama said the former policy under a Republican administration had failed to foster democracy and hurt the Cuban people.
"With Rep. Pat Patterson, R-DeLand, term-limited and running an underdog campaign for the Republican state CFO nomination, a battle is developing to replace him in the 26th District House seat with serious candidates from both parties in the mix. " "Strong Candidates Vie for Open House Seat in Flagler, Volusia".
"PolitiFact Florida: Crist veto won't lead to taxpayers funding abortions".
"This is almost true"
Howard Troxler: "Pushing and shoving erupted briefly Monday on the coast of Florida's Panhandle beaches when the number of politicians seeking camera opportunities exceeded the available beachfront."
No injuries were reported, but local authorities in Pensacola were forced to impose a system of permits for beach access for political speechmaking based on rank."Politicians use oil spill to posture".
Presidents will continue to have unlimited beach access, followed by state governors, U.S. senators, state Cabinet members, U.S. representatives, state legislators, and last, locally elected officials.
Whew! At least it ain't a "tax"
"Florida's 11 public universities are poised to increase tuition by 15 percent for the second year in a row." "Florida college costs creeping up".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "To understand why South Florida counties aren't counting on BP or the federal government or the state when it comes to dealing with the oil spill, consider what happened last week in the Florida Panhandle." "On our own if the oil comes: For South Florida, a lesson from Pensacola.". See also "Gibbs: Administration may seize claims processing", "Sen. Nelson takes look at area's oil impact" and "Gulf Coasters skeptical of Obama, BP promises".
Waldo Proffitt: "A word from BP's sponsors".
The Miami Herald editorial board: "In a year when anti-incumbency is all the rage, we can name at least two incumbents who deserve a second term: Florida Public Service Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano and Commissioner Nathan Skop, an engineer and lawyer with an MBA. They have a solid record of making informed, impartial decisions in regulating the state's power, communications, natural gas and water industries." "Argenziano, Skop set right course for PSC".
I am shocked, shocked
The union haters on The Sun Sentinel editorial board find it "Hard to sympathize with Spirit pilots".
Scott in the Panhandle
"Attorney General Bill McCollum announced his candidacy more than a year ago and was the presumptive GOP nominee until Scott entered the race in April. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Scott with a 13-point lead over McCollum."
The presumptive Democratic nominee is state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Lawton "Bud" Chiles III, the son of the late governor, is running as an independent."Scott takes Fla. governor's campaign to Panhandle".
Scott, 57, of Naples, is the former CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain. He is running as a non-politician in a year when many are angry at politicians. He's delivering a conservative message, which he took to a multi-stop tour in the Panhandle, the most conservative part of the state.
Florida's Gulf Coast has Obama on the horns of a dilemma
"Newly released Census data show that Florida's Gulf Coast has grown more rapidly than any other coastal region of the country. It's a population shift that has the Obama administration on the horns of a dilemma." "Gulf Power Rising in Florida".
Romney strives for relevancy in Florida
"Mitt Romney Backs Bill McCollum and a Dozen Other Florida Republicans". See also "Mitt Romney in Jacksonville today to support Florida endorsements".
Corrine Brown hangs up
"Voters and politicians alike are up in arms over so-called 'unfair districts' in the state of Florida. The boundaries of congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years, but many argue the boundaries are set merely to benefit incumbent politicians."
Amendments 5 and 6 are proposed measures supported by Fair Districts Florida that would ensure that both legislative and congressional districts could not be drawn to favor a particular politcal party or incumbent. Service Employees International Union, based in Washington, D.C., has donated at least $225,000 in support of the amendments. In May, governor and senatorial candidate Charlie Crist pledged his support for the proposed amendments."Radio clash underscores Rep. Corrine Brown’s opposition to redistricting amendments".
On Thursday’s "First Coast Connects," a Jacksonville public radio program, Rep. [Corrine] Brown was set to be interviewed about a recent lawsuit she filed requesting the redistricting amendments be stricken from the forthcoming ballot. Unfortunately for host Melissa Ross, along with many listeners hoping to hear the congresswoman’s defense, Brown hung up within the first five minutes of the interview.
Sink in Spanish
"Democrat Alex Sink launched a Spanish version of her campaign website. She joins Republican Bill McCollum in the effort to target Hispanic voters in their language." "Democrat gubernatorial candidate launches website in Spanish".
Greene's "odd baggage"
"Boxer Mike Tyson was the best man at his wedding. Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss lived in his guest house. And the television ads for Jeff Greene's out-of-nowhere bid for Florida's Senate seat are financed by a fortune made from betting on the fall of the housing market. Too much baggage for a candidate?" "Dem surprises Fla. Senate race despite odd baggage".
"Fla. Republicans ask Obama to waive Jones Act".
Them evil "generous" public employee pensions
The The Tampa Tribune thinks the solution to local government economic woes includes getting rid of those "generous" public employee pensions.
They write this morning that "State and local governments need $50 billion from the federal government so they won't have to lay off teachers, firefighters and police officers, President Obama has told Congress."
Florida, for example, has not done all it can to raise revenue and cut costs. Public pensions remain generous, sales tax loopholes abound and while some public jobs have been eliminated, painful cuts have mostly been avoided."A government we can afford".
"Strip club magnate and frequent political candidate Joe Redner, switching his sights from local to state government, has filed to run for the state House seat from Tampa's District 58. Redner, running as a no-party candidate, qualified for the ballot on the first day of qualifying for state offices Monday. So far, the only other candidate to file is the incumbent, Rep. Janet Cruz, a Democrat." "Redner to run for seat in House".