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Trial Lawyers Prepare to Blast John Thrasher With New Round of Negative TV Ads

Trial lawyers are swinging more aggressively at former House Speaker John Thrasher in a northeast Florida Senate race, with a television ad slapping the former Florida Medical Association lobbyist for a pair of ethics violations.

The ad, ready to hit the airwaves this weekend, also compares Thrasher with such embattled politicians as South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

It’s been produced by Conservative Citizens for Justice, led by Jacksonville lawyer Tom Edwards, immediate past president of the Florida Justice Association, the state’s trial attorney group.

“I’m not concerned about John Thrasher because he’s a former medical association lobbyist who led the state’s tort reform effort, but I am concerned about his ethics,” Edwards said Wednesday. “His record speaks for itself.”

The television spot alludes to Thrasher’s two ethics violations involving his lobbying, one occurring while he also was a first-term lawmaker and the second after he left office but was still under a two-year lobbying prohibition. Thrasher was reprimanded by the House for the first offense and fined for the second.

The ad can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/mc44qv

Thrasher is the leading fund-raiser and front-runner in the Senate District 8 race to succeed the late Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville. The Republican primary is scheduled for Sept. 15, and with no Democrat in the field, looks likely to decide the race.

Thrasher has aired a biographical TV ad and is expected this week to begin a new spot with Jeb Bush speaking on his behalf, one of three ads the governor has done for the candidate, a longtime political ally.

Thrasher’s campaign was quick to dismiss the critical TV spot.

“John Thrasher has stood up to these personal injury lawyers and will continue to do so,” said Thrasher spokeswoman Sarah Bascom. “John Thrasher is not about the politics of tearing people down; he is about building the community up. Shame on them for these sensationalized ads.”

Thrasher and his supporters blamed the influential trial lawyers’ organization for another ad critical of him now airing in the Jacksonville area, paid for by a 527 organization called Stop Tax Waste, Inc. Its president, T.J. Harrington, sought to distance the group from the Justice Association but acknowledged some trial attorneys may have contributed financial support.

Trial lawyers lost a powerful supporter earlier this summer when Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, resigned and was replaced by former Rep. Joe Negron in a special election.

Thrasher’s election could signal a weakening of its historic strength in the Senate, where it frequently clashes with business and medical organizations on a host of issues.

Edwards said conservative trial lawyers are clearly behind his efforts.

“We have not endorsed any other candidate in this race,” Edwards said. “But we don’t want Thrasher.”

Besides Thrasher, the Republican field now has six other candidates: Brett Noucher, businessman Dan Quiggle, Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham, Joshua Larose, Robert Allen Jones and Duval School Board member and former Rep. Stan Jordan.

Also Wednesday, Thrasher unveiled a roster of new endorsements, including Bush, Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, and Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne.

10 Responses »

  1. I am glad someone is going after this snake. He pretends that he is protecting us from the "trial attorneys", because he knows that a BUZZ word that gets to people. What he doesn't tell you is that he PROTECTS the corporate attorneys that put the people at risk all the time in the name of their corporations making more money. Remember the Pinto issue where the company rather a few people die then recall their malfunctioning car? The tobacco companies that lied about adding the addictive ingredients, even if it caused cancer just so they rake in the big bucks? That's who he protects. The corporate attorneys are in no way there for the people. They are for the corporation. They make trial attorneys look like amateurs. When this guy was Speaker he sold out to the highest campaign contributors. He should now have to answer for the things he did, NOT cover them up. And does e own part of the newspaper? Sure seems that way. He is a LOBBYIST and the paper should expose the dirty things he did while he was in the House. It would be a nightmare for the people of this state to have this lobbyist, slick Willie attorney back there to sell out once again. Stop protecting him and let him answer the questions about the things he really did and continues to do. Bottom line for me is, I don't careif it is the trial attorneys or the consumer advocates or my grandmother who is "attacking him" as long as someone does.

    • Thrasher is a disgrace to the uniform of the US Army. The code of a United States Army Office has been violated again and again by the unethical behavior of this liberal dressed in sheeps clothing. He has continually preached "conservative" morals while spending like a drunken sailor for the "friends" that pay him the most. Outside most Army posts they call that a WHORE!

  2. Ask him to name one of the frivolous lawsuit he claims are driving up insurance premiums - he has none. That is because they do not exist! Tort reform = reduced patient rights!

  3. The two responses are spoken like true Democrats. The Trial Bar is the root of higher costs for just about everything in America. Needless frivolous lawsuits that win Multi millions in awards are just the reason everything costs so much. The blood thirsty trial bar needs to be taken down a notch, and when Thrasher wins, their power to stop tort reform will be diminished in Florida. Go John, we're with you!!

  4. You realize that so called "tort reform" is a pretty anti-free market idea, right?

    Corporations dont respond to threats of regulations, they only respond to the threat of loosing cold, hard cash.

    Whine about higher prices all you want, at the rate second-rate medical schools are pooping out docs these days, how would you feel when one of them sews a clamp into you after sugery? Would you say: Oh I dont think I will sue you for more than the cost of my recovery bills as I lay feverish and exhausted from infection. Blah Blah Blah.

    Yeah, I am sure you will be a real trooper to help out your poor persecuted negligent doctor.

    BTW, it still does not change the fact that Thrasher does not live in the district he intends to represent. I dont care if Jesus himself were running for office, if he has lived somewhere else until a week before the election, he is not going to be getting my vote. If he wants in the Senate so bad, he can run in his own district.

  5. Get rid of the old guard from here to Washington - there are plenty of talented people that will "now" throw thier hat into the ring - the republic has woken up and the "change" is about to begin.

    • Tort reform requires enacting laws to "reform" common law civil remedies that have withstood the test of time and revolution. Who will pay for enforcement of tort reform should it pass? I guarantee it wont be those who have so fervently sought the reform, rather it will be those future tort victims left without any rememdy for negligent actors.

  6. Former Speaker John Thrasher is a fine man and effective leader. His record of accomplishment under Gov. Jeb Bush and his legacy in public policy from Education reform, tax cutting and fighting crime through bold legislation is undeniable.

    In the 2008 Presidential election, it was John Thrasher who had the foresight to support Gov. Mitt Romney, the candidate with a proven fiscal record who was the most effective fiscal Republican as well as viable conservative running. Had other Republican leaders been as politically intuitive, this country would not be stuck with President Obama driving the nations debt up trillions of dollars, taking over everything from Mortgage companies to the Auto indutry and now attempting health care.

    What we need now in Tallahasee are proven effective leaders with a record of success. A state senate seat is a coveted position because of the power it wields; but there are serious responsiblities which come with this position. In this economy, it's imperative Duval voters not send a man without experience in the FL legslature, who does not possess a vision for publc policy, will need on the job training, or would not command the respect of his colleagues. Additionally, if elected, John Thrasher brings with him the real possiblity of giving Duval County another Senate President from Jacksonville and would ensure this district is served well.

    John Thrasher was recently endorsed by conseravtive Republicans such as FL's 800lb gorilla, Gov. Jeb Bush who left office with a 65% approval raitng after serving 8 years, & superstar Rep. Aaron Bean, an 8 year legislator from Nassau County formerly in the Duval delegation. Bean also has an impeccable conservative legislative record and much more so than any candidate running.

    Speaker Thrasher is being attacked precisely because he would be an effective conservative. And this is exactly why Duval voters should elect him for the Florida Senate in District 8. He would be a formiable and unapologetic advocate for North East Florida.

    • Has he gotten around to moving into "his" future district yet?

      This is such a sickening power play by the Party GOB's I want to puke.

  7. Whatever you think of him, the ads against him are working.

    I spoke with a co-worker today and this race came up. He is not a follower of politics, but he replied "Oh, the guy who flew to texas for a desk."