Donna Barrow: ‘Bill McCollum a Politician or a Public Servant?’
I keep hearing candidate for governor of Florida Rick Scott’s TV and radio campaign commercials calling his opponent, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a “30 year politician.” Well I see it differently. I see Bill McCollum as a “30 year public servant.” Contrary to what many people think, all politicians are not bad and McCollum is truly one of the “good guys.”
In a recent Washington Times article Quinn Hillyer said the following:
“After first being elected to Congress in 1980, Mr. McCollum was not just vaguely conservative, but a real member of the conservative movement, compiling a 20-year rating of 89 from the American Conservative Union. He was excellent on taxes (national supply-side leader Steve Forbes has endorsed and actively campaigned with him), solid against government waste, strongly for free enterprise, an ace for gun rights and perfectly pro-life. But Mr. McCollum, an officer in the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps for 23 years, clearly made his biggest mark on issues of law, order and counter-terrorism, where he was perhaps the single most effective long-term leader in the House and authored four of the anti-crime provisions of the 1994 Contract with America.
"As attorney general, Mr. McCollum has fought against encroachments from the big-money liberal plaintiffs' bar. He sponsored and shepherded through the legislature a bill to limit and make transparent the contingency fees that outside lawyers get paid when they file suits on behalf of state taxpayers - thus, of course, leaving more for the taxpayers themselves. And, most important to conservatives nationwide, he organized and leads the 19-state coalition of attorneys general who are suing to have the horrendous mandates in Obamacare be adjudged unconstitutional.”
In my mind and I would hope in the mind of most Florida voters, a public servant with this kind of record does not deserve to be savaged.
Hillyer’s article continues, “Even in an age of hardball politics, the Scott ads have been so below the belt as to be the political equivalent of rape. One ad slammed Mr. McCollum's pro-life credentials by saying he had accepted "thousands from lobbyists for Planned Parenthood." So unfair was the charge that Politifact gave this ad a 'Pants on Fire' rating. Why? Because the lobbyists in question gave just $1,000 in each of the two years of 1997 and 1998 to Mr. McCollum - two full years before they did any lobbying for Planned Parenthood. To tie Mr. McCollum to Planned Parenthood in this way is akin to blaming a corner grocery store for selling bubble gum to a teenager who three years later robs a bank.”
While I understand that there exists in our country today an extremely strong anti-incumbent sentiment, I urge the voters of Florida to stop and take a deep breath. Think about what you are doing before you believe everything the Rick Scott campaign is broadcasting.
I am not suggesting for whom you should vote. I am suggesting that you look and listen with skepticism. If there is one politician who does not deserve this kind of dishonest attack it is Bill McCollum. If there is one politician that the people of Florida have a long record to judge it is Bill McCollum. I am only asking that you judge him and his record fairly.