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Our Pick: McCollum for Governor

The sad truth is that the Republican gubernatorial primary has been painful to watch.

Conservative activist and multi-millionaire Rick Scott entered this race with little name recognition, but with massive financial resources. His television ad blitz rocketed him into
contention, and eventually the lead.

In their advertising, the Scott campaign pulled no punches. They painted Attorney General Bill McCollum as a career politician who has made the majority of his living off the public dime, as a Congressman for two decades and now as Attorney General. And they were correct.

Scott’s ads were occasionally misleading, particularly as they attempted to paint McCollum as soft on illegal immigration. He’s not.

Returning fire, the McCollum campaign has practiced scorched earth politics with whatever money they could muster. The use of “independent” 527 groups and Republican Party of Florida resources has helped fuel a resurgence for McCollum.

The charges that Scott’s former company, Columbia/HCA, defrauded taxpayers are very much grounded in reality. While claims that Scott “personally profitted from abortions” are misleading and embarrassing.

Scott’s own background as the head of hospital chain Columbia/HCA raises serious ethical questions. But more serious in our view was the candidate’s refusal to engage McCollum in a true
statewide debate.

Are these two men the best choice that the Republican Party has to offer voters? Probably not.
The root of that problem goes back to early 2009, when then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist announced he was running for U.S. Senate. That decision set a chain reaction of candidates scrambling up the ladder.

Just as quickly, Jim Greer and the Republican Party of Florida attempted to step in and close down the primary system. They unsuccessfully pressured Marco Rubio to get out of the Senate race, talked Charles Bronson out of running for Governor and generally attempted to shut the
door on contested primaries as a way to conserve resources for the general election.

State Senator Paula Dockery was the first candidate to buck Greer and attempt to challenge McCollum, but her campaign found fundraising to be nearly impossible when the party’s
leadership had already decided who they would support.

Rick Scott was one of the few people who could actually mount a challenge to McCollum, because he’s paying his own way.

Whichever way this race goes, Republicans will need to rally around the winner of the primary in a big way. Either of these men would be vastly better for our state than likely Democratic nominee Alex Sink.

Rick Scott’s inability to speak in anything but scripted sound bites has worn thin.  Bill McCollum has a long record as a capable public servant. He’s right on the issues that matter and voters
actually know who they’re voting for.

He may not be exciting or a particularly visionary figure, but he’s clearly the safest choice for
Republicans, and likely has the best chance of defeating Sink in November.

We endorse Bill McCollum.

14 Responses »

  1. Excellent choice! :)

  2. Hurlbut! It's so unfortunate that these two willy wonkas are the best Florida has to offer!

  3. And what happened to any explanation why McCullom is better than Sink? I am so tired of bias being disseminated as valid opinion. Ms Sink is above all of this slanderous holiwog. She is too busy in office serving the state of Florida in a beneficial way. Saving the taxpayers money, cracking down on poorly run Citizens insurance and in general improving our state's government. What has McCullom done? Promoted himself and his very very conservative views that do not necessarily reflect the views of many parts of our state. Didn't we learn our lesson with George W? Too conservative got us into a lot of trouble. Wake up folks and use your brains, not the tv ads or biased reporting agencies. Wonder why I am only your 3rd response in this blog? People are beginning to think for themselves and stop listening to garbage views.

  4. I expected an endorsement piece to be pro-candidate instead of anti-other-guy but that seems to be the typical story with McCollum endorsements.

    As for ethical questions, how about abusing public office to smear a company and its employees to benefit your campaign?

    Or how about an Attorney General "unveiling" legislation on an issue he was against a few months ago and has been relatively silent on for the last 4 years? Also, consider that this particular piece of legislation does not see the legislature until 6 months from now.

    Or how about his close involvement to "the deal" with Jim Greer?

    These sound like ethical questions...

  5. This isn't an endorsement, this is a statement of surrender;

    "Are these two men the best choice that the Republican Party has to offer voters? Probably not...........Either of these men would be vastly better........he’s clearly the safest choice.........likely has the best chance of defeating......"

    This primary campaign has turned off the majority of the people I know, and as of now I don't think either one of these guys can get elected.

  6. "He may not be exciting or a particularly visionary figure...." GOOD !! GREAT !!! EXCELLENT !!!

    Getting rather tired of the usual ideological handicapped, jargon-speaking, blovating, snollygoster, confabulators that sit in the foremost seats of power. Let's give the quiet, capable, pragmatic, honest, guy a chance!

    You like exciting and visionary? Go watch some TV infomercials and stay away from the voting booth!

  7. Both of them have been an absolute embarrassment. Only in the last week or so has either one run any advertisements (of which I am aware) saying anything about what they stand for, they have only said how horrible is the other guy. The Democrats won't need to spend money on new ads, they can just use the ads of the loser of the Republican contest.
    So sad.

  8. Sorry Observer but just can not support the TAXING McCollum

  9. IMO... your endorsement of the career politician Howdy Doody (McCollum's look alike) undermines this publications credibility. McCollum the career politician who's been on the government teat since Columbus sailed into Saint Augustine. Your selecting Howdy Doody is comparable to endorsing Juan McCain over JD Hayworth in Arizona.

    Your endorsement of McCollum is a HUGE disappointment.

  10. McCollum lost any support I might give him, when he comes out with an off shore drilling ban on drilling closer than ten miles from shore. It is the deep water drilling that mostly is the cause (besides possible human error) that got BP into trouble. Says he is for energy independence, opposing drilling where most of the oil prospecting is best. Common sense indicates the oil is easier/cheaper to find and remove without spillage. Already proven when an accident happens the shore is going to get "fouled", distance not a safety factor but rather a hazard.

  11. We have always respected Bill McCollum, but we changed our minds because of his immigration stance and then his denial. We also don't agree with his gun policies. Then there are the tax issues. The nasty commercials really turned us off. So, we like so many others I know, despite all the national endorsements, are voting for Rick Scott.

  12. My trust for those in politics is minimal. My trust in those seeking political office is guarded. Bottom line; I beleive at some level, they are all self-serving. I can't tell you in any tangible way how my life as a citizen of Florida is any better because of Bill McCollum. I don't know how I may have been duped as a taxpayer by Rick Scott.
    This country is teetering on the brink of disaster. All I know is Bill McCollum has been, for a long time, part of what has ruined this country. He has had his chance, Time for something different.
    I diasagree with you Observer. I'm voting for Rick Scott and dare I say 'Change'.

  13. I voted early and cast my vote for Republican Mike McCalister for governor. If only the folks in Florida would look at the resumes of the three, he stands out as clearly superior. Unfortunately, just as with Paula Dockery, lack of funds will deny then any opportunity of victory. I can't understand what made Rick Scott successful in business when he is spending a thousand times more to win an office than it could pay in wages and perks in 8 years. When the primary dust clears, Bud Chiles will be my choice. He may be a little left of center, but if he's anything like his dad, he'll be way better for Florida than the other clowns running for office.