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Dear Bill McCollum: Everybody is Trying to Buy Florida, Including You

While addressing the Duval County Republican Executive Committee on Monday evening, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum charged that his chief rival for the GOP nomination was attempting to buy the office of governor.

Multi-millionaire Rick Scott has spent heavily from his own funds to fuel his aggressive campaign.

McCollum fired up the crowd by saying that he was sending Rick Scott a message "that Florida is not for sale."

Sure, whatever you say.

What's ridiculous about McCollum's statement is that he's raised more than $8 million directly and millions more through 527 groups. The largest chunk of that money is being pumped into television ads smearing Scott and promoting McCollum.

Scott is attempting to buy the office with millions of dollars of his own money.  McCollum is attempting to buy the office with millions of dollars of other people's money.

And Alex Sink is doing the same thing.

Does it really matter?

I guess it depends on how you look at it. If Scott is elected, he won't really owe favors to any donors, while McCollum will spend much of his first term paying back those who've given so generously to his campaign.

McCollum at Monday's Duval REC Meeting (photo by Stephen Butters)

You don't think someone drops $100,000 on a 527 group to run negative TV commercials out of the goodness of their heart, do you?

The only candidate who isn't trying to "buy" the office is Bud Chiles, who's independent candidacy has raised very little money during his first few months in the race.  Of course Chiles is attempting to win the election by trading on his famous name, so maybe he's "buying" it in a different way.

What would be really nice is if these candidate would put away their swords, stop saying laughable things like "Florida is not for sale" and actually just debate each other based on the facts.

But it's not going to happen.

At least the first round of this nonsense will be over in a few days.

11 Responses »

  1. A debate would surely have shed light on both candidates and given voters a real perspective. Other than the nasty ads which hit a new low this cycle in the governor race, the lack of a statewide debate in that race was the most disapponting factor and the voters are the losers.

    I still hope Mr Scott changes his mind on this vital issue.

  2. McCollum is still to TAXING. Sink will do the bidding of Obama. Chiles will go the route of his daddy and it will be his way or the highway. Remember the stupid he coon remarks by Lawton that did not mean a damn thing. Maybe Scott wants to repent his sins of the past and do the Florida voters right?
    It boils down to God help us.

  3. A state-wide debate would have been a waste of time. In case you didn't follow any of the coverage of the initial 2 debates, it basically consisted of Bill McCollum yelling at Rick Scott and hurling personal, unverifiable and distorted insults at Rick Scott, while Scott was attempting to disarm those insults and stay on message the best he could. Waste of time and the voters would have been worse-off had it happened.

  4. Great commentary. Same thing in the Senate race.

    Here's the problem. When it stops working, they will stop doing it. Seems like y'all are just as frustrated with the system as some of the folks on the other side that I know. But how do we stop it? How do we make sure this doesn't work? It has become the standard in politics. Setting aside partisanship for a second, look at Thrasher. Last cycle, during the special, FJA and the trial attorneys spent somewhere between 3-6 million dollars against Thrasher. Didn't work. Thrasher uses the same technique in the primary(waiting to see the results) and if he wins, expect the teachers and TA's to do the same thing all over again.

    There is no real debate, no discussion. As a dem, its infuriating to have a candidate in that race that says that SB8 was bad...but what is the alternative? What is the plan? To leave the education system as it is and just let it work itself out?

    Campaigns used to be about issues. Now it's 527's and TV ads. I share your lamentation. We may disagree on every policy issue in the world, but we agree that the level of discourse has sunk to a place where we don't recognize it anymore. That's not just bad for those of us who are junkies, it's bad for our communities, our state and our nation.

    Thanks for calling them out.

  5. Stupid people need stupid ads to get their warm fuzzy feeling about who to vote for. Stupid ads cost big bucks. Big bucks often come with strings. Only way to end this is to have a voter qualification test on basic government, economics and candidates or we can continue the present foolishness that even got several of the 911 terrorists registered to vote..

    • Voter qualification tests? The 9/11 hijackers were intelligent people - that's why they were so successful at being destructive. Literate people can still be insane out of their gourds.

  6. McCollum has been on every ballot sense i have voted and i will be damn if i will vote for him again. he Is part of the problem , as for me i wish i could vote NONE of the above.

  7. I listened to McCollum's speech, at the REC meeting, I believe I was the only one in the crowd who didn't jump to their feet with wild cheers after "every sentence" he uttered. Sorta believe if the man had suggested he liked "mashed potatoes" it would have been similarly "greeted". Scott was definitely the enemy.

    Frankly the speech was boring, while he was going over his past kudos and whatever, I think the only thing he left out was when he was a member of Cub Scout Den number...... This plus to fact, I didn't know, until he humbly admitted it, he was old Ron's "right hand man" and with the help of an unnamed senator pushed the entire program through Congress.

  8. Scott never says anything if it hasn't been pre-scripted by his handlers. He seems to forget that transparency and openness are important in public discourse. Businesspeople seem to often run for public office and say that they want to "run government like a business". What they're forgetting is that while a business may be run as an autocracy, governments in the United States are supposed to be democratic, and therefore nothing whatsoever like what they're used to. They do not make the decisions; the people make the decisions and give them permission to take certain actions.

    We, the people, do not owe deference to our public officials; on the contrary, they owe us their respect and time. Scott seems to have an ego problem with this, thumbing his nose at voters who ask inconvenient questions.

    Scott may do well in whatever business position he comes from, but it doesn't mean that he would be a terribly worthwhile governor. I disagree with McCollum on many issues, and he is a career politician, but at least he is familiar with the correct way that political process works.

    • You are wrongfully assuming that the different media outlets are one-and-the-same with "we the people." That is not the case. I have never heard Rick Scott not answer a legitimate question from an individual.