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Dems seek investigation of AG McCollum health care lawsuit

by Dara Kam | March 25th, 2010

House and Senate Democratic leaders want the state auditor general to investigate Attorney General Bill McCollum after he filed a lawsuit challenging the federal health care reforms approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Democrats accuse McCollum, a Republican who is running for governor, of using his office as the state’s chief legal eagle to promote his candidacy for governor.

“When a state official can deploy not only the vast resources of his office, but hire outside counsel at taxpayer expense to try and block millions of Floridians from finally getting access to health care, it’s time to stop and demand some accountability,” Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, said at a press conference this afternoon. “When the same state official, who happens to be a Republican, leads the charge on a national Republican mission to use health care reform as a rally cry in the upcoming elections, it’s time this legislature stops and asks how much in taxpayer money is being diverted from critical issues to advance a political agenda.”

The Dems complained that McCollum should be protecting consumers by going after pill mills and mortgage foreclosures and instead is using state funds to appeal to conservative Republican voters with the lawsuit.

“This is…for the rank political ambitions of the candidate,” Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said. Gelber is running for attorney general in a Democratic primary against Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres.

McCollum also drew flak for hiring his former business partner David Rivkin and Lee Casey with Baker and Hostetler to handle the lawsuit.

That contract is capped at $50,000 and Rivkin and Casey are charging the state $250 an hour, according to the contract with McCollum. Their normal hourly fees are $950, according to McCollum’s staff. And their fees will be shared with some of the 12 other states that have joined the lawsuit, bringing Florida’s portion to about $30 an hour, McCollum spokeswoman Ryan Wiggins said in an e-mail.

“As Attorney McCollum has said, this lawsuit is simply about the law and the Attorney General’s oath to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of Florida,” Wiggins wrote.

House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands rejected McCollum’s assertion that the lawsuit is not political.

“If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to talk to you about,” Sands, D-Weston, said.

The Dems sent a letter to House Speaker Larry Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater asking them to request the audit. But under state law, the auditor general could initiate the investigation on his own.

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14 Responses to “Dems seek investigation of AG McCollum health care lawsuit”

  1. Gary Says:

    Ask Dave Aronberg where he stands on Obama’s Race To The Top education initiative.

    Ask Ted Deutch where he stands on Obama’s Race To The Top.

    Ask Maria Sach where she stands on Obama’s Race To The Top.

    Ask Irv Slosberg where he stands on Obama’s Race To The Top.

    Ask Joe Abruzzo where he stands on Obama’s Race To The Top.

    They ALL endorse and will vote for this educational disaster.

    They seek to ONLY blame republicans but this is DEMOCRAT initiated. It’s fighting for FEDERAL FUNDS Obama is dangling at the expense of teachers.

    EVIL=both parties, but make NO mistake this is LED by DEMONcRATS.

    Vote them out.

  2. Gary Says:

    Democrats are shooting bullets through republican congressman Eric Cantor’s Richmond VA office. He has received threats in emails.

    That’s the problem with democrats they seek to demonize republicans and ignore what their own party is doing to those that oppose their beliefs.

    We don’t need politicians in office who refuse to call out their own constituents for dangerous deadly behavior.

    Democrats don’t belong in office. They condone violence to the other party.

    Republican leadership denounced violence, not so democrats. They enjoy the deadliness of their followers.

    The media only promotes democrat inciting the people, but fails to address the dangerous behavior of democrats.

  3. PFM Says:

    Gary where did you read about a the VA Congressman office getting shot at and his email threats? I have looked over all the national news and can’t find it. Wake up and get a life!

  4. Erin McKinney Says:

    These are the same people making accusations about Republicans that had the nerve to take taxpayer money in return for their votes!!!! They are the pot calling the kettle black. Paleeze!! They are now trying to take the “victim” stance in order to save their sorry arces when November comes. They can’t have it both ways. They played a nasty game, and now they have to stand aside to see the fruits of their labors. They were all willing to “take a chance for the sake of the people,” by insuring the unwanted monster of a bill was passed. Congratulations crybabies because we are not crawling away in a corner as you try to paint us with your verbal, colorful words that are meant to distort the picture that is right in front of us. We will use whatever legal means possible to let our voices be heard. We don’t need to be bought to be right. FIGHT ON Mr. McCollum!

  5. Erin McKinney Says:

    To PFM – Maybe this video will help enlighten you, as well as FAUX NEWS as ya’ll like to call it. Apologies to Gary???

  6. Cynthia Says:

    PFM Says:
    March 25th, 2010 at 2:43 pm
    Gary where did you read about a the VA Congressman office getting shot at and his email threats? I have looked over all the national news and can’t find it. Wake up and get a life!

    PFM..Of course it’s possible that the MSM is not covering this. You owe Gary an apology.

  7. William Bailey Says:

    It’s our money! The Democrats spend it like it’s thiers!! Our State has gone to hell in a hand basket!!! I for one didn’t want this Health care! I’m 52years old, and have made it this far without it! I like millions of proud Americans will vote all these lying, cheating deal makers out in November!!

  8. RUcerious? Says:

    Ahh so many clueless so little time. Why don’t one of you read the bill, just one not all ’cause I know if you all read it it would take all year, anyway the bill allows the state to opt out, so why waste money when all you need to do is opt out? Oh I know let’s waste valuable money ’cause this is a fiscal conservative state with fiscally conservative where you pay for nothing and expect everything. You’re all a bunch of freeloaders wanting to pay less and get more. If you don’t like this country I’m sure there’s room for you in Cuba.

  9. RUcerious? Says:

    They even practice your brand of extremist dictatorship government, you should feel right at home. Or maybe Uganda, or Nigeria, you’d love it there you can do anything you want till the government takes you out back and blows your heads off. Just your kind of government

  10. Edward Lynch Says:

    General Mccollum has it right. Among many other problems, this bill will add 1 million people to the roles of medicaid which will worsen an already bad budget deficit. He is doing his job and saving our state money.

  11. Tweets that mention Dems seek investigation of AG McCollum health care lawsuit | Post on Politics -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by,, Sylvia Teeters, WMNF News, Wethepeople5 and others. Wethepeople5 said: RT @FloridaJayhawk: DEMOCRATS ATTACK FLORIDA AG NOW – #tcot #gop #teaparty #ind #killthebill [...]

  12. Rob Says:

    McCollum is doing the right thing. Unlike demoncrats who continue to spin tales of utopia but through unfunded mandates from Obama and his cronies. Never do demoncrats identify how they are going to pay for all this Nanny State Welfare and when they can’t they make up rules and change our Constitution and make up new constitutional paragraphs…Dingle. November is our first chance to make change that is believable!

  13. Jon Says:

    So, fighting back and forth continues. No surprise. Until we elect more Independents to congress you will get these arguments. I love reading all the responses from Republican politicians on how they want to repeal and “fix” the bill with something else. Here’s a thought… if you hadn’t ignored such an important issue for so long you wouldn’t have to try and repeal a bill now would you?

    Both sides are despicable and it will not change until this country elects 30-40 INDEPENDENT members of Congress. Only then will the two parties wake up and smell the coffee. Send the right message to Washington, if there is an Independent running in your district, vote for them. I assure you they will take notice.

  14. House GOP leaders help McCollum shore up support for federal lawsuit | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] attempt at turning a (non-controversial) life insurance bill into a vehicle to boost his (controversial) lawsuit against the federal government over health care reforms backfired last [...]

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