UPDATE: Atwater punches back in CFO warsby Dara Kam | September 29th, 2010
UPDATE: It took just minutes for Loranne Ausley’s campaign to respond to opponent Jeff Atwater’s latest lob.
“It’s nice to welcome Jeff Atwater to the campaign, if only to defend his refusal to follow the law and audit lobbyists. Now if only he had a platform, or a defense of his $2 billion in tax hikes, or his vote for the $48 million Taj Mahal, or the $110 million private prison to nowhere, or his RPOF AmEx card. I’m sure this will all be explained in detail at the debate that he refuses to have with the real fiscal watchdog in the campaign, Loranne Ausley,” Ausley’s campaign spokesman Kevin Cate wrote in an e-mail.
After weeks of getting hammered by Democrat Loranne Ausley, Senate President Jeff Atwater has gone on the offensive in the chief financial officer battle.
Atwater’s campaign issued a press release reminding voters that his opponent Ausley sponsored a measure two years ago that would have weakened (slightly) the state’s lobbying ban prohibiting lawmakers from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
Ausley, a former state representative from Tallahassee, sponsored a bill that would have allowed lawmakers to take food or drinks worth $20 or less at government-related functions and some other affairs.
“Whether a demonstration of unrivaled hypocrisy or a severe case of amnesia, Loranne Ausley’s record is clear: she wants free lunch and she wants big-money lobbyists to pick up the check,” Atwater’s campaign spokesman Brian Hughes said in an e-mail.
Ausley’s latest shot at Atwater blamed him for failing to hire a firm to audit the lobbyist reports as state law requires.
She’s gone after Atwater for a variety of big-ticket spending items during his tenure as senate president, including a controversial appeals court, dubbed the “Taj Mahal,” that is now the subject of a grand jury investigation.