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Sierra Club funds ad attacking West over drilling and choosing Klein

Monday, October 25th, 2010 by John Lantigua

The Sierra Club has pumped $800, 000 into last minute television ads for three Democratic Party Congressional campaigns around the country and one of them is the District 22 race in South Florida.

“With ‘Big Oil’ doing everything they can to try to buy back Congress, today the Sierra Club launched three new television ads in key congressional races – Michigan’s 7th District, Arizona’s 8th District, and Florida’s 22nd District,” said a press release by the environmental group.

In District 22, U.S. Rep. Ron Klein,D-BocaRaton, is locked in a tight race with GOP contender Allen West.

The ad being screened in South Florida pictures smoke spewing from British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded April 20 and was finally plugged Sept. 9, not before dumping millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The ad also shows a pelican covered in oil and then superimposes West next to an offshore oil rig.

“For five months BP spewed oil into the gulf – polluting Florida beaches and devastating our economy,” says the narrator. “ But Allen West still supports drilling for oil off the Florida coast. And West says he ‘sees nothing about the situation in the Gulf that will change his mind’”

“No wonder West received thousands in contributions from oil companies,” continues the ad. “Ron Klein has a better way – protect our beaches and develop alternative energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Ron Klein for Congress.”

The Klein/West race is believed to be the most heavily financed Congressional contest in the nation.
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Ausley debuts new ad

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 by John Lantigua

Democratic candidate for chief financial officer Loranne Ausley introduced a new television ad Tuesday that rips her opponent, Republican Jeff Atwater, for what it calls “pay to play contracts” issued under his watch as Senate president.

The ad depicts an actor playing Atwater in the office of the Senate president welcoming a series of visitors who each hand him an envelope and shake hands enthusiastically. A voice over enumerates instances of what the Ausley campaign considers questionable spending decisions in which Atwater participated.

Those instances include $48 million spent on a new 1st District Court of Appeals courthouse in Tallahassee, which has been attacked for its luxurious details and is derisively called “the Taj Mahal.”

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Sink two-minute ad goes after Scott on fraud

Monday, October 11th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Florida Democrats are running an unusual, two-minute campaign ad slamming GOP governor candidate Rick Scott for fraud charges and fines against his health care companies.

The ad, “Fraud Files,” mimics TV crime shows and is styled as an investigative piece on the $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud fines paid by HCA/Columbia, the company Scott founded, and questions about a federal investigation into another Scott health care company, Solantic.

The ad makes much of Scott’s use 77 times of the Fifth Amendment in a deposition he made six days before announcing he was running for governor. Scott has refused to release a videotape of the deposition.

Scott’s opponent Alex Sink, the state’s chief financial officer, held a press conference in Tampa announcing the release of the ad, which will run in the Tampa Bay area during nightly news programs.

AG wars: Bondi camp calls Gelber a liar

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by Dara Kam

GOP attorney general candidate Pam Bondi’s campaign consultant called out her Democrat opponent Dan Gelber for “a distortion of the truth” in his new television ad.

In the ad, Gelber accuses Bondi of promising to “side with corporate interests” if she is elected.

“Dan Gelber’s first television ad is a disappointing distortion of the truth and in keeping with a career politician’s ‘win at all costs’ attitude. He talks about corruption but has no problem corrupting the truth. He made an allegation that wasn’t true and offered no evidence, because there is none,” Bondi campaign consultant Brett Doster said in a statement.

The ad refers to remarks Bondi’s made on the campaign trail pledging to side with the Florida Chamber of Commerce in fighting the union-backed card check issue and statements she’s made saying that “the last thing we need is an Eliott Spitzer-type” AG.

Gelber interpreted that to mean she won’t go after white-collar criminals as Spitzer, known as the “Sheriff of Wall Street,” did before he went down in flames after being caught with prostitutes.

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Gelber hammers Bondi over big business ties in first TV ad

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Dan Gelber slammed his GOP attorney general opponent Pam Bondi in his first campaign ad, accusing the former Tampa prosecutor of being too close to her business backers to go after corruption.

Bondi, who has never run for office before, won the endorsement of the state’s two biggest (and influential) business groups – the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida – in the three-way GOP primary and in the general race.

Gelber, a state senator and former federal prosecutor, has made going after public corruption one of his top priorities in the campaign.

“While she protects insiders, I’ll take them on,”

Scott slams Sink again in (yet another) attack ad

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by Dara Kam

GOP governor hopeful Rick Scott released another attack ad slamming Democrat opponent Alex Sink, continuing his negative ad campaign against the chief financial officer.

Scott’s same strategy helped him defeat Attorney General Bill McCollum in the August GOP primary. Scott spent $50 million of his own money in the primary campaign, most of it on ads attacking McCollum.

In Scott’s latest ad, he goes after Sink for spending $400,000 on travel using the state plane, holds her responsible for the state pension fund’s multi-billion dollar drop in value during the 2008 financial crisis and signing off on a $770,000 no-bid contract to her former bank.

Sink and the other Florida Cabinet members signed off on the contract based on the recommendations of the state Division of Bond Finance, she said, her investments are in a blind trust so she did not have a conflict of interest on the vote.

Atwater airs first ad in CFO race

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Senate President Jeff Atwater, the GOP chief financial officer candidate, released his first statewide television ad less than a month before the Nov. 2 election.

Atwater, in a polo shirt, stands before a chalkboard in the “Chalk Talk” ad, instructing viewers about how he supports lower taxes, smaller government and less red tape to help grow Florida’s economy.

Atwater’s positive ad makes no mention of his opponent, former state Rep. Loranne Ausley. The Tallahassee Democrat has attacked the North Palm Beach banker for his role in the legislature’s spending on a $110 million private prison that cost at least 70 prison workers their jobs and a $38 million luxury appeals court. And she hammered him for not hiring an auditing firm to scrutinize lobbyist expenditure and compensation reports.

Atwater hit back with a reminder that Ausley sponsored a bill that would have watered-down the gift ban that prohibits lawmakers from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Her bill would have allowed lawmakers to wine and dine at official functions as long as the value of the food or drinks was less than $20.

UPDATE: Fraud? Back at ya Sink, Scott says in new ad

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: Alex Sink’s campaign spokeswoman Kyra Jennings calls Scott’s ad a lie.

“This is just one more deceptive ad from Rick Scott. The facts are that this is a company Alex Sink flat-out did not run and even the lawyer from the suit mentioned in Scott’s ad said today that Alex Sink was not involved in any way. But obviously Rick Scott has a very hard time telling the truth and can’t be trusted,” Jennings said in an e-mail.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott released a new attack ad today slamming Democrat opponent Alex Sink for $6.75 million in fines her former bank was forced to pay the federal government for selling risky investments, mostly to seniors.

NationsBank and its securities division was also forced to repay $30 million to customers duped into buying the investments. Sink was head of NationsBank’s Florida operations.

Scott’s ad comes after Sink, the state’s chief financial officer, and Democrats have run ads for weeks raising questions about Scott’s role in $1.7 billion fines levied by the federal government against his hospital chain for fraud.

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