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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’

Dems kick Haridopolos’ U.S. Sen bid right out of the gate

Monday, December 6th, 2010 by Dara Kam

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee didn’t waste any time slamming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, a GOP U.S. Senate hopeful who’s just taken over the helm of his chamber.

Before Haridopolos has even officially announced his intention to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in two years (if, as expected, Nelson seeks reelection), the DSCC lashed out at the Merritt Island Republican for violating the state’s ethics laws.

“Mike Haridopolos’ arrogance reached a new level when he kicked off a likely Senate bid by pleading guilty to breaking Florida ethics laws,” DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy said in a statement today. “If Haridopolos’ miserable first week as a likely candidate is any harbinger for the future, he’s got a lot of explaining to do to Florida voters.”

Haridopolos, a college teacher whose courses include government, and the state Commission on Ethics reached an agreement about his failure to accurately fill out his financial disclosure forms for five years.

His punishment? Nothing, thus far.

Haridopolos’ own chamber and fellow senators will have to decide whether their leader must face a fine or other penalty for failing to identify the clients that paid him as a political consultant.

Sen. John Thrasher, who is also the head of the state GOP, is chairman of the Rules Committee that will make the final decision on whether to mete out any fiscal or other reprimand. Haridopolos appointed Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, to head the committee before he entered the stipulation agreement with the ethics commission.

Read the joint agreement here.

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