With Two Weeks Left, Attacks Continue to Fly in CD 13
Around the State
With a little more than two weeks to go in the Pinellas County special election for an open congressional seat, the leading candidates are turning up the heat with new commercials and attacks.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) launched a new television commercial on Monday, contrasting Republican David Jolly and former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate, on President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law and the need for a federal balanced budget amendment. Jolly, Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby meet in the special election on March 11.
Jolly also looked to push back against attacks from Sink on Social Security in another new television ad released on Monday. The ad features Jolly’s mother Judith and his aunt Carol Matthews.
“Alex Sink and the DCCC have taken mistruths about my stance on Social Security and Medicare and turned these misrepresentations into negative attack ads that are intentionally misleading voters,” said Jolly. “Our seniors and voters deserve better than this and I want to set the record straight about where I stand on these critical issues. If elected, I will work to guarantee Social Security and Medicare benefits for our seniors who deserve that we honor these benefits as a promise – one that we will keep. This ad features two of the most important people in my life, my mom Judith and my aunt Carol, who I want to help care for by working to ensure their benefits will not keep getting cut by the failed and broken policies of Obamacare, and which my Democrat opponent seems determined to support.”
Jolly used the occasion to continue attacking Sink.
“Alex Sink’s selfish motivation is clear – she wants to frighten seniors with mistruths for her own political gain,” Jolly said. “Millions of dollars in negative, misleading advertisements will not and should not get in the way of our voters being able to make sound decisions based on good information.
“Social Security and Medicare benefits should be considered a debt we owe our seniors, and yet policies enacted and demanded by Obamacare have undermined these benefits completely and will continue to make it harder for seniors to receive the benefits they have worked hard for and deserve,” Jolly continued. “The people of Pinellas County deserve a candidate who will put people over politics. Alex Sink seems determined to put her support of Obamacare over the health and security of our seniors, and our voters deserve the chance to see through this smokescreen and get to the truth.”
In the meantime, Allison Tant, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, urged supporters to rally behind Sink, warning them that prominent Republicans at the national level were doubling down on Jolly.
“It is ... a huge test for Florida Democrats, because Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have spent millions to try and attack Alex with mistruths,” Tant characterized the election on Monday. That’s why we've got to ensure that Alex has the strongest Get Out The Vote operation our state has ever seen for a special election.
“If Alex wins, it will send a strong message to the GOP that Floridians and Americans are sick of the tea party’s reckless agenda,” Tant continued. “A win for Alex can also show Rick Scott and his supporters just how strong Florida Democrats really are.”
Sink unveiled her plans on lobbying reform, calling for more transparency and looking to increase the period between when a former congressman or congressional staffer can lobby at the federal level. During the campaign, Sink and her team have bashed Jolly’s lobbying background.
“Washington lobbyists and special interests have too much power in D.C. – that’s why nothing gets done in Congress,” Sink said. "We need to trust that our representatives are focusing on solving the challenges that matter most to Pinellas residents – not looking out for themselves or pushing an agenda that is out of touch with our values. Transparency and accountability aren’t Republican or Democratic ideas – it’s about making sure we can trust our representative to focus on taking our voices to Washington.”
The NRCC quickly pointed toward all the lobbyist money Sink has reeled in during her congressional bid. “Alex Sink’s longstanding close relationship with lobbyists makes her new outrage over the profession very hypocritical,” Prill said on Monday afternoon. “The latest PR stunt from Sink proves that she is an out-of-touch politician who will say and do anything to get elected.”
Sink also made her pitch for Republican and independent voters by showcasing the backing of Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, a Republican who endorsed the Democrat on Sunday.
“I am grateful and humbled by Republican Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala’s endorsement of our campaign,” Sink said on Monday. “Our message of bringing Republicans and Democrats together to get things done for Pinellas County is resonating across party lines, and I look forward to taking the voices of all Pinellas residents to Washington.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.