David Jolly and Alex Sink Go After Each Other's Fundraising Links

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 6, 2014 3:55 AM
Alex Sink and David Jolly

Alex Sink and David Jolly

Both Republican David Jolly and Democrat former state CFO Alex Sink are heading out of their Pinellas County district as they raise money for the March 11 special election and both sides went on the attack on Wednesday.

Sink headed to Washington on Wednesday for a major fundraiser at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) headquarters. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the DNC, helped host the event. So did members of the House Democratic leadership including U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. The DNC hosted an earlier fundraiser for the defense community with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s, D-Fla., support.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) looked to link Sink to Pelosi on Wednesday.

“Instead of lining her pockets with money from Nancy Pelosi, lobbyists, and Washington special interests, Alex Sink should be talking to voters about where she stands on the issues,” said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, Sink can’t explain her support for Obamacare or why she wants to give President Obama a blank check without being laughed right out of Pinellas County. Alex Sink is proving to be a hypocritical politician that Pinellas families can’t trust.”

The NRCC also looked to tie Sink to President Barack Obama’s health care law on Wednesday after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave it low marks. Prill pointed to the headline of the front page of Wednesday’s Tampa Bay Times which read “Obamacare’s toll on jobs.”

“Alex Sink’s campaign was just delivered a devastating blow with the latest CBO report that shows Obamacare will destroy 2 million jobs throughout the country,” Prill insisted. “Pinellas families couldn’t understand why Sink would continue to support this law when it has already cut Medicare for seniors. But now, with the loss of 2 million jobs due to this law, Sink support is a bridge too far and might have just sunk Sink’s campaign.”

The Jolly campaign also cited the headline and went on the attack against Sink over the law, which remains unpopular in Florida according to the poll.

“The front page of today’s Tampa Bay Times is devastating for Alex Sink and her campaign for Congress, but it is even more devastating for the people of Pinellas,” said Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for Jolly. “Sink’s support of this dysfunctional health care law has always been baffling, but now with the news that it will also destroy 2 million jobs across the country, her continued support is indefensible. Alex Sink is wrong for Pinellas County and has shown that she will put President Obama’s agenda before the needs of Pinellas County’s families and residents. It’s time for Alex Sink to explain to Pinellas voters why she supports this law when it’s forcing people to lose their health care coverage, pay more for coverage and now costing them their jobs.”

The Sink team fired back on Wednesday, noting Jolly was attending a fundraiser in Tallahassee that day with the backing of Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP leadership. Scott defeated Sink in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

“We can only guess how much cash Alex’s opponent is going to raise off of the tea party governor’s support -- but you can be sure it’s going to be a huge number,” the Sink campaign emailed supporters on Wednesday. “Every last dollar Jolly and the governor raise will go directly toward airing deceitful attacks against Alex’s record -- ads designed to distract Pinellas voters from David Jolly’s career as a Washington lobbyist.”

Even as Sink hobnobbed with the DNC and prominent Democratic leaders, the Democratic Congressional Committee (DCCC) looked to tie Jolly with the budget proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Pointing to Jolly’s recent admission that he did lobbying work for the Ryan budget, the DCCC went on the attack on Wednesday.

“Washington lobbyist David Jolly’s shocking admission that he lobbied on the radical Ryan budget for an extreme group whose founder supported privatizing Social Security is just the latest sign that seniors can’t trust lobbyist Jolly,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the DCCC. “It’s already clear that lobbyist Jolly would balance our budget by making seniors pay more – turning Medicare into a costly voucher program and forcing seniors to gamble with their retirement in the stock market – while protecting unfair tax breaks for his corporate clients and the ultra wealthy. It’s just another sign that lobbyist Jolly would do what lobbyists always do: put special interests over Pinellas and make the gridlock in Congress worse.”

Jolly, Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby meet in the special election on March 11.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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