Florida Governor's Race: No Warm and Fuzzy Ads for Now
Around the State
The battle of attack ads in the Florida governor’s race continued on Monday, with both sides unleashing their own TV spots criticizing each other for failures in Florida politics.
On Gov. Rick Scott’s side, Monday’s ad primarily focused on dispelling NextGen Climate’s allegations that the governor accepted $200,000 in campaign contributions from an oil company accused of illegal drilling activities in Florida.NextGen Climate, a super-PAC backed by California billionaire Tom Steyer, alleges Scott “drank from a fountain of campaign cash” from a company that profited off of pollution.
Not so fast, says The Republican Party of Florida.
The party’s latest ad, titled “Fiction,” says Scott accepted zip from the polluter. According to the ad, Scott even went a step further in punishing the drilling company for its activities by shutting down its oil wells.
“Fiction” then turned the tables on former Gov. Charlie Crist, saying he failed to keep his commitments on keeping the Florida Everglades clean.
When it came to the subject of polluters with ties to politicians, the party took aim at Crist for jet-setting to an environmental press conference last month on a private plane owned by James Finch, whose company has been fined twice for pollution.
“Hypocrite Charlie Crist,” says the ad’s narrator. “He’s everything you hate about Florida politics.”
RPOF Chair Leslie Dougher said President Barack Obama was using Steyer to breathe life into Charlie Crist’s failing campaign.
"Obama badly wants to save Crist, one of the only politicians in America who has fully endorsed Obamacare and says it’s ‘great,’” she said. “News reports show that right after Steyer announced his plans to spend $100 million to elect Democrats, he met with Obama’s political team at the White House. But voters will not be fooled by the complete fiction that President Obama and Tom Steyer are polluting Florida's airwaves with."
It wasn’t long after the ad’s debut that Crist’s campaign released a spot of their own, this time accusing the governor of being “too shady” for Florida.
The ad accuses Rick Scott of “ducking the truth” in every job he’s ever had. The spot features vintage footage of Scott at the time of Columbia/HCA’s 1995 lawsuit deposition, during which the ad says he pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times.
Beyond Scott’s lack of truthfulness, the ad hit the governor for cutting education funding, raising property taxes and providing tax breaks to corporations.
“Rick Scott: Just too shady for the Sunshine State,” says the narrator.
Monday’s ad blasts are just another indication that while the summer might be winding down, clashes are just getting hotter in the governor’s race.
Reach Allison Nielsen via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.