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Heat Intensifies as GOP Pelts Alex Sink for Disparaging Immigrant Workers

February 24, 2014 - 6:00pm

With two weeks to go in the special election for a congressional seat left open by the death of U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., the pace of attacks is increasing on both major-party sides.

Appearing at a candidate forum Tuesday morning, Democratic candidate Alex Sink weighed in on immigration reform, making a pitch for the business community to support it.

Immigration reform is important in our country, Sink said. Its one of the main agenda items of the Beaches Chamber of Commerce for obvious reasons. Because we have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? And we dont need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.

The Sarasota County GOP used her comments like a gift horse. They circulated a video of Sink making them fromSaint PetersBlogand immediately labeledher racist liberal Alex Sink for her characterization of immigrants and the jobs they hold.

Sink, Republican David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby are running in the March 11 special election to represent parts of Pinellas County.

Not to be outdone, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) released a new television adTuesday attacking Jolly, just as the Jolly campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had done on Monday.

Whos behind these ads smearing Alex Sink? the narrator of the ad asks. Insurance companies and special interests. They spent millions on David Jolly. And Jollys pledged to take us back to when insurance companies charged women more than men and denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. And Jolly praised a plan ending Medicares guarantee forcing seniors to negotiate with insurance companies. They profit. We pay the price.

Both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Florida Democratic Party showcased a Tampa Bay Times piece on Tuesday which found Jolly claimed both homes in Tampa Bay and in Washington, D.C., as his primary residence. The Jolly camp insists it was a mistake on their candidates part and noted he informed the D.C. property appraiser of the mistake back in 2007.

In the meantime the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Jolly on Tuesday.

After carefully considering his legislative platform, his close working relationship with the late Congressman Bill Young and real-life experience, the Fraternal Order of Police, Florida State Lodge, is pleased to lend our name to David Jolly for his campaign, said James Preston, the president of the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police. David is right for public safety and he is right for Florida. David Jolly is a leader who understands the unique concerns of Pinellas County. He has a vision of future economic growth and prosperity for our diverse community.

I am honored to have the support of such a great organization that not only strives to cultivate the bonds between their members, but between the community and the people they serve, said Jolly. Like the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, the bond I share with my community and my neighbors is important, and if elected, I will continue to keep those lines of communication open as we work to ensure that our streets, schools and parks are safe for Pinellas County families and all future generations. I am proud to have the endorsement from our law enforcement leaders and thank them for their support.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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