Social Security Takes Center Stage in CD13 Race

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 14, 2014 3:55 AM
Alex Sink and David Jolly

Alex Sink and David Jolly

The battle for an open congressional seat in Pinellas County turned to Social Security this week as candidates looked to go on the attack with less than a month to go. Democratic candidate former state CFO Alex Sink, Republican David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby clash in the March 11 special election for the congressional seat held for decades by the late U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) turned up the heat on Jolly over Social Security. Earlier in the week, House Majority PAC, a national super-PAC looking to flip the U.S. House from the Republicans to Democrats, launched a television commercial bashing Jolly on Social Security.

On Thursday, the DCCC turned its focus to James MacDougald, who is serving as a finance co-chairman for Jolly. MacDougald, a retired business leader from St. Petersburg, founded Free Enterprise Nation to pursue free-market solutions in regard to public pension reform and other issues. In his various writings, including his book “Unsustainable," MacDougald has pushed for Social Security reform and backed the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education. During his time as a lobbyist, Jolly worked for MacDougald, though he has insisted that he had different views on Social Security.

“Special-interest lobbyist David Jolly has spent his career protecting unfair tax breaks for corporations and the ultra-wealthy while making Pinellas seniors, veterans and middle class families pay more,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the DCCC on Thursday. “Lobbyist Jolly has spent years pushing his millionaire benefactor’s radical agenda in Congress, and his own tea party ideology is just as out of touch with the values of Pinellas families. It’s just more proof that we can’t trust special-interest lobbyist David Jolly.”

But the Jolly camp is pushing back on Social Security, noting that the House Majority PAC ad from earlier this week featured the logo of the AARP which had nothing to do with it and would not endorse it. On Wednesday evening, Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for Jolly, called for Sink to denounce the House Majority PAC ad.

“This ad is not only flat out false in its distortion of David Jolly’s positions, but it uses the well-known senior advocacy group AARP in an attempt to scare Pinellas seniors,” said Bascom. “This is typical Washington-style politics and scare tactics that should not be tolerated in this race for the future of Pinellas County. Alex Sink has said that she wanted to put politics aside in this race, and now is the time to see if she actually believes that. With the AARP coming out today saying it had no part in the ad, we pose the direct question to Sink: Do you support the ad or will you call on the House Majority PAC to pull the ad down now that the AARP has come out against the ad?

"And, if she refuses to say whether or not she supports or condemns the ad, the local media should hold her accountable and report the truth,” Bascom added. “David Jolly has long said that he will support preserving Social Security for our seniors. Alex Sink knows this and so does the Nancy Pelosi-backed special-interest group that is behind this misleading ad. This ad is an insult to all voters in CD 13, especially seniors.”

Jolly is also getting help from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who recorded a robocall supporting him for the YG Network which is being run in the district. Rubio campaigned with Jolly at a senior center in Seminole on Monday.

"Florida families and seniors can count on David Jolly to help grow our economy and protect vital programs like Social Security and Medicare," Rubio says in the robocall.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (1)

7:00PM FEB 14TH 2014
I like Alex Sink.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.