Who Will Bill McCollum Represent?

Who Will Bill McCollum Represent?

By Tom Tillison
Orlando Political Press

The gubernatorial race in Florida has reduced state politics to little more than a circus act.  The antics have now garnered national attention, giving Floridians little reason to be proud.

Despite earlier commitments to stay neutral in primary races, the Republican Party Of Florida no longer bothers to hide it’s support of Bill McCollum and we see more and more Republican state lawmakers weighing in on McCollum’s behalf. 

Questions have also been raised about McCollum using the power of the Florida Attorney General’s office to go after his opponent, Rick Scott. 

And, special interest groups, the root of most evils in politics, have also aligned themselves entirely with McCollum, with the money flowing in so fast, from so many sources, that it will take years to determine if any election laws have been violated.

Hell, they’ve even dragged the tea party movement into the fray, preying on the weak of character within the movement to set Rick Scott up.  Is this a subjective observation?  You decide for yourself; there were two efforts, perpetrated by the same individual, with both being captured on video camera, and, lo and behold, both end up in McCollum attack ads on Scott.  Coincidence?

All of this to stop Rick Scott from upsetting the apple cart, which he was well on his way to doing.  The ‘old guard’ has circled the wagons and it’s every man, woman and child for himself as this slugfest enters the last days.  Everything in the RPOF arsenal will be unfurled in these final days in a desperate attempt to hold on to the keys to the kingdom.  Every favor will be called in and all pretense of impartiality is out the window.

Enter Mike Huckabee – Huckabee has announced that he will be in Florida tomorrow to stump on McCollums behalf, as well as district 24 candidate Karen Diebel and district 8 candidate Daniel Webster, leaving little suspense as to who the ‘establishment’ supports.  At a time when America desperately needs a break from the politics of old, the solution offered here is more of the same; career politicians. 

And, with Huckabee’s eyes set on 2012, is there any doubt as to his motivation?  You don’t get the White House without Florida.

For those in the state, including the tea party movement, who strive for a restoration of ethical behavior in the political spectrum, where principles and values mean something once again, let all this be a warning.  The power structure in this state will not go down without a fight, and that fight will be a desperate, bloody struggle to the death.  And, with unlimited resources, it is truly a David vs Goliath undertaking.

“Those who have been intoxicated with power… can never willingly abandon it.” ~ Edmund Burke 

An indication of the unlimited sources? 

A new stealthy group called the League of Florida Voters has bought a 60-second spot on Fox that is supposedly airing nationally because there are no TV slots left on Florida-only Fox channels. The group’s state report says only that it got $425,000 from the national arm, which as a 501(c)4, will not have to ever disclose who gave the money.

McCollum pulls Villages vice president Gary Lester aside – two days later, a check for $250,000 from The Villages was cut to the Florida First Initiative, one of the electioneering groups McCollum has used to respond to Scott’s barrage of television spots with more than $13 million in mostly negative ads of his own.

In fact, Florida First Initiative took in more than $583k in just two days adding to the $4.7m that it has raised from nearly every heavy-hitting special interest in the Capitol.

The biggest givers: U.S. Sugar, which chipped in $825,000 in the last two weeks – boosting its total investment in McCollum to more than $1.3 million this summer; $250,000 from Florida Power & Light; $25,000 from former House Speaker Allan Bense; $350,000 from Publix Supermarkets; and $100,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.

Walt Disney World, located in the congressional district McCollum represented for 20 years, has given at least $250,000. Those checks flowed through two Florida Chamber of Commerce committees, which collectively raised more than $2 million this summer to help McCollum, campaign reports filed Friday show.

Other large chunks of the McCollum money are tough to track because they came through other committees controlled by two state legislators: Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, the incoming House speaker who gave $975,000; and Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, who gave more than $608,000.

Before contributing to McCollum, the committees of Haridopolos and Cannon received large sums of special-interest cash from developers, insurance companies and the health industry.

Still believe that Bill McCollum will represent you in Tallahassee?

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Tom Tillison

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