Sunday, July 25, 2010

Negative Campaigning in GOP Governor Primary

Republican voters continue to be turned off by Rick Scott's negative campaign tactics.

But a number of parishioners thought it relevant. Mark Cowart, a top GOP activist who is supporting rival Bill McCollum, approached Scott afterward and asked him to stop with the false and misleading attacks."I think the ads are pretty devastating," he said. "We are going to destroy our chance in the fall ... and give this to Alex Sink."

Bill McCollum has been an equal offender. Neither Scott or McCollum are suddenly going to morph into Cato Institute senior fellows and have wonky discussions about policy. Both candidates are going negative to run from their records. In Scott's case, it is the federal convictions and Medicare and Medicaid fraud of his health care company Columbia/HCA. For McCollum it is the Rent Boy scandal and involvement with the impeachment of Bill Clinton. McCollum told the St. Petersburg Times he is proud of attempt to remove President Clinton from office.

"I certainly gave a lot of thought to what was most important to me at the time, and that was ... the constitutional process and the rule of law prevailing, and that no man is above the law," McCollum answered. "I'm proud of what I did. I don't campaign on it, but I'm proud of it."

Bill Clinton could beat McCollum or Scott in an election without breaking a sweat. Clinton can discuss policy and make voters like him. Scott or McCollum do not have Clinton's political gifts. We can expect more negative campaigning in the GOP primary.

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