Dan Gelber: Scott is spending millions but ‘swinging wild’ in his attacks on Crist

So the most recent web ad from Rick Scott complains that Charlie Crist flew on a plane whose owner had previously paid a civil fine for an environmental violation.

Interesting accusation coming from a guy who flies in his own plane everywhere and whose own company actually paid the largest criminal fine in U.S. history (at the time, of $1.7 billion) for stealing taxpayer money.

Almost that same day, the Scott campaign launched another stunning broadside against Crist, this time accusing Crist of moving his apartment from a higher floor in his building to a slightly lower floor without changing his address with state agencies.

I’m not making this up. The campaign called it “Breaking News” and asked in a press release: “Where is Charlie Crist’s official permanent residence? Has Charlie Crist failed to change his address with the DMV.”

The Tampa Tribune called it “swinging wild.” I call it desperation.

With his re-election just around the corner, Scott has spent upwards of $30 million to recast himself with the public. For three years he has been anti-environment, anti-school, anti-woman, anti-voting rights, anti-health care, anti-minimum wage, anti-Hispanic, anti-African American and anti-gay.

Not many people left in the room at this point.

So he has tried to take pictures with kids, or in front of scenic Florida vistas, declaring he really cares about things you care about. His campaign commercials highlight African Americans and Hispanic Floridians, as if that will make up for disrespecting them nearly every day since he was first elected.

The public isn’t buying it because after millions of dollars in ads, they still don’t like Rick.

So here comes the stupid season where the Scott campaign swings wildly, trying only to tear down the opponent, claiming Crist changes residences without telling the DMV, or that Crist puts ketchup on his hot dogs.

Truth is, the Scott campaign can’t really make convincing policy comparisons. Floridians know that Charlie wasn’t the cause of the global recession, nor was Scott the architect of the national recovery. So they are left to stupid accusations of faux scandals more likely to come from a fraternity house than a serious gubernatorial candidate.

That’s too bad because Floridians deserve better.

Dan Gelber is a former Democratic State Senator and supporter of Charlie Crist. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Dan Gelber


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