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Gov's Race Preview? Sink Hits McCollum

With Charlie Crist looking more and more like the 2010 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, there's been an uptick in intensity between the pair who might be the finalists in a race to replace him.

The Florida Democrats think they've gotten some traction by tweaking Republicans for waste. Some of their initial efforts were uninspired -- targeting the poor chef and butler who work at the governor's mansion -- but now they've got Attorney General Bill McCollum on his heels for those campaign ads... I mean, public service announcements about child sex predators that look exactly like campaign ads.

Background: McCollum gave a $1.4 million no-bid contract to his own political consultant, Chris Mottola, to produce commercials in which McCollum warns parents about the dangers their children face from internet predators. It was a greedy, dastardly bit of politics by McCollum: using tax money to do a favor for a guy he'll be counting on for help in a possible 2010 governor's campaign, then creating ads that look exactly like campaign ads but that can be defended as being only about protecting children.

That defense, however, is wilting. Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who until now has mostly let her fellow Democrats attack McCollum, yesterday issued this letter to McCollum. She must think that her party's landed some shots and that she should get in one of her own.

After the jump, the ad that's got McCollum in hot water, followed by an interview the AG gave last weekend to WPBT's Issues, in which he's immediately called on to defend himself against charges of sneaky campaigning.

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Thomas Francis

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