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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can Bill McCollum beat record-$etting Rick Scott?

Rickscott Of course he can, but it's no longer remotely certain he will. Sure Scott will have to spend the next 12 weeks explaining how his company wound up having to pay $1.7-BILLION in fines and settlements for allegedly ripping off Medicare, but the McCollum campaign (much as Charlie Crist did with Marco Rubio's swelling grass roots support) made the potentially fatal mistake of ignoring Scott for weeks as he flooded Florida's TV airwaves with campaign ads.

Get this: Between April 15 and May 28, Scott will have spent $7.98-million on TV and radio in Florida. That means Scott more than doubled what Jeb Bush Mccollum spent in his lavishly funded 1994 primary and significantly topped the $6.5-million Crist spent against Tom Gallagher in 2006. McCollum has spent just $168,996, with the only non-cable buys being in Tallahassee, presumably to quiet panicky Republican donors and politicos. 

We hear unconfirmed Buzz that an independent committee is going to start carpet-bombing Scott on TV as, but if it doesn't start soon it could prove to be too late. Like Crist, McCollum has made some unforced errors - RentBoy, immigration flip-flop-flips come to mind, and now it appears even McCollum's attacks on Scott's tenure at Columbia/HCA could come off as hypocritical. At the outset, it was hard to see how Scott could get to the right of McCollum on any issue in the primary, but immigration popped up and the Scott campaign seized on it.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:39am]


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