Charlie Crist is launching a new TV ad today, his second in his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor. In the new 30-second spot, Crist portrays himself as a champion of consumers who fought electricity rate hikes, price gouging after hurricanes and Medicaid fraud as attorney general.
Crist is seen on camera in a dark-colored sport shirt with Tampa Bay in the background. "When the two biggest power companies in Florida wanted to raise your rates billions of dollars, as attorney general I said no," Crist says. "We stopped a rate increase they didn't deserve and you couldn't afford."
Crist's campaign claims the AG pushed for settlements with Progress Energy in 2003 and FP&L in 2005 that saved consumers hundreds of millions of dollars; recovered more than $1.8-million in restitution or reimbursements from price gouging lawsuits during the past two hurricane seasons; and collected more than $100-million in three major Medicaid fraud cases. "I'm Charlie Crist," the ad says. "I fought for you as attorney general. I'll fight for you as governor."
One citation for the ad's claims is a Dec. 10, 2003 opinion piece by Stephen Goldstein in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (the paper's masthead and the words "fighting for justice" appear on screen). Goldstein, who regularly criticizes Republicans, praised Crist for "fighting for justice and against injustice, more obsessed with 'doing the right thing' rather than moving the state 'to the right, which (too) many of his colleagues would prefer.')
The new ad rotates with an ad that has been running for two weeks on building stronger neighborhoods and fighting crime. The ads appear in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Naples and Fort Myers.