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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Haridopolos' challenge: Debate me, John McKay



Haridpolos_4 Sen. Mike Haridopolos this morning challenged his Amendment 5 rival, former Senate President John McKay of Bradenton, to at least 10 debates across the state.

But McKay is skeptical of a "dog and pony show."

"I'm a private citizen so I doubt my schedule is as flexible as Sen. Haridopolos might desire," he told the Buzz. "I'm not in the campaign business. I don't think I want to get into a dog and pony show."

Still, McKay said he is open to some forums with opponents of the so-called tax swap, just not as many as Haridopolos envisions. (audio from today's press conference is here.)

"I would be happy to debate this issue with him but there has to be more people than just me involved."

Amendment 5 is commonly known as the "tax swap" and was put on the ballot by the state Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.

It calls for eliminating most school property taxes and replacing them with a 1 cent or more increase in the sales tax and an array of other revenue sources, including budget cutting or eliminating sales tax exemptions.

Haridopolos floated the idea during a news conference at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee, where he formally announced the coalition seeking to defeat Amendment 5.

He said if McKay chooses not to participate, opponents will still travel the state and talk against the ballot proposal.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:25am]


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