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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Karen Bowling confronts Bill McCollum



As he campaigned for more than a day in Jacksonville, it was only a matter of time before Bill McCollum was confronted by the CEO of Solantic Urgent Care, Karen Bowling, who says the Republican attorney general has unfairly and politically tarred the chain of walk-in clinics founded by his opponent, Rick Scott.

Bowling and a group of Solantic employees staked out McCollum at a Jacksonville Beach Republican Executive Committee today to chat with McCollum and boost Rick Scott by sign waving at the corner. Bowling said she wanted to go into the REC meeting, but was blocked.

"For the past week, Mr. McCollum has been out saying all kinds of things about the company that are not true. And so we showed up because we wanted… to have the opportunity to defend ourselves," Bowling said. "So I walked up and I introduced myself and invited him to have a conversation with me. So we’ll see. He says he’ll call. We’ll see if he does."

True. McCollum is whacking the company. It's affiliated with his opponent, and in politics that's fair game. And it's not like Scott has helped Bowling. Scott won't release a video deposition he gave six days before running for office. The case was settled shortly afterward.

Scott's refusal to release the depo gave Tallahassee trial lawyer and McCollum contributor Steve Andrews a window of opportunity to file a lawsuit demanding its release. The lawsuit was particularly damaging because it gave Andrews the opportunity to hurl allegations at Scott, including statements from a former Solantic Dr., Randy Prokes, who claimed the company committed Medicare fraud -- an echo of the $1.7 billion in fines that Scott's previous company, Columbia/HCA, was whacked with. Prokes won't return our calls, and at least one of the statements in his email outlining his original allegations (that Scott was banned from participating in Medicare programs) isn't true.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:19am]


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