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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum to grab taxpayer money for campaign, while urging austerity



Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum says Florida faces such severe budget shortfalls that everybody needs to cut back. But even as the attorney general touts his plan to freeze tax rates for local governments, he won't forgo hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for his campaign.

"There's going to be a $6 billion shortfall — or more with the oil spill — in state government alone," McCollum said in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

"I want to ask everybody to pull in that belt. Am I going to take some taxpayer-matching funds? Yes, I am, because I've got an opponent now who's a multi-, multimillionaire," McCollum said. "He's spending unlimited wealth, and I'm going to have maybe six or seven million dollars to spend."

A political newcomer with a controversial background, Rick Scott has overtaken McCollum in the polls after spending $16 million on TV and radio ads. McCollum needs every possible dollar and is taking advantage of some politically awkward opportunities, including taxpayer financing and shadowy campaign committees tied to his campaign.

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:43am]


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