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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum has $800k left to spend



In a court filing, Bill McCollum's campaign manager, Matt Williams, disclosed that because of Rick Scott's primary challenge, the campaign began advertising on TV weeks earlier than they had planned and that the campaign has $800,000 on hand as of Saturday.

Williams' affidavit -- which is part of Scott's challenge to the state's public financing system -- says McCollum had not planned on advertising until the second week in July. Contrary to Scott's promise to stay under the $24.9 million limit, Williams said that because of the media blitz in the closing weeks of the campaign, Scott "could not keep his promise" and would break the cap.

If Scott prevails and knocks out the state financing system, it could be bad news bears for McCollum, as it seems his campaign was banking on millions in state matching funds.

"If the requested injuction (from Scott) takes effect, the Bill McCollum campaign will have to change its advertising and fund raising strategies in the crucial last six weeks before the election to offset the loss of the additional dollars it expects to receive from the state when Mr. Scott exceeds the spending cap," the affidavit reads.

UPDATE: We should also note that McCollum is in line for more than $2 million under a separate public financing law that rewards candidates up to $250 for each individual contribution from a Florida voter.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:47am]


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