Rod Smith and Jim Davis went at each other Tuesday during a telephone forum hosted by Florida Public Interest Foundation.
Davis continued his assault on the Florida Legislature (i.e. Rod Smith) saying it came "recklessly close" to undermining the state-federal relationship to cleanup the Everglades by approving a bill that weakened pollution standards. He called himself the only candidate - "as a parent" - who voted to put class size reduction in the state constitution. Yet Smith was quick to say he lead opposition against Gov. Bush and others who wanted to ask voters to reverse that decision. Smith noted that U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the force behind the constitutional amendment, has endorsed him and not Davis.
In closing statements, Davis said he has never lost an election - "This is my lucky 13th" - and called Smith a "very worthy" opponent. But he said he was running to restore "desperately needed balance and vision in our state. I will as governor do what I have in Washington and Tallahassee, which is make sure the voice of every Floridian - Democrat, Republican and independent - is again heard in our state government."
Smith attacked Davis' history of missed votes and bottom-dwelling rating of effectiveness by Congress.org. (It's a dubious group, however, according to this report.) "We've heard him complain consistently about what we've done in Tallahassee. But I have to tell ya: The way you get things done is you go to work each day and you do your job. This is going to be a race, in the end, about who's been effective and who has the ability to carry through. I've passed major legislation. I've been successful in everything I've done ..."