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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott's argument: Florida public finance law is flawed like those in other states



Hoping to be the second of three states to persuade a judge to throw out the millionaire's provision of state campaign finance law, lawyers for Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott on Tuesday argued that the Florida law is likely to die if it ever gets to the U.S. Supreme Court because it unconstitutionally infringes on his First Amendment rights.

But U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle, a Democrat and Clinton appointee, raised the question of whether Scott's attorney, Enu Mainigi, was comparing apples and oranges. He noted that the federal law that was struck down did not apply to a public campaign finance statute but instead was designed to protect Congressional candidates facing millionaire opponents. The state's public financing law, he said, "serves a compelling anticorruption function."

The hearing was interrupted when a lawyer for the Florida Secretary of State, Daniel Nordby, appeared to be confused and stumbled while speaking. Paramedics were called, they determined his vitals were fine, and the hearing is scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. Nordby told his colleagues he hadn't eaten anything this morning.


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


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