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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sink swings at Lee



Democratic CFO candidate Alex Sink came out swinging at Republican Tom Lee at a Florida Chamber of Commerce debate today in Miami. She blamed the legislature for talking about fiscal conservativism while shifting tax burden to local homeowners and she blamed Lee for taking baby steps on insurance when "We needed a giant leap for mankind to get this problem solved." But she was particularly ticked off by a new Lee ad hitting the airwaves:

"Alex Sink talks about cutting spending, but hides her past. Sink proposed raising taxes on phone bills, electricity cable TV. Even tried raising college tuition 10% every year for ten years. Imagine what she would do to our property taxes." The ad refers mainly to Sink's work on a couple business groups in the mid 1990s (alongside some Republican heavy hitters like Chuck Charles Cobb) that advocated taxing utilities to fund school construction, and raising university tuition over 10 years to cover 50 percent of instuctional costs. In Hillsborough, she also served on a group pushing a half-penny sales tax increase to fund school and criminal justice programs.

"Many of you in this audience know me, you've worked with me,'' Sink told the Chamber crowd. "How could I be the president of the state's largest bank and had a 26-year banking career and not be a fiscal conservative?"

Said Lee: "You've run as an outsider, as someone who's not been involved in public policy, but you have been exceedingly involved in trying to shape public policy. I've represented you in the senate for the last 10 years, and I know the political activity that you've been involved in. And you've advocated the increase of taxes, the increase of tuition. You're attempting to run as a conservative because you know that's popular in this state, but that's not who you are."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:33am]


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