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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tom Feeney's 30-second mea culpa



Feeneyscreen Five years after he was embroiled in scandal with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney is saying sorry -- on TV.

In a highly unusual ad, which begins tomorrow and will run for 10 days, the Oviedo Republican says he made a "rookie mistake" by going on a golfing excursion to Scotland with the now-bête noire of Washington.

Feeney notes that he eventually reported and paid for the trip. "I embarrassed myself. I embarrassed you. And for that, I'm very sorry," Feeney, sitting at a kitchen table, says over calming piano music.

The timing can mean only one thing: Feeney is deeply worried about being re-elected. It comes on the heels of internal polling released by his opponent, Democrat Suzanne Kosmas, showing a dead heat.

"We know the Kosmas campaign is going to make an issue of this 5-year-old story and Tom, once again, wants to be pro-active and straightforward about it," said his spokeswoman Pepper Pennington. Kosmas' response to the ad is here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:50am]


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