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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

Convention Winner of the week: Dick Beard and Al Austin. Others would have given up long ago, but these Tampa businessmen and GOP money-raisers never stopped pressing for a GOP convention and their perserverance paid off last week. Congratulations. Now get back to work raising the dough to make it happen. Runners up: Loranne Ausley and Scott Maddox, who suddenly look like real contenders for CFO and agriculture commissioner in a Mason-Dixon poll released last week. The bad news for them is that money mattters much more than polls of races no one is paying attention to. And as of March 31, Republican CFO candidate Jeff Atwater had  $1.95-million on hand compared to $347,000 for Ausley. Adam Putnam had nearly $1.2-million on hand, while Maddox had $314,000.

Loser of the week: Bill McCollum. He’s contorting himself over Arizona’s tough immigration law, Bbillmcc and he’s having to explain why he urged the state to hire an anti gay “expert” who, when not attacking the notion of same-sex couples adopting children, was using a gay escort service. Meanwhile, a money bags GOP rival, Rick Scott, has shaved 26 points off McCollum’s poll numbers. Virtually everybody knows McCollum, but Mason-Dixon’s latest poll showed only 38 percent of likely Republican voters backing him. Ouch.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:38am]


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