Florida Democrats aren't letting go of Adam Putnam's background check issue.
The party announced the release of a digital ad Thursday that highlights the recent stories about the Agriculture Commissioner's office's failure to review the results of more than a year's worth of a federal concealed carry background checks. (His office says two other background databases were reviewed).
"Adam Putnam created a disturbing culture of incompetence, mismanagement, and secretiveness at the Department of Agriculture — and Floridians paid the price," FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo said in a release touting the ad.
The Tampa Bay Times first reported how the Florida Department of Agriculture failed to review the results of non-criminal concealed carry background checks as tens of thousands of permit applications were processed between February 2016 and March 2017.
Putnam blasted that report, calling it "flat wrong and misleading." The Times initially reported that Putnam's office failed to conduct the check from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but it later clarified that while the checks were conducted (by another agency), the results of those checks were not reviewed by his office. The lapse led to 291 Floridians receiving permits who should not have.
Wednesday Putnam told reporters that the department has not "received information on any of the 291 having been arrested."
But Putnam's attempts to downplay the issue haven't stopped his political opponents from pouncing.
U.S. Rep Ron DeSantis, Putnam's opponent for the Republican nomination for governor, implied Saturday that Putnam's office failed to review the background checks because the commissioner was too busy campaigning for governor.
And Florida Senate Democrats called for an investigation into Putnam's office over the background check issue.
Putnam has long touted his record as a pro-gun conservative. He's made it a priority of his eight-year tenure as Agriculture Commissioner to speed up the issuing of concealed carry permits. And in 2017, Putnam famously tweeted that he is a "proud #NRASellout."
Thursday, Democrats announced that they had named their digital ad, "Sellout."
Watch it here.