Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sink says yes class-size tweak, Internet tax

Alex Sink isn’t making the mistake her husband made in 2002 over the class-size amendment.

Associated Press

Alex Sink isn’t making the mistake her husband made in 2002 over the class-size amendment.

Back in 2002, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride hurt himself by constantly refusing to say how he intended to pay for the class-size reduction mandate being pushed by then-state Sen. Kendrick Meek.

Looks like McBride's wife, Alex Sink, is not going to make the same mistake of trying to be cagey about the class-size amendment that passed over Jeb Bush's objections. Sink wants it softened so that class-size requirements would be based on a schoolwide average rather than hard classroom counts.

"I support the amendment that will be on the ballot this fall that permits flexibility," Sink said in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9.

That amendment is opposed by U.S. Senate candidate Meek and the Florida Education Association.

Sink also said in the interview airing at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. that she would support a sales tax on Internet purchases, so long as the overall sales tax rate was reduced to make it revenue-neutral.

Sink supports the death penalty but acknowledged she is concerned about Florida's status leading the nation in wrongful death penalty convictions.

"One of the things I will do as governor is put together a commission that will review and evaluate our system and assure me as governor that it is a fair system."

Scott or McCollum? Tough call for Sink

So if you're Alex Sink (whose pollster, Dave Beattie, predicted Rick Scott would win the GOP nomination almost from the get-go), what's going through your mind now that Scott has pulled ahead of Bill McCollum in the Republican gubernatorial primary? Would you rather face McCollum, the quintessential career politician who fully understands Florida and rarely makes mistakes, or Rick Scott, who has immense baggage but is capable of spending tens of millions of dollars without breaking a sweat?

It's hard to make the case that McCollum is the stronger candidate at this point. He's already spent a fair amount of money trying to cast Scott as a fraud, and it apparently hasn't accomplished much against the flood of Scott ads, except raise McCollum's negatives.

If you watch TV, you know about Scott

If you haven't seen a Scott-for-governor commercial yet, you must not watch television. Through June 16, he has spent more than $14 million on TV and radio ads. Bill McCollum, his rival for the GOP nomination, has spent just $804,000. A stealth political committee connected to the McCollum campaign has spent more than $1.8 million on ads attacking Scott.

Now another committee associated with McCollum, the Gainesville Florida First Initiative, has bought more than $600,000 in TV time for this week. The ads are expected to attack Scott, but the McCollum campaign refuses to discuss who is funding that effort.

Add a tea partier to state's Senate race

Move over Marco Rubio, there's another tea party candidate for the Senate: Alex Snitker, the Libertarian nominee from Pasco County, who is generating considerable grass roots enthusiasm.

"We must support those candidates who will support the Constitution. We must embrace candidates who will fight for the rights of every American. We must vote for candidates who will enact sound fiscal policies," former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr said in endorsing Snitker last week. "I have had the opportunity to meet Alex, and I've watched him build his campaign into perhaps the most viable and visible Libertarian candidacy in Florida's history. He has managed to build an army of volunteers, and has made truly amazing progress with limited resources."

Adam Smith can be reached at and followed on Twitter at AdamSmithTimes.


of the week

Rick Scott. Nobody had heard of him a couple of months ago, but after $14 million in TV and radio ads, the controversial health care executive last week officially became the front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Scott leading Attorney General Bill McCollum by 13 percent.


of the week

Alex Sink. Between the scandal and Rick Scott's surge, the last few weeks have been brutal for Bill McCollum. But rather than enjoy the tough GOP primary, Sink suddenly faces a very real threat that independent candidate Lawton "Bud" Chiles could siphon off enough Democratic votes to deliver the Governor's Mansion to Scott or McCollum.

Sink says yes class-size tweak, Internet tax 06/12/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 12, 2010 7:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was curious how he would feel — and perform — in Friday's exhibition against Nashville, his first game since mid-November knee surgery.

    The Lightning’s Alex Killorn, left, makes his preseason debut and has an assist in a 3-1 win against the Predators at Amalie Arena.
  2. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  3. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.
  4. Investigators reviewing HHS chief's private charter flights


    WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers' dime for official business.

  5. FSU gives president John Thrasher a pay bump as its academic standing rises


    TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State University moving closer to becoming a top-25 public university, the school's trustees on Friday bumped up President John Thrasher's salary by 7 percent and awarded him a $200,000 bonus.

    Florida State University President John Thrasher, center, is surrounded by lawmakers in 2016 as he visits the Florida Senate. Thrasher on Friday received a pay increase to go with the university's increased academic standing, including in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of public universities. FSU ranks 33rd this year, and is aiming for a top-25 spot. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]