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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 asmith@sptimes.com and followed on Twitter at AdamSmithTimes.

Winner

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.

Loser

of the week

Alex Sink. Between the RentBoy.com 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]
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