GOP race for Attorney General starts to get interesting

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Okay, for those paying attention, the battle between Pam Bondi, Jeff Kottkamp and Holly Benson has always been provocative, but now n the stretch run, it's really starting to get fun.

For some political analysts, Tampa's Bondi has always been the candidate to beat.  And perhaps she still is, though all previous polls have show the race to be extremely close between her and  Kottkamp.

But the Lieutenant Governor is now hyping up a Sunshine State News survey that shows Kottkamp with a seven point lead over Bondi,29%-22%, with Benson third at 19%. Actually, "undecided " still leads, with 55% undecided at this relatively late date.

Because of that, news that any of these candidates make over the next five days, could be significant, which means one must take seriously Newt Gingrich's endorsement today of Holly Benson.  In a press release, the former House Speaker and GOP superstar said:

“I've worked with Holly, and I know she is a proven conservative that you can trust.  Because Holly worked with Governor Jeb Bush to transform Florida's Medicaid program and served as Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, she is uniquely qualified to understand the dire consequences of Obamacare for our health care system and our Constitution,” he said.

“Beyond that crucial issue, Holly understands that we must reduce unnecessary regulation and fight frivolous lawsuits in order to restore our economy.  She is pro-life, rated A+ by the NRA, and like her mentor Governor Jeb Bush, is a committed free-market capitalist.  Holly Benson will make a great Attorney General for Florida, and I encourage you to consider voting for Holly on August 24."

Meanwhile, it what might be looked at a giant leap of hubris if she doesn't win next Tuesday, Pam Bondi said today in Tallahassee that she's ready to take on Dan Gelber in the fall to be the next Attorney General.

"People came to me and people felt that I was most qualified to beat Gelber, and it's probably going to be Dan Gelber in a general election, and I'll tell you what — the more I hear about Dan Gelber, the more I learn, the last thing we need is an Eliot Spitzer-type attorney general."

It's by no means certain that it will be Dan Gelber, though a poll taken earlier this week did show him with the biggest lead so far in this race (11%).  And speaking of Eliot Spitzer, though he's still considered a somewhat disgraced figure after his extra-marital transgressions forced him to leave office in 2008, there's a reason why some serious news publications dubbed him possibly America's first Jewish President - because he was a kick-ass AG in New York going after Wall Street bad guys in breath taking prosecutions that led him to easily winning election as Governor of New York in 2006.

But back to "The Paminator."  Though the former Democrat has asserted her toughness in her television ads and talks the good GOP line on continuing the Bill McCollum led lawsuit against the federal health care reform bill and an Arizona style illegal immigration law, she does show some flexibility when it comes to the reality of why so many people are in prison - because of drugs. Speaking about that situation today, she said:

“I’ve been down there. I’ve been in the courtroom for years. Eighty percent of our crimes are drug-related, at least. I don’t care if they’re home invasions, grand theft, embezzlement. It’s all to get money for drugs.

They have completely done away with drug treatment in prison. For prosecutors it’s like spinning your wheels. You can’t lock someone away forever. They’re not getting the treatment they need. They’re getting out. And they’re reoffending,” she said.

Back to Holly Benson:  I neglected to mention that Newt's endorsement of Benson is considered to be trying to match Bondi's high profile endorsement from another Republican megastar, former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.

Speaking of Palin, I can't help but go off topic for a moment to mention her Facebook shout of encouragement to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, in the wake of the radio talk show host announcing her retirement from the airwaves after the overwhelmingly negative reaction she received to her bizarre and ugly repeated utterances of the "N-word" on her show last week.

This is not an original thought, but a Tweet that I saw earlier today that essentially mentioned how Palin wanted to tear Rahm Emanuel a new one for his unfortunate utterance of the word "retarded," earlier this year.  But she's going to stick up for somebody else using the N-word 11 times?

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