Prendergast and supporters take to the front of WFLA/Tampa Tribune offices demanding a debate with Kathy Castor

"We want her to defend why she voted for ACORN, even in spite of ACORN being exposed for the fraud that it is."  That comment was referring to the vote the House of Representatives in took in 2009 to defund the group,  after conservative activists secretly produced and edited videotapes that appeared to implicate ACORN workers in several offices of facilitating prostitution.

However, months later a preliminary probe by the U.S. Government Accountability Office of ACORN found no evidence that the group had mishandled the $40 million in federal money they received in recent years.

Prendergast also slammed Castor's vote for the federal health care reform legislation.  "There's no defense for it, but she should come out and be accountable to the people of the 11th Congressional District nevertheless."

Prendergast supporters were critical of Castor.  "She's hiding.  That's shameful, " Elizabeth Morowait said. " You should have the courage to stand up to your principals."

In the past few days, the Prendergast campaign has been calling residents of the district in what could be considered a push-poll, with such leading questions as if the voter would vote to support Castor "because she spent $71,000 to study monkeys on cocaine," and that she has voted for every one of Nancy Pelosi's "failed bills."

The survey also identifies Prendergast as the Republican in the race, but Castor not as the Democrat, but as "the incumbent."

When asked about the poll, Prendergast said it was completely defensible.  "It's being intellectually honest to be quite frank with you," he replied when queried about the poll.  "

The rally didn't go completely smoothly.  A security man for the Tampa Tribune informed some of those in attendance that they needed to move their cars from the guest entrance for WFLA, and move them to an accompanying lot, leading to lots of grumbling and Prendergast's comment to "remember to cancel your Tampa Tribune subscription."

The Prendergast campaign also announced that the Republican has been endorsed by former Governor Jeb Bush, who said in a press release that "There is unprecedented extremism in Washington...I know Mike is ready to serve Tampa Bay.  HIs career as a soldier has proven he will be an effective statesman."

A Castor spokesman has said that the two did engage in a debate sponsored by the Tampa Bay Tiger Bay Club back in August, and is scheduled to appear in forums with Prendergast in the next few weeks.  Prendergast has responded by saying that forums don't count, and that the voters deserve to see the two of them engaging directly in a full fledged

Mike Prendergast really wants to debate Kathy Castor.

The GOP candidate for the 11th Congressional District says he has sent four different letters to the Tampa area Democrat, and been denied each time a chance for a one on one debate on the issues affecting citizens in the district, which includes much of Hillsborough, along with parts of South St. Pete and Manatee County.

So early Tuesday morning, with approximately 50 supporters in tow as well as one supporter who donned a chicken outfit, the former military man held a short rally in front of TBO.Com, the combined joint news operations of the Tampa Tribune and WFLA News Channel 8, calling on his supporters to pressure local media into calling for a debate as well.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we need to light up the switchboards of this newspaper and this TV station, and every other media outlet in Tampa, demanding that Kathy Castor come out and defend her abysmal record of no accountability, responsibility and no integrity."

"Do we want people of Tampa Bay to have a clear choice on November 2," he asked, to a resounding "YES," from his supporters.

"We want her to come out and defend why she voted for S-CHIP," Prendergast said, referring to the children's health care bill from 2009 that will paid in part by an increase in tobacco prices, including cigars.  "That cost Hav-a-Tampa Cigar Factory to close up shop and for 500 families to lose their jobs," he continued.  "We her out here to defend that."


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