In what may be the most bald faced outrageous ad of the 2014 campaign season in Tampa Bay, Republican House District 68 challenger Bill Young is claiming in a new ad running in rotation right now that Democrat Dwight Dudley actually "sides with Duke Energy."
Specifically, the ad states that Dudley, the St. Petersburg based attorney who defeated Frank Farkas in 2012 in his first run for the legislature, "voted to allow Duke Energy to raise fees on Pinellas families for a plant that may never be built.”
That would be the somewhat infamous nuclear cost recovery bill that was passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature in 2006 - some six years before Dudley was elected to represent the people of HD68.
The ad shows Dudley voting in 2013 for a bill that was a modest attempt to reign in that 2006 bill, pushed by Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala.
Bashing Duke is all the rage in Pinellas County politics these days, as the investor-owned utility has been in the news all too frequently recently for all the wrong reasons. Last month a group of GOP legislators and candidates held a news conference touting legislation that would hold Duke somewhat accountable, prompting Dudley to tell CL last week that "What I’ve noticed is this great enthusiasm has started to occur about ten minutes before Election Day," adding, "I've been working on this for more than two and a half years and had zero help until now."
“Billy Young II’s latest attack is a Hail Mary from a struggling campaign that can’t win on the issues or with the truth,” said FDP spokesman Joshua Karp today in a statement. “Billy has gotten so desperate that he thinks Pinellas County residents will forget that 2006 came before 2012. It’s hard to think of a more embarrassingly false attack than faulting your opponent for a vote that occurred half a decade before he was elected."