Scott Orsini doesn't like his integrity being questioned regarding Peters robocalls


Early Sunday morning — as in 3 and 4 a.m. early — a number of residents in Pinellas County and beyond were awakened from their slumber with robocalls advocating that Kathleen Peters was the right person to represent the voters — in Washington D.C. But Peters is not running for a federal office this year; she's hoping to be re-elected to the House District 69 seat in Tallahassee, and nobody wants a robocall in the middle of the night. So the South Pasadena state legislator was all apologies on Sunday. 

"These calls are not part of my campaign, they were never authorized by me or anyone from my campaign, and they are against the law," Peters said in a statement available on her Facebook page. "Therefore, I am exploring all options to hold accountable all those responsible. It is deeply troubling to me that these calls are disrupting the lives of the families, are without any type of disclaimer and so far have been traced back to an inactive telephone number. We are in the process of contacting appropriate state and federal law enforcement to find those who are responsible for doing this. I ask those involved to immediately stop these calls."

Peters is running for re-election against Democrat Scott Orsini, who says that his own integrity has been called into question regarding the Peters robocalls, and he doesn't like it.

"I've not made it personal, and now I have this personal attack on my integrity, the integrity of my campaign, the integrity of the Pinellas County Democratic Party," Orsini said Monday in Gulfport. "And they need to look at the ineptitude of their phone vendor, because it's probably a technical glitch, where people in all these counties outside of the district were called in the middle of the night."

Orsini said he was grilling steaks on Sunday afternoon when he learned from a Tampa Bay Times reporter about the robocalls, and said immediately that he had nothing to do with that. "That's not how I run my campaign," adding that he's tried to run as positive campaign as possible against his GOP counterpart. He says Peters shouldn't be going to the state attorney's office or federal law enforcement, but look at the company that she used earlier this year in her bid for the Republican nomination for the congressional district 13 race that was won by David Jolly. 

District 69 stretches from Redington Shores to St. Pete Beach.

Orsini was in Gulfport on Monday, joined by fellow Democrats Judithanne McLauchlan and Charlie Justice in an event to highlight early voting beginning in Pinellas County, and specifically the fact that voters in Southwest Pinellas now have a closer location to cast an early vote at the Gulfport Neighborhood Center. 

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark is a noted enthusiast of voting by mail, but that has led critics to charge that she's shortchanged the voters by not opening up more early locations. There are now five in the county.

"We've been pushing for more early voting sites for a long time, and I'm so glad that the supervisor opened the one at the center in Palm Harbor and this one here at the Gulfport Center. It gives people more access, and that's all we want," said Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice, a Democrat.

Justice said he'd like to see more early voting sites, but understands that there are costs involved. "But for years, if you were in this part of town, southwest Pinellas County, you had to go to either downtown St. Pete or up to Starkey Center (in Largo). It was not convenient. This makes it accessible."

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