St. Pete Times accuses Sink of "double talk" in creation of her 527 group

Speaking of campaign finance laws, Floridians will have the chance to throw out the provision that grants candidates who raise a certain threshold of funds to receive matching taxpayer funds.  It's called Amendment One, and its defeat could make it even harder in all probability for candidates without deep pockets to credibly run.

In his very short run for governor, independent candidate Bud Chiles spoke about the problems with the state's campaign finance laws.  With the disclosure of Sink's 527, newspaper reports have questioned whether Chiles would have endorsed Sink if he was aware of her 527.  I'm sure Sink, who didn't seem to have the time of day for Chiles until he indicated that he was available for an endorsement, isn't losing sleep over that.

The fact of the matter is it would be unilateral disarmament for Sink not to use all the legal tools at her disposal to raise the cash that is needed to face Rick Scott's tens of millions of dollars, money he will surely spend between now and November.  It's unpleasant and perhaps undemocratic, but those are the rules.  The problem is, the future looks worse, what with Amendment One pending, and the recent court ruling that allows high spending candidates like Rick Scott to bust spending caps and not allow for more public financing for those candidates opposing candidates who do that.


The St. Pete Times John Frank writes this morning that Alex Sink's 527 -Hold Them Accountable, Inc. - was created on August 31, a week after she officially became the Democratic nominee for Governor in Florida.  But on September 2, two days after the group was formed,  she told reporters that if her campaign opted to form a 527, those contributions "will be fully transparent."

In retrospect, the candidate wasn't being completely forthright.  On the Times' website, Frank's blog post is termed, "Alex Sink's Double Talk."  The article also says that the Sink camp wouldn't say whether the candidate or her hubby, Bill McBride, would put their own money into the group.  These 527's of course allow candidates to raise millions of dollars from all types of groups, and are a legal way of getting around those pesky if obviously ineffectual Florida campaign finance laws that limit contributions to $500 (the lowest in the country by the way).

But is there really much of a story here?

More interesting to note is that Sink has yet to decide whether to accept matching funds legally allowed for her and all statewide cabinets under the state's public financing system.  Why wouldn't she accept them?  If it's legally available, shouldn't she?  Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum certainly did, as did the candidates running for Attorney General.

The only reason why a candidate wouldn't is......hypocrisy? Obviously, that issue went out the window in the primary.  Former Governor Jeb Bush, who had derided the public money available for candidates as "welfare for politicians," acknowledged that was what Bill McCollum had to do to compete with Rick Scott.

Sink has not (to this reporter's knowledge) criticized the state's campaign finance laws when it comes to matching funds, so she wouldn't be subject to the hypocrisy charge.  Does she not want to take tax-payer funds that are legally available to her  because it comes from taxpayers, and that might look bad?  But she would go ahead and create a 527 where all types of people with all types of agendas can contribute?  One does hope that it will be as transparent as she says she will be, or she would then justifiably be accused of "double-talk."

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