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Banker v. lobbyist = Sink v. McCollum

Picking up a line of attack begun months ago by the Florida Republican Party, gubernatorial hopeful Bill McCollum is accusing his Democratic rival, Alex Sink, of using ``deceptive loan practices'' while she was a top banker.

It's a risky political strategy, considering McCollum's history with the mortgage industry. As a member of Congress from 1980 to 2000, McCollum served on the committee overseeing financial services and co-sponsored 1999 legislation that tore down the Depression-era firewall between investment banks and commercial banks.

After he left Congress, McCollum lobbied for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and for a nonprofit with a down-payment assistance program that was later outlawed by Congress after the Internal Revenue Service dubbed the program a ``scam.''

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