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Sink laments 'crisis of leadership'

CFO Alex Sink, speaking to reporters Wednesday just hours after the latest Q poll showed her trailing behind Republican rival AG Bill McCollum, said the state has a 'crisis of leadership' and too many politicians who "avoid problems, ignore problems."

"We need someone who will solve problems. I want to bring more jobs back to Floridians and I want to hold Tallahassee accountable for results."

She said as governor, she will look around the country and the world to find businesses and lure them to Florida.

"I know I can be an economic ambadassador for our state," she said. "If I can't get the job done, then someone else should come in if voters say so. But I am convinced I can get the job done."

"I am going to be relentless about looking at the way we do business," she said. "There are hundreds of millions of savings out there. Look at what I did in savings in my little department. If you give me the chance to get my hands on those 30 other agencies, just watch what I can do."

Sink, the Democrats' frontrunner for governor, opened her talk in the Capitol with a story about how she overheard a man last week at an MLK Day parade in Miami turning down a candidates' campaign sticker. I don't need another campaign sticker, he said. I need a job.

"Well I don't like stickers either," Sink said. "I was in the real world, leading a business and creating jobs. Hearing what he said summed up for me why I am running for governor: I am going to work hard every day to create jobs for Floridians."

Asked about federal health care reform, she said the rising cost of Medicaid is a major concern.

"If they expand Medicaid, they had better send more money," she said. "Because we don't have it."

Her campaign staff earlier in the day had distributed a flier criticizing McCollum's record as a Congressman. Asked about it, she acted as if she had not seen it and demurred from a direct question about what she thinks of McCollum's record.

"There is going to be a real choice in this election," she said. "The choice is a community leader who knows how to sit people down and get results, versus a career politician."

Asked about a proposal for offshore drilling, she criticized it as "near-beach drilling." "The No. 1 concern to me is that we still don't know who's behind this thing. And the first thing I learned in business is, know who you're dealing with."

Asked about McCollum's double digit lead in the Q poll: "We're 10 months out from the election. Wasn't Scott Brown 38 points behind?"

Asked about donor and admitted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and whether she knew who she was "dealing with," she replied: "Well obviously not because he's an admitted con artist! The lesson I learned is to ask more questions."

Sink also said she would like to see a gambling compact passed that "levels the playing field" for parimutuels.

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