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McCollum under fire for health care lawsuit, 'sweetheart' deal

CFO Alex Sink blasted Attorney General Bill McCollum on Monday for using Florida tax dollars to file a lawsuit against the health care legislation.

"He seems to be obsessed by Washington politics and not really acting in the best interest of Floridians," said Sink, a Democrat. "It's unfortunate that he's using taxpayer money to file a suite on behalf of the people of the state of Florida when in fact this legislation is going to provide help for many, many Floridians."

Sink contended McCollum, her GOP gubernatorial rival, was "playing party politics" and objected to his questionable contract with his former business partner, David Rivkin and Lee Casey with Baker and Hostetler. She suggested he should have opened the contract bidding to other law firms, as his legislative priority concerning contingency fee contracts would mandate.

"Certainly that's not appropriate in a situation like this," she said. He should have sought proposals "as opposed to providing sweetheart contract to someone he is very close with."

McCollum dismissed the suggestion.

"We hired the best constitutional lawyer possible in David Rivkin," McCollum said. "I have known David Rivkin for a long time. He is an excellent constitutional lawyer."

A spokeswoman for McCollum's office said Florida is paying Rivkin part of a fee split among the dozen attorneys general who filed suit. The fee is $250 an hour but Florida's portion is still undetermined. Here's the contract, which puts a cap of $50,000 on the bill.