Soon-to-be House Speaker Dean Cannon has joined soon-to-be Senate President Mike Haridopolos in the big-money bashing of fellow Republican Rick Scott, who is now the front-runner v. their governor candidate, Bill McCollum. Cannon's committee gave the cash, $727,000 in three big chunks (more here) to the Florida First Initiative, which McCollum is using as a vehicle to bash Scott.
Haridopolos, as we reported last week, isn't far behind with his Citizens Speaking Out group, which has yet to post a web page detailing its financing activity.
All the scorched-earth big-spending against Scott could prove to be a little risky for the GOP. Suppose he actually wins the primary election and he has to face Democrat Alex Sink with his entire party having called him a party to a massive fraud. Now whom does that help?
But wait. There's more. One Republican pointed out to us that the money Haridopolos and Cannon have raised through their committees might have gone to help Republican legislative candidates (Frank Artiles for state Rep., anyone?). Now the cash is going to McCollum instead. That might make some of the tea-party-leaning rank-and-filers not so happy.
** Update: McCollum Friday acknowledged his relationship with Florida First and another group, Sunshine State Freedom Fund, by filing with the state's election division a Statement of Solicitation detailing his involvement. Intriguingly, McCollum's Building Integrity & Lasting Leadership Fund seems pretty dormant, save a few recent expenditures to an accountant and a $40,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida on 8/19/09. Wonder what that was for? Paying the bills when RPOF was almost failed to make payroll?
Haridopolos' Freedom First Committee and Cannon's Liberty Fund each received $500,000 from three companies controlled by Miramar doctors Paul Zimmerman and Gerald Glass on June 16 ($150k each from Orthopaedic Fellowship Group; another $150k each from Durable Medical and another $200k each from Green Solar Transportation). Haridopols then gave $403k to Citizens Speaking Out.