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Ausley wants Atwater to look into DLP issue

Democratic CFO candidate Loranne Ausley called on her Republican opponent, state Senate President Jeff Atwater, to investigate the connection between Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla and a disgruntled contractor with the Department of Corrections.

Standing outside Diaz de la Portilla's office minutes before a torrential downpour in Miami Thursday, Ausley also called on Atwater to produce any records of any meetings he or his staffers may have had with representatives of the Miami Beach-based Orion Medical Enterprises, a kidney dialysis company.

"The most important and critical challenge facing this office and the entire state of Florida is putting an end to the pay-to-play culture of corruption that is crippling our state and our economy," Ausley said, citing the Diaz de la Portilla letter as "what looks to me like a classic example of pay-to-play politics."

Last week, Atwater's spokesman said he could not find any records of the company meeting with anyone on the Senate president's office, and added that Atwater did not know about Diaz de la Portilla's letter on behalf of the company to DOC. Diaz de la Portilla sent the letter a week after his brother Miguel received a $15,000 campaign contribution from the contractor.

Alex Diaz de la Portilla and the company have denied any link between the campaign cash and the letter.