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RPOF attacks Ausley for opposing TABOR-like bill

The attacks are stepping up in the CFO's race. The Republican Party has just set up a new website to attack Loranne Ausley for her record in the Legislature. First up is an attack on her 2004 vote against a TABOR-like measure or "smart cap" that would restrict state spending to the previous year's budget plus inflation. The party says that makes her "Costly Ausley." (An eagle-eyed reader notes that the site adds an extra "r" in Ausley's name.)

The proposal went nowhere in the House in 2002. It passed that chamber 74-43 in 2004. Her CFO opponent Jeff Atwater was in the Senate at the time, but he never got the chance to vote on it -- it died in committee in the waning days of session. (Another one of those "just ran out of time" bills?) The late Jim King was leading the Senate at the time.

Most Republicans are a big fan of the proposed constitutional amendment, but they just can't seem to get it passed in the Legislature, even with huge majorities. Whose fault is that? (Here's more on a similar proposal in 2009, during Atwater's tenure as president.)

Ausley spokesman Kevin Cate e-mails this in response to the site (without directly addressing the bill in question): "Senate President Jeff Atwater's latest attack is pathetic, and just shows Floridians how hard he is trying to hide from his tax-raising, big spending record. Floridians know that Jeff Atwater has a reputation for being weak, but for him to throw punches from behind the shelter of the scandal-riden Republican Party of Florida, tell us everything we need to know."