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Saunders shields Chamber from Democratic attacks

3041 Well, it's an Almost-Coordinated Campaign for Democrats this year...

Just days after Florida Rep. Ron Saunders, pictured right, enraged Republicans by saying GOP leaders would support a convicted child molester for governor, the Key West Democrat returned the favor for his own party.

Saunders, the man in charge of Democratic state House campaigns this year, went public late Friday with his defense of the Florida Chamber of Commerce after state party spokesman Eric Jotkoff blasted the business group for endorsing Republican Rick Scott over Democrat Alex Sink for governor.

"I do not feel that their endorsement of her Republican opponent warrented an attack on the Florida Chamber's integrity," Saunders said. "I have always found the Florida Chamber to be accessible to members of the House of Representatives and a good source of information on business issues."

Jotkoff's take a couple days earlier was a bit different.

“While their endorsements are not surprising, the Florida Chamber showed again they are simply a tool of the corrupt Republican establishment and special interest insiders that have created a mess in Tallahassee," Jotkoff wrote in his statement.

"It’s clear Rick Scott simply wants to continue the failed policies that have left our economy as little more than a 'ponzi scheme,' with too many Florida families hurting during these tough economic times. By embracing Rick Scott and the slate of Republicans, the Chamber again proved that ethics don’t matter and upholding the Republican status-quo is more important than being good corporate citizens of Florida. Their endorsement of Scott suggests historic fraud is ok, as long as you push an agenda that keeps hurting small businesses and Florida’s families.”