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12 posts from March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

Florida Dems want stations to pull Scott's 'misleading' Obamacare ad

The Florida Democratic Party sent a letter Thursday morning to 67 television stations in all 10 media markets asking them to refrain from airing the "patently false" attack ad from the Rick Scott campaign featuring Democrat Charlie Crist's support of Obamacare. 

The $2 million ad campaign was launched last week by the governor's "Let's Get to Work" committee and features former Gov. Charlie Crist being asked by CNN if he thought Obamacare has harmed Floridians and he replies "I don't think so at all. I think it's been great." The ad also repeats statements about the impact of Obamacare that the Associated Press and PolitiFact have demonstrated are inaccurate.

“This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about the impact of the Affordable Care Act,’’ writes lawyer Mark Herron for the Democratic Party. “As a responsible media source, it is your duty to ensure that this type of advertising does not contain patently false information. The FDP would strongly urge you to refrain from airing this advertisement.”  Download Obamacare Great Cease and Desist

The letter then cites reports by PolitiFact and a story by Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout that demonstrated the ads were inaccurate. Herron attaches a point-by-point rebuttal.  Download 2014 03.24 Charlie Crist on Obamacare Great Rebuttal

The ad says that “news reports say 300,000 health plans cancelled,’’ but the Democrats point out that a spokesman for Florida Blue, which held the plans, told the Associated Press this month that policyholders who initially had been notified that they could lost their plans have actually "kept their plans." 

The ad also claims that the federal government says that Obamacare will result in “less work hours for American jobs.” The Democrats say that is inaccurate by citing a February PolitiFact report that refers to a Congressional Budget Office report which concluded that some Americans will decide on their own to work fewer hours because of the greater access to insurance on the individual market and subsidies to help pay for it from Obamacare. PolitiFact this week examined the ad and ruled it "mostly false."

The Democrats also note that the ad quotes a CBO report claiming “Obamacare will drive 2.5 million Americans out of the workforce” when the phrase never appeared in the CBO report.

The Republican Party of Florida called the letter "another example of amateur lawyering by Florida Democrats.

"They are desperately trying to change the subject away from the fact that they, and their darling candidate Charlie Crist, support a devastating, disastrous, and wildly unpopular law that harms Floridians. It didn’t work before and it won’t work this time,” said RPOF spokeswoman Susan Hepworth.

This is the second time the party has asked television stations to take down an ad by the governor’s campaign. Two weeks ago, the party said the governor’s first ad of the campaign titled “Families” violated Florida law because it failed to prominently indicate that it was paid for by the governor’s campaign because it said only that it was “sponsored by Let’s Get to Work.”


Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Know

Pack a lunch; the Senate's budget committee has scheduled a 9-hour meeting. Here's more details about that and what else to watch today:

You read it correctly. The Senate Appropriations Committee meets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to begin working on the budget, including wading through 50 amendments (and counting) that have been proposed.

Also on the Appropriations Committee agenda is a proposal (SB 392) to increase the maximum speed limit to 75 miles per hour on interstates, 65 on four-lane highways outside urban areas and 60 on other roads the state manages.

The same panel will also debate SB 1148, which reduces maximum tuition increases at state universities from 15 percent to 6, removes a provision in state law that requires universities' tuition to increase at the rate of inflation and requires community colleges to seek the Legislature's approval before they introduce new bachelor degree programs.

Anti-abortion advocates will be in Tallahassee for "Celebrate Life Day." Many will attend the House's Health & Human Services Committee where HB 1047, a proposal that would restrict doctors from performing abortions anytime the fetus is considered viable, is up for debate.

The House will hold an afternoon session, and members are expected to vote on proposals to expand access to public-school extracurricular activities for children who are home-schooled or attend other types of schools (HB 533), allow university support organizations to meet privately when discussing donations (HB 115) and remove a moratorium on new nursing home beds (HB 287).