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Mud-slinging governor's race spells trouble for Florida

The race for governor of Florida features two leading candidates voters increasingly see as deeply flawed with campaign strategies virtually alike: Tear down the other guy at every turn. 

Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his likely challenger, Democrat and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom expected to win their party primaries later this month, have spent more time criticizing each other than laying out a future vision on major issues such as water, climate change, gaming, property insurance, economic policy or taxes.

The candidates, their operatives and third-party groups relentlessly drive a message that their opponent is untrustworthy, unethical or incompetent. Their campaigns eagerly amplify the mud-slinging in news releases, social media messaging and television ads, and their policy papers lack details on a host of deadlines facing the next governor will face.

Political scientists, consultants and even former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who served two terms as governor, warn that the lack of vision in the governor’s race spells trouble for Florida. Story here.

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Highly paid Republican consultant

$100,000,000 does the talking for the Boss!

Keith Stegath

The problem is the media's decision to sponsor two unqualified Corporate Candidates. It's big news and keeps you under control of your corporate overlords .

Sen. Bob Graham is right about Scott and Crist.

Unless We the People make a change, this train-wreck of inept and impotent candidates will again make Florida the ass of all jokes.

Wake up folks. There is another choice.

www.fla-gov.org

MarvinM

Michael Putney and his small round table group talked about this effect just this morning (This Week in South Florida, local channel 10 ABC affiliate).

They skirted around but did not outright say that the only reason politicians keep using negative ads is because they seem to work.

A Candidate Q who refuses to get into the mud that a Candidate Z slings ends up being Candidate L (for Loser). (This of course ignores the important discussion of "If the claim having a negative connotation is true, is that technically 'mudslinging' or is it just bringing up a fact for the voters to consider?". )

I have to say I was a little bit disappointed with all the members of the round table discussion on this topic because overall it had a very defeatist feel, that if it gets ugly it will turn voters off from showing up at all, which is an understandable emotional reaction, but not an intelligent decision.

Being able to vote is a right, but voting also comes with a big responsibility. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, our fellow community members, to not let the emotional-manipulation-machine that is most TV ads keep us from getting out and voting!

Lower voter turnout typically favors incumbents, so a certain someone has zero plan to stop those negative ads, no matter how much you might dislike them.

Highly paid Republican consultant

MarvinM,

You got that right about the Boss having zero plan to stop.

ed jenkins

The citizens are disgusted that this scumbag crist and his dirty mudslinging ways have to be seen in this family friendly state. They were pleased with the respectful campaign that sink ran in 2010 and the nancy lady has run a clean campaign which is why she will receive the votes of democrat primary voters and be nominated in addition to the fact that she is the one true democrat.

Anti-Tallahassee

Hopefully Charlie Crist will stay away from social issues like gay marriage, abortion, legalizing marijuana, etc... He needs to hammer the Republicans on their inability to diversify Florida's economy; their unconstitutional education policies; their corporate welfare policies (All Aboard Florida, Duke Energy, etc.); their inability to control insurance costs; and their general misuse of public resources for the private gain of their supporters. These are issues that a wide majority of Floridians can agree upon.

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