Amid all the murky charges and countercharges Rick Scott and Charlie Crist are hurling at each other on TV, Crist is intent on informing voters about something clear and undisputable:
The property insurance industry much prefers Scott in the governor's office over Crist, and Floridians paid lower property insurance bills when Crist was governor.
"The choice could not be more clear," Crist said in a telephone press conference Thursday. "A governor who took on the insurance industry and lowered rates so families had more in their checking accounts and at the end of the month? Or a governor who let insurance companies raise rates — over 25 percent so the companies and his campaign have more in the bank?"
The former Republican governor noted that his first act in the office was to call a special legislative session to deal with property insurance bills that were skyrocketing after eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
State leaders early in 2007 froze rates and expanded government-run Citizens Insurance to keep rates down --- something the Scott campaign blasted Thursday even though Scott's lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, supported it along with the state House led at the time by Marco Rubio.
"Florida taxpayers were left on the hook for billions and homeowners were left with fewer options to protect their property," said Matt Moon, Scott's campaign spokesman. "Under Gov. Scott, Florida has done the exact opposite, reforming and shrinking Citizens Insurance while giving consumers more choice and competition to protect their home."