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Rick Scott targeted by one-time allies

The shadow group League of American Voters has made a "major ad buy" to remind Florida voters that Republican Rick Scott's Columbia/HCA hospital company was the subject of a massive $1.7b Medicare fraud fine. The ad also notes Scott, the Republican frontrunner for governor who's woodshedding Attorney General Bill McCollum in the primary, earned $300m amid the fine investigation and also invested in a company that received $60m in stimulus cash.

Political operative Rick Wilson said the league is a group of conservatives, but would say little more about it or the scope of the buy, which is intended to counteract the massive edge in cash that Scott has over McCollum. The league, a 501c4, was formed last year by conservative strategists Bob Adams and Alexandra Preate. Adams was an aide to Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts and Preate works for a New York public relations firm. The spot was produced by Chris Mottola Consulting, the ad-maker for McCollum. Little more is known about the group, except that it was a de facto ally of Scott's when it launched anti-ObamaCare effort, which dovetailed with the agenda of Scott's Conservatives for Patients Rights. Allies no more, apparently.

The ad seems accurate, but begins "Florida needs tough new laws to crack down on Medicare fraud...." Note to the league/Mottola: Florida doesn't regulate Medicare. So the governor would have little say over a crackdown (The state nominally is in charge of cracking down on Medicaid fraud, which McCollum helps oversee). Also, the ad says the state needs to stop "wasteful spending." Maybe the league should target the Republican Party, which has controlled the Legislature and the governor's mansion (save the past few months when Charlie Crist switched) since 1998.