Republican U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores received glowing coverage on 60 Minutes for his "Stop Act" proposal to bar federal officer holders from asking for campaign donations. The piece featured hidden camera footage of the tiny cubicles Republican House members use to dial for dollars most every day.
"It is a cult-like boiler room on Capitol Hill where sitting members of Congress, frankly I believe, are compromising the dignity of the office they hold by sitting in these sweatshop phone booths calling people asking them for money," Jolly told Norah O'Donnell. "And their only goal is to get $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 out of the person on the other end of the line. It's shameful. It's beneath the dignity of the office that our voters in our communities entrust us to serve."
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel appeared as well, lamenting the amount of time members spend raising money but dismissing the Stop Act proposal and giving Jolly's bill zero chance of passing.
"If I believed that his bill was really going to be meaningful, was going to take money out of politics, I'd support it in a second," Israel said. "But it really doesn't. If you asked me on a scale of one to five to make an assessment as to the prospects of passage, one being the president should get ready to sign it and five being it's dead on arrival, I'd put it at a 15. It's not going to pass."
Meanwhile, Republican primary opponent Todd Wilcox sent out an email in advance of the show, scoffing at Jolly and accusing him of shameless hypocrisy:
"After actively benefiting from the not-so-secret world of DC dialing-for-dollars on the taxpayers' dime, Congressman David Jolly isn't fooling anyone. So when he tilts his head, squints ever so slightly, looks into the camera and says, 'the American people deserve better,' know that it's the only piece of nonfiction in his act. So put the kids to bed, pop some popcorn and grab a beer, because THIS performance is going to be Emmy-worthy."
--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times