We're still five months away from when Florida elects a new governor, but the latest round of advertisements in the race have gotten ugly.
Florida Republicans are urging television stations not to air a new ad from Democrats highlighting the legal problems of Scott's former companies.
Meanwhile, a racially tinged new ad is running in Central Florida paid for by little known PAC that claims Crist is responsible "for a lost generation of African-Americans."
The first ad is paid for by the Florida Democratic Party (i.e. not Crist's campaign) and rehashes Scott's work as chairman of Hospital Corporation of America. Under his tenure the company was hit with the biggest health care fraud fine of all time. The ad also highlights video of Scott from a deposition in which he plead the Fifth 75 separate times.
The Republican Party of Florida is now asking channels to stop airing the commercial according to the Tampa Tribune. They say it's misleading because the deposition in which Scott plead the Fifth 75 times was from a separate civil lawsuit and had nothing to do with that record-setting fine.
The truth is Rick Scott avoided answering questions when being deposed in 2000 about a completely unrelated breach of contract civil case between his former company, Columbia/HCA and Nevada Communications Corp.," reads the letter. "Rick Scott was never deposed by federal investigators in the criminal case involving his former company."
The complaint is having a bit of a Streisand effect. According to YouTube stats, online views of the ad have skyrocketed in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Charlie Crist is the subject of his own attack ad he's likely none to pleased about. The Sun-Sentinel calls the "Progressive Choice PAC "a shadowy political group." They're behind the ad which seems to target African-American voters. It's being run on the radio in the Orlando market. Here's the transcripts:
"The punishment fits the crime. It's enshrined in our Constitution -- the essence of American Justice, unless you live in Florida and happen to be black."
"Under Gov . Charlie Crist, the NRA called the shots in Tallahassee, giving Crist big money and an 'A' rating, stopping even the most sensible gun control bills, allowing weapons to flow into our cities, even permitting concealed guns at work."
"But while Crist was coddling the gun lobby, he was cracking down on us -- passing maximum sentencing laws, signing the nation's harshest marijuana laws, and enacting the country's strictest penalties against non-violent offenders, many of whom just happen to be black."
"It's time Charlie Crist answer to Floridians for his record, for a lost generation of African-Americans and for trampling on the ideal that the punishment fit the crime."
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Crist's campaign shot back, calling the ad "a new low for Rick Scott and his special interest donors." However, Progressive Choice's connection to Scott are unclear. The Sun-Sentinel points out that it refuses to divulge its donors and only is attacking Crist. Furthermore, the group is being run out of Maryland.
This is probably only just the beginning. It's a long time until November.