Scott vs. McCollum

Here’s the choice for GOP voters as we enter the last two weeks of the Governor’s race: Do you go with Rick Scott, the lanky entrepreneurial outsider with a toothy polished–skull, a fresh business approach to fixing government and the heavy (albeit singular) baggage of $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud?

Time to make a choice

By John Wehrung

Here’s the choice for GOP voters as we enter the last two weeks of the Governor’s race: Do you go with Rick Scott, the lanky entrepreneurial outsider with a toothy polished–skull, a fresh business approach to fixing government and the heavy (albeit singular) baggage of $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud?

Or do you play it safe with Bill McCollum, the mousy, know-it-all boy-scout who’s been around since Pike’s Peak was a pimple and is about as exciting as a house plant, but is viewed as a steady hand at the wheel in rough seas.

In any given year, the average Republican voter would go for the candidate who has paid his dues, has the endorsements, solid experience and can talk a good game about applying conservative principles to the behemoth of government.  But this year is far from typical. 

Anger at politicians and government is at a fever-pitch, that’s why you see the incredible drama going on in political primaries, especially in Florida.  Think about where we were six months ago when Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist were going at it.  When that battle ended, we turned our focused anger to the Governor’s race, like switching channels on Sunday afternoon football games.

Will all this frustration carry over into the voting booth?  While it has lasted a while in polling, it may not last all the way to voters who are actually casting their ballots.  Isn’t there a difference between frustration at politics being expressed and vented versus letting that frustration flow through your fingers when finally filling out the ballot? 

We’ll find out in 14 days how much of a difference in frustration there may be.

In the absence of any new revelations about McCollum (of which there are still many) from Rick Scott’s turbo-powered ad machine, look for polling to show this race tightening as GOP voters come home and play it safe with McCollum. 

However, if Rick Scott’s vaunted yet over-worked ad machine were to somehow find a higher gear (like WARP Drive), this could be an incredibly historic election.  If Rick Scott wins, the shake-up in Florida politics would be of Biblical proportion.

If you enjoy political theatre, drama and intrigue, fasten your seat belts folks.  This is going to be a great race to watch.

John Wehrung currently serves as a Senior Partner at Battleground Group, a governmental affairs and public relations company specializing in public opinion analysis, campaign management, political advertising and assisting clients in dealings with state and federal government. E-mail him at: jtwehrung@gmail.com.

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18 thoughts on “Scott vs. McCollum”

  1. Do we vote for Scott or McCollum? While McCollum is the “safe” choice, I think he will do nothing to shrink the state government behemouth. This leaves only Rick Scott. Normally his Medicare scandal would disqualify him (in my eyes), but this is not normal times. If we don’t do something to shrink the state government payroll/pensions, we’ll end like like Calf.
    So, for lack of a better choice, I intend to vote for Rick Scott for Gov.

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  2. I have to say that the Governor’s race is going to be a hell of a lot easier choice than the Florida Senate 12 race. The race in 12 is like picking which pile of $h|t is prettier.

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  3. While McCollum may be a safe vote, I would like to see us get a few of the “good old boys” our and some new brains in the act. Scott may be all the things McCollum says he is and probably more but he is bringing some business experience to the plate. I way Rick Scott this year!

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  4. For me the question is whether we stick with the old “tried and true” and basically honest politician, or do we take a chance with the newcomer who is buying his way into government with money fraudulently obtained from Medicare. I understand that Scott is still facing criminal charges. No doubt the Democrats will make a big deal over this if Scott does win the primary.

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  5. Just because Rick Scott isn’t a career politician does not mean he is as clean as the driven snow, in fact, all indications are he is just another high tech crook so many who chose to go into politics. McCollum may not be as exciting as an unknown, unproven businessman who is likely facing criminal charges, he has the experience and the chops to do the job. God knows he can do no worse than Charlie Crist and likely to do well if he has any sense and does the will of the Florida voters. I had originally intended to vote for Rick Scott but after reading up on his history and shady business deals I sure as hell do not want to trade one kind of crooked politician for another crooked or snake oil salesman who knows nothing about politics. We have one of those already sitting in the White House and look where that has taken us.

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  6. Please don’t use “Boy Scout” in a denigrating manner. If you were to go review the Scout Oath and Scout Law you would quickly realize the if every Politition held to them we would have FAR fewer problems!

    From and Old Scout!

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  7. Check out this morning’s RedState.com, “The Bill McCollum Campaign Looks Desperate and Dead to Integrity,” for some slightly unsavory behavior on the part of Mr. McCollum. I’ve been vacillating between Scott and McCollum because of Scott’s “history” versus McCollum’s “integrity.” The referenced article pushes me more into Scott’s camp.

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  8. Why are they running?
    McCollum is a politician following his career path.(Next step is US Senate 8yrs)
    Scott? If I had his money I would hang out on Marco island or just travel. I would not spend my money to run for political office and subjugate myself to this mud slinging. Maybe he could become(or not)the Chris Christie of Florida.I took that chance and voted for him already.

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  9. Great to have you back John
    Everyone forgets that Rick challanged “Hillarycare” Submitting payment requests to the feds for reimbursement under medicare is about as foolproof as IRS audits (something we’ll all experience soon, I fear) I maintain that any healthcare company could have been nailed and do you think Columbia wasn’t attractive after Scotts opposition to Hillarycare. But that would suggest that the Clintons targeted people, how foolish,right Vince?

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  10. Great points Dave. Of all the spots the Scott Machine has produced, I’m surprised they haven’t really pushed one that argues Columbia was targeted by the Clinton Crime Family because of Scott’s vocal opposition to Hillary’s health care plan.

    Ralph, as an old scout myself, I certainly did not intend to denigrate the Boy Scouts in any way. Being an ethical and faithful public servant is actually one of McCollum’s more endearing qualities. His problem is that people just want new blood. Like a Cub Scout. How about ‘Cub Scott’ 🙂

    Thanks Jamie!

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  11. when push comes to shove the bottom line is if you vote for Scott – you are voting for Sink. read the tealeaves…

    Scott is a crook and just because McCollum has served his country well is in no means a deterrent.

    McCollum has saved the state millions in medicaid fraud, while, one the other hand, Scott has stolen from the taxpayers with the billion dollar fine and his multi-million dollar pay out. I chose the real conservative, Bill McCollum.

    To attempt to somehow paint Scott as ‘successful’ is a joke..

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  12. I’m torn on this one. I can’t support someone who has ethics issues. This is what Conservatives are supposed to be against. If Scott was involved in any kind of theft or fraud I cannot in good conscience vote for him. McCollum on the other hand scares me with his immigration stance. I am more concerned about that than the fact he has been around for a while. I think Scott will be an easy target for Dems in the general election with the baggage he carries. Having said all that it will probably be a game time decision for me.

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  13. I think men with shaved heads should not run for office. Baldness over exposes the brain to global warming and interferes with one’s ability to tell the truth. I believe that’s the problem with Rick Scott. On the contrary, I find lots of hair, glasses, a cool demeaner and a clean record exciting and motivating. I bet McCollum can dance too.

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  14. I’ve had enough of DO NOTHING POLITICIANS as you can see in my video that I made a couple of days ago that seems to be getting a lot of attention: http://youtu.be/QxZ5pVt7uRA

    I know Bill very well. He provides as much leadership and courage as…a pet rock. He’s a do – nothing politician who puts his own political gain above the principles he routinely claims to follow. You don’t need to look any further that the 18 million dollars he’s collected from Special Interest to see that. He’s not going to rock the boat. He’s a lifelong bureaucrat who’s too afraid of the water.

    Bottom line: Bill McCollum is not good for taxpayers, not good for small business, and not good for Florida.

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  15. Ask McCullum about the 1 Mill contrabution from the Sugar Industry in taking Emergency Hurricane Funds to buy over priced land for Everglade Freshwater Filtration. This land is only 1/20th amount of land needed for this to work. Where is the other money to buy the rest of the land coming from? What other Funds can our Gov rob from to pay for this? While McCollum processes his dirty work. For the People or Sugar Industry?

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