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Hostility grows between candidates

It seems that despite the similarities in their backgrounds and platforms, gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott (R) and Alex Sink (D) have only one compliment for each other.

“She is clearly committed to her children and to her husband,” Scott said.

Sink followed with, “I admire that Rick has been married to his high school sweetheart for 38 years.”

This hostility between the candidates was evident throughout last week’s debate at Nova Southeastern University as the opponents traded barbs and attempted to fully outline their plans for Florida.  The debate was the second of three planned events.

Sink best summarized the constant stream of attacks when she accused Scott of “outlandish” charges and “throwing mud.”

Scott repeatedly attempted to link Sink with President Barack Obama, who is suffering from a declining approval rating, with phrases like “Obamacare,” “Obama liberal” and “Obamamath.” The last of which drew a sharp retort from Sink.

“I don’t know what Obamamath is. What I do know is that I was a 4.0 math major at Wake Forest University and I know how to add numbers,” responded Sink, drawing laughter from the audience.

Sink, however, is equally guilty of “throwing mud.” She accused Scott of being “just a bunch of sound bites” and a “corporate raider.” Scott responded by accusing her of being a “failed fiscal watchdog.”

Both candidates frequently referenced their opponent’s past business dealings. Sink, who lost money in risky investments, accused Scott’s company of insider trading, Medicare fraud and pension fund oversight.

“That case has nothing to do with my run for governor” Scott  said during the debate.

A recent Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times poll places Scott three points ahead of Sink, but this election has been deemed too close to call by many and will depend on crucial swing voters. The candidates will debate at the University of South Florida on Monday.

Alysha Khan can be contacted at akhan@themiamihurricane.com.

Alex Sink

 

Courtesy Alex Sink

Background

Raised in North Carolina, she is a Wake Forest University graduate. She is the former president of Florida operations at Bank of America and served under former Gov. Lawton Chiles’ administration. Prior to running for governor, she served as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.

Platforms

Jobs

Her plan is “to diversify our economy so that we have good-paying sustainable jobs of the 21st century” by focusing on tax cuts for small businesses and by bringing new industries into the state.

Education

She advocates a “STEAM” plan that focuses on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. Sink also wants to bring more qualified teachers into the classroom and to evaluate student performance multiple times a year.

Immigration

She suggests penalties for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants and does not completely approve of the Arizona immigration bill, partly due to the burden it places on already shrinking police forces.

Homosexuality and Adoptions

Homosexuality is not immoral and the adoption decision should be left up to the “judge, social worker and the people who are closest to that child.”

 

 

Courtesy Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Background

Born in Illinois, he is the founder of two companies, Columbia Hospital Corporation and Solantic Corporation, and is a U.S. Navy man. He graduated from University of Missouri-Kansas City with Bachelor’s in business administration and from Southern Methodist University with a law degree. Recently he founded Conservatives for Patients’ Rights to prevent government encroachment on the rights of patients.

Platforms

Jobs

Scott designed the 7-7-7 plan, which includes seven steps to create 700,000 jobs in seven years, as well as eliminating the business tax, reducing the property tax, less government spending and regulatory reform. He also plans to “grow the state” and “build private sector jobs.”

Education

Scott advocates more choices of schools for parents and a way to “measure the effectiveness of a teacher” on a “per student basis.” FCAT is one way but “it should not be the only measurement.”

Immigration

He hopes to figure out “a way for people to come here legally” and create a “work visa program that works for our employers.”

Homosexuality and Adoptions

Believes that “marriage is between a man and a woman” and that “children are raised in a more healthy environment if they are raised by a married couple.” He would like to keep the ban on gay adoptions.

October 24, 2010

Reporters

Alysha Khan

Online Editor


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