Email Insights: John Shannon says Colleen Burton is playing a losing “blame game” in HD 40

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Don’t get blindsided by the “blame game,” state House GOP candidate John Shannon warns voters.

In an email to supporters, the Lakeland attorney and Marine Corps veteran says he had absolutely nothing to do with a TV ad called “illegal” by his Republican opponent, Colleen Burton.

Shannon faces Burton in the Aug. 26 GOP primary for House District 40, which covers much of metropolitan Lakeland and Polk County. The disputed ad ran on Bright House Networks, with a disclaimer saying it is from an Electioneering Communication Organization (ECO).

Burton said the ECO is associated with Shannon’s consultant.

That is utterly false, Shannon responds.

“While (Burton’s) email names me specifically,” Shannon says, “they know that I had nothing to do with the ad and all of the claims that we are doing something illegal and for which complaints will be filed, are patently untrue.”

Burton is simply playing the “blame game,” moving conversation away from the real issue in the race — who will best represent the “friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, church members, and anyone and everyone else” in District 40.

“This race and election is their race and their election and it belongs to them,” Shannon says.

Shannon asks voters to pay attention and see how his words, plans, and answers are “adopted and repeated by others,” as well as how he provides “innovative thinking and ideas and real substance to issues.”

“And you’ll hear it,” he promises.

For good or bad, campaign ads are an important political reality. Complaining about them provides little benefit, something that could possibly backfire on Burton with voters.

It might be more productive just to stick to the issues, instead of distracting the people with a losing  “blame game.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.