Email Insights: Why is Senate candidate Judithanne McLauchlan going negative so soon?

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Did Judithanne McLauchlan really have to go there? 

In the latest email money pitch to supporters, the Democratic candidate for State Senate District 22 blasted the beginning of the 2014 Legislative session, the time “special interests came out in force to support their friends.”

It’s not surprising she’s going after the low-hanging Tallahassee fruit; like death and taxes, you can expect a non-incumbent Florida hopeful to lambaste Capitol politics — eventually.

McLauchlan singles out her opponent – State Sen. Jeff Brandes — for his final pre-session fundraising filing, calling it “a doozy, full of special interest paybacks.”

Now that she gave her followers the fruit, here comes the Democratic red meat — McLauchlan points out (in all caps) that on the list of donors is the infamous Koch Industries, Inc.

Apparently, that was just too much to resist. Time to go negative.

McLauchlan, noting her opponent has a “100% rating from Americans for Prosperity,” bestows on Brandes the title “The Kochs’ Favorite Senator.” In Florida, presumably.


In the end, who could blame her? The loss in CD 13 certainly has the Democrats reeling. After the brutal pessimism of the Jolly v. Sink Congressional race, the floodgates for trash talk seem to have opened wide.

To Democrats facing Republican incumbents across the county in November, there is only one key takeaway from CD 13:

Negativity works!

Whether that is accurate or not is up for debate, a strategy sure to be a main topic of discussion up until November and beyond.

But wouldn’t it be terrific if Pinellas County voters could get a break from the all the negative campaigning — just for a little while? 

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.