Farkas wasted no time in labeling the video “nothing short of professional perjury” saying “if these are the tactics Dwight Dudley will use to launch his campaign, it looks like voters will have no choice but to suffer through eight long weeks of Dudley’s lies and gutter politics.”
Dudley’s video relies on recent news headlines attempting to tie the current woes of the Florida Progress-owned Crystal River nuclear power facility to a bill passed by the 2006 Florida Legislature which established a new comprehensive statewide energy policy. Dudley suggests that it created a “Farkas Fee” on all power customers, one which he would work to repeal if elected.
The major disconnect with the Dudley claim, according to Farkas, is that the legislation in question (CS/SB888) actually had almost unanimous support of both parties in both the Florida House and Senate and was
enthusiastically endorsed and ultimately signed into law by then-Governor Jeb Bush. The bill passed the House on a 119 to 1 vote, and the Senate by 39-0.
Farkas said Dudley obviously has not taken the time to study the record or to learn the numerous positive aspects of the legislation, many which have delivered considerable cost savings to customers, choosing instead to pull out one small piece and twist it to his advantage. “If this is the most thoughtfulness and thoroughness we can expect from Dudley, then St. Pete voters should be scared – very, very scared – that he might actually be elected.
“Sure, hindsight is 20-20. There’s no doubt many people, including myself, would have voted differently back then if we knew what we know now – that Florida Progress, would exploit a loophole and wrongly expect their customers to fund their botched repair job,” Farkas said. “But Dudley’s attempt to lay this solely at one person’s feet is more than simply a disservice to the voters. Frankly, it’s insulting.”
“I was hoping for a higher, more thoughtful level of debate from Mr. Dudley in this race, but I’m afraid his career of representing criminals, crooks and cheats may have warped his thought process,” Farkas continued. “Voters will have a very clear choice in this race. I have no intent of allowing Mr. Dudley to tear down my very proud public record of always working hard to look out for the common guy — while he, on the other hand, has clearly been very busy looking out for the bad guys.”