Competing ads launched today in “coin flip” Fla. governor’s race

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The yin/yang of competing TV spots continues in Florida’s deadlocked gubernatorial race, starting with a new ad from Democrat Charlie Crist focusing on Gov. Rick Scott and his “shady” past.

Without treading on any new ground is “Then and Now,” which launches today from the Florida Democratic Party.

Once again, the FDP touches upon Scott’s troubles during his tenure as head of Columbia/HCA, which was forced to pay a record $1.7 billion fine.

“It was the largest Medicare fraud case in history,” the 30-second spot says. “And Rick Scott was CEO.”

Taxpayers and seniors were cheated, the ad continues as Scott “walked away with millions.”

Under Rick Scott, Floridians are still paying the price with higher utility rates and property taxes.

The other side of the coin comes a slightly new twist, courtesy of the Republican Party of Florida.

RPOF’s 30-second spot highlights $90,000 received by the Crist Campaign from “strip club owners,” including $40,000 from the owner of the Cheetah Hallandale Beach.

“Charlie’s War on Women” focuses on Democratic base voters, mainly females, by linking Crist to strip clubs – which the ad points out are the main perpetrators of sex trafficking.

The spot closes with Crist saying the money came from a “management company,” and does not intend to return the money, even after knowing the source.

With ads like these, there is little wonder why the race between Scott and Crist is basically a coin flip, tied at 42 percent each.

Both “Then and Now” and “Charlie’s War on Women” are available on YouTube.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.