Capitol Comments: Rick Scott, Alex Sink tout law-and-order supporters

Posted: October 8, 2010 in News and politics

Capitol Comments: Rick Scott, Alex Sink tout law-and-order supporters

By Lloyd Dunkelberger
Tallahassee Bureau

Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 6:25 a.m.

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Rick Scott and Alex Sink touted some of their law-and-order endorsements in the governor’s race this week.

Scott won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, with the pro-gun-rights group giving him an “A” rating. It was the same rating the group gave him in his Republican primary with Bill McCollum.

“As a lifelong firearms enthusiast and hunter, I am glad that the NRA has chosen to endorse me,” Scott said, saying as governor he would “work tirelessly” to protect Second Amendment rights.

Meanwhile, Democrat Sink announced her endorsement by 24 current Florida sheriffs. She has also been endorsed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sink, the state’s chief financial officer, said she would work with Florida law enforcement groups “to make sure they have every tool they need to protect Floridians.”

Sink also appeared with her PBA supporters to criticize Scott’s plan to cut $1 billion in spending from the state’s $2.3 billion prison system.

David Murrell, the PBA’s executive director, said Scott was “playing fast and loose” with the budget numbers.

“It’s basic arithmetic that you cannot cut the correctional system in half without early release of dangerous inmates,” Murrell said.

But Scott’s campaign team was not backing down from the candidate’s bold budget-cutting proposals, citing federal statistics that show Florida was spending about $72 per inmate per day, much higher than the $49 cited for Texas or $37 for Mississippi.

Florida Department of Corrections officials put their daily inmate cost at around $52.

The Scott campaign labeled the PBA criticism “lies and scare tactics.”

“Florida has nearly double the cost per prisoner of other states and by using what has worked in other states, Rick Scott will reduce the cost of prisons by spending tax-dollars more wisely. Alex Sink should disavow these inaccurate scare tactics,” Chad Colby, a Scott spokesman, said in a statement.

Compiled from reports by Lloyd Dunkelberger of the Tallahassee Bureau.

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