Analyst dissects President Bush's Tampa appearance by Mitch E. Perry

02/17/06

Aubrey Jewettt is a professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida in Orlando….he says despite the President’s battered public opinion numbers, he remains The top politician among Republicans in raising money and spirits (roll tape#1 o.q.��lots of contributors�)

State Democrats trying to find an angle to criticize President Bush today went with the theme that they hope will help them in the fall – that is, the Republican Party’s “Culture of Corruption “ embodied in disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s fall from grace.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman released a statement linking Abramoff and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay with Florida State Senator Ken Pruitt and West Palm Beach political consultant Randy Nielsen. Pruitt is slated to become Senate President of the Florida legislature later this year, and stories in the Palm Beach Post earlier this week revealed that over $200,000 of the $819,000 that Pruitt’s 3 political Action Committees raised in the past 4 years went to pay Neilsen’s consulting firm.

Thurman wrote: “It’s shameful that President Bush lets the Republican culture of corruption follow him wherever he goes.

"With snowballing news of widespread Republican lobbyist scandals in Washington and now in Tallahassee, President Bush should stand firmly against this political corruption. Unfortunately, time and again, he has chosen to stand side-by-side with ethically challenged Republicans like Ken Pruitt for high priced photo opportunities�.

University of Central Florida Political Science Professor Aubrey Jewett believes that Democrats may be able to use the Culture of Corruption theme work for them come this November (roll tape#2 o.q. “exactly the same thing�)

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