Davis Vs. Smith by Mitch E. Perry

08/24/06

Through the first 15 minutes of last night’s debate between Jim Davis and Rod Smith, the 2 candidates were in lock step regarding public education, the evils of the FCAT , Small Class Size, and even the Death Penalty.

But when Palm Beach Post columnist Elisa Cramer asked about the cleanup of the Everglades, the sniping began …Congressman Davis got the first dig in (roll tape#1 o.q.�
$1 million dollars to this campaigin�)

Smith responded, and blamed Congress – and Davis, for not fulfilling their responsibilities with the cleanup (roll tape#2 o.q.�polluters will pay�)

That was of many times Davis attacked Smith for his alligance with the company U.S. Sugar, which has given money to a 527 group Florida Working Families- for both television ads and fliers blasting Davis.

Davis contends the most recent TV ad supported by Florida Working Families is a lie, and on Wednesday WTVT Fox 13 in Tampa – threatened with legal action, stopped airing the ad.

But Smith would not condemn the group, though Davis compared the cozy relationship with Smith as being one that George W. Bush had with the Swift Boat Vets For Truth in 2004.

The candidates were later asked if they supported the death penalty, and if so why. Not surprisingly, both Democrats said they DO support state executions. They also agreed about providing a paper trail for touch screen voting machines, and that they favor automatic restoration of felon rights.

The Rod Smith campaign squad went deep into their opposition research when they criticized Davis for failing to back a measure supported by President Clinton on reducing class size back in 1999.

And they went even further to bring out a 1990 claims bill in the Florida Legislature to compensate two wrongly accused black men, Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee.
(roll tape#2 o.q.�denied is delayed’)

As expected Smith hammered Davis on his record of missed votes in the most recent Congress…Davis countered that until the past 2 years, he had an exemplary record of recorded votes.

Smith went a little further than Davis when talking economics, when he said that part of how he’ll pay for his education plan is to bring back the intangibles tax that Governor Bush had called ‘insidious’ in eliminating…Davis wouldn’t match him on that, saying bringing back that tax simply wasn’t possible.

The two got into a fast exchange of wits when Davis tried to move away from speaking about his voting record and blast Smith for his support of a 2002 bill that ultimately led to phone rates going up for Florida citizens (roll tape#3 o.q.�read the bills�)

The next Democratic debate will take place next Tuesday night from West Palm Beach

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