Bill McCollum slams Rick Scott
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Did Bill McCollum go too far?


In the email sent out late Tuesday night, Bill McCollum's campaign manager Matt Williams, harshly attacks Republican primary opponent Rick Scott.

Scott, a wealthy Naples businessman, has spent a chunk of his fortune on political ads that have propelled him to within striking distance of McCollum, Florida's attorney general. In a matter of weeks, Scott the surprise candidate has turned a sure-thing nomination for McCollum into a serious primary fight.

That may explain the late-night email from the McCollum campaign as part of an effort to deflate Scott. But McCollum's camp may have gone a bit too far.

In the email there is a line that says of Scott:  "This is a man who barely escaped imprisonment..."

Really? CPR has reviewed many news stories stemming from the federal investigation of Scott's former company - Columbia/HCA. We may have missed something and we would be the last to call it an exhaustive review.

But so far, CPR has found nothing that suggests Scott "barely escaped imprisonment."

What is known has been widely reported.

Scott was the CEO of Columbia/HCA. The company was investigated for Medicaid fraud, pleaded guilty and was fined $1.7 billion. The board of directors ousted Scott in 1997.

During the time of the federal investigation, writer Bruce Japsen of Modern Healthcare did a 4,800 word story looking at Scott's relationship with HCA and his growing strain with the board. Members of the board became increasingly concerned about Scott's handling of the media.

After an appearance on CNN's Moneyline, where Scott was dismissive of the federal investigation, the board held a conference call and began discussing ousting Scott.

It is certainly fair to question Scott's leadership abilities if the $20 billion company he led was responsible for defrauding the government.

But Scott was not indicted, arrested, nor did he "barely escape prison."

Don't stand under the coconut tree.


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