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FL Dems Statement in Response to Southerland's Event in Tallahassee

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TALLAHASSEE, FL —After suffering through a month of negative headlines and as momentum shifts to Democrat Al Lawson, the Tallahassee Republican establishment today mounted a desperate, 11th hour attempt to rally support for embattled congressman Steve Southerland. In response, the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement: 

STATEMENT FROM DAVID BERGSTEIN, SPOKESMAN FOR THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

"Congressman Southerland said he'd change Washington, but all he's done is become part of the broken Congress in Washington — so it's no surprise that he'd appear today alongside Republicans who epitomize the same hyper-partisan, broken politics of Tallahassee. After watching Southerland rubber-stamp the GOP's Tea Party agenda — including voting twice to end Medicare as we know it and supporting privatizing Social Security — the residents of north Florida know that Southerland is more interested in pushing an extreme agenda that is out touch with our values, and can't be trusted to protect Florida's middle class families."

Over the past month, Southerland has come under fire for hypocrisy on the Stimulus program, failing to pay his taxes on time while buying a 32 foot boat, for his votes against women's issues and for voting against veterans after failing to properly bury a service member — leaving his body exposed to the elements for three days. 

With a month like that — and with polling showing the race is tied — it's no wonder that the Cook Political Report recently shifted FL-02 away from the Republicans, and the AP wrote that Southerland is a "tough re-election bid," with a new district "could favor the challenger."  Coverage below:  

BACKGROUND:  

Southerland Received 94% Score for Tea Party Record. In 2012, Southerland received an 94 percent from the Club for Growth for his record of “fealty to the Tea Party movement.” Southerland ranked 13 out of the 87 House Republican freshmen, placing him in the top 15 percent. [Club for Growth, accessed 10/23/12]

Southerland: “I am Hardly a Moderate.” “Let me say this, in Washington DC, no one gets me confused with moderates [...] When you are 1 of 10 freshmen who voted against the speak deficit bill? I am hardly a moderate.” [Branford Town Hall, 5/03/12

Southerland Touted Bipartisanship After Saying Democrats Do Not Like Freedom.  In October 2012, Southerland said, “I think the truth is that I have crossed the aisle, I’ve worked with other members like Barney Frank, like Dennis Kucinich.” Days earlier, Southerland said of the individuals “coming after” him, “It’s almost like they have a problem with the Declaration of Independence.” He went on to ask Democrats, “Why do you and your party not like freedom? [...] Let me tell you why they’re not going to answer the question, because they don’t like truth.” [WFSU Political Perspectives, 10/11/12; Panama City Fish Fry, 10/08/12

Southerland Said He We Can’t Afford the Department of Education.  “I think departments like the Department of Education, Department of Energy, the EPA, I think those are things that right now we can’t afford. And in business, if we can’t afford it, we don’t buy it. There’s a lot of money being spent in Washington D.C. that we could eliminate if we cut, and those are some of the departments I would cut right there.” [Suwannee County REC Candidate Forum, 6/08/10]

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