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Southerland's no good, very bad October

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It's been a rough October for embattled and top targeted Congressman Steve Southerland:

  • First, the News Service of Florida exposed Southerland's stimulus hypocrisy: railing against the program after accepting millions in stimulus funding just one year earlier. 
  • Then, at his own rally, Southerland was confronted by north Florida women who noted that the Congressman voted against fair pay for equal work.  
  • Last week The Hill highlighted Southerland's record of paying his taxes late 27 times — including in 2006, when he claimed he could not afford to pay his taxes, but managed to find the money to buy a 32 foot boat. 
  • And this week, Southerland has been under attack from Florida veterans — who, as ABC Tallahassee and WFSU reported last night, held a press conference yesterday condemning Southerland for his votes against service members — and for failing to properly bury a veteran at his funeral home, leaving the deceased veteran 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 that "could favor the challenger."  Coverage below: 

In CD 2, Democrats, Steve Southerland swap hypocrisy charges [News Service of Florida] "The Florida Democratic Party Monday accused U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland of hypocrisy in accepting federal stimulus dollars as chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida – shortly before he ran for Congress and called the stimulus a 'boondoggle.'" 

Women For Romney, Rep. Steve Southerland Hold Rally On Capitol Steps [WFSU] "As he spoke, protesters organized by the Democratic Party of Florida stood behind him holding signs with slogans like “Southerland Too Extreme For Women.” Anne Allen, who lives in Leon County, was one of them. 'I’m very concerned as a woman, an older woman in her—just turned 60—that he is against, to me, so many women’s issues. He voted against fair pay for women. Just, what he represents, is just against women’s best interest,' she said." 

Florida Dems target Rep. Southerland for late tax payments [The Hill] "Southerland is president of Machriste, Inc., which paid property taxes on a number of properties late at least 27 times from 1995 to 2012, according to records from Florida tax collectors. And in 2006, the lawmaker took out a loan valued at between $100,001 and $250,000 to buy a 32-foot boat, as reported in his personal financial disclosures." 

Panhandle GOP congressman in tough re-election bid [AP] "A year after complaining about his congressional salary, first-term incumbent Republican Steve Southerland from Panama City hopes to hold off former longtime Democratic state lawmaker Al Lawson of Tallahassee in Florida's 2nd Congressional District where newly drawn boundaries could favor the challenger." 

Southerland accused of mishandling veteran's remains [ABC Tallahassee] "Southerland's funeral home company left a veteran's body exposed for three days" 

Veterans, Democrats Attack Rep. Southerland On Veterans' Issues; Southerland Responds [WFSU] "Military veterans are speaking out against U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, who is in a tight reelection race against former state lawmaker Al Lawson for his District 2 Congressional seat. The veterans spoke at a Tallahassee press conference organized by the Florida Democratic Party on Tuesday."