U.S. Rep. Connie Mack takes on longtime Sen. Bill Nelson
The race for this U.S. Senate seat is a snoozer, except for the attack ads
Published: October 17, 2012
Which is where those attack ads come in. The American Crossroads Political Action Committee, a conservative PAC founded by a former adviser to President George W. Bush, has spent more than $2 million in the Orlando TV market alone, according to ProPublica's Free the Files project. Some of those dollars have gone toward painting Nelson as a fake farmer who's using Florida's Greenbelt law to obtain a tax exemption on land he owns in Brevard County. The law, which has been in place since 1959, significantly reduces the amount of tax burden on owners of agricultural properties. Savvy corporations and individuals have thrown a few cows onto commercial properties slated for development and reaped the rewards; these anti-Nelson ads try to make it seem as if he's doing just that.
When asked to comment on the Greenbelt law claims, Kincaid says they have "been debunked." The Nelson family has owned the 55 acres in Brevard County since the 1920s, and a lot of the property remains agricultural land. PolitiFact recently denounced the American Crossroads ads that Nelson has unfairly exploited the Greenbelt law as "mostly false."
The Nelson campaign has done its fair share of advertising in this campaign as well, and has spent nearly $1.5 million in TV ads to lash back at Mack, calling him "a promoter for Hooters with a history of barroom brawling, altercations and road rage." But where the claims about Nelson were deemed "mostly false," PolitiFact deemed that one about Mack "mostly true." Mack does have an ancient history of some altercations in nightclubs and bars. And American Bridge 21st Century PAC, which is also spending its money to smear Mack, claims that Mack is a political lightweight who's only passed one bill while in the House. (PolitiFact deemed that one "mostly true" as well.) Mean season, indeed.
The Mack campaign didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.
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