Main | Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Florida Democratic Party Rips AG McCollum For Lies About Rekers

The Democratic machine in Florida is wasting no time in going after Attorney General Bill McCollum after this morning's revelation that he personally sent a letter recommending Dr. George Rekers be hired for the state's defense of its ban on gay adoption.
As soon as the story broke that Bill McCollum's expert witness for Florida's gay adoption trial was photographed traveling with a male escort from, McCollum began distancing himself from Reverend George Rekers with a series of misleading statements in an effort to spread the blame. But revealing letters from 2007 surfacing today between McCollum and then Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Bob Butterworth show that while DCF initially declined to engage Rekers' services and expressed concern with his outrageous fees, McCollum personally and aggressively pushed Rekers as a witness.

In one letter, McCollum even wrote, "I believe that this expert and his testimony are necessary to ensure a successful result in this case." McCollum also rejected DCF's plan to spend taxpayer money on only one expert witness. Amazingly, Rekers was paid over $120,000 by McCollum's Department of Legal Affairs in two separate payments in 2007 and 2009, even though DCF only agreed to pay $60,900. "This story keeps unraveling, and Bill McCollum is the one standing in the middle of it," said Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party, about McCollum's hiring of the discredited anti-gay witness. "When news first broke about Rekers' hiring of a male escort, McCollum blamed DCF for hiring him, and mislead Floridians about his personal plea for Rekers to be hired. But these letters clearly show that Rekers was Bill McCollum's handpicked witness, and he urged that taxpayer dollars be spent on Rekers over the initial protest of the DCF Secretary."
The Democratic frontrunner for governor of Florida is the politically moderate Alex Sink, who told LGBT activists at an Equality Florida event that she supported gay adoption when it was "in the best interest of the child." One of her Democratic opponents, Darrin McGillis, is distrustful of Sink's positions on LGBT rights.
Alex Sink, currently Florida’s CFO, essentially kicked off her campaign fundraising tour by receiving recognition from Equality Florida for past deeds. But some, like McGillis, are skeptical and feel that these awards may have been given prematurely because Sink is unwilling to commit herself to repealing the most damaging anti-gay law in the state. Sink has stated that she supports overturning Florida’s ban on gay adoptions – the only law of its kind in the United States. She has not yet announced any kind of stance on other issues important to the gay community such as ENDA, DADT or Florida’s Amendment 2. “When Sink said she couldn’t commit to gay marriage but she could commit to gay adoptions, I was offended,” says McGillis. “Someone observing the Sink campaign said she just doesn’t want to lose votes in smaller, rural communities in Florida. If you’re going to stand for equality, it should be across the board.”

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