Poll: McCollum's popularity growing

John O'Brien Mar. 31, 2010, 1:00pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's lead in the race for governor is expanding.

A poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling Institute shows McCollum, a Republican, with a 15-percent lead over Democratic challenger Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer. The results were released Monday.

Mason-Dixon noted that McCollum's lead has grown from 6 percent in June.

McCollum's profile has been increasing on a national scale recently, with his opposition to federal health care legislation and his plan to curb pay-to-play arrangements in the state's Attorney General's Office.

McCollum is leading a group of state attorneys general that says it is unconstitutional to force Americans to purchase health insurance. Under the legislation signed into law last week by President Barack Obama, citizens must or face a financial penalty.

The challenge was filed in Florida federal court.

McCollum is awaiting Gov. Charlie Crist's signature on legislation that will set up a tier system for attorneys fees that can be recovered by private lawyers representing the Attorney General's Office, ultimately capping them at $50 million.

The bill is modeled after practices McCollum currently uses in his office. Similar reform was recently adopted by the State Board of Administration for firms hired for securities lawsuits.

The legislation also provides more readily available public information about contingency fee contracts, such as timesheets and firms' bids.

McCollum served in Congress for 20 years and has been attorney general since 2007. Crist is running for U.S. Senate.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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