California environmentalist shakes up Florida race

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Associated Press

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A California billionaire environmentalist is shaking up the Florida governor's race by spending millions to organize Hispanic and youth voters and buy attack ads targeting Gov. Rick Scott.

The move by former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer has put Scott and Republicans on the defensive. They have hit back with their own ads and threatened television stations with lawsuits if they continue to carry the ads. Lawyers for Scott contend the ads are misleading and has gotten one station to drop them.

Steyer's group is called "NextGen Climate" and it began its blitz of attack ads earlier this month.

One ad targeted Scott's environmental record while another ad criticized Scott over a state law that allowed utilities to charge customers for nuclear power projects even if they don't get built.

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