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August 19, 2008

Strange bedfellows in Florida

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) is spending money to help a Democratic rival who once accused the congressman of killing his dogs, hot-wiring his car and being involved with Chinese spies.

Not to mention rigging the election.

In fact, Feeney recently called Democratic computer programmer Clint Curtis the “craziest man in America” and that he wasn’t “in the same solar system as the rest of us.”

But despite the bad blood between Feeney and Curtis, the former is sending out automated phone calls in the district putting the past controversies behind him.

“Democrat Clint Curtis wants to protect Social Security and provide free health care to all Americans,” the robocall says. “Clint Curtis is the only Democrat taking on Tom Feeney, and has consistently opposed the war in Iraq.”

Of course, the reason for Feeney’s newfound generosity is purely political. His likely Democratic opponent is former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, who has a sizable campaign warchest and isn’t a conspiracy theorist. Curtis is running against her in the Democratic primary.

With Curtis as the Democratic nominee, Feeney would likely cruise to reelection. With Kosmas, he will probably be facing his toughest reelection bid to date.

Democrats have been confident about their ability to oust Feeney because of his past ties with jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In 2003, he took a golf trip to Scotland financed by Abramoff, which he has admitted was a mistake.

His Orlando-based district leans Republican, giving President Bush 55 percent of the vote in 2004. Feeney drew the district for himself when he was state House speaker and has coasted to reelection in all his campaigns to date.