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RACHEL MARTIN, host:

For more on those races in Florida, we turn now to Aaron Sharockman. He's a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and PolitiFact.com. He joins us from the St. Petersburg Times newsroom to Truth Squad the latest round of campaign ads running in the State of Florida.

Hey, Aaron, welcome.

Mr. AARON SHAROCKMAN (Reporter, PolitiFact.com): How you doing? There's a lot of ads running in Florida, so we're very busy right now.

MARTIN: So let's kick things off by talking about the Republican primary for governor. Rick Scott has what some are calling some fairly controversial ads. The latest one so controversial actually, that two prominent Republicans have asked for the thing to be removed from the airwaves. It's called - "Secrecy" is the name of this ad and it starts with a mugs hot of Florida's GOP Chairman Jim Greer. Let's take a listen.

(Soundbite of a political ad)

Unidentified Man #1: Party boss, Jim Greer, arrested for money laundering. And who backed Jim Greer's effort to hide financial irregularities? Bill McCollum. As investigators closed in, McCollum said Greer's financial records should be kept secret, not open to the public.

MARTIN: Okay, Aaron, put on your PolitiFact hat: True, not so true, or pants on fire, outright lie?

Mr. SHAROCKMAN: Well, in this case, we rated this ad false. The clear implication of this ad is that Bill McCollum had something to do with Jim Greer's arrest for fraud and money laundering. In fact, it was McCollum who referred internal party audit to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that eventually led to Greer's arrest.

Now, the Scott campaign counters, and they correctly note that McCollum at first wanted to handle this matter internally. But his statements were very clear always in that if there was wrongdoing uncovered in the internal party audit that that would be handed over to the proper authorities, and thats exactly what McCollum did in this case.

MARTIN: Let's now move on, though, to the Democratic primary for Senate. Congressman Kendrick Meek has an ad against his opponent Jeff Greene. The ad is called "He's the Man." Let's take a listen.

(Soundbite of a political ad)

Unidentified Man #2: Meet the real Jeff Greene. Ran for Congress as a California Republican, moved to Florida two years ago, became a billionaire on Wall Street betting middle-class families would lose their homes. Helped fuel the economic meltdown. Warren Buffett called Greene's scheme financial weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. JEFF GREENE (Democrat, Senatorial Candidate): They'll attack me for my friends and my past when I was single. Some of it's true, none of it matters.

Unidentified Man #2: Betting on suffering does matter.

MARTIN: Where do I even start with this, Aaron?

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: First of all, Im going to start with: What is up with the 1970s bawm-chica-bawm-bawm beat in the background?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHAROCKMAN: I guess it's the subtle suggestion here. Jeff Greene is a man who's very wealthy and has a lot of interesting friends. The best man at his wedding was Mike Tyson. He's friends with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. And so, here's a guy who made a lot of money out in California, made a lot of interesting friends as a result. And so, that music I assume is supposed to tell your listeners that this guy is a partier.

Now, he exaggerates Jeff Greene's financial investments and dealings, and uses a quote from Warren Buffett out of context. And then they throw a snippet of Greene himself - not responding to those specific allegations necessarily, but a general comment that fits well into the narrative of the ad. And that I think will resonate with voters.

MARTIN: Is all this kind of par for the course in Florida, or is this, in your opinion, a particularly strident political season?

Mr. SHAROCKMAN: I think it's unique, it's one of a kind. I mean we've seen a Republican primary now with $51 million spent for governor - it's the most expensive governor's race ever. And the same thing in the Senate Democratic primary, Jeff Greene has spent I think over $22 million of his own money now.

They're able to spend money and do things that no other Florida politician has ever, ever been able to do before.

MARTIN: Well, we'll stay tuned to see how it all plays out. It's not over yet.

Aaron Sharockman is a Politifact reporter at the St. Petersburg Times. Aaron, thanks so much.

Mr. SHAROCKMAN: Thank you.

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