The Dan Webster-Val Demings race for Florida’s 10th Congressional District is heating up.
Demings, a Democrat and former Orlando police chief , called a news conference today to release her “Accountability Plan.” Among other things, Demings called for:
- Legislation requiring members of Congress to disclose any tax breaks they vote for from which they would personally benefit.
- Requiring PACs and other electioneering organizations that spend at least $10,000 per cycle to disclose file a report within 24 hours identifying big donors. (Former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush supports similar transparency.
Perhaps more significantly, Demings’ news conference marked the first time she has taken swipes directly at Webster, the first-term Republican incumbent from Winter Garden. Until now, the target of her criticism has been more nebulous: “Washington” and “politicians.”
“Dan Webster has not been accountable,” Demings said. “He does not want to be held accountable for his votes. He has not held public events where voters are welcome to ask the tough questions.”
She also raised a controversy from last year, accusing Webster of putting together a “watch list” of opponents. Last year, Webster’s office distributed material to other GOP House members that included a list of six Central Floridians, with names and photos, who spoke at a Webster town hall meeting. It listed their ties, some accurate and some not, to progressive activist groups, and in one case questioned a speaker’s service in Vietnam. At the time, Webster said he was simply trying to share information with colleagues about how best to handle such meetings.