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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Fla. GOP calls on TV to pull Crist ad shot at St. Pete High


Published:

Charlie Crist is facing criticism for an advertisement filmed at his alma mater, St. Petersburg High School.

The television ad, called Doorway, aims to highlight the former Republican governor’s commitment to investing in education, according to the Crist campaign.

There’s just one problem – the advertisement violates Pinellas County School Board policy prohibiting district property from being used for political advertising.

In a statement this week, the Pinellas County School District said permission was granted for the school to be used at no charge.

The move, the statement said, “was an error in judgment on the part of the school administrator” that “should in no way be interpreted as an endorsement on the part of the Pinellas County School District or the Pinellas County School Board for Mr. Crist or any candidate running for any public office.”

The district’s legal office has asked the Crist campaign to stop running the advertisement.

Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesman for the Crist campaign, declined to discuss campaign strategy and which advertisements the campaign planned to run.

“Unlike Rick Scott, who misled police officers to get them to participate in the campaign event, we requested and received permission from the school to shoot the ad,” Gilfillan said in a statement.

On Friday, the Republican Party of Florida sent letters to television stations airing the advertisement asking them to stop.

“The offending ad not only violates school board policy but also runs afoul of multiple provisions of Florida law,” said Juston Johnson, the party’s executive director.

He wrote a letter to WTSP-CBS Tampa Bay.

“I write to request that you display a greater degree of respect for Florida’s schools and laws than Mr. Crist by immediately pulling the Crist campaign ad from any further airings.”

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