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Facing re-election, Pam Bondi launches new mobile app

Candidates question her political motives

Chloe Herring | 8/14/2014, 9 a.m.
Several weeks before Florida voters take to the polls to select her opponent in primary elections, attorney general Pam Bondi ...

Several weeks before Florida voters take to the polls to select her opponent in primary elections, attorney general Pam Bondi launched a mobile application intended to make her office more accessible.

The app, which was released Aug. 1, is free and available to Apple users. Major features include press releases and personal statements from Bondi every week. Users can file a Medicaid fraud complaint form directly on the app, but will be redirected to the web if they try to fill the form for a citizen services complaint.

The office of Pam Bondi declined comment, but in an email wrote that the app was developed by staff and cost $99 to make.

With “Pam Bondi” in large white letters next to a smiling photo in the header, a photo gallery showcasing Bondi with canine friends, and elections right around the corner the motivation behind the recent app launch could be in question. Bondi, who has been attorney general since 2011, is seeking a second term in office this November.

The app was not created for campaign purposes according to press secretary Whitney Ray who wrote that it was created “with the sole, expressed purpose of affording Floridians the ability to stay informed.”

But Democratic candidates for attorney general aren’t convinced.

“It’s obvious that [Bondi’s app] is political and consistent with some of the other positions she’s taken in the last several months,”said Lance Block, manager for George Sheldon’s campaign for Florida attorney general.

Block continued in writing to challenge Bondi for politicizing her office.

“To finally make improvements to the office 90 days before the election is business as usual for her and an obvious campaign stunt,” Block wrote.

It’s unclear whether the app will be available to a new officeholder if Bondi is not re-elected as attorney general in November.