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Sen. Bennett Threatens Sunshine State News Reporter

I didn't expect Sen Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, to like the fact that I reported on what I saw in plain view on the Senate floor last Thursday.

But within about an hour after publishing my story about the pornographic image we caught with our cameras on his computer, I got a threatening phone call from the senator blasting me for publishing his story.

"What kind of man are you?" he asked, then ascribed other attributes to my character such as "pathetic" and "voyeuristic".

"What kind of man sneaks over people's shoulders like that?" Bennett questioned.

I'd like to remind readers that Sen. Mike Bennett was viewing the image on the Senate floor during session -- while I was in the standard place for reporters during session, which is one floor above in the reporters' gallery.

Bennett says he had just opened the email and closed it as soon as he realized what it was. That fact was reported in the original story. He also said in the phone call that he left the computer on his desk in Tallahassee for us to see, but Sunshine State News had already been denied access to view the files that he accessed while using the computer.

After a few more personal insults, the Bradenton senator made a vow.

"I will do everything in my power, everything -- I don't know what that is exactly -- but I will do everything I can to make sure your days at the Capitol and reporting are over," Bennett said.

In case you missed it, here's the full story.

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