The first rule of Political Debate Club, at least in Florida’s gubernatorial race? No messages from staff. Second rule of Political Debate Club? Don’t get caught on camera breaking the first rule. It’s one thing to cheat during a debate, but Alex Sink commits the really unpardonable sin of being incompetent at it:

Alex Sink’s campaign violated rules Monday evening at the CNN/St. Petersburg Times Florida gubernatorial debate when her make-up artist delivered a message during a television break.

Sink, the Democratic nominee, was shown a two-sentence message on a cell phone that offered her advice during the debate. Republican nominee Rick Scott who was sitting next to her in this nationally televised debate, noticed the violation and notified a CNN official, who approached the make-up artist and Sink and confiscated the cell phone.

And the third rule of Political Debate Club? Fire the staffer after you get caught and find a way to blame your political opponent. Sink got this one right, at least:

After the debate, the Sink campaign released a statement from the candidate announcing that the advisor who sent the message has been removed from the campaign. The advisor was not named in the statement, but a campaign spokesman confirmed it is Brian May, who signed the rules agreement before the debate on behalf of the Sink campaign.

“After the debate tonight, one of my campaign advisors admitted he tried to communicate with me during one of the breaks,” Sink said.

“While he told me it was out of anger with Rick Scott’s repeated distortion of facts, it was a foolish thing to do. It violated a debate agreement and I immediately removed him from the campaign. “

Scott actually called Sink out for the cheat during the broadcast, a moment that few candidates get in a campaign. Hope Scott enjoys it.

Tags: Florida