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More FL Democrat struggles: CFO candidate has past of bankruptcies

@MarcACaputo

Political unknown Allie Braswell was already facing an uphill struggle in taking on state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who has a solid political team, a Midas touch for fundraising and good name ID (he got more votes in 2010 than anyone else on the Florida ballot: Marco Rubio, Adam Putnam, Pam Bondi or Rick Scott).

Here's another hurdle for Braswell: The Florida Times Union reports he filed for bankruptcy as many as three times.

It's not a disqualification, Democrats will tell you as they quickly point to the record Medicare fraud fine paid by the hospital company that Scott ran years ago.

But Scott overcame those challenges with gobs of his own personal money and a sharp group of message masters. It doesn't look like Braswell has either of those at his disposal. And it's tough to run for a finance-related job when your finances were a mess at one point.

Braswell's candidacy is another sign of the Florida Democratic Party's structural problems. It struggles to field big-name candidates of its own. Despite outnumbering Republicans by more than 514,209 registered active voters, Democrats control no statewide seats based in the state Capitol and only have one statewide elected official, Sen. Bill Nelson. They're also heavily in the minority in the Florida House and Senate.

The FDP has no bench.

Right now its best hope, according to polls, used to be a Republican: Gov. Charlie Crist, who might run for his old job as a Democrat. In that one respect, Crist has a similarity with Braswell, who also used to be a Republican.

Here's the Times Union on Braswell:

His most recent petition, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Orlando in October 2008, shows he had $324,325 in assets and $509,155 in liabilities. The case was dismissed by Judge Arthur B. Briskman nearly 13 months after it was filed because Brawell defaulted on payments associated with a payment plan.

At the time of dismissal, he was delinquent on plan payments to the tune of $6,000. “Debtor failed to become current in payments and failed to file a response to the Trustee’s motion to dismiss … this case should be dismissed,” the judge wrote in his final order.

Because it was dismissed, Braswell had to reassume the debt. He would not say how much debt he is carrying today, information that will have to be made public on financial disclosure forms filed by all candidates.

“I used bankruptcy as way to responsibly pay my debt,” he said in an interview Friday.

Comments

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Hightower

Rick Scott's company committed the largest Medicare fraud in US history under his watch. He resigned in shame and was paid hush money which he used to run his campaign. Braswell doesn't have the money to get elected like Scott did.

Ed Jenkins

Just as I thought when this guy surfaced earlier this week, when I saw urban league in his resume I knew fraud and corruption couldn't be too far behind.

Jam

Atwater is a joke as a person and a politician. He's like a Neanderthal that yet has to evolve except he smiles and pretends to know everyone's name. He has no spine and no balls. But he'll probably win because its Florida.

Stickler for Accuracy

So, Allison Tant signed off on a CFO candidate who can't even manage his own money? WTF? I just don't understand how we as a party can be this screwed up.

Come on, Democrats! Can't we do better than a Party Chair who doesn't even bother to vet a top statewide candidate before releasing a glowing statement saying "this is exactly what we need in Tallahassee?"

This is just embarrassing.

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