July 27, 2011

October 01, 2010

Sink adds another $500k, Scott cuts another $1.1M check

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink added more $504,594 to her campaign coffers, bring her total collected to $9.2 million,according to a campaign finance report posted a few minutes ago. She spent about $47,500 during the same time.

Rick Scott's numbers for the week show he raised $117,580 in donations and cut another $1.1 million personal check to the campaign (which was spent on an ad buy). His donations this week are a little more than half of what he pulled down last week, $184k. He's almost broken the $1 million mark in hard money.

-- Michael C. Bender

September 09, 2010

Sink creates a no-limit political committee

Asked earlier this month about establishing a political committee to raise unfettered contributions, Alex Sink said this: "If my campaign decides to set up a 527, then the contributions will be fully transparent."

But her answer on Sept. 2 was less than transparent. State records show two days earlier, on Aug. 31, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate signed a form to solicit contributions and manage a 527 called Hold Them Accountable, Inc.

The committee was established two weeks earlier by the Sink campaign's lawyer, Ron Meyer, and lists a longtime Sink family friend, Liana Fox, as the chairperson. It received one contribution -- a $500 check -- from the campaign finance chairman, Richard Swann, an Orlando lawyer.

Asked about the misleading statement, Sink spokeswoman Kyra Jennings would only say "the campaign has followed the rules."

August 26, 2010

Bud Chiles calls for stricter campaign finance laws

On a leafy side street in a nice neighborhood in Tampa, independent candidate for governor Lawton "Bud" Chiles railed against Florida's campaign finance system while standing in front of an accounting office associated with dozens of political committees.

“This building behind me is ground zero for what’s wrong with FL politics," Chiles said. "What’s being hidden from Florida voters?

Chiles held his press conference outside Robert Watkins and Co, with the famous address (in political circles) of 610 South Boulevard. State records show that Nancy Watkins, is associated with 32 active political committees that raised just less than $12 million last year. Most of the committees are associated with Republican candidates or issues.

Watkins defended the committees: "I do believe in the public’s right and need to know. They report every penny in and out." Watkins said her one gripe is that some apparent campaign finance violations go unreported to the Florida Elections Commission.

-- Steve Bousquet

August 17, 2010

Scott puts $4 million into final ads

If you don't see Rick Scott on your TV in Florida this week, you're blind. Scott's campaign put $3.7 million behind it's final message, its largest single television advertising buy to date.

Scott is obliterating rival Bill McCollum -- with what seems like 5,000 different ads -- who at the moment plans to spend $1.6 million through the Aug. 24 primary.

With the primary a week away, Scott is poised to spend $38 million ($27 million on his own; $10 million from his political committee) while McCollum barely tops $13 million ($5.2 million from his campaign; $8 million from his political committees).

So the total spent: tops $50 million.

RGA hits Sink with attack ad

UPDATED: A new political committee -- with ties to the Republican Governor's Association -- is poised to hit Democrat Alex Sink with a familiar attack ad.

The group, Florida's Future Fund, is airing virtually the same ad the RGA hit Sink with earlier this year. It suggests she eliminated jobs in her role at Bank of America at the same time she took huge bonuses. ("Not one of us. One of them.") The main change is the tagline, which calls Sink a "financial disaster."

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August 16, 2010

Kottkamp, Dorworth pledge to return Greer money

Disgraced GOP chairman Jim Greer didn't write them letters asking for it but two more top Florida Republicans are returning his contributions Monday.

Following Gov. Charlie Crist’s lead, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp’s attorney general campaign said Monday it would donate the $1,000 the Jim and Lisa Greer gave to the party -- to help repay the money Greer misused, said campaign manager David Bishop. The campaign promised this a month ago -- at the prodding of rival Pam Bondi -- but still hadn't made the donation, campaign finance records show.

Likewise, Rep. Chris Dorworth, a future House speaker seeking re-election, said he would return the $500 his campaign received. "I don't recall getting a campaign contribution from him this cycle, but I haven't looked. If I did, I would return the check," Dorworth said. He received the check the day before the 2009 session at a Florida Chamber fundraiser and later promised to send it back.

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Greer needs money for lawyers, asks Crist for money back


Crist Hugs Greer - Low Res UPDATED: Jim Greer, the indicted former chairman of the state Republican Party, is asking Gov. Charlie Crist to refund $9,600 in campaign contributions made to Crist's U.S. Senate campaign. "As you know circumstances have caused me to need money to defend myself and take care of my family," Greer wrote in a letter to the campaign. "I know sending the money back is hard, but with what has happened it may be politically beneficial for you to do." (Download the letter here.)

The letter goes on to hammer the Republican Party of Florida leaders who helped oust Greer. "The current RPOF leadership, including (gubernatorial candidate Bill) McCollum, (Party Chairman John) Thrasher and many of the state committee members are simply liars, racists, and extremists ... the current bunch that are running the show will stop at nothing to cover for their own misdeeds," it reads.

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July 30, 2010

New public money totals released

Here's this week's update on the public money (this section of the public finance law is not affected by today's injuction on the so-called "millionaire's amendment.") Bill McCollum is the only candidate for governor taking public money -- for various reasons. Rick Scott won't take it. Alex Sink isn't sure if she wants it. And Bud Chiles wants it but hasn't yet qualified for it.

Governor: Bill McCollum: $1.7 million. Rick Scott: $0 Alex Sink: $0 Bud Chiles: $0.

Attorney General: Dave Aronberg: $290k. Dan Gelber: $353k. Holly Benson: $249k. Pam Bondi: $307k. Jeff Kottkamp: $259k.

CFO: Jeff Atwater: $586k. Loranne Ausley: $311.

Ag Commissioner: Scott Maddox: $196k. Adam Putnam: $317k.

July 29, 2010

Down in polls, McCollum declares 'We are going to win this election'

Attorney General Bill McCollum suggested "polls vary a lot" and he is not worried about the latest Quinnipiac survey showing him down 11 points in the Republican governor's race to rival Rick Scott.

"The fact of the matter is we know we are down a little bit to Mr. Scott," McCollum said before Thursday's state Cabinet meeting. "We are going to close strong and we have the resources to do it and we are going to win this election."

McCollum pointed to the poll by the Florida Medical Association -- one of his chief supporters -- that showed him down four points. "We have a long way to go and there are a lot of undecideds in that polls itself," he added.

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