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In daughter's Congress bid, Bob Graham co-host's big-name fundraiser at Brian Ballard home


Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham, has a high-powered team of Florida lobbyists and insiders hosting an April 23 fundraiser for her Congressional campaign at the Tallahassee home of superlobbyist Brian Ballard. He's co-hosting the $250-per-attendee event with Bob Graham. Maximum contribution: $5,200.

A Republican fundraiser who led Mitt Romney's money-raising team in Florida, Ballard is crossing party by backing Graham over incumbent GOP U.S. Rep Steve Southerland.

Bill Holliman & Loranne Ausley, Duby & Sallie Ausley, Ron Book, Scott Carruthers, Harry & Mary Chiles, Steve Dobson, Jim Eaton, Arnold & Perlan Hantman, Don Hinkle & Mimi Graham, Steve Hurm, Mark & Marina Logan, Steve  Jane Menton, Jon & Serena Moyle, Tom & Dottie Panza; Bill Rubin, Ron Sachs & Gaye Webster-Sachs.

**Update, Republican strategist Kirstin Borman questions the legality of the fundraiser.

"That invite is illegal. Where is paid-for disclaimer? and also the $5200 limit cannot be listed like that," she wrote via Twitter.

Graham's campaign manager, Julia Gill, responded by email: I wanted to send over an electronic version of the invitation so that you could see that the disclaimer is clearly listed on the back. My compliance firm has assured me that it is legal to list "$5,200 maximum per person", as the disclaimer states on the back that contributions can total up to $2,600 per election and $5,200 per election cycle. Lastly, the event is $250 per head to attend, not $5,200 as your story states.

The fact that GOP operatives are trying to attack the campaign on something so miniscule shows that Republicans are worried about losing this seat.

So hold on to the safety rail, folks. When a fundraiser invite has big names like this and prompts a quick response questioning its legality, it's a sign we've got a helluva race in the Tallahassee area brewing.