Campaign money

New Next Gen ad accuses Rick Scott of helping Koch brothers pollute St. Johns River

 The lastest ad from billionaire Tom Steyer and his Next Gen Climate Action Committee says the Koch Brothers owned Georgia Pacific was stopped from polluting the St. Johns River by Charlie Crist. 

The ad then says the Governor Rick Scott allowed GP to pollute suggesting it was in exchange for $6 million in campaign contributions himself and others from the Koch Brothers.

From the ad:

Narrator: The St. Johns River. Georgia Pacific tried to dump cancer causing chemicals into it and Charlie Crist fought them to protect Florida families.

Then Rick Scott took over. Now Georgia Pacific is polluting the river. 

Who owns Georgia Pacific? The Koch Brothers - spending $6 million on Scott and his allies. 

Rick Scott - for the powerful few. And sometimes, just the powerful two.

With nearly every poll showing the race between Crist and Scott tied, Steyer and the Koch brothers must be sweating the outcome.  


Rick Scott, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio event Friday at the Biltmore

Some of Florida's most interesting political donors are hosting an event Friday to raise money for Governor Rick Scott's reelection campaign and the Florida Republican Party.

"You are cordially invited to an afternoon with Governor Rick Scott along with special guests Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio (and)  Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera."

The event is at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables - a glorious place where Bush has his private office mere steps from the golf course.

The gathering begins at 11:30 with a "lunch reception" costing $250 per person or $500 per couple.

The big money event begins at 12:45. It is the "Event Chair Luncheon" for those who have either given or raised $25,000.

The event chairs include:

Pepe Fanjul, Sr., and Pepe Fanjul Jr, owners of Florida Crystals.

Tammy Meyerson, CEO and president of Preferred Medical Plan,

Jim Robo, chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy, Inc. the parent company of FPL.

Jeffrey Soffer, owner of Turnberry Associates.

George Zoley, founder of the private prison company GEO Group.

We suspect this gathering will be closed to the media.

Wouldn't it be fun if former Republican Charlie Crist dropped by to his old friends?


Rick Scott suggests that he is indeed ready to spend his own money

Last week, Crowley Political Report told you that Florida Gov. Rick Scott may be ready to dump up to $22 million of his own money into his campaign for reelection.

Yesterday, the Miami Herald came close to getting Scott to admit it.

From the Herald:

Asked if he (Scott) might therefore put his own money into the race, Scott only said: "we’ll see.”

Question: “You haven’t yet though?”

Scott: “We’ll see.”

Scott could be plowing money into the Republican Party of Florida, which doesn’t have to report its finances until the end of the month. Scott signed an election bill that required more disclosure, but it omitted disclosing these types of transactions.

Here is our original report:

Both Rick Scott's campaign and the Florida Republican Party have offered "no comment" to a Crowley Political Report question about whether the Governor is about to dip into his bank account to the tune of $20 million to spend on his effort to defeat Democrat Charlie Crist.

A Republican source confirms the $20 million, while a Democratic source says the word last week was that Scott would spend $22 million.

Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair replied to a Crowley Political Report email with: "No comment here." And Florida GOP spokeswoman Susan Hepworth replied, "no comment."

Neither of those replies suggest that the Scott rumor is true.

Throughout the campaign, despite prodigious fundraising, it has been expected that Scott, who spent more than $70 million of his own money to win in 2010, would again dip into his coffers to boost his campaign in the final weeks.

It will be interesting to hear what Scott says the next time he is asked about using his own money for the campaign. Even if he says he is not using his money, the rumor is not likely to be put to rest until all the campaign finance disclosures are completed.

Meanwhile, both Republicans and Democrats continue to speculate about the cash. Is it real, or just an effort to spook the Crist campaign?

In tight Florida Senate race, Mark Foley hosts fundraiser for Ellyn Bogdanoff

One of the most important Florida Senate races is a rematch between Democratic state Sen. Maria Sachs and Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff who lost a bitter race to Sachs in 2012.

Much is at stake. If Bogdanoff wins she is expected to support state Sen. Jack Latvala in his bare knuckles brawl with Sen. Joe Negron to become the 2016 senate president. Plus, a Bogdanoff victory would give the Senate a veto proof edge that could make Florida's next governor - Republcian Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist - miserable.

Former Republican Congressman Mark Foley is hosting a fundraiser tonight for Bogdanoff as his West Palm Beach home.  

Senate district 34 includes parts of Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

The invitation to tonight's fundraiser is below.


Foley bogdanoff



Florida Democrats react to report that Rick Scott is spending millions on campaign

Earlier today, Crowley Political Report told you that Republican Governor Rick Scott may be about to drop up to $22 million of his own money into his reelection campaign. Both Scott's campaign and the Florida Republican Party said, "no comment."

Both Republican and Democratic sources said they have knowledge of Scott's contribution to his campaign. We'll soon know if it it true.

Earlier in the campaign Scott said he did not intend to spend any of his own money to win reelection. It will be interesting if Scott changed his mind.

Meanwhile, Democrat Charlie Crist's campaign just sent out this statement.

Statement from Crist for Governor Communications Director Brendan Gilfillan on Rick Scott's Reported Self-Funding

"It's ironic that on the same day Rick Scott's campaign releases an ad about wealth, we hear he has written a $22 million check to his campaign to blanket Florida airwaves for the last two and a half weeks of the election. That is serious money - and no doubt he's hoping it'll help paper over his calamitous debate performance. 
"He won't confirm it, but since his party is losing faith in him Rick Scott is reportedly funding his campaign himself these days. With money he earned as CEO of...well, you know. This is despite him telling Florida voters he wouldn't need to self-fund his re-election campaign. Presumably because the $75 million he spent last time around would convince Floridians to really, really like him.
"The question is, what could he possibly expect the next $22 million in lying TV ads going to get him that the first $125 million didn't?"


Is Rick Scott about to spend $20 million of his own money to defeat Charlie Crist

Both Rick Scott's campaign and the Florida Republican Party have offered "no comment" to a Crowley Political Report question about whether the Governor is about to dip into his bank account to the tune of $20 million to spend on his effort to defeat Democrat Charlie Crist.

A Republican source confirms the $20 million, while a Democratic source says the word last week was that Scott would spend $22 million.

Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair replied to a Crowley Political Report email with: "No comment here." And Florida GOP spokeswoman Susan Hepworth replied, "no comment."

Neither of those replies suggest that the Scott rumor is true.

Throughout the campaign, despite prodigious fundraising, it has been expected that Scott, who spent more than $70 million of his own money to win in 2010, would again dip into his coffers to boost his campaign in the final weeks.

It will be interesting to hear what Scott says the next time he is asked about using his own money for the campaign. Even if he says he is not using his money, the rumor is not likely to be put to rest until all the campaign finance disclosures are completed.

Meanwhile, both Republicans and Democrats continue to speculate about the cash. Is it real, or just an effort to spook the Crist campaign?


Art by Patrick Crowley Copyright Crowley Political Report

Charlie Crist campaign wastes no time using FanGate to raise money

Shortly after Governor Rick Scott finally walked on stage after refusing to participate in the debate with Charlie Crist because of a small fan Crist had at his feet, the Crist campaign sent out this email.

Friend --

I wasn't planning on emailing you tonight. But something crazy just happened...

Moments before the debate was scheduled to begin, Rick Scott decided he wasn't going to participate. 

Why? Because there was a fan at Charlie's podium. A fan. 

For seven incredible minutes just now, Charlie stood all alone at the podium while Rick Scott threw a temper tantrum backstage, denying the people of Florida the chance to hear from their gubernatorial candidates because of -- literally -- a breeze. 

Scott finally caved and decided to join the debate. But the fact that this sideshow happened at all is an embarrassment to our great state and fellow citizens. 

If you're as amazed as I am by what you just saw, chip in a few bucks right now to make sure this guy doesn't get to stay our Governor:

We'll be back in touch after the debate concludes. 



Omar Khan
Campaign Manager
Charlie Crist for Governor

Florida Governor Rick Scott is on HBO

One of the funniest new programs on HBO is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Apparently the program picked up on item, that was also featured on Crowley Political Report, from a Mother Jones story about Republican Governor Rick Scott having a fundraiser tonight at the home of Geo Group CEO George Zoley. 

We'll let John Oliver take  it from here.

 Read more about the event here and here.

Follow Crowley Political Report on Twitter: @CrowleyReport

This Rick Scott fundraiser could become a problem

Last year, students and faculty at Florida Atlantic University loudly protested when its football stadium was going to be named after the GEO Group. The Boca Raton prison company was willing to pay $6 million for the naming rights.

Protesters slammed the decision because of reports of poor treatment of prisoners - many of whom are immigrants - at some of the company's prisons. GEO pulled out of the deal after getting hammered.

Even Stephen Colbert weighed in:


Now, Mother Jones is reporting that Scott's campaign is having a $10,000 per-person fundraiser at the Boca Raton home of GEO chairman George Zoley. Mother Jones describes Zoley as "the CEO of a private prison company that's profiting handsomely over the immigration crisis at the Mexican border."

The report continues: 

Among the 98 facilities the company owns or manages are several detention centers for undocumented immigrants run through contracts with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. One of those is a facility in Broward County, Florida, that's been the site of at least one hunger strike and protests over allegedly poor treatment of the 700 immigrants held there, most of whom have no serious criminal histories.

In 2012, members of Congress demanded that ICE investigate the Broward facility after reports the center was holding people who should have been released and that it was not providing adequate medical care to the detainees. An investigation last year by Americans for Immigrant Justice also found credible reports of detainees suffering food poisoning from being served rotten food. The group noted instances of sexual assault among detainees and inadequate mental health care that may have contributed to at least three suicide attempts. Detainees also reported being forced to work for $1 a day and to pay $3 a minute for phone calls.

The Geo Group, which rakes in $1.5 billion in annual revenue, earns $20 million annually just from the Florida center.

Read the complete Mother Jones  story here.

One suspects it is not going to take long for Scott's Democrat rival, former Governor Charlie Crist, to start attacking Scott for this fundraiser.


Florida Republicans fire back at Charlie Crist

Once advantage of having more money than you know what to do with, is the ability to quickly respond to your political opponents. The Florida Republican Party, otherwise known at the reelection campaign of Governor Rick Scott is demonstrating the kind of grief it can cause Democrat Charlie Crist with a new rapid response ad challenging Crist's first political ad as a candidate for governor.

Crowley Political Report does not know how much Crist is spending for ad time - probably not much - but with tens-of-millions at its disposal, the Scott/GOP campaign can out-buy Crist and bury his message.

If Democrats believe they need a Democratic governor in Tallahassee to help them in the 2016 presidential campaign, party supporters are going to have to start committing a lot of money and resources to help Crist out. 

Crist has taken a beating over the last six months as Scott's team has exhausted the airwaves with countless Crist bashing ads. Polls suggest the race is close. 

Here's the latest ad:

 Follow Crowley Political Report on Twitter: @crowleyreport

Rick Scott is under the dome and Charlie Crist is in jeopardy


We know that Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Party have already spent a small fortune on television ads but then we wondered - where has all the money gone?

Last night was the season premiere of CBS's Under the Dome - based on the novel by Stephen King. It was also home to a campaign ad by Scott's Let's Get to Work committee. The ad was one of 57 spots set to air this week on Tampa Bay televsion station WTSP at a cost of about $50,000.

Scott's ads will be seen on Jeopardy, Price is Right, Let's Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, and during WTSP's local news. Scott is also putting ads on David Letterman.

Similar ad buys are appearing in other Florida television markets. One thing is clear from the programs featuring these ads - this is not a big push for the youth vote.

Same thing can be said about Scott's Democratic opponent - former Governor Charlie Crist. The Florida Democratic Party is spending about $158,000 on WTSP during the next three weeks, from June 30 to July 21.

Democrats are on all of the same programs that Scott's campaign is on. In addition, Democratic ads will appear on Young and the Restless, The Talk, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, Face the Nation, 60 Minutes, and NCIS Los Angeles.

In the Palm Beach/Treasure Coast market, televsions stations WPBF and WPEC are already benefiting from ad buys for October and November. The Democratic House Majority PAC has booked 174 spots on WPBF and 180 spots on WPEC for  a combined $317,000. 

The House Majority PAC clearly has an interest in helping U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy win a second term. There are six Republicans running for the GOP nomination in District 18.

HMPAC has purchased ad time during Dr. Oz, The Chew, Access Hollywood, Jimmy Kimmel, The View, Nightline, General Hospital, Good Morning America, Castle, and Nashville.


Scott's campaign has said it plans to spend $100 million to win Scott a second term. Crist may spend about $50 million (although he still has long way to go to hit that number). Tens of millions more will be spent by outside groups trying to influence Florida voters.

There is only so much as time. Before all is said and done, there will be very few programs that are not jammed with political ads.

Maybe Stephen King will write a novel about the horror of Florida campaign ads.

Follow Crowley Political Report on Twitter: @CrowleyReport


Marco Rubio wonders if you can spare a dime

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is apparently still not very fond of former Governor Charlie Crist. We hear the two had a falling out.

Now Rubio would like you to give a few bucks to help keep Governor Rick Scott in office - and to crush is former buddy.

From the Republican Party of Florida:

Good Afternoon,

Charlie Crist announced his candidacy for the United States Senate five years ago yesterday. Helping us mark this anniversary is Senator Marco Rubio, who just sent out the following fundraising appeal for the Republican Party of Florida. The message from Senator Rubio is clear: it’s time to re-defeat Charlie Crist. 




Five years ago, Charlie Crist announced that he was running for the U.S. Senate. At the time, I was 20-30 points down in the polls. No one thought I had a chance. But with your support, things changed, and Floridians were exposed to the phony that is Charlie Crist.

 Today, I’m asking you to help the Republican Party of Florida re-defeat Charlie Crist.

 Five years ago, Crist sold himself as a conservative Republican, but he sure didn’t act like one. As Governor, he raised taxes by $2.2 billion, increased state debt by $5.2 billion, and oversaw an economy that lost 832,000 jobs.

 Now, Charlie Crist has switched from Republican to Democrat, with a pit stop as an independent.  He’s running out of parties.

Continue reading "Marco Rubio wonders if you can spare a dime" »

Are GOP donors dumping Chris Christie for Jeb Bush

This morning the New York Times is reporting that a number of top donors and fundraisers are saying that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christies bridge problems are forcing them to back away from him and get behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush should he decide to run for president in 2016.

From the Times:

In private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some of them are signaling to Mr. Christie’s camp that, should Mr. Bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to Mr. Christie, according to interviews with more than two dozen of them.

Many of those who, because of geography and personal ties, were expected to line up behind Mr. Christie say they now feel torn. 


“I have great affection for Christie,” said Mel Sembler, a Florida real estate developer and Bush donor who is among the top Republican fund-raisers. “He’s done an amazing job as a Republican governor in a Democratic state. But I have great loyalty to that family because they brought me into the political arena, and I’ll be supporting Jeb Bush if he decides to run.”

Read more of the NYT story here.

Dinner with Marco Rubio just $10,000 at the home of Pepe Fanjul

Florida's favorite Republican U.S. Senator - Marco Rubio - is going to Palm Beach on March 8 to attend a $10,000 per person dinner for the Rubio Victory Committee.

This tidbit comes from the Palm Beach Daily News, affectionately known as The Shiny Sheet.

"The evening begins with a 6 p.m. reception at the home of Jim and Dot Patterson. The cost is $1,000 per person or $2,500 for a photo op at the reception. A 7:30 p.m. dinner will follow at the home of J. Pepe and Emilia Fanjul at a cost of $10,000 per person.

"The Pattersons, the Fanjuls, and Wilbur and Hilary Ross are the main sponsors of the event. The Rubio Victory Committee is a joint fundraising committee composed of Marco Rubio for Senate and Reclaim America PAC."

"Other members of the host committee are: Larry and Suzanne DeGeorge, Pepe and Lourdes Fanjul Jr., Cyrus and Mitzi Freidheim, Stanley and Gay Gaines, Marc Goldman, Ambassador Al and Dawn Hoffman, Jerry and Darlene Jordan, Rodger and Hillary Krouse, Marc Leder, George and Frayda Lindemann, Dan Mangru, Ken Meares, Ambassador Mary Ourisman, Michael Peragine, John Rangos Sr., David Reinke, Chris Ruddy, and Dwight and Martha Schar."

Read more about event here.

Hank Aaron bats for Lois Frankel

Hank Aaron, who was known to hit the occasional homerun (755), is now doing some pitching for Florida Democratic congressional candidate Lois Frankel.

Here's the pitch:

As a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, I understand the importance of teamwork. I’m writing to you today to ask you to join Lois Frankel’s team.

Right now, Washington is broken. We need somebody in Congress whose focus will be on getting things done, not scoring ideological points.

Can you donate to my friend Lois and help her protect the programs most important to us?

Lois has a shining public record of protecting women and seniors as well as creating jobs and a bustling economy. We need her passion and expertise in Congress now more than ever.

By midnight on June 30th, Lois needs to raise $10,000 more to meet her second quarter fundraising goal. She needs your help now to make it. We are so close – your contribution could help put us over the top.

Continue reading "Hank Aaron bats for Lois Frankel" »

Adam Hasner challenges George LeMieux and Connie Mack to ten debates

Later this month we are going to get some important information about Florida's Republican U.S. Senate primary.

That's when each of the candidates will report how much money they raised during the final three months of 2011. It is an important quarter for all three of candidates because if any one of them fails to meet expectations, pressure will build for someone to drop out of the race.

Which begs the question - who will drop out first?

Meanwhile, candidate Adam Hasner sent a cheery letter to rivals George LeMieux and Connie Mack inviting them to participate in ten, 90-minute debates.

"I believe in order to save the miracle of the United States of America - "  

Let's pause there for a moment. "Save the miracle?"  Who writes this stuff?

Crowley Political Report would humbly suggest that after defeating the British, surviving the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II and decades of bad sitcoms, history tells us things really aren't that bad in comparision to the past.

Ok, back to the letter.

" - beating Bill Nelson is not enough. We need a conservative majority in the United States Senate that will challenge the Democrats, and the Republicans who too often act like them."

At this point, Hasner invites his rivals to ten debates "spread out across Florida's media markets between now and July."

Now here's a hint that Hasner may not make a good showing when he makes his quarterly finance report. 

"You have both earned reputations as proven fundraisers and skilled politicians with considerable support from the power bases in Washington and Tallahassee. I am realistic about the challenges our grassroots campaign will face in trying to compete with you."

At this point you get the promise to run "an issues oriented campaign which focuses on the substantive differences between us."

Hasner closes his two-page letter by suggesting it would be fine if Mike McAlister and Craig Miller were invited to the debates.

Ten debates would be great. Wonder if the other folks will respond to Hasner.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport


Romney in Florida getting cash and endorsements

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is wandering around Florida today picking up cash for his campaign and endorsements of three prominent members of the South Florida Cuban-American community.

 Romney is being endorsed by two Cuban-American members of Congress - Ileana Ros Lehtinen and Mario Diaz Balart. Joining the is former Congressman and older brother of Mario - Lincoln Diaz Balart.

All three are enormously influential among Republicans in the South Florida's Cuban-American community. 

Romney received the endorsments during an early morning stop in Miami.

“Mitt Romney believes that America is an exceptional nation and has a strategy to restore our country’s greatness,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “The Romney plan for economic growth will create jobs and opportunities for all, especially for South Floridians, who are passionate in their pursuit of the American dream.”

Romney will travel to Naples and Tampa for fundraisers. 


Adam Hasner: Occupy members are anarchists and extremists

Well perhaps it takes one to know one. Republican Adam Hasner who warns against the continuing threat of Sharia Law and Agenda 21 would like you to know that the Occupy folks are just another bunch of extremists.

In an email received moments ago by Crowley Political Report, the GOP Florida U.S. Senate candidate writes of his concerns about Occupy.

President Obama and the Democrats have chosen sides.
Instead of standing with the millions of middle class Americans who work hard, play by the rules, and want government to get off their backs and out of their way - President Obama is siding with a collection of left-wing activists, anarchists, and extremists who are occupying cities from New York to Miami.

Hasner thug
(Image from Hasner campaign)

This is who our President supports? Thugs tackling police officers?
The front lines of President Obama and the Democrats' new supposedly anti-capitalist army is manned by kids decked out in the latest designer logoed clothes and sporting the latest high-tech toys from some of the world's most successful corporations. They're joined by born-again communists and ranting anti-Semites who want to destroy Israel.

Continue reading "Adam Hasner: Occupy members are anarchists and extremists" »

Allen West spends a lot, Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel spend less

Electfinal_edited-1Gonna be a good year for campaign consultants. A Crowley Political Report look at the Federal Election Commission reports filed by Allen West, Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy show that the three congressional candidates have already spent nearly $2.9 million.

Yup. $2.9 million by the end of September.

The biggest spender is Republican incumbent Allen West at $2.26 million.  Democrat political newbie Patrick Murphy spent $381,000.  Meanwhile Democrat Lois Frankel spent $223,000.

Check out the details yourself from the FEC reports shown below.

Continue reading "Allen West spends a lot, Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel spend less" »

Are Florida Republicans ready for Rick Perry?

You can't help but notice Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  There aren't many candidates out there who when asked about gun control respond with "use both hands."

And, here's a guy coming to the Sunshine State who has described Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" - bascially a plan that rips off taxpayers.

Perry  has said American's began losing their freedom when we started collecting income taxes.

And he accuses President Barack Obama of "throwing Israel under the bus" by pushing for discussions about the 1967 border.

Florida Republicans are about to get an upclose look at the Texas governor - if they can pay the price of admission.

Perry is having a series of fundraising events starting with a breakfast in Tampa on Sept. 13 at the Intercontinental Tampa, followed by lunch at the Miami Intercontinental.

On Sept. 21, lunch in Fort Lauderdale followed by an evening reception at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.  Perry wraps up his Florida fundraising  in Orlando with an evening reception at the Peabody hotel on Sept. 23.

Prices range from $1,000 to $5,000. For more information go here.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport