A Tacky Attack

My vote for sleaziest political ad of this season (so far)– the attack spot being paid for by a group called “People for a Better Florida Fund”.

Tonight, it aired just before our 7 o’clock news, just after an ad promoting State Rep. Eleanor Sobel’s candidacy for State Senate.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the attack ad blasted Sobel’s two opponents in the Senate race in District 31 (south Broward), former State Reps. Tim Ryan and Ken Gottlieb.

“They claim to be Democrats”, intones the narrator, “but Ryan and Gottlieb have taken tens of thousands in campaign money from Bush backers and Republican special interests.”

Wow!  Can there be bigger treachery in a Democratic primary?  Problem is, the ad’s paid for by a lot of special interest money that tends to go Republican, funneled through the “People for a Better Florida Fund”. 

Electioneering funds with who-could-argue-with-that names always pique my interest.  So, who’s behind the “PFBFF”?  Well, it’s “FLAMPAC”.

Yes, the Florida Medical Political Action Committee, the PAC of the Florida Medical Association, has donated about a third of the $1.094 million that “People for a Better Florida Fund” has collected in the last 3 years.

Who else gets FLAMPAC’s money?  The Florida Republican Party– $415,000, this year alone.

Among other donors to the “People for a Better Florida”– yet another vaguely-named electioneering group called “Floridians for Conservative Values”.  Principal contributors to that group– Florida’s big sugar companies:  Florida Crystals has put in $180,000, while US Sugar is in for $110,000.

So Republican-leaning special interests, hiding behind innocuous-sounding PAC names, are buying ads attacking two Democrats for being closet Republicans.  Ain’t politics grand?

Now, it’s true Gottlieb and Ryan have taken some money from Bush pals and Republicans. Gottlieb got $500 from Blosser & Sayfie, a law/lobying firm whose principals are Bush long-time Bush confidantes. Ryan received $500 from Bergeron Development, headed by long-time Republican fund-raiser Ron  Bergeron.  I didn’t find anything that rose to the “tens of thousands” the attack ad alleges.

In fact, lobbyists and obvious special-interest donors have given to all three campaigns.  But, looking at Sobel’s campaign-finance filings, what leaps out at me is the amount of money the health-care sector has given her.  HMOS, doctors, drug companies…it’s an impressive list (check it yourself at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/TreFin.exe).

Her ads (the ones her campaign paid for, not the PAC attack) say she’ll work to make “health care affordable”.  Her web site offers no clues as to her approach on that, but I can’t imagine her championing any solutions that might create discomfort for health-care providers.


One Response

  1. Not only “her web site offers no clues as to her approach on that,” but there’s no phone number to call anybody in her campaign on her website. I’m totally disgusted by this campaign. That’s not even the least of it. There’s the outrageous charge that Tim Ryan sold property to the city of Davie for more than it was worth, when he actually sold it under the appraised value to an entity that would ensure it could be purchased by the city for the benefit of residents. I’m DISGUSTED by Sobel’s campaign. Her claim that she has “no control” over that ECO “PBFF” is ludicrous. She could easily denounce their ridiculous claims. Why in the world the FL Medical Ass. decided that Sobel was their ticket to achieving their goals is beyond me. She was dishonest about remaining on the Broward School Board beyond mere months before launching her campaign and resigning from the Board, and she has absolutely NOTHING to offer beyond what both Ryan and Gottlieb have to offer voters. Whatever agenda she has that has these lobbying groups salivating, she hasn’t made it known to the public. Sobel is a sinister, nasty campaigner, and I deplore anyone who’s dumb enough to vote for her.

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