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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Lots of attack mail -- where's the money for it?



That's what Jack Latvala, the campaign consultant and former state senator, wants to know about Republican John Nicolette's spending in a Pasco County Commission race. Nicolette is running against Latvala-client Ted Schrader, the incumbent, in the primary this month.

Nicolette has sent six mailings to voters. But they're not explicitly listed on his campaign reports, available here through the county elections office. At the least, Latvala says, Florida law requires candidates to be "very specific" about how they spend money.

Latvala estimated the mailings could have cost $40,000 to $50,000. Nicolette has spent $77,000 overall, including $36,500 on TV ads.

Anthony Pedicini, Nicolette's consultant with Public Concepts, said the costs are included in payments to the firm (which aren't necessarily the same rate Latvala estimates). Nicolette has reported spending $27,000 with the firm.

"Everything has been reported per Florida statute," Pedicini said in an email.

UPDATE: Pedicini takes note that some Pinellas candidates assisted by Latvala have yet to report the bucks spent on mailing. Latvala insists, "Anybody believes that all the mail he’s [Nicolette] done is included in the $27,000 is living a fantasy.”

-- David DeCamp/Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:32am]


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