Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pinellas' Political Cash Cows

Pinellas County has a long history of helping Republicans win statewide office, and this election cycle is no different. But this year three Pinellas addresses stand out as home to some of Florida's biggest campaign cash cows: 30750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor; 2325 Ulmerton Road, Suite 20, Clearwater; and 5858 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

That last one should be no big surprise. It's the home of the Sembler Co., the development company founded by GOP uber-fundraiser Mel Sembler, whose son Brent Sembler is Republican gubernatorial candidat e Charlie Crist's finance director. That Sembler business address produced 62 $500 contributions, for a total of $31,000, for Crist's campaign. Supporters at the other two addresses back Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher over Crist.

The Ulmerton Road address, home to developer and restaurateur Fred Bullard's myriad corporate interests, produced 25 $500 checks for Gallagher, or $12,500. Bullard said he commited to help Gallagher when Gallagher dropped his bid for U.S. Senate in 200O.

The U.S. 19 address belongs to a host of companies connected to Frank Mongelluzzi, best-known as CEO of Able Body Labor. Gallagher received $11,000 from that address. A spokesman for Mongelluzzi, Todd Wiseman, said he and Gallagher met and hit it off.
"Frank has a good Christian-owned family business, and hopefully he's giving to someone who's like-minded," Wiseman said.

More Pinellas political news here.


  • At 12:56 PM, January 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    How to pull a "Tom Delay" without getting caught...

    “My subordinate employees... hear me...”

    “Because you've done such a great job, I'll be issuing each of you a bonus check of $600. Furthermore, I highly recommend that you make a political contribution of $500 to the candidate of my – oops, your choice – and I do mean your choice… so long as his name is… As a matter of fact, we’ll even mail them from here to save you the price of a stamp. Now get back to work before I request approval to build more housing that you can’t afford on property designated to bring more and better jobs to the area, in an effort to recoup my – oops, your contribution to the candidate of your – oops, my choice. Damn, I’m loosing track of this mess. Ah, what the hell, nobody’s paying attention anyway. Most likely because they can’t even afford to pay their electric, tax, gas, or insurance bill – let alone pay attention. And to think, I just gave them a $100 – oops, $600 bonus.”

    “Mission accomplished! God Bless America!”


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