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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alex Sink's mandatory money-back guarantee



When Alex Sink was running unopposed for re-election as chief financial officer, she was a safe bet not just for Democrats but Republicans as well. Dozens of well-known GOP'ers sent $500 checks to Sink's CFO campaign in the first quarter of 2009, helping her to accumulate more than $1.1-million.

But everything changed in May when Sink switched races and announced she will run for governor next year. She wants to convert all of that CFO money into her campaign for governor, but she can't do it without the consent of contributors. Sink has sent this letter to all donors offering to give them their money back on a pro-rated basis. Contributors have until June 30 to let Sink know their intentions.

"If you would like to support my campaign for governor, you do not have to do anything," Sink writes in the letter, a point that she underlined for emphasis.

It will be very revealing on July 10, when Sink posts her second-quarter financial report, which donors demanded their money back and which ones didn't. For example, Republican lawyer Chris Kise and his wife, Amy, each gave Sink $500, and he said she can absolutely keep the money. "What they do with the money is their decision," Kise said, calling it "bad form" for campaign contributors to demand a refund. But lawyer-lobbyist Brian Ballard, whose firm and wife, Kathryn, both gave Sink $500, said he will ask for the money back because the donations were exclusively for Sink's CFO race. "With all due respect to Chris, it's bad form to contribute to candidates you don't support," Ballard said.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:48pm]


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