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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Eliot Spitzer and Hometown Democracy



What do NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Hometown Democracy have in common?

A Republican political strategist named Michael Caputo who is working to defeat them both.

Caputo has made Florida news as the executive director of an anti-Hometown Democracy group Floridians For Smarter Growth. But he has also made regular appearances in the New York press, because Caputo runs an anti-Spitzer website, and he has a long-standing relationship with Roger Stone, the man accused of making that nasty phone call to Spitzer's father; Stone has denied the charge.

Miami_skyline_2Caputo works on his New York and Florida efforts mostly from his home: a tugboat trawler off Miami Beach, which he shares with a parrot named Augie. (Picture provided by Michael Caputo)

So if he's a Floridian, why does he care so much about Spitzer? It all goes back to insurance. Remember when then-Attorney General Spitzer went after the insurance industry?

"I'm heavily invested in an insurance company that's been effected by Spitzer's capricious nature," Caputo said.

Buzz had to ask, but Michael Caputo says he didn't make the infamous call to Spitzer's father. He said he was in Orlando the day the phone call was made working for the anti-Hometown Democracy campaign, which pays him. Caputo says his anti-Spitzer website is an independent effort; he doesn't work with Stone and he doesn't get paid for his anti-Spitzer work.

Michael Caputo spends several days a week at the downtown Orlando office near Lake Eola, headquarters for Floridians for Smarter Growth. He also spends time in Buffalo, NY; because his family owns Wolf Agency, an insurance company located outside of Buffalo, NY. But Caputo votes in Miami.

Last year, Michael Caputo worked for Republican Miami-Dade School Board member Frank Bolanos who ran an unsuccessful campaign, endorsed by Gov. Jeb Bush, to unseat state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Caputo says he's written a yet-unpublished satirical novel largely based on that campaign, but he hasn't sold it yet, because he wants to sell it as a part of a short series.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:04pm]


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