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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Newsmax gives Scott endorsement, $100k



Newsmax, the conservative online publication based in West Palm Beach, pre-empted its endorsement of Republican Rick Scott with a $100,000 check to his electioneering committee, Let's Get to Work.

New disclosure reports show Scott's committee received the check from Newsmax a week before the publication announced its endorsement Tuesday in the governor's race.

The check was included in $750,000 Scott collected in the past week. The biggest donation was  $250,000 from

MBF Family Investments. The investment group shares an address with MBF Healthcare Acquisition Corp., which is owned by Miguel "Mike" B. Fernandez of Coral Gables. Fernandez gave $2.5 million to Miami's Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in 2007 and faced a $133,500 fine from the FEC for funnelling corporate money to Alex Penelas' U.S. Senate campaign in 2004, news reports show.

Scott's committee also received $50,000 from the Florida Liberty Fund, run by incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon. Cannon's group initially wrote a $250,000 check to Scott's committee in September after Scott defeated Cannon's choice for Republican nominee, Bill McCollum. The Florida Chamber of Commerce gave another $50,000, bringing their total investment in Scott to $150,000. Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga also wrote a second $100,000 check.

The electioneering committee run by Democratic nominee Alex Sink has had some recent activity, too. Let's Hold Them Accountable has brought in $7,500 this month. Most of that was in a $5,000 check from Bear Island LLC. Bear Island is the name of an island development in Cresent Lake, says development owner Charles Rogers. Rogers, a Jacksonville resident, has also used his LLC to give money to Scott. "Just covering my bases," he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 6:24pm]


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