(Soft) Money to Burn
The Committee for Florida Justice Reform went on a fund-raising binge last week and raised $658,000. That's way short of the group's goal of $1-million, according to several lobbyists who were solicited to make contributions, but it's plenty to make life difficult for Miami Sen. Alex Villalobos, which is one of the committee's goals.
This committee is recently associated with four Republican senators who are trying to wrest control of the 2008 Senate from Villalobos. So a beneficiary of the committee is sure to be Villalobos' challenger, Frank Bolanos. They will meet in three weeks in the Senate District 38 primary.
The biggest donors to the committee in the past 10 days include the Florida Phosphate CCE, which gave $75,000; nursing home giant HCR Manor Care, $60,000; the Realtors political activity committee, $50,000; and Tampa-based Harmony Health Systems and its affiliates, $50,000.
A committee controlled by one of the four senators, Sen. Mike Bennett's Citizens for Housing and Urban Growth, gave $10,000.