Clear79° FULL FORECASTClear79° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram
2031158 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2009-09-23 20:06:57.0 UTC 2009-09-23T16:06:57.000-04:00 content/trial-bar-owns-race-baiting-flier-senate-fight published 2010-09-09 18:19:25.0 UTC 2010-09-09T14:19:25.000-04:00 drupal 80011 In an extraordinary mea culpa, the head of the state trial-bar lobby on Wednesday owned up to the fact that the group was behind a crude race-baiting direct mail flier intended to build a universe of absentee voters in the recent Northeast Florida Senate race. The piece, which is destined to be infamous in the annals of direct-mail politics in Florida, shows Black Panthers, President Obama, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and ACORN marchers and asks: "Is this the change you want to believe in?" The mailer, to 88,000 homes in Northeast Florida, was paid for by a $69,000 check by a trial-bar group, the Conservative Citizens for Justice, which sent the money to a newly-formed 527 called Conservative Voters Coalition, established by Tallahassee lawyer Dave Ramba. A trial bar staffer hired Republican consultant Bill Helmich to create and develop the mail piece. "Morally and politically it was indefensible, what was done, and I accept full responsibility for not having done anything to stop that piece from going out," said Scott Carruthers, executive director of the Florida Justice Association, the trial bar's statewide lobbying arm. "Politics is a contact sport, but it needs to be played with honesty and integrity." Carruthers said his handling of the piece fell far short of the trial bar's internal processes for scrutinizing mail pieces. The organization is now busy telephoning African-American legislators to apologize for having paid for the scurrilous mailing. In an exclusive interview with the Times/Herald, the trial bar apologized for ignoring a reporter's requests for information on the flier in the week since the election ended. Steve Bousquet the-buzz-florida-politics Elections Trial bar owns up to race-baiting flier in Senate fight templatedata/tampabaytimes/BlogArticle/data/the-buzz-florida-politics/2009/09/23/80011-trial-bar-owns-race-baiting-flier-senate-fight BlogArticle In an extraordinary mea culpa, the head of the state trial-bar lobby on Wednesday owned up to the fact that the group was behind a crude race-baiting direct mail flier intended to build a universe of absentee voters in the recent Northeast Florida Senate race.ElectionsElectionsSteve Bousquet 380041 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-25 12:46:38.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:46:38.000-04:00 steve-bousquet published Steve Bousquet <p>Steve Bousquet is the <i>Tampa Bay Times</i>' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the <i>Times</i> in 2001 after 17 years at the <i>Miami Herald</i>, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University.</p><p>Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of <i>The Almanac of Florida Politics</i> and to <i>The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage</i>, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.</p> Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau writers DTI 35035732 Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University. Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida. <p>Phone: (850) 224-7263</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:sbousquet@tampabay.com">sbousquet@tampabay.com</a></p><p>Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/stevebousquet">@SteveBousquet</a></p> 1 /resources/images/dti/2013/04/steve_bousquet_wp_10554836.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/35035732-steve-bousquet AuthorProfile 2012-10-25 12:46:38.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:46:38.000-04:00 2285509 2016-07-15 14:56:46.0 UTC 1 Month Ago joey-redner-backs-dana-young-over-own-dad-in-senate-race the-buzz-florida-politics Joey Redner backs Dana Young over own dad in Senate race BlogArticle 2287173 2016-07-28 13:34:08.0 UTC 1 Month Ago toxin-rule-becomes-a-election-tinder-in-miami-senate-race the-buzz-florida-politics Toxin rule becomes a election tinder in Miami Senate race BlogArticle 2282673 2016-06-22 14:54:06.0 UTC 2 Months Ago rubios-decision-to-seek-re-election-to-senate-shakes-up-republican-field the-buzz-florida-politics Rubio's decision to seek re-election to Senate shakes up Republican field BlogArticle <p>In an extraordinary mea culpa, the head of the state trial-bar lobby on Wednesday owned up to the fact that the group was behind a crude race-baiting direct mail flier intended to build a universe of absentee voters in the recent Northeast Florida Senate race.</p> <p>The piece, which is destined to be infamous in the annals of direct-mail politics in Florida,&nbsp;shows Black Panthers, President Obama, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and ACORN marchers and asks: &quot;Is this the change you want to believe in?&quot; </p> <p>The mailer, to 88,000 homes in Northeast Florida, was paid for by a $69,000 check by a trial-bar group, the Conservative Citizens for Justice, which sent the money to a newly-formed 527 called Conservative Voters Coalition, established by Tallahassee lawyer Dave Ramba. A trial bar staffer hired Republican consultant Bill Helmich to create and develop the mail piece.</p> <p>&quot;Morally and politically it was indefensible, what was done, and I accept full responsibility for not having done anything to stop that piece from going out,&quot; said Scott Carruthers, executive director of the Florida&nbsp;Justice Association, the trial bar's statewide lobbying arm. &quot;Politics is a contact sport, but it needs to be played with honesty and integrity.&quot;</p> <p>Carruthers said his handling of the piece fell far short of the trial bar's internal processes for scrutinizing mail pieces. The organization is now busy telephoning African-American legislators to apologize for having paid for the scurrilous mailing.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview with the Times/Herald, the trial bar apologized for ignoring a reporter's requests for information on the flier&nbsp;in the week since the election ended. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:31:54