Winner and loser of the week
Winner of the week: Adam Putnam. Sometimes conventional wisdom can be a powerful force, and in this case the conventional thinking pegs the Republican congressman from Bartow as a virtual shoe-in for commissioner of agriculture. When he formally announced his candidacy last week leaders of the Florida Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Association were on hand, while the several other key agriculture groups including the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Florida Nursery Growers & Landscapers Association, Southeast Milk Producers and Florida Citrus Mutual. A couple lesser known legislators - state Rep. Marty Bowen of Haines City and Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis are running for the GOP nomination, while Democrats haven’t even found a credible warm body to take an interest.
Loser of the week: Bill Nelson. Not a single member of commerce received more direct campaign contributions over the past seven years - $45,900 - tied to the Stanford Financial Group, accused of defrauding investors of $8-billion. Nelson’s office says that the senator met Stanford “two or three times” but never did anything to help him. In response to the charges, Nelson will contribute $45,900 to charity or the court-appointed receiver for Stanford's company.