Fla GOP officials funding Tv campaign for Bill Gunter
Democrats tracking the TV buys for the special election in Florida House District 36 campaign say that two thirds of the spots on behalf of Republican nominee Bill Gunter are being funded by the nobley named Accountability in Government Committee.
What dat, you ask? It's chaired by Republican operative Alachua GOP Chairman Stafford Jones, an old hand at running well-funded attack campaigns through such independent committees (including $6-million in ads bashing Rick Scott for Medicare fraud during the 2010 primary between Scott and Bill McCollum and in 2012 using a committee called "Progressives" to attack Democratic candidates from the left). Accountability in Government has a Tallahassee address that just so happens to be shared by Richard Coates, the general counsel for the Republican Party of Florida.
The Committee has bought about $22,000 in cable TV time, while the Gunter campaign has bought about $12,000 in TV time.
Of course, no one would be surprised that state Republican leaders want to help elect another Republican to succeed Mike Fasano in the West Pasco district - the Florida Democratic Party is spending plenty on ads and mailers for Democrat Amanda Murphy - but keeping the Florida GOP's name off the actual ads can help minimize backlash from voters.