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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama fundraiser in Florida to be nominated for ambassador to New Zealand



President Barack Obama is rewarding some of his top Florida fundraisers with ambassadorships.

On Tuesday Obama nominated Mark D. Gilbert, a major Obama fundraiser in South Florida, to be ambassador to New Zealand. Gilbert is director of Barclays Wealth in Palm Beach and is a former senior vice president of Goldman Sachs. He was DNC deputy national finance chair from 2009 to 2013 and a major Obama bundler.

Since 2007, Gilbert has raised more than $3.3 million for Obama, records show. In 2012, Gilbert's daughter, Dani, had to apologize after a conservative news outlet uncovered Facebook photos that depicted her and friends holding money under the caption "Jewbags." Dani Gilbert was an aide to Florida Rep. and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In June, Obama nominated his 2008 and 2012 Florida finance chair Kirk Wagar to be ambassador to the Republic of Singapore. He was sworn in in September.

Presidents have long given the perks to their political allies.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:35am]


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