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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ousted CFO featured in state Republican Party'€™s fundraising plea

The Republican Party of Florida is using this letter signed by ousted party CFO Richard Swarttz to raise money.

Jeremy Wallace

The Republican Party of Florida is using this letter signed by ousted party CFO Richard Swarttz to raise money.

18

February

The man who lost his job with the state Republican Party in a cost saving move, is not completely gone after all.

The Republican Party of Florida has sent out form letters to many of its top donors hitting them up for up to $400 to “stop Hillary Clinton.” But the letters are signed by Richard Swarttz, the now former chief financial officer who lost his job with the party in early January.

Party officials say the letters were printed and mailed out before Swarttz’s tenure ended. Still recipients of the letter over the last two weeks said it is ironic to get a fundraising pitch from someone at the party who was a victim of the party’s poor fundraising.

Swarttz and other top party officials are being used to make the fundraising appeals, because current party chairman Blaise Ingoglia, who is also a state representative from Hernando County, is barred from raising money while the Florida Legislature is in session. State legislators are barred from raising money during the session to avoid the appearance of trading votes for donations.

The fundraising appeal comes at a time the RPOF has seen a dip in fundraising since the party refused to accept Gov. Rick Scott’s choice to lead the party and he subsequently stopped helping the raise money. Since April, the party has raised $6.2 million for it's primary state campaign account, according to the Florida Division of Elections. Four years ago at a similar point (just before the last presidential election), the RPOF had raised $16.5 million.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2016 11:26am]

    

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