Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Complaint filed over mailer about candidate in Pinellas School Board race

A political mailer put out by Florida First has triggered an elections complaint against the electioneering group and Elliott Stern, a candidate for Pinellas County School Board.

In her complaint, Jasmina Forcan of Clearwater claims that a mailer put out by the Bradenton-based group violates state law because it "expressly advocates" for Stern's election to the countywide District 1 seat. She also accuses Stern's campaign treasurer, Jean Giles Wittner, of paying for the mailer with a $20,000 donation to Florida First in June.

Stern said Thursday that he wasn't involved in the Florida First material.

"Candidates are not supposed to have anything to do with PACs and I don't," he said.

In an email, Wittner said her contribution to Florida First was given "without any promise or commitment or strings attached from them that any of those dollars would be spent in behalf of Elliott Stern."

She also wrote that she had been assured that her donation was "valid and legal."

Forcan declined to comment on her complaint.

Stern is trying to unseat School Board member Janet Clark. Other challengers include Shelly Ladd-Gilbert, a business owner; and Jim Jackson, a retired college professor.

Political candidates in Florida can't receive more than $500 from each donor in a primary and a general election. Electioneering groups, however, can raise and spend unlimited amounts — but can't advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate.

Forcan's complaint says the political mailer advocates for Stern by listing his campaign website, www.estern2012.com, and showing a photo with a campaign sign.

The main text of the flier says "Call Elliott Stern and thank him for his bold school-to-work plan."

Complaints to the Florida Elections Commission in Tallahassee are confidential until an investigation has been completed. The person making the complaint, however, can make it public.

Complaint filed over mailer about candidate in Pinellas School Board race 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  2. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  3. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  4. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  5. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."