Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Campaign ad in House 36 race irks Fasano

NEW PORT RICHEY — Democrat Amanda Murphy says the charge that she accepted campaign contributions from "BIG INSURANCE" and "BIG UTILITY" as alleged in a mailer this week is so far afield she can't fathom where it's coming from.

"It's just so ridiculous. I can't believe people lie that way," she said.

Republican Mike Fasano took issue with it too.

Fasano, whose resignation from the state House set the stage for a runoff in House District 36 in west Pasco, blasted Republican nominee Bill Gunter and the conservative third-party group that sent the mailer, which showed up in mail boxes Tuesday.

"This is unacceptable, and probably the most important thing is, it's untrue," Fasano said.

But what irked him most was the fact that the mailer uses his name, saying, "These are the same companies Mike Fasano fought against to keep rates low and restore fairness and accountability to."

That was enough to have him turning to social media and email to denounce Gunter and the group Citizens for Fairness.

"I've been involved in campaigns more than 20 years and I know these third-party groups are working hand-in-hand with the Republican party," he said.

Gunter did not respond for this story. His spokesman said, "For this entire campaign, Bill has been focused on his positive vision for getting Pasco back to work and protecting our seniors. Outside groups, whether attacking Bill or ignoring Mike Fasano's wishes, are not part of a solution for the challenges the people of Pasco are facing."

Citizens for Fairness did not return calls. A review of Murphy's campaign finance reports do not list contributions from insurance or utility companies.

Not much is known about Citizens for Fairness. State Division of Elections records show it's an electioneering communications organization based in Melbourne headed by Carmela K. Falcone, 79. Michael Millner, a political consultant from Jensen Beach, is listed as treasurer.

Falcone is also associated with eight other political groups — including Conservative Leadership for Florida, the Conservative Values Coalition, Conservatives United and Floridians for Smaller Government — according to records.

Millner is a treasurer for Conservative Leadership for Florida and for Chris Sprowls' GOP campaign for House District 65 in Pinellas. He was treasurer for St. Petersburg City Council candidate David McKalip, who lost in last month's primary.

Calls to Falcone and Millner were not returned.

Fasano said he's sticking by his pledge not to endorse either candidate in the House race, despite the mailer. He asked Gunter and Citizens for Fairness to stop using his name in ads.

"The allegations it puts in the flyier using my name are untrue and should be discounted by anyone who reads them," he said.

The election is Oct. 15.

Rich Shopes can be reached at rshopes@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236.

Campaign ad in House 36 race irks Fasano 10/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 8:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who's behind the mysterious butt graffiti all over St. Petersburg?

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first butts, perhaps, appeared in April on some steps behind the Sundial shopping plaza.

    A photo of the butt graffiti that has been cropping up around St. Petersburg in the past several months. [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | STAFF]
  2. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  3. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  5. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.