First, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos was admonished by the Florida Senate for failing to accurately disclose his income on state ethics forms.
Now likely Republican U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner of Boca Raton is facing his own complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics — for failing to file a financial disclosure form.
Hasner, who left the Legislature in 2010, said he did not realize he was required to file a disclosure form 60 days after leaving office. As soon as he learned of the "politically motivated" complaint by a Democratic activist, he submitted the paperwork.
But Hasner said any suggestion that the ethics complaint against Senate President Haridopolos — he admitted having failed to disclose a $400,000 investment home and the sources of $120,000 in consulting income — is comparable to Hasner's missing form is "totally not true."
"He didn't report income. I reported all my income,'' said Hasner, noting that he filed his tax returns every year he was in the Legislature. "I'm not hiding any information. I've got nothing to hide. … As soon as it was brought to my attention that there was a form I needed to fill out, I did."
The form showed that in 2009, Hasner earned nearly $25,000 as a legislator and $12,000 as a fellow with the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C., neoconservative think tank. His biggest source of income, $39,000, came as a consultant working on acquisitions of physicians' practices.
Hasner, 41, has formed an exploratory committee to raise money for a prospective Senate campaign to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson. Haridopolos of Merritt Island and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux of Fort Lauderdale have already made their candidacies official.
The ethics complaint against Hasner was filed by Diana Demarest, former secretary of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
"I didn't like Adam Hasner when he was in the Florida House. I certainly don't want him as my senator. He's a right-wing zealot,'' Demarest said.
The Hasner campaign suggested that she was working with Jack Funari, a conservative activist in Palm Beach County and Haridopolos supporter, but they both denied that.
Adam C. Smith can be reached at [email protected]