Sunday, November 19, 2017
Politics

Orlando Urban League CEO says he's running for state CFO

RECOMMENDED READING


The CEO of the Greater Orlando Urban League and a former Disney executive on Thursday announced his candidacy to challenge Republican Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

"I'm not a politician. But what we're getting out of politician Jeff Atwater is a go-along to get-along style that is hurting Floridians," said Democrat Allie Braswell, 51, a Marine Corps veteran and first-time candidate. "Under his watch, billions in no-bid contracts have been given away and people with insider connections are getting rich off taxpayer money."

No other Democrat has signaled plans to run for Florida's CFO post next year, and state Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant all-but anointed Braswell as her preferred nominee.

"I am thrilled that Allie Braswell is running for Florida's CFO, because he's exactly the kind of leader we need in Tallahassee. We need a leader who will fight the politicians who are giving taxpayer money to their donors and friends. Floridians deserve a leader who will fight to hold government accountable, and attract new jobs to our state," said Tant.

Florida's CFO is one of the state most powerful yet least understood positions. The CFO oversees the state's finances, collecting revenue, paying bills, auditing state agencies and managing banking and insurance regulation. The CFO serves on Florida's Cabinet along with the agriculture commissioner and attorney general.

As a first-time candidate little known outside the Orlando area, Braswell is a clear underdog against Atwater, a formidable money-raiser who previously served as Florida Senate president and as a banking executive. Atwater and the state GOP have already spent more than $330,000 on campaign staff and activity.

"Mr. Braswell and Democrats want to focus on politics well over a year before Election Day," said Brian Hughes, a spokesman for Atwater. "Jeff Atwater is focused on serving Floridians by working to bring relief to insurance ratepayers and fighting the consumer fraud that steals from seniors and families."

Braswell, a Sanford native and son of a citrus truck driver, spent 13 years in the Marines, including a stint in Iraq during the first Gulf War. He earned a bachelor's degree in information technology from American InterContinental University.

He worked at several corporations following his military service, including seven years at Walt Disney World, where he managed technical services and later managed Disney's diversity efforts. He became president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League in 2010 and has been a high-profile activist demanding justice after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Adam Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Many Christian conservatives are backing Alabama’s Roy Moore

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s Christian conservatives see Roy Moore as their champion. He has battled federal judges and castigated liberals, big government, gun control, Muslims, homosexuality and anything else that doesn’t fit the evangelical mold. ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Published: 11/18/17
Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners recently decided to go after the pocketbooks of several residents who filed unsuccessful ethics complaints against one of their colleagues.If history is any indicator, the maneuver is more likely to cost taxp...
Updated: 5 hours ago
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y.Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t eno...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Published: 11/17/17
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Published: 11/17/17
Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

An 87-year-old widow from Melbourne, a mysterious direct mail company in tiny Buffalo, Wyo., and a tangled web of political committees all were linked to the onslaught of negative mailers that helped Lawrence McClure win the Republican primary in Pla...
Published: 11/17/17

10,000 more FBI records unsealed from JFK assassination files

DALLAS — Yet again, the National Archives released a trove of records from the Kennedy assassination files on a Friday afternoon, another strange stream of loose ends, dead ends and tangents with little apparent connection to the assassination of the...
Published: 11/17/17