Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Where Florida's billionaires fall along political lines

According to Forbes’ list of billionaires, Jeff Greene, 56, has a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Associated Press

According to Forbes’ list of billionaires, Jeff Greene, 56, has a net worth of $1.8 billion.

The emergence of Rick Scott was a reminder of how many super-rich people live in Florida and have the potential to upend politics. It didn't work out so well for billionaire Democrat Jeff Greene (Gov. Scott is merely a multimillionaire), but one never knows when someone unconnected to Florida politics might emerge to shake things up.

So when Forbes last week released its latest list of billionaires — including 27 Floridians — we couldn't resist peeking at voter registrations. Turns out 14 of them are Republicans, 10 are Democrats, one is an independent and two are not registered. Meet our billionaires, courtesy of Forbes:

Micky Arison, 61, Bal Harbour, Carnival Cruises, not registered; William Koch, 70, Palm Beach, oil, investments, R; Terrence Pegula, 60, Boca Raton, East Resources, R; Malcolm Glazer, 82, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay Bucs, sports, real estate, R; Igor Olenicoff, 68, North Palm Beach, real estate, R; H. Wayne Huizenga, 73, Fort Lauderdale, investments, R; Phillip Frost, 74, Miami, pharmaceuticals, D; Robert Rich, 70, Islamorada, Rich Products, R; Ted Turner, 72, Lamont, cable television, D; Wilbur Ross, 73, Palm Beach, investments, D; Albert Ueltschi, 93, Vero Beach, FlightSafety, R; Fred De Luca, 63, Fort Lauderdale, Subway, no party; Jeff Greene, 56, Palm Beach, real estate, investments, D; Isaac Perlmutter, 68, Palm Beach, Marvel Entertainment, R; Bharat Desai, 58, Fisher Island, Syntel, D; Edward DeBartolo Jr., 64, Tampa, shopping centers, not registered; George Lindemann, 74, Palm Beach, investments, R; Chris Cline, 53, Palm Beach Gardens, coal, D; Michael Heisley, 73, Jupiter Island, manufacturing, R; S. Daniel Abraham, 86, Palm Beach, Slim-Fast, D; Tom Golisano, 69, Naples, Paychex, R; Norman Braman, 78, Miami, car dealerships, art, R; Alfred James Clark, 83, Vero Beach, construction, R; Charlotte Colket Weber, 68, Hobe Sound, Campbell Soup, R; Peter Lewis, 68, Coconut Grove, Progressive Insurance, D; Edmund Ansin, 75, Miami, Sunbeam Broadcasting, D; John Henry, 61, Boca Raton, finance, D.

Scarborough talks Senate

There was a weird exchange Friday between Florida U.S. representative turned MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Hill reported that NRSC chairman John Cornyn had been encouraging Scarborough to run for the Senate against Bill Nelson, prompting the NRSC to deny the story and clarify that the conversation had been about him running in New York state, where Scarborough spends most of his time.

Scarborough responded that they talked about Florida, but that he loves his TV gig. The NRSC responded to that by blasting him:

"Not only did Sen. Cornyn not ask him to run for the Senate in Florida, but for a number of reasons it stretches the bounds of credulity to even see why he would be considered a strong, viable candidate in Florida this cycle," said executive director Rob Jesmer. "There are already a number of far stronger candidates looking at the Florida Senate race and we are confident that any one of them can beat Bill Nelson in 2012. But we wish Joe the best of luck in his New York Senate pursuits and we remain fans of his cable show."

State parks golf plan scrapped

It seems Arnold Palmer and his Orlando-based golf course design company were not crazy about the plans by Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders to give Jack Nicklaus exclusive rights to develop golf courses at state parks in five regions of Florida.

"There are alternative options than using our state parks for 'new' golf course development," the company told the Orlando Sentinel.

Two bills, crafted by state Rep. Patrick Rooney and state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, were withdrawn Friday. Rooney, R-West Palm Beach, cited the deluge of reaction to the plan.

Iorio talks

Outgoing Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio appears today on Political Connections on Bay News 9 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.


of the week

Willie Meggs. With ex-college president Bob Richburg flipping on former House Speaker Ray Sansom and developer Jay Odom, the state attorney's case against Sansom presumably became a whole lot stronger.


of the week

Mark Wilson. The Florida Chamber of Commerce president is a very, very big deal. So someone of his immense stature clearly required the hiring off-duty cops to protect him and other chamber staffers from the unwashed protesters who expected to descend on Tallahassee for the opening the legislative session. How insolent, then, that these protesters failed to grasp his influence and went nowhere near him.

Where Florida's billionaires fall along political lines 03/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 10:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  2. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  3. Plan a fall vacation at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens when crowds are light


    Now that the busy summer vacation season is ending, Floridians can come out to play.

    Maria Reyna, 8, of Corpus Cristi, TX. eats chicken at the Lotus Blossom Cafe at the Chinese pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Epcot is celebrating it's 35th year as the upcoming Food and Wine Festival kicks off once again.
  4. USF spends $1.5 million to address growing demand for student counseling


    TAMPA — As Florida's universities stare down a mental health epidemic, the University of South Florida has crafted a plan it hopes will reach all students, from the one in crisis to the one who doesn't know he could use some help.

    A student crosses the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, where visits to the school's crisis center more than doubled last year, part of a spike in demand that has affected colleges across the country. The university is addressing the issue this year with $1.5 million for more "wellness coaches," counselors, online programs and staff training. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. PTA treasurer at Pinellas school accused of stealing $5,000


    The treasurer of the Parent-Teacher Association at a Pinellas County elementary school faces a felony fraud charge after she was accused of stealing from the organization to pay her credit card and phone bills.

    Lisa McMenamin, 50, of Tarpon Springs, is facing felony charges of scheming to defraud the Brooker Creek Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, where she served as treasurer. She is accused of stealing $5,000 to pay credit card and phone bills. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]