1. The Buzz

GOP: Bill Nelson fundraising email a 'new level of tone deaf'

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Published Sep. 28, 2017
Updated Sep. 29, 2017

The GOP has taken aim at a fundraising email sent yesterday by Sen. Bill Nelson, saying he showing a “new level of tone deaf” as the state still contends with Hurricane Irma.

“Bill Nelson is spending time blasting out fundraising emails while countless Floridians are recovering from Hurricane Irma’s devastation,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin. “Bill Nelson’s DC elitist behavior is always self-serving, but this kind of out of touch behavior reaches a new low.”

Asked for comment, a Nelson spokesman did not address the email. Instead Ryan Brown charged that President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott used the disaster “to campaign together in Fort Myers” and that Nelson at the time was in North Florida “handing out food to victims of the storm.”

Despite the hurricane, political activity has resumed in Florida, with Tuesday’s special election in Miami. And there seems to be a backstory here. Politico’s Marc Caputo:

Mr. Kennedy." Hmmm. Is that Airlines for America lobbyist Sean Kennedy? We reached out to Mr. Kennedy and asked. Mr. Kennedy first claimed he had "no idea" of Nelson's fundraising email (odd for the airline lobbyist not to know about the controversy, especially considering POLITICO Florida and others had written about it by then). So we asked him if he were the "Mr. Kennedy" listed in the fundraising email. Mr. Kennedy's response: "No comment." He then hung up. So we called Nelson's office, which confirmed Mr. Kennedy had complained about this very issue (so much for having "no idea" about it). Then we contacted Nelson's campaign. How many people were listed as "Mr. Kennedy" in its database? The answer: Only one. Mr. Kennedy, a former Obama White House legislative affairs special assistant, had no follow up comment about knifing his fellow Democrat.