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Adam Putnam cancels fundraiser with dog shooter supporter

The campaign has little to say about its decision to hold a fundraiser with a man accused of animal cruelty
[OCTAVIO JONES | Tampa Bay Times]
[OCTAVIO JONES | Tampa Bay Times]
Published May 24, 2018
Updated May 24, 2018

Adam Putnam has scrubbed plans to hold at fundraising reception today at the Orlando home of a man videotaped in 2008 shooting two pet huskies that entered a cow pasture. The cancellation came hours after The Buzz noted that the host of the reception, businessman Christopher Comins, had caused considerable outrage after the video of the shooting became public.

"The event has been cancelled," was all Putnam Communications Director Meredith Beatrice would say about the last-minute cancellation.

Wednesday night she dismissed a question about Comins hosting Putnam, noting that fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis had received money from a prominent Democratic donor.

A judge acquitted Comins of animal cruelty charges in 2011, saying that he had been authorized to shoot the dogs by the property owner who has a right to protect his cattle.

Top tier campaigns vet the hosts of their fundraising events as a matter of course. In this case a Google search would have immediately indicated to Putnam's team about Comins' dog issue.

"It's just another case of poor decision making by the same career politician who voted with Nancy Pelosi for bailouts, gave us 'Cash for Clunkers' and supported amnesty," said DeSantis campaign spokesman David Vasquez.

The Democratic group American Bridge promptly jumped on the controversy, calling on Putnam to return the $2,700 Comins contributed to his campaign two months ago.

"Canceling one fundraiser with this dog shooter means nothing if Chris Comins's checks are still sitting in Adam Putnam and the Republican Party of Florida's bank accounts," said American Bridge spokesperson Zach Hudson. "We would hope accepting thousands of dollars from someone who was caught on camera shooting dogs is a bridge too far even for Adam Putnam."

READ: A man who shot two dogs is hosting an Adam Putnam fundraiser