GOP demand for Frankel to return Catalfumo money costs Rooney $4,600by George Bennett | July 28th, 2011
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s demand today that Democratic House hopeful Lois Frankel return “tainted dollars” from developer Dan Catalfumo produced some quick results — but not the ones the GOP wanted.
Frankel, who hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, isn’t returning the $5,000 she got from Catalfumo.
But the campaign of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, will give up $4,600 that Catalfumo contributed in 2008. The money will be given to a home for unwed mothers. Asked why Rooney is returning the Catalfumo cash, a spokesman referred a reporter to the NRCC.
After Frankel accused West of hating women, the NRCC blasted Frankel for accepting contributions from Catalfumo, who was charged with beating his ex-fiancee in a case that ended with a jury finding Catalfumo not guilty in 2005.
During the trial, another former girlfriend testified that she had been beaten by Catalfumo; she exploded under cross-examination when Catalfumo attorney Richard Lubin, who is Frankel’s former husband, began questioning her credibility.
Ex-wife Barbie Catalfumo was barred from testifying about a 1997 incident in which Catalfumo pleaded no contest to a battery charge, which was later dropped after Catalfumo completed court-ordered counseling. Barbie Catalfumo’s attorney objected to her being called, according a Palm Beach Post report at the time, and the judge banned her testimony after ruling that prosecutors had put her on a witness list too late to give Catalfumo a fair trial.
Although Catalfumo was acquitted, the NRCC said Frankel “should not have accepted the money in the first place, but if she keeps these tainted dollars in her campaign coffers, she is endorsing this appalling violence toward women.”
Frankel slammed West last week after he sent a scorching e-mail to U.S. Rep. and Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz telling her to “shut the heck up…you are not a Lady.” Frankel quickly launched a website called WestHatesWomen.com and suggested he donate $1,000 to a shelter for battered women.