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Frankel hires third campaign manager in campaign for Congress

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 by Dara Kam

Maybe the third time’s the charm for former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel’s Congressional campaign. The combative Democrat has hired Jonathon Bray as campaign manager #3 in her quest for U.S. House District 22.

Bray, 28, comes from North Carolina, should be an asset for Frankel in her Democratic primary against Broward County Commissioner. He recently left North Carolina state Rep. Patsy Keever’s congressional campaign, where as her campaign manager he successfully shepherded her through a Democratic primary in May. The Democratic operative was helped Kendrick Meek gather petitions to make it on the ballot in his failing bid for the U.S. Senate two years ago. Frankel’s spokesman Joshua Karp said Bray has strong family ties to Palm Beach County.

Bray replaces Greg Richardson, who Karp said left the campaign because of family health problems. Richardson fumbled when he sent a memo to Jacobs demanding that she resign from her Broward County Commission seat before Gov. Rick Scott can appoint a Republican replacement. Within hours, Richardson sent Jacobs’ campaign manager Marcia Monserrat a second memo, saying he misstakenly sent the e-mail and it was not approved by Frankel. Richardson left the campaign shortly afterwards but the memo mishap had nothing to do with his departure, Karp said.

“Greg was a phenomenal manager that Lois was lucky to have. Greg steered the campaign through a crucial phase, building the kind of network needed to take on Adam Hasner,” Karp said, referring to the GOP candidate in the District 22 race.

As with the Hasner reference by Karp, Frankel – the clear frontrunner in the race – is all but ignoring her challenger. Frankel is ahead in the polls, has the backing of numerous national heavyweights, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and has eclipsed Jacobs in fundraising. As of the latest campaign finance report filings on June 31, Frankel had nearly $1.4 million in her war chest – more than ten times the $75,000 cash-on-hand Jacobs reported.

Monserrat said Jacobs has had three campaign managers as well, sort of.

“Me, myself and I. That’s it,” she quipped.

UPDATE: Allen West calls Social Security ‘a form of slavery’

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Tea party firebrand U.S. Rep. Allen West likened Social Security to a “form of slavery” in an interview on Fox News this weekend.

West, running for a second term in Congress in the new Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast District 18, said the number of Americans going on Social Security disability is higher since 2009 than the number of new jobs created, blaming President Obama for “creating this sense of economic dependence, which to me is a form of modern, 21st-century slavery.”

West blamed the “liberal media” for misrepresenting his comments in a post on his Facebook page.

“Over the weekend I was on Fox & Friends discussing the growing number of Americans becoming dependent on government programs from food stamps to social security disability. Of course the liberal media is now putting words in mouth and saying I attacked Social Security. The fact is, I will work to protect Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and for future generations. It is too bad the media refuses to report on the failed economic policies of Washington liberals and the dependency culture career politicians are creating to expand their political power,” West said in the post.

West opted to run for the new district instead of seeking reelection to his newly redrawn District 22 seat where Democrats now have a 9-point edge. West’s race against Democrat Patrick Murphy is one of the most high-profile Congressional battles in the state.

Murphy’s campaign jumped on West’s Social Security-bashing, pointing out in a press release that residents over the age of 65 make up about 22 percent of District 18.

“Our seniors have worked their whole lives for a safety net that will allow them to retire with dignity, and Allen West is intent on doing anything he can to make it disappear,” Murphy’s campaign manager Anthony Kusich said.

A week ago, West accused President Obama of wanting to enslave Americans with government programs.

“He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave,” West told the crowd at a campaign event in Port St. Lucie.

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