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CD 22: Underdog Jacobs outraises Frankel, Hasner eclipses both Dems

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, the underdog in the U.S. House District 22 Democratic primary, outraised former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel by more than $9,000 over the last four weeks, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Jacobs – eclipsed overall in fundraising by Frankel, who has a year-long head start in the race, and with just a fraction of Frankel’s cash-on-hand – raised $59,230 in the short July 1- July 25 pre-primary period and another $8,000 since then, according to the reports. And Frankel collected $53,192 for the period and another $5,000 as of Aug. 2.

But GOP candidate Adam Hasner, who does not have a primary in the new Palm Beach-Broward congressional district, overshadowed both Democrats over the past month. Hasner raked in more than $172,847 and another $3,000, bringing his total for the short fundraising period to more than the Democrats’ combined contributions.

And, with $1 million in his campaign war chest as of July 25, Hasner had a slight edge over Frankel, who reported $950,000 cash on hand after spending more than $330,000 on TV ads and nearly $16,000 on polling. Jacobs had about $48,000 going into the Aug. 14 primary.

Palm Beach County congressional candidates’ war chests swell

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Democrat Patrick Murphy raised more than $500,000 this quarter for his campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West in the new Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast District 18 race, one of the most-watched contests in the country.

Murphy, who’s collected more than $2.3 million so far, this quarter raked in the second-highest amount nationwide of Democratic congressional wannabes, according to his campaign.

Murphy along with former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel, who brought in more than $400,000 this quarter in her U.S. House District 22 race, are among the country’s top Democratic challengers.

Frankel’s in a Democratic primary run-off against Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs next month, and the winner will face off against former state representative Adam Hasner in November.

Hasner, a Boca Raton Republican, had a huge quarter as well. Hasner topped $558,000 this quarter, leaving him with more than $1 million in cash. And the Palm Beach County opponents are nearly matched with the $2.2 million each has raised so far, but Hasner doesn’t have a primary to contend with.

The official campaign finance documents for the quarter are due July 15.

Frankel scores big in quarterly fundraising

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel nailed down $400,000 in this second quarter of fundraising for her congressional race, her campaign announced today.

That brings Frankel’s total contributions to a whopping $2.2 million and making her one of the country’s top-performing fundraisers, according to a press release issued by her campaign.

It’s the fifth quarter in a row in which Frankel raked in more than $300,000. Frankel’s the financial frontrunner District 22 Democratic primary pitting her against Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. The official campaign finance reports aren’t due to federal elections officials until July 15.

Frankel entered the District 22 race last year in a challenge to incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West. But after state legislators redrew the Palm Beach-Broward district with a pronounced Democratic tilt, West opted to run for a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district instead. Jacobs jumped in, setting up an all-female, Democratic duel.

Frankel’s press release boasting about her quarterly figures ignores the primary altogether and instead focuses on Republican District 22 candidate Adam Hasner.

“Our campaign continues to build a grassroots campaign based upon the idea of focusing on getting our economy working again. Over the next 5 months, Lois’ campaign will have the resources necessary to her message out in
Broward and Palm Beach Counties,” the release reads.

Also today, Frankel announced the endorsement of fellow Palm Beach County politico U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, while Jacobs announced the support of the SEIU labor union.

Endorsement reversal: Haridopolos backs pal Connie Mack in U.S. Senate race

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 by Dara Kam

One-time U.S. Senate candidate and Senate President Mike Haridopolos is backing long-time friend U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV in the GOP primary, Haridopolos told editors and reporters this morning.

Haridopolos said he’s supporting Mack because he’s disappointed in the negative campaigning that’s dominated the GOP race thus far.

“I was not exactly pleased in the direction in which the senate primary was moving,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told a gathering of reporters and editors at the Associated Press Florida Legislative Planning Session shortly before noon. “I think he’d make an outstanding senator, not just candidate…I want to see us elevate the political discussion. What has disappointed me…is there’s a lot of finger-pointing. Let’s elevate the debate…as opposed to the negative campaigning that’s been done to this point.”

After initially saying he would not get into the race, Mack has now thrown his hat into a crowded GOP field. Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former state representative Adam Hasner of Delray Beach, businessman Craig Miller and Mike McAllister are all vying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat. The four declared GOP candidates have been plagued by underwhelming poll numbers and fundraising.

Early this spring, Mack, a Cape Coral Republican who served in the Florida House alongside Haridopolos, endorsed Haridopolos, who dropped out of the race this summer.

UPDATE: FL Dems want to know – What have Republicans done for you lately?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: Florida Republicans call the Dems new website “desperate.” This from Republican Party of Florida spokesman Brian Hughes: “With the most recent state reports showing RPOF outraised Florida Democrats by 5-to-1, it’s no surprise they are desperate to raise money. But this lame website demonstrates a level of desperation that is even worse than we thought possible. Instead of touting their anointed leaders, Barack Obama or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, they recycle ridiculous, cheap attacks. This tactic is more evidence why Floridians reject Democrats on Election Day.”

The Florida Democratic Party launched a new website today blaming Gov. Rick Scott and his fellow Republican lawmakers for the state’s dire economic straits.

The website accuses “Rickpublicans” of ethical lapses and causing teacher layoffs, among other things, and blasts Scott for “backsliding” on his campaign pledge to create 700,000 jobs over seven years as governor.

And the Dems remind viewers that Republicans have had a stranglehold on the state legisalture and governor’s mansion for more than a decade.

The site gives this definition of a “Rickpublican:”
1. Proper name for Florida Republicans wrought with greed and corruption who are hell-bent on selling out to the corporations and special interests while leaving Florida’s middle class families out-to-dry.

The Dems also use “Six Degrees of Separation” to link half a dozen GOP politicians – including Palm Beach County’s Adam Hanser and U.S. Rep. Allen West – to Scott, whose popularity among voters remains dim.

Miss. guv Haley Barbour backs George LeMieux U.S. Senate race

Monday, August 8th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is backing George LeMieux in a heated GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who briefly considered running in the 2012 presidential race, called LeMieux a “solid conservative” in a statement released this morning by LeMieux’s campaign.

“I am honored to earn the support of a principled conservative like Haley Barbour. When Governor Barbour was RNC Chairman, he helped orchestrate the Republican Revolution in 1994 that built the type of conservative majorities we need to turn our country around,” LeMieux said in the release. “More importantly, from his leadership during hurricane Katrina to his work passing key pro-life legislation, Governor Barbour is a case study in effective conservative governance.”

LeMieux is struggling to shake off his ties to Gov. Charlie Crist, who appointed LeMieux to replace former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez when he resigned mid-term. LeMieux, a one-time close ally to Crist whom the former governor called “The Maestro,” did not seek reelection to the seat, which now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio won after Crist quit the GOP and ran against him as an independent.

LeMieux will face off in the primary against Delray Beach’s Adam Hasner, a former state House member who also served as the chamber’s majority leader.

Wealthy Delray Beacher Nick Loeb is toying with entrée into the race but is waiting until gal pal Sofia Vergara, star of Modern Family, gets past the Emmy Awards next month. Chris Ruddy, another Palm Beacher and CEO of the influential West Palm Beach-based conservative publication NewsMax, has ruled out getting into the candidate fray.

A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed that 53 percent of Republican voters remain undecided in the Senate primary but found Plant City tree farmer and retired Army Reserve Col. Mike McCalister leading the current four-candidate field with a meager 15 percent.

Behind McCalister in the poll were both LeMieux, with 12 percent, and Hasner, with 6 percent. Former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO Craig Miller weighed in with 8 percent support.

Hasner slams LeMieux, calls him untrustworthy and a ‘Charlie Crist Republican’

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by Dara Kam

The GOP U.S. Senate primary campaign is heating up as former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton came out swinging today against former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux.

A fund-raising appeal on behalf of Hasner’s Senate exploratory committee calls LeMieux – dubbed by former Gov. Charlie Crist as his “Maestro” – untrustworthy and a “reinvented conservative.”

“Conservatives across Florida and the country shouldn’t just be outraged, we should be insulted. This is the same George LeMieux that once proudly said, ‘I describe myself as a Charlie Crist Republican’ and said he was Crist’s ‘junior partner,’” Hasner said in the fundraising memo entitled “Unbelievable.”

Crist appointed LeMieux to the U.S. Senate to fill in a vacancy created by Mel Martinez, who retired before his term was up. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio now holds the post.

Team Hasner has also launched a “Charlie Crist Republican” website featuring an image of Crist and LeMieux that’s reminiscent of the Crist-President Obama man-hug picture that Marco Rubio used against Crist in the 2010 Senate primary.


Hotline puts potential Hasner 2012 Senate bid on D.C. insiders’ radar

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 by George Bennett

Hasner: 2012 Senate hopeful?

Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton, who’s been flirting with a potential 2012 U.S. Senate run, grabs some important electrons this morning on The National Journal‘s Hotline On Call website.

Here’s the link.

Hasner faces a “distinctly uphill path” to the GOP nomination, says Hotline, noting his relatively low statewide name ID. On the plus side, Hotline says, his conservative voting record and long history of opposing Gov. Charlie Crist should wear well with Republican primary voters, and Hasner “would be able to tap into a national Jewish Republican fundraising pool.”

Eye on 2012 Senate race as LeMieux speaks at Forum Club today

Monday, December 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

U.S. Sen. George LeMieux’s appearance at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch today in West Palm Beach puts the spotlight on Florida’s 2012 U.S. Senate race.

Republican LeMieux is winding down a 16-month gig after being appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009. At the time, Crist was the 2010 Republican Senate frontrunner and LeMieux, his former campaign manager and chief of staff, was seen as a seatwarmer for his ex-boss. LeMieux ended up campaigning for Marco Rubio when Crist bolted the GOP for an independent bid.

Now LeMieux is seen as one of several potential Republican candidates for 2012, when Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is up for reelection. Some other Republicans to watch: former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton, new state Senate President Mike Haridopolos and U.S. Reps. Connie Mack and Vern Buchanan from Florida’s west coast.

Whitman’s California GOP win managed by Boca operative, fodder in Florida Democratic Senate primary

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 by George Bennett

Republican Meg Whitman’s win in Tuesday’s California GOP governor’s primary was managed by Jillian Hasner, the GOP operative who’s also the wife of state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton. Jillian Hasner’s California gig was a factor in her hubby’s decision not to run for office this year despite facing House term limits.

Whitman’s win is also being used by Florida Democrat Kendrick Meek’s U.S. Senate campaign to question the partisan loyalty of his Democratic primary rival, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene. Greene contributed $5,000 to Whitman’s campaign last year.

“Congratulations billionaire Jeff Greene — your endorsed candidate for California governor Republican Meg Whitman won her primary last night. One year ago, you sent a $5,000 dollar check to Whitman, a conservative Republican who favors increasing restrictions on a woman’s right to choose and supports repealing environmental and climate reforms,” said Meek spokesman Adam Sharon in a release this morning.


UPDATE: Top House Dem calls GOP transportation budget job-killer

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 by Dara Kam

In a tongue-in-cheek hint of what will likely take place during a budget debate on the floor tomorrow, House Democratic Leader-to-be Ron Saunders filed an amendment on a transportation bill that sweeps nearly $150 million from road projects to fill a $3.2 billion spending gap.

The veteran Key West lawmaker’s amendment renames the transportation bill the “Job Killer Act of 2010.”

Look for Democrats to try to amend the budget mainly in the House but without much success.

As evidence, House Majority Leader Adam Hasner offered his own amendment to counter Saunders’.

Hasner, R-Delray Beach, wants to name the bill (HB 5503) the “Protecting Healthcare and Education Funding Act of 2010.”

The Senate is expected to debate and amend its budget and pass it out so they can cancel session on Thursday and get in a longer Easter weekend.

Critics accuse lawmakers of hiding behind bad economy to bust up unions

Friday, March 26th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Hundreds of thousands of Florida workers – including teachers and cops – say they are under assault by lawmakers using the state’s flopping finances as a way to bust up the unions.

Measures that would cut salaries, do away with teacher tenure and impose pension reductions are speeding through the legislature this session.

“The legislature’s taking advantage of the bad economy to force their opinions of anti-unionism down the throats of the rest of the people. If they had their way, we’d be working weekends, and there would be 13-year-olds on the production lines,” said Paul Brewer, a Department of Transportation printer who is head of his local union comprised mainly of blue-collar workers in Tallahassee.

Read the full story here.

Dems recruit another candidate for open Hasner seat

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

Democrats have long touted House Majority Leader Adam Hasner’s Palm Beach-Broward seat as a pickup opportunity when Hasner leaves this year because of term limits. Republicans have roughly a 39-to-35 percent registration edge in District 87 and have been losing ground over the past eight years.

But Democratic hopes suffered a blow in January when candidate Lori Berman, who had raised more money than Republican Bill Hager, quit the race to run in more heavily Democratic District 86.

Now Dems have recruited retired construction manager Laura Rawlins-Blum of Boca Raton to run in District 87. Rawlins-Blum, active in the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee, was encouraged to run by Dems including former League of Women Voters President Pamela Goodman. Goodman, who had been urged by some Democrats to run for the seat, will host a kickoff fund-raiser for Rawlins-Blum.

Hasner to Crist: “Ideology is not a four-letter word”

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 by George Bennett

“Ideology” was a bad word in Gov. Charlie Crist’s State of the State address, which called on lawmakers — and, indirectly, Republican voters in this year’s U.S. Senate primary — to elevate “problem-solving” over rigid adherence to ideological positions.

“During these very difficult economic times, we do a disservice to the people who elected us – the people who are counting on us – to elevate ideology over problem-solving,” Crist said.

Hasner: defends the I-word

Hasner: defends the I-word

Embracing a $787 billion Democratic stimulus plan, which has damaged Crist in his GOP primary race against former House Speaker Marco Rubio, was cited by Crist as an example of choosing a path “more helpful to Floridians than engaging in hollow ideological posturing that achieves nothing.”

House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, took issue with Crist’s stigmatizing of the I-word.

“I’m as much of a problem solver as anybody else in the legislature or anybody else who serves. But I come to solve problems based on my principles, based on the beliefs that I hold and that the people elected me to come and carry out,” Hasner said afterward.


Dem Berman holds early financial edge over Republican Hager in race for Hasner’s state House seat

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 by George Bennett



In a state House race that has attracted attention from legislative leaders of both parties, Democrat Lori Berman holds an early money-raising lead over Republican Bill Hager in state House District 87, where House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, is leaving because of term limits.

Berman raised $21,643 between July 1 and Sept. 30 for a total of $52,818. Hager raised $12,575 during the quarter for a total of $38,575 in contributions. He’s also kicked in $14,500 of his own money.

Hager has already spent $35,306 on the race, according to his report, while Berman has spent $4,501.



The Palm Beach-Broward seat was considered safe GOP turf with Hasner running. But Republicans only held a 38.9-to-35.4 percent voter registration edge in 2008, giving Dems optimism for next year when Hasner won’t be on the ballot. House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands of Weston and 2010-12 Dem leader designate Ron Saunders of Key West have helped Berman raise money while Republican 2010-12 Speaker designate Dean Cannon of Orlando has helped Hager raise campaign cash.

Civility watch: GOP cries foul over Florida Democrat’s “Die quickly” and “holocaust” remarks on health care

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 by George Bennett

Video link from

Freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, came under fire from Republicans this week after summarizing the Republican health care plan as “Don’t get sick” and, if you do, “Die quickly.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called Grayson’s remarks “a calculated scare tactic and smear” and said Democrats serious about “civil debate on the floor of the House” should demand an apology.

Grayson took to the House floor Wednesday to offer an “apology” that drew more GOP outrage: “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, who is a devout Jew, responded: “Comparing the American health care system to the systematic murdering of over six million Jews is totally outrageous and unfit for someone holding public office. Congressman Grayson should apologize to the Jewish community and the families of those whose loved ones were brutally executed.” (more…)

ACORN video scandal fallout: Hasner eyes elections law changes

Sunday, September 20th, 2009 by George Bennett

Hasner: videos bolster case for elections changes

Hasner: videos bolster case for elections changes

Although it’s a prostitution-themed video sting that has rocked ACORN, Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, hopes to use the scandal to revive Republican efforts to clamp down on elections activities by the left-leaning outfit and its allies.

Hasner and other Republicans have long accused the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now of perpetrating voter fraud.

Crist: no fraud problem in Florida

Crist: no fraud problem in Florida

But Republican Gov. Charlie Crist pooh-poohed those concerns in Florida last year when John McCain’s presidential campaign tried to make them an issue. And Crist voiced concerns this year when Hasner and other Republicans pushed for heightened restrictions and stiffer penalties for groups like ACORN that specialize in voter-registration and petition drives. The legislation died.


McCollum is latest GOP pol to visit Bill Diamond’s Palm Beach house for campaign cash

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 by George Bennett



Whether they’re running for president or a state House seat, Republicans in need of campaign cash often find their way to Bill Diamond’s Palm Beach home.

Florida Attorney General and 2010 governor candidate Bill McCollum will be the latest GOP office-seeker to belly up to Diamond’s political ATM when he attends a fund-raising lunch there Wednesday.



A veteran of New York City Republican politics, the 73-year-old Diamond co-owns a real estate business and was elected to the Palm Beach town council this year.

He was a regional administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, then was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s commissioner of administrative services from 1994 to 2001.


House Majority Office supports end to Mexican horse slaughter

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 by Dara Kam

flgophouseThe House Majority Office sent out a tongue-in-cheek e-mail today trying to steer fans to its new Facebook page.

Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Adam Hasner invited fans to do a Facebook search for “Florida House Majority Office” to check out his new site and join up.

But a search turned up a variety of Facebook groups – including “Stop Horse Slaughter and Murder in Mexico!” – none of which was the Majority Office’s.

“Thanks in part to Dara Kam of the Palm Beach Post, many of you know that a glitch in the Facebook search box leads folks to pages other than our own. For the record, the House Majority Office is fully supportive of stopping horse slaughter and murder in Mexico, and is proud that we have done our part to raise awareness of the issue. But our intention was to send you to our new Facebook page, not one on Mexican equines,” House Majority Office Staff Director Todd Reid wrote in an e-mail.

Reid said his staff have tried to get Facebook to fix the glitch, but in the meantime wanted to advertise a direct link to the site:

FL House Majority Office Facebook search turns up dead Mexican horses

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by Dara Kam

flgophouseFans of the Florida House Republicans can follow the Majority Office on Facebook but it takes a little doing to find them.

Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, today sent out an e-mail inviting folks to become a fan of his office’s Facebook group. To join, simply enter “Florida House Majority Office” in the Facebook search bar.

“To get the Right point of view of what’s happening in Tally, follow the activities of the Republicans in the Florida House,” Hasner’s message read.

But an attempt to do that resulted in seven groups (none of them Hasner’s), including “Stop Horse Slaughter and Murder in Mexico!”

The search result also included the “Win with Alma” group, supporters of Democrat Alma Gonzalez, a union lawyer who ran for the Leon County commission. She lost.

The Majority Office also launched a Twitter site: FLGOPMajority.

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