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Will gun control be a problem for GOP in 2014?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 by George Bennett

After most Senate Republicans and a few red-state Democrats blocked legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers last week, GOP megadonor Al Hoffman blasted those in his own party who oppose “reasonable” gun control.


Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chair and ambassador to Portugal who lives in North Palm Beach, says Democratic President Barack Obama is right on gun issues and the GOP could suffer because of it in 2014.

“I think this has given Obama a perfect position, a perfect ploy to claim the higher ground. And the higher ground is based upon appealing to the grass roots … who feel that the majority of Americans want reasonable gun control,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman’s analysis is disputed by many, including Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who maintains that even though polls show most Americans support background checks, most of those voters don’t regard gun control as one of their top issues.

Regardless, Hoffman’s opinion carries some weight within the GOP. He has personally given more than $272,000 to Republicans over the last five years and helped the GOP raise far more than that. And Hoffman says he’ll be reluctant to raise money in the future for candidates who don’t share his views on guns.

If a Republican who opposes “reasonable” gun measures comes to him for financial help, Hoffman said, “it would be a tough sell for them…I would have to really think hard about it before I would choose to support them financially.”

Read about it in this week’s Politics column.

GOP money man Hoffman: ‘Obama is right on the issue of gun control’

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 by George Bennett

Republican mega-financier Al Hoffman of North Palm Beach is at it again.

The former Republican National Committee finance chairman and George W. Bush-appointed ambassador to Portugal rankled many conservatives in 2011 when he took to the op-ed page of the New York Times to urge the GOP to accept higher taxes as part of a “grand bargain” on the deficit.

Now Hoffman has written a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to support “reasonable gun control legislation.”

In an interview today, Hoffman said the gun issue could hurt Republicans at the polls.

“I believe that the Republican Party — and I’m a conservative Republican — I believe the Republican Party faces irrelevancy if we as a party don’t gain a little rational nexus as far as gun control is concerned. I personally believe President Obama is right on the issue of gun control…We really ought to follow what the American public wants and there’s a clear consensus that they’re in favor of stricter gun control,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said too many Republicans fear being targeted in primaries if they run afoul of the National Rifle Association and its executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre.

“We’re being terrorized by the NRA and Wayne LaPierre right now,” Hoffman said. But Hoffman said siding with the NRA now could give Democrats a weapon against Republicans in the 2014 elections.

“Obama has a great shot at getting a lot of Republicans defeated in the next election if he doesn’t get his gun legislation,” Hoffman said.

Romney holds fundraisers in Palm Beach County on Thursday

Friday, September 14th, 2012 by Dara Kam

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will hold two fundraisers in Palm Beach County on Thursday, the same day President Obama campaigns in Tampa and Miami.

Romney will be at the North Palm Beach home of Chris Cline for a VIP reception. The ask for a photo op with the former Massachusetts governor is $10,000 or a pledge to raise $25,000.

Later in the evening, Romney will attend a dinner hosted by Al and Dawn Hoffman in North Palm Beach. Al Hoffman, a developer, is a former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and a former ambassador to Portugal.

Greer accuses dissidents of treason, slander and libel

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Dara Kam

Republican Party of Florida Jim Greer, under fire from GOP discontents trying to oust him from his post, removed the party’s grievance chairman Tony DiMatteo from the committee set to deal with a complaint about the party infighting.

Greer accused dissidents of “treason,” “slander” and “libel” in a letter to party leaders.

In the letter, Greer, handpicked by Gov. Charlie Crist, warns he won’t back down from his leadership spot despite efforts by what he calls Marco Rubio backers to get rid of him. (more…)

GOP chief Greer to Hoffman: Nuts to you!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 by Dara Kam

GOP money man Al Hoffman, a developer and former finance director for the Republican National Committee, wrote a scathing letter to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer asking him to step down.

“It is time for you to resign in order to end the excessive, irresponsible, unethical, and perhaps illegal spending that has marked your administration,” Hoffman wrote to Greer in a letter dated today.

Greer blew off Hoffman’s request after the state party executive board gave him a 25-2 vote of confidence this afternoon.

“It reminds me of a World War II United States Army general when he was asked to surrender. He wrote one word back on a piece of paper. And it was ‘nuts.’ So that’s all I have to say about the letter,” Greer said.

He said Hoffman’s out of touch and hasn’t done much in the way of fundraising for the state GOP in the past three or four years.

Maybe that’s because Hoffman was out of the country at the time.

President George W. Bush appointed Hoffman to serve as ambassador to Portugal in 2005.

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