FUNDRAISING FOR 2006...FULL SPEED AHEAD!
Although the statewide races are nearly a year and a half away, partisans for the various candidates are none too stingy with adding to their faves' coffers. Realizing that the 2006 campaign could very well be the most expensive in Florida history, the contribution requests went out some time ago.
This week a number of Florida Republicans made the trek to New York for a $500 per person event hosted by developer/TV star Donald Trump for Attorney General Charlie Crist's campaign in what St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Lucy Morgan notes may be the beginning of a battle between the GOP old guard -vs- the "up and comers" within the party faithful.
Fort Myers News Press columnist Betty Palmer reported today that Crist's coffers also benefitted by a $250 per person event Monday evening in Bonita Springs hosted by Congressman Connie Mack IV (R - Fort Myers), son of the former U.S. Senator...for whom Crist previously worked. However, Mack was unable to attend being called back to the nation's capitol, and his host's duties were handled by Fort Myers realtor Frank D'Alessandro.
Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial opponent and State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is also on the money run, having scheduled an fundraiser next week in Fort Myers.
On the Democratic side, State Senator Rod Smith (D - Alachua) was in Southwest Florida for the second time this month, brought in by senate collegue Dave Aronberg (D - Greenacres) to help Smith's campaign treasury. Last Friday, Mrs. Palmer reported that Smith was hosted by Aronberg and the Viles & Beckham law firm for a breakfast that requested a $500 donation. About 20 people showed up to meet the former Gainesville area prosecutor.