Another shadowy, GOP-linked 527 group has taken out a $616,282 ad buy to impact the Florida Senate race.
From Saturday through Wednesday, Florida First Initiative will run an ad entitled “Fraud,” ostensibly about Rick Scott’s tenure at Columbia/HCA. Scott was forced to resign as CEO after his company was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
An ad with the same title ran earlier in Florida funded by another 527 group, Alliance for America’s Future, which has an address listed in Alexandria, Va. The group is affiliated with an additional 527, Partnership for America’s Future, which lists Mary Cheney as its director.
The group — which has connections to GOP rival Bill McCollum’s campaign — is a 527 that registered in Florida in March and lists a registered agent at Ken Cleary and the email address of Alachua County GOP Chairman Stafford Jones.
[Alchua County GOP Chairman Stafford] Jones hung up on a reporter who contacted him Friday and McCollum’s campaign said they aren’t affiliated with the group. McCollum’s TV buyer purchased the TV time for Florida First and did the same for a different political group, Alliance for America’s Future, which previously spent $1.9 million to air attack ads against Scott.
Jones, whose e-mail is listed for contact on IRS forms, did not respond to multiple e-mails for comment. Jones signed a June 3 letter from several top Florida Republicans calling for Scott to stop “falsely and capriciously” attacking McCollum for “stalling” an investigation into former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. On June 2, Greer was charged with six felony counts: one charge of organized scheme to defraud, four charges of grand theft and one charge of money laundering.
Here’s the ad: