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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Big donors and big bucks give Crist $2 million month

4

December

Charlie Crist's newly-formed political committee, Charlie Crist for Florida, raised $2.1 million in its first month and, according to expenditures reported late Wednesday, spent only $137,538 -- most of it to the Florida Democratic Party, presumably reimbursing for consulting and fundraising expenses. 

The former GOP governor turned Democrat has had an aggressive fundraising schedule, criss-crossing the state as well as ducking into other states to collect funds, his aides report. On Tuesday, for example, when news broke that Crist's newly named campaign manager, Bill Hyers, was stepping down, the former governor was in New York City recording the audio for his book to be released in February -- and raising cash.

Crist's fundraising haul is interesting for several reasons. It includes a line-up of old-line Republicans as well as old-line Democrats. The donors also span industry sectors. There's the predicable allotment of trial attorneys, who traditionally align with the Democratic candidate, but there are also a host of equity fund managers, health care companies, real estate developers, a "Debt Sucks" guru, a yogi, and an interesting contingent of people who (our guess) may want to see the state's no-fault auto laws demolished -- or preserved.

Word is that next week, when Crist's campaign releases the fundraising totals for his campaign committee, the numbers could match these. By contrast, Gov. Rick Scott, who has not officially announced his re-election campaign, had an equally impressive month of November. His Let's Get to Work political committee amassed $4 million for November alone. 

The big question now: who is going to sustain it?

Meanwhile, curious about who is ponying up the big bucks for Crist? Here’s the Who’s Who of the top Crist donors for November:

  • $345,000 - Floridians for Fairness, political committee operates by Jay Burmer, Crist’s college friend who managed his education commissioner campaign in 2000 and whose firm was paid $350,000 by the Republican Party of Florida when Crist was governor
  • $250,000 - Marty Rauch, real estate agent in Sarasota
  • $250,000 – Grossman Roth, a Coral Gables personal injury law firm
  • $100,000 - Steve Mostyn currently serving as the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association; he gave $5.3 million to Democratic causes in 2012
  • $100,000 - Bruce Berkowitz of Coral Gables, CEO Fairhome Capital, equity fund manager and investment adviser, member of the board of directors of the St. Joe Company
  • $100,000 - Susan McCurry, Naples, retired agribusiness owner and investor
  • $100,000 – Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence, Ocala-based clinic
  • $100,000 – Barbara Stiefel, Coral Gables, a long-time Democratic fundraiser and philanthropist who gave $1.7 million in political contributions in 2012
  • $100,000 - Rosalie Danbury, a retiree from Venice, gave $305,800 to Democrats in 2012
  • $100,000 – William “Andy” Haggard of Miami, lawyer
  • $50,000 – Robert Rubenstein, Coconut Grove lawyer who specializes in car accidents
  • $50,000 – Sheldon Schlesinger law firm, Fort Lauderdale
  • $50,000 – Consumer Lending Alliance of Crawfordville, advocates of Auto Title Loans, gave $389,950 in 2012 to candidates across the country representing both parties 
  • $50,000 – David Rancourt, former Gov. Jeb Bush advisor and current lobbyist
  • $45,000 - Eva Sugden Gomez, Naples investor and philanthropist
  • $45,000 -- Isolina Alvarez, homemaker from MiamiLakes
  • $25,000 -- Luhrsen Law Group of Sarasota, specializes in car accidents
  • $25,000 – Quail Creek Plantation, a resort and gun range in Okeechobee
  • $25,000 - Alec Schultz, an attorney in the Fort Lauderdale office of Boies, Schiller and Flexner
  • $25,000 - American Medical Technologies of Tampa, provider of surgical dressings and would care specialists
  • $25,000 - Michael “Mickey” Singer, medical software developer and founder of Gainesville mediation center “Temple of the Universe”
  • $25,000 – Oakland Investments, real estate and development in Windemere
  • $25,000 -- John Uustall, personal injury lawyer at Kelley-Uustal law firm in  Fort Lauderdale
  • $25,000 -- Robert Kelley, personal injury lawyer at Kelley-Uustal law firm in  Fort Lauderdale
  • $25,000 – Bob Poe, Orlando businessman, chairman of Crist’s political committee and former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party
  • $20,000 - Howard Dvorkin of HSD Holdings a credit and debt management company in Parkland which owns the rights to the name “Debt Sucks”
  • $20,000 - the Greater Miami Health Education and Training Center, a private health care training company in South Florida
  • $15,000 – Daryl Parks, Tallahassee personal injury attorney
  • $10,000 – Henry Laufer of Manalapan, retired hedge fund manager who contributed $1.7 million to Democrats in 2012
  • $10,000 - Capital Building LLC, a company run by Miami lawuer Renaldy Gutierrez
  • $10,000 – Mizner Trail Golf Club, a real estate development in Boca Raton
  • $10,000 – Lynx Construction Management of Coral Gables
  • $10,000 – Donna Mae Litowitz, a Miami Beach retiree who has contributed to many Democrat-leaning campaigns and investigative reporting foundations
  • $10,000 – Brand Com, an online reputation manager based in Philadelphia
  • $10,000 -- Mike Papantonio, Jacksonville trial lawyer and radio talk show host and current president of the National Trial Lawyers Association
  • $10,000 – William “Chip” Merlin, Republican, Tampa-based insurance lawyer
  • $10,000 – Yerrid Law firm, Tampa-based personal injury lawyer
  • $10,000 – Allen Silverman, New York real estate developer
  • $10,000 – CC Dockery, Lakeland businessman, Republican, and high speed rail promoter
  • $10,000 – Michael Cohen, Pompano Beach attorney
  • $10,000 – Robert O’Neil, Coral Springs veteranarian
  • $10,000 -Mary Ebrahimi, retired investor from Corpus Christi, Texas, daughter of the founder of Quark software company

 

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 3:30pm]

    

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