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Epilogue to the St. Pete Mayoral Race: IRS filings show Deveron Gibbons’ campaign was likely behind attacks against Bill Foster

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
When a direct-mail piece attacking him landed in voters’ mailboxes, Bill Foster knew which of his opponents was behind the dirty tricks…fellow Republican Deveron Gibbons:

Foster said he thinks fellow candidate Deveron Gibbons is behind the mailer. As reported by Aaron Sharockman:

In 2006, Bainter attacked an attorney general candidate, state Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell, for a bill he sponsored that regulated the payday loan industry. Foster noted that Gibbons works for Amscot Financial, a company that provides payday loans.

Bainter’s group also is a client of the Victory Group of Tampa, which is working on Gibbons’ campaign. The Committee for Responsible Representation paid a total of $45,560.12 to the Victory Group for media buys in 2008, state records show. Victory Group president Adam Goodman is serving as a Gibbons campaign consultant.

But what Foster knew and what he could prove at the time were two different matters entirely. And since Foster went on to win the election, it may not matter who paid for the mailers attacking him.

But as Deveron Gibbons works to ingratiate himself with Foster’s administration, which is already having its difficulties integrating Gibbons’ ally Goliath Davis into a revamped city administration, I think it’s important to prove that Deveron Gibbons was lying when he said “I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t seen it,” when asked about the mailer.

So let’s follow the money:

The attack pieces were paid for Committee for Responsible Representation

…which is really a front for the Freedom First Committee

…which was funded in July with a $15,000 contribution from American Managed Care, LLC

…which is a subsidiary of Universal Health Care…

whose CEO, AK Desai, was Finance Chair of Deveron Gibbons’ campaign.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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