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In Florida House District 45 race, flier recycles old tactic

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Jodie Tillman reports: Back in 2007, a political group called the Committee to Protect Florida hammered a state Senate candidate named Richard Corcoran.

In its arsenal was a mailer that accused Corcoran of making false allegations about an opponent in a previous race. The mailer showed an image of a flashing police beacon along with a warning: “BEWARE! Richard Corcoran is back in the area looking to buy a seat in the Senate.”

Corcoran dropped out of the race, citing the negative campaign. Now, as he runs for the state House District 45 seat, the Committee to Protect Florida has returned — and paid for a familiar flier that just hit mailboxes in Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The flashing police beacon is back. So is the same shadowy font, even some of the same wording.

But the target this time around? Not Corcoran, but his opponents.

“BEWARE! Fabian Calvo and Kathryn Starkey are making false campaign claims and trying to reinvent themselves as lifelong conservatives to win a seat in the State House.”

The piece says Calvo and Starkey are “waging desperate and negative attacks against Richard Corcoran based on distortions and lies.”

The Committee to Protect Florida, a political organization labeled a 527 under the federal tax code, is led by veteran Republican political operative Roger “Rocky” Pennington of Southern Campaign Resources.

Back in 2007, Pennington worked for Charlie Dean, one of Corcoran’s Republican primary opponents for the state Senate seat.

But in the topsy-turvy world of politics, Pennington is now a paid consultant on the Corcoran campaign. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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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