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Pinellas GOP still suffering from lackluster fundraising, profligate spending — including payments to Marco Rubio organizer

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by

The Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee continues to raise large sums of money, but not by its own historical standards, according to the latest campaign finance documents covering the fundraising period through September 30. Compare current fundraising, under Chair JJ Beyrouti, to this point in 2007, when the party was under the leadership of Tony DiMatteo:

3Q fundraising:
2007 – $75,850
2009 – $29,078

YTD fundraising:
2007 – $208,192
2009 – $125,078

2007 – $126,890
2009 – $103,231

Cash-on-hand as of 9/30:
2007 – $81,302
2009 – $22,445

As I’ve written before, the drain on party resources has to be a point of embarrassment for Beyrouti, not that he’s been pinching pennies. He’s still taking his monthly $800 “allowance” despite the fact that the party would be broke if it weren’t for a handful of well-heeled donors…donors who are reported to be concerned about Beyrouti’s spending patterns.

What’s particularly troubling to Beyrouti’s detractors is that he still paying consultant Jim Dobyns, the former campaign manager of left-winger Ed Helm. Dobyns, who oversaw the Dick Morris event fiasco, is also a Pinellas Coordinator for Marco Rubio.

Several local Republicans who support Charlie Crist, including one of JJ’s biggest donors, were very disappointed to learn that Beyrouti was essentially underwriting one of Rubio’s operatives at the same time the PCREC is planning to conduct a straw poll of the Crist v. Rubio race.

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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