Following up on a post from earlier today about a Tampa Bay Times prize-chaser regarding Republican Party fundraising at King Ranch, I asked Brian Hughes, spokesman to Rep. Steve Crisafulli, if the two sentences the Times bothered to include in its original story was all the Speaker Designate had to say on the matter.
Actually, it was not.
Hughes sent to me Crisafulli’s five-paragraph statement, which is a meat-and-potatoes explanation of the Speaker D’s fundraising activities. To anyone even remotely familiar with politics, nothing Crisafulli states is Earth-shattering, but it shouldn’t have to be.
Fundraising is a grind, not glamorous. Fundraising is private, not secretive.
The bottom line is there is no such thing as a good fundraiser to the Tampa Bay Times. And its reporters will continue to omit any information that runs counter to that worldview.
Here’s Crisafulli’s full statement.
“Since my first election to the Florida House in 2008, I have been committed to helping elect fellow Republicans to the legislature. In the last two years, as the Speaker-designate, the commitment has increased as my fellow Republicans have entrusted me with this important leadership role. Part of this commitment includes raising financial resources for the Republican Party of Florida so that our party can build grassroots teams and win elections.
“Fundraising for the state party primarily occurs in Florida, but on some occasions fundraising happens outside of the state. Some fundraising involves events open to hundreds of attendees and others are smaller. Whatever the size and location, every single fundraising effort I have been a part of, both for the Republican Party and for my own campaigns, has been in full compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to Florida elections.
“I have participated in fundraising events in places such as New York City, California, and Texas, to name a few. Some have been events at sporting competitions, others have been at historic locations, and at King Ranch the events included game hunting.
“For all of these events the communications to attendees and the contributions, in-kind and monetary, have been in full compliance with the law. None of these events involve the use of taxpayer dollars.
“All of the contributions raised, both in-kind and monetary, have been accounted for and disclosed as required by law in financial reports that are on file with Florida’s Secretary of State at the Florida Division of Elections. These financial reports are available to anyone who would like to review them, including members of the press.”