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Republicans question Bill Nelson over fundraising from Hurricane Irma

in 2017/Top Headlines by

As Rahm Emanuel once said: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

Bill Nelson may be taking that advice to heart.

This week, Florida’s senior U.S. Senator sent out a fundraising email featuring Hurricane Irma, the Category 3 storm that devastated much of Nelson’s own state.

“As Irma approached, I quickly called on the airlines to cap their fares at a reasonable rate, and I’m going to continue to fight to make sure the traveling public is treated fairly — but I want to hear from you,” Nelson’s email said.

The email contained a survey, and a link to contribute.

Republicans were quick to blast the move as “tone deaf.”

“Bill Nelson is spending time blasting out fundraising emails while countless Floridians are recovering from Hurricane Irma’s devastation,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin in a statement Thursday. “Bill Nelson’s DC elitist behavior is always self-serving, but this kind of out of touch behavior reaches a new low.”

While it’s common for a candidate to use the hottest issue (or crisis) of the moment to raise campaign cash, in the case of Nelson, using Irma to raise money may have been just a little too soon.

As the Sunshine State continues the long road to normalcy 16 days after Irma ravaged Southwest Florida and the Keys, citizens are just now starting to get back to their everyday lives. And Hurricane Maria followed closely behind, devastating Puerto Rico – the U.S. territory with a strong connection to Florida and many of Nelson’s constituents.

After both Irma and Maria, political fundraising is the furthest thing in the minds of Floridians. Republicans feel that may be something the state’s senator should have considered.

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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