Byron Donalds-connected Super PAC drops mailers bashing three opponents
Casey Askar, William Figlesthaler and Dane Eagle all take hits in new mailer promoting Byron Donalds

Dane Eagle, William Figlesthaler and Casey Askar the subject of PAC scorn.

A Super PAC dropped more than $85,000 in 36 hours blasting or boosting candidates in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

Much of the spending by Trusted Conservatives went toward colorful full-page glossies. On one side of each piece, the page is divided into thirds and trashes Casey Askar, Dane Eagle and William Figlesthaler in turn. On the other side is promotional information on Byron Donalds.

It’s the latest sign that while nine Republicans seek the Republican nomination for the open seat, there are four financial powerhouses duking it out until the Aug. 18 GOP primary.

The committee on Aug. 10 and 11 invested a total of $82,025 on mail in the race. That spending appeared to manifest in mailboxes in the Fort Myers-Naples market brimming with two-track messaging.

Trusted Conservatives, based in Venice, formed in January. The treasurer for the PAC is Eric Robinson, one of Florida’s most prominent political accountants. It’s raised $239,956 according to the last reports, the bulk of that coming from a $107,456 donation from Friends of Byron Donalds, with another $97,000 from Tallahassee-based Foundation for a Safe Environment.

One full-page glossy mailer doing just that shows a bullet train with the message “Republicans are full speed ahead for Byron Donalds” and a picture of the Naples Republican with President Donald Trump.

The other side shows warning tape over pictures of Eagle, Figlesthaler and Askar. It cites news articles on an Eagle DUI arrest, on Figlesthaler’s “questionable business dealings” and on Askar’s failure to provide documentation of his military record.

Another mailer takes a similar approach, with one side showing a picture of Donalds with his family and a list of positions opposing immigration and supporting law enforcement. It states Donalds will “defend President Trump from radical leftists in Congress.”

But the other side describes Eagle as “reckless,” Figlesthaler as “shady” and Askar as “deceitful.”

It shows pictures of Eagle drinking in a bar before a 2014 arrest and dashcam video stills of his interaction with police. For Figlesthaler, it raises a business relationship with a doctor later arrested on porn charges and mentions his accepting a ticket to a golf tournament in exchange for medical referrals.

And for Askar, it details not only questions on his Marine service but how a campaign loan was financed, details of a divorce, and a lawsuit regarding allegations about his Harvard education.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Eveline F.

    August 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Fun Fact: Trusted Conservatives also paid thousands for opposition on candidates – back in MARCH – and pays Donald Trump Jr’s assistant Andrew Surabian every month to have Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle to retweet Byron. Byron then tells everyone on his website they support him and it’s proof he’s a Trump supporter. Lol.

  • Plz Pay Peter & Jacob to Play

    August 12, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    It says a lot about Florida Politics and Trusted Conservatives when almost every attack in the flyer cites one source… Florida Politics. Almost as if Trusted Conservatives fed Florida Politics cheap attacks. Smells like pay to play, looks like pay to play, reads like pay to play.

  • Nick Whitehead

    August 12, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Eric Robinson is the biggest slime ball in Florida, a state full to the rafters with slime balls.  He runs a criminal syndicate that masquerades as an accounting firm out of Venice where I was a resident for many years.  His family, together with another family, the Zieglers, have ruined Sarasota County, which was once widely known as a conservative but good government community.  Due mostly to Mr Robinson, it is now as corrupt as the rest of Florida.  No voter should ever cast a vote for candidate, including Mr. Donalds, associated with Eric Robinson in any way if they value democracy and  don’t want to see their tax dollars funneled directly into the pockets of criminals, like Robinson.  

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn