More ads attacking Republican Rep. Jim Mooney appear to be connected to a Democratic operative, this time on television.
Yolanda Brown is the treasurer of Andrew Gillum’s political committee, Forward Florida, and has worked for several other Democratic candidates and political committees.
As previously reported, campaign finance records show a political committee chaired by Brown known as Floridians for Truth Now has been funding direct-mail ads attacking Mooney in the Republican Primary for House District 120.
The ads blast the incumbent for his supposed opposition to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ legislative priorities, presumably to help his Primary challenger, Rhonda Rebman Lopez.
Now, a committee known as Freedom for Florida is attacking Mooney on TV. Brown is listed as the treasurer for that committee and Devon Murphy-Anderson is listed as the chairperson. Murphy-Anderson is a former Finance Director for the Florida Democratic Party.
The Freedom for Florida ad accuses Mooney of breaking the law by claiming multiple homestead exemptions. The allegation is false and the ad was pulled from the air after Mooney’s attorney provided documentation to EFFECTV proving that he is not claiming multiple exemptions.
However, it is unclear how the committee paid for the ads in the first place.
The committee’s finance reports show it has raised $517.54 and spent $376.92 since it opened on Jan. 1. Ad buy records show the TV flight for the anti-Mooney ad cost $14,848 and was paid for by Freedom for Florida. The disclosures at the bottom of the video also list Freedom of Florida as the committee backing the ad.
Florida statute requires a political committee to disclose the money it receives and spends and to list where the money comes from and goes. State law also prohibits political committees from carrying a negative balance.
It is still unclear why committees run by Democratic operatives have now spent nearly $35,000 attacking Mooney in a Republican Primary, though the spending is likely to benefit Lopez’ campaign.
July 13, 2022 at 1:54 pm
Very odd. Lopez will not be a pushover candidate, so it’s hard to imagine why the Democrats would seek to give her an assist against Mooney, unless it’s to take away the incumbent advantage. Last I looked, 120 was a “Leans Republican” district, even without an incumbent. Maybe they’ve polled it and their candidate scores better against Lopez than against Mooney. Still a risky move.
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