Direct mail roundup: Black voters targeted for anti-Crist IRS message
Charlie Crist makes his closing pitch.

Crist flyer 10.14.22
Six-figure mailer buy raises fears about beefed-up IRS: 'When they come knocking, remember Charlie Crist sent them.'

Mailers targeting Black voters are arriving in mailboxes with warnings about who Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has “armed” to come knocking for “their take.”

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is the main money behind a political committee now dropping mailers featuring Crist, with a grim face, along with largely debunked claims about what 87,000 more IRS employees will mean. It’s going to affect small businesses and those who get paid in cash, the mailer says.

“Charlie Crist has armed the IRS. They will be knocking on your door soon,” the mailer reads, with smaller print about how the IRS has targeted Black Americans more than any other group, based on a 2019 news article.

Crist is the underdog in the Governor’s race, trying to unseat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. But it’s Crist’s vote for the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. House that the mailer aims to portray in a negative light.

“When they come knocking, remember Charlie Crist sent them,” the mailer says, positioned above justified type reading in all caps, “Charlie Crist. Wrong for us. Wrong for Florida.”

Protect Our Values Political Committee, which paid for the mailers, is based in Ponte Vedra and came into existence in August. Financial records show that the Seminole Tribe, based in Hollywood, gave the committee $1 million Sept. 27. Its next-biggest donor, Damien LeMendola, a Tampa entrepreneur, wrote the committee a check for $100,000 the same day. GEO Corp., a Boca Raton-based prison company, chipped in $25,000 earlier this month.

All but $32 of the $176,000 the committee has spent so far has gone to political advertisement, presumably financing this mailer.

The Crist campaign dismissed the mailer’s contents as a “distraction” and said quite the opposite of the mailer is true.

“Unlike Ron, Charlie Crist fights for the rights of women and Black Floridians,” said Sam Ramirez, a spokeswoman for the Crist campaign. “Charlie has tackled racial discrimination from the IRS head on.”

A 2019 ProPublica article includes an exchange between Crist and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig in which Crist unrolled a map that shows how the IRS has targeted rural, mostly Black counties in the Deep South. That hearing was held after a ProPublica series detailed how a defanged IRS workforce was going after easier targets: people who file earned income tax credits.

Part of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August provides for the IRS workforce to increase by 87,000 people. But the mailer’s assertions are based on Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy’s largely debunked claims, according to PolitiFact.

The planned 86,852 new hires, for example, will also be IT workers and taxpayer services, in addition to enforcement, according to Congressional Research Service. Today, the IRS has about 80,000 employees, but many of them are nearing retirement age, PolitiFact reports.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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  • Charlie Crist

    October 15, 2022 at 8:33 am

    In other words, vote RED if you want to evade taxes without consequences, commit sedition and insurrection without consequences, commit terrorism without consequences etc. It’s the fault of the Democrats that you can’t do whatever in the hell you feel like doing. The Democrats are in the way of us forming a far right, one party state. Shame on them 🤡

    • Hope

      October 15, 2022 at 10:02 am

      Blah blah blah here is some more bad news for you…Georgia’s Herschel Walker bested Warnock in the debate last night!

      Herschel Walker was the clear winner! He had his game on! He knew his issues he debunked everything Warnock attempted to sell. It was as if Herschel was playing in a flawless football game with touchdown after touchdown after touchdown leaving Warnock in the dust.

      You may want to get off the Insurrection and sedition ridiculousness. People are concerned about the economy, inflation, the high gas prices, the unsecured border, their 401ks, the high crime rate, and National Security…

      It will be a red tsunami!

      • Charlie Crist

        October 15, 2022 at 6:25 pm

        You, being a moron, would support another moron. At least you are predictable and consistent in that aspect.

        • Hope

          October 17, 2022 at 10:46 am

          Herschel Walker the “Decisive Winner” against Warnock on debate stage!

          Herschel Walker’s stellar performance left Warnock in the dust and speechless and unable to recover. It is Herschel Walker for the win!

          Next stop Fetterman/ Oz debate where Fetterman will be crushed by Oz!

          • marylou

            October 17, 2022 at 4:45 pm

            OoZe killed puppies in painful experiments with no benefits to humans or canines. His government funding was stopped after he was busted for —among other things— killing a litter of puppies one by one as their litter-mates watched!

            To kill the puppies OoZe injected the screaming puppies in their hearts, throwing the dead ones into a plastic bag with their live brothers and sisters. Even after torturing them he couldn’t care enough to send them to good homes. Cruel, inhuman man.

            If only money gets your attention, OoZe wants to raise the payroll tax to 20%

  • marylou

    October 16, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Like Trump said, if everyone voted no Republican would ever be elected again.

    • Hope

      October 17, 2022 at 7:28 pm

      Politifact: False 🤥

      • marylou

        October 18, 2022 at 12:35 pm

        Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote:

        Trump said about Democrats: “They had things, LEVELS OF VOTING THAT IF YOU’D EVER AGREED TO IT, YOU’D NEVER HAVE A REPUBLICAN ELECTED IN THIS COUNTRY AGAIN.” Trump said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

        After Ian, Desantis’ executive order made voting so much easier—-for 3 REPUBLICAN counties! Desantis denied Democrats’ requests for equal treatment in their counties! The only way Republicans can win!!!

      • marylou

        October 18, 2022 at 12:42 pm

        VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS!!! 🇺🇸

  • Sean Hickey

    October 23, 2022 at 10:26 am

    This weeks flyer from them is designed to look like it came from Crist. It didn’t. It came from “Protect our Values Political Committee” It proudly states” Charlie Crist will make sure trans atheletes can play in girls’ sports”. Looks like the Seminoles will do anything to protect their investmant in DeSantis.

Comments are closed.


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