Anthony Sabatini doesn’t want current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ascending to House Speaker. And while the Howey-in-the-Hills Republican has no say whatsoever after losing his own race for Congress, he’s still raising money off the controversy.
In a move called out on social media as a potential scam, the former state lawmaker blasted emails to supporters asking for donations to stop McCarthy. He lays out no plan as to how to do it.
An email promises his new PAC, Florida Freedom Action, will stop McCarthy.
“We need 7 members of Congress to vote AGAINST McCarthy, and we need your help spreading the word and making sure that your Representative votes ‘NO,’” reads an email blast sent by Florida Freedom Action and shared with criticism on Twitter by Chris Nelson.
The blast then asks emails for donors to share anywhere from $25 to $5,000, or to donate more.
“Help Florida Freedom Action spread the word an (sic) STOP MCCARTHY from becoming the next speaker of the House.” The email is signed by Sabatini.
Nelson promptly calls into question how donating money to the PAC will have any impact on the race for the next Speaker of the House.
“HOW SPECIFICALLY IS GIVING MONEY TO ANTHONY SABATINI GOING TO STOP KEVIN MCCARTHY FROM BECOMING HOUSE SPEAKER? WHAT SPECIFICALLY IS HE DOING WITH THIS MONEY?? Do not be fooled,” Nelson tweeted.
The PAC itself has no history. Documents creating the PAC were filed on Sept. 16, weeks after Sabatini lost his primary bid for Congress. It bears an address not in Washington, but in Clermont, near Sabatini’s Lake County home. A website for the committee says checks can be sent to an address in Mount Dora, another Lake County locality.
Interestingly, that fundraising website makes no mention of the Speaker’s race, and promises only that it will be “working to elect Florida freedom fighters.”
That seems to indicate what donors would actually fund is future runs by congressional candidates — whether that means supporting Sabatini or his allies — and perhaps siding in Republican Primaries against sitting members of Congress.
Already, Florida will send 20 Republican members to Congress in its 28-member House delegation, and the GOP won every competitive seat in the state.
Notably, many in Seminole County viewed the GOP Primary in Florida’s 7th Congressional District as a proxy battle over who should lead a Republican-led House in the upcoming Congress. Republican Cory Mills, who won the Primary and later the General Election, plans to support McCarthy. Sabatini promised he would not.
Had Sabatini won, he could not only vote against McCarthy but rally opposition from within the caucus. But he lost, so he can’t.
As for who Sabatini prefers, he tweeted support for U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican. Sabatini also retweeted news of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who had endorsed Sabatini’s bid for Congress, committing he would not back McCarthy.
However, Gaetz is not backing Biggs either. On his Firebrand podcast, he said he wants Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to lead the caucus.
Will more email blasts sent out with massive price tags change that? It seems difficult, to be generous, understanding how that would in any way help.
November 15, 2022 at 7:45 am
Is the Florida Bar aware of this indefensible swindle?
November 15, 2022 at 10:19 am
Interesting. I wonder how many people actually care who Sabatini supports to be Speaker of the U.S. House? He appears to be ‘shouting in an empty room.’
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