Mario Díaz-Balart raises, spends $142K toward winning 12th term in Congress
It was Super Bowl Tuesday for Mario Díaz-Balart. Image via AP.

By June 30, he held about $1.3 million in reserves.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart amassed more than $142,000 in the second quarter of 2023 toward securing a 12th term in Congress.

Much of the money came from a pro-Israel organization, aviation businesses and government contractors.

By June 30, he held about $1.3 million in reserves — roughly the same sum he had going into Q2, after spending almost as much as he raised over the three-month period.

Díaz-Balart’s largest contributor was the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a self-described “bipartisan, pro-Israel” group that was also among his top givers during the 2022 cycle.

The Hispanic Leadership Trust, which bills itself as “the leading organization for conservative, Hispanic and Latino candidates,” gave $9,400.

Airline and pilot groups turned out heavily for the Congressman, whose district (CD 26) spreads horizontally from Naples in Collier County to Hialeah in Miami-Dade County.

The Allied Pilots Association, the nation’s largest independent pilots union, contributed $5,000.

Seven people from Illinois-headquartered aviation services giant AARP Corp. wrote checks ranging from $2,400 from regional vice president Brian Loomer to $20 from Palmetto Bay-based programs director Pablo Bunge.

Shield AI, an automated drone builder based in San Diego, donated $2,500. So did the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots, which represents around 3,000 aviators for NetJets Aviation.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gave $2,000. American Airlines gave half that, as did plane leaser Atlas Air and Christine Burgeson, senior vice president of government affairs for Airlines for America, a lobbying group for eight major airlines, including American, and shipping companies FedEx and UPS.

More than a half-dozen government contractor holders donated as well to the Congressman, who chairs the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee and sits on the House Defense Subcommittee.

Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate headquartered in North Carolina, topped the list with $5,000, the same amount it gave last quarter.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, Science Applications International Corp., Amentum, General Dynamics, Parsons Corp. and the workforce-giving arm of Northrop Grumman each gave $2,500.

Telecoms Motorola and AT&T both donated $5,000.

Other corporate included $2,500 apiece from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, American Maritime Officers and National Stone Sand & Gravel Association.

About 30 people wrote personal checks to Díaz-Balart, who became Florida’s longest-serving member of Florida’s Congressional Delegation in 2021 following the death of Alcee Hastings.

Marshall McCrea, director of Energy Transfer, a propane and methane pipeline company headquartered in Dallas, gave $4,400. David Mack, the senior partner of real estate The Mack Company in New York, gave an even $3,000.

Other individual contributions included $2,500 from Aleix Jarvis, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham who now works for the D.C.-based lobbying firm Fierce Government Relations; and $1,000 each from lobbyist Carlyle Thorsen and Jeff Miller, a former finance chair of the Republican National Convention who currently runs the strategi counsel firm Miller Strategies.

Díaz-Balart spent just under $142,000 between April 1 and June 30. About a third of it went to consulting.

He paid Washington-based Rose Strategies almost $28,000 for fundraising consulting. Another $16,000 went to Miami-based Fast Forward Solutions for administrative consulting, and $4,500 went to Arlington-headquartered BSB Solutions for “accounting/administrative consulting.”

There was some light spending on marketing — $1,500 to Coral Gables-based Enlace Digital Media for social media advertising and $210 for email services.

Díaz-Balart also paid Rose Strategies — which took in $1.3 million in political payments last cycle and whose listed address on his expenditures ledger is shared with a beauty salon called Rose & Sparrow — $71,303 for reimbursements for “campaign meeting food.”

The rest of his spending covered travel expenses, food, storage, web and wireless services, fundraising supplies and processing fees.

One person has filed to run against him next year: Ian Anthony Medina, a Republican Miami-Dade resident who last year briefly mounted a challenge against Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

In June 2022, he was arrested for practicing law without a license. He argued he’d wrongly been denied a license under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Federal Election Commission records show no fundraising or spending for him yet this cycle.

Candidates faced a July 15 deadline to report all campaign activity through the end of last month.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

One comment

  • John

    July 26, 2023 at 5:36 am

    Anyone notice how “ a pro-Israel organization” must donate & bribe Republican politicians in order to get their support for their apartheid war crime committing state?

Comments are closed.


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