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Group with Democratic ties attacks Ferlita
Posted Mar 11, 2011 by Christian M. Wade
Updated Mar 11, 2011 at 02:33 PM
A third-party group is blanketing the city with mailers attacking Mayoral candidate Rose Ferlita for being “unmarried, unsure and unelectable.”
Ferlita criticized the mailer at a mayoral candidate forum this morning, hosted by the Hillsborough County League of Women Voters.
“I know of a huge percentage of females in this community who are unmarried,” she said. “Does that mean they are unqualfied to be mayor, of course not.”
The ad was sent by Less Government Now, a third-party electioneering group registered to Tracy Cintron, a registered Democrat who worked as volunteer coordinator for former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis from October 2004 to February 2005 and was office manager and statewide volunteer coordinator for Davis’ gubernatorial campaign from February 2005 until November 2006, according to her Linkedin page.
Davis today confirmed Cintron worked for him but said he hadn’t been in touch with her in a few years.
Ferlita’s campaign said the group had sent out another mailer critical of her before the March 1 election.
According to records with the Florida Division of Elections, Less Government Now registered with the state in August. In October, the group sent mailers attacking state Sen. John Thrasher, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida at the time, according to a blog on Jacksonville.com.
The group paid for services by two groups associated with Democrats:
—Cornerstone Strategic, owned by Jonathan Brill, a Tampa-based Democratic strategist with ties to Davis, Buckhorn and Karl Koch, a lobbyist with Holland & Knight who previously served as Davis’s chief of staff, Al Gore’s chief Florida strategist and was head of Dewey Square’s Tampa office (where Buckhorn worked for from 2003-2007).
—Vancorejones, whose partner Steve Vancore is a Democratic strategist.
Cintron has other Democratic ties. The Alliance to Protect Taxpayers Expenditure, which also has her listed as its registered agent, and spent money with Cornerstone Strategic.
Buckhorn’s campaign says it had nothing to do with the negative flier and called on whomever is behind the political smear campaign to stop.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with it,” said Beth Leytham, one of Buckhorn’s advisers. “We are running a positive campaign on the issues.”
While Tampa’s elections are nonpartisan, both major political parties are getting behind either Buckhorn, a Democrat, of Ferlita, a Republican.
Read more here.