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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

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Putnam raising money, paying for ‘robo-calls,’ despite his only opponent having just $16 in campaign funds


Published:

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam recently opened a new political committee and late last month paid for a round of robo-calls, according to paperwork filed with the Department of State.

Since July, Putnam has had a so-called “electioneering communication organization,” which is a committee that can pay for campaign advertising.

The committee, known as the Sunshine State Leadership Project, has raised $463,500, but has been largely inactive since March.

In February, paperwork was filed to create a second committee that Putnam is affiliated with.

Called the SSLP political committee, it has raised $175,500, including $25,000 from the Washington-based Republican Agriculture Commissioner Committee. The biggest expenditure was $35,000 to the Republican Party of Florida.

Along with the two outside committees, Putnam’s campaign has raised $1.9 million, and has roughly $1.7 million. Putnam raised $186,295 in May, according to reports filed Tuesday.

Putnam is widely expected to cruise to re-election. His only filed opponent – Democrat Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton – has raised $12,163 and has just $16 cash on hand.

The Putnam camp, though, is starting to campaign.

On May 20, it filed with the Division of Elections paperwork showing it conducted a round of robocalls. The calls were conducted by ElectionsConnections.com, Inc, a firm run by veteran GOP consultant Randy Enwright.

When asked about the calls, campaign manager Justin Hollis would not talk about “campaign strategy.”

“Summertime in Florida is always challenging to raise money, but we’re very pleased that we continue to garner widespread support across the state of Florida during this campaign cycle, especially at the grassroots level,” he wrote in an email.

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