In 5 days, there will be a primary election in Florida’s 19th congressional district. U.S. Representative Trey Radel has resigned, and a general election to fill the position in the U.S. House of Representatives for this year’s remaining months will be held in June.
On the Democratic side, there’s only one candidate: April Freeman. There are four Republicans contesting their party’s nomination for the post, however: Lizbeth Benacquisto, Curt Clawson, Michael Dreikorn, and Paige Kreegel. A Republican is favored to win the general election, so there’s a great deal at stake in the Republican primary election.
Yesterday, a political action committee operating under the name Values Are Vital spent nearly $100,000 on advertisements designed to change the course the primary election. The ads promote one of the Republican candidates, Paige Kreegel, while seeking to undermine two of her opponents: Lizbeth Benacquisto and Curt Clawson.
Voters in the 19th district may well be asking themselves just whose values are being represented by the Values Are Vital PAC. Specifically, where did the money for these political commercials come from?
Some of the records for the payments made by the PAC lead into a dead end. Some of them were made to a company called “Morado & Associates, LLC” – but there is no online trace of such a company. Most of the money was channeled through another group, “Jamestown Associates”, which is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. The source of the cash used by the Values Are Vital organization is equally distant. 3 out of 5 of the top payments to Values Are Vital – totalling almost half a million dollars – come from a lawyer in Las Vegas.
Are the Republican voters of Florida’s 19th congressional district content to allow political operatives from Nevada and New Jersey to tell them which values are vital? We’ll find out when the polls close Tuesday night.