How is Disney, Genting connected to Granteed smear?
The political attack on Broward sheriff's candidate Louie Granteed gets curiouser and curiouser.
The PAC involved in the anti-Granteed robo-calls that have been running throughout Broward County is backed by Genting, the giant gambling company based in Malaysia, and Disney. You got that right, Mickey Mouse is involved.
I told you about political "dirty trickster" Roger Stone's fingerprints on it yesterday. Stone claimed his involvement was simply a "favor" for political consultant Todd Wilder, who is running the PAC that behind the robocalls attacking Granteed and supporting Scott Israel, his opponent in the Democratic primary. The PAC is called "Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, Inc."
So what is Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, Inc.? Here's a link to its far-flung donors. Essentially, it's a big political slush fund that's received about $845,000 so far. The biggest contibutor -- about $525,000 -- is a company called Solar Sportsystems out Buffalo, NY. That company is affiliated with billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who owns TD Garden and the Boston Bruins. Think he cares about the Broward sheriff's race? I don't. Appears his issue involved the polo country of Wellington, where Jacobs owns property, earlier this year. Read about that here.
In January, Genting New York -- part of the Genting gambling empire that is trying to build a destination casino in Miami -- ponied up $10,000. Interestingly, Roger Stone has touted Genting through his Tea Party Miami group and the dubious "progressive" blog, Florida Clarion. When I asked Stone a while back what his obvious ties to the Clarion, he would neither confirm nor deny involvement. "I know the guys at the Clarion," Stone told me today in an email. "They have many agendas. Wilder knows them too."
Then on June 18 came a $10,000 from Disney Worldwide Services. I don't pretend to understand that one. Stone, for his part, tells me he doesn't know why Genting or Disney contributed to the PAC either.
And only in the past several days, just in time for the primary, one "Andrew James Miller" has contributed $110,100 to the PAC. Who is Andrew James Miller? Why he's a young assistant to Roger Stone who is also the stepson of Stone assistant Dianne Thorne, who you may remember from her involvement with the "Tea Party Miami" in Saturday's post. Another favor from Mr. Stone? He says no.
"I have many proteges," he wrote in his email today. "I have launched the career of many young political operatives. I cannot be held responsible the activities of all of them. ... If I were hiding something would I have straw donors so easy to trace to me?"
He got one thing right: It's easy to trace his influence on this PAC. And you do have to wonder how Miller, who lists himself as a "business consultant" in New York, became wealthy enough to throw six figures into some PAC.
Just for some more Sunday reading, check out this 2010 New York Times piece on Stone about his strange dual roles in a race there.
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