A flawed candidate no doubt, but he’s got good taste in the ladies and Tampa’s eating and drinking establishments
By Chris Ingram
As treasurer of the Alliance for Florida, a registered committee of continuous existence (CCE) with the state of Florida, Michael Ciftci (aka: Shifty & Squirrel Poop) managed the finances of the organization. The Alliance’s donors are primarily made up of Tampa Bay area developers. The Alliance and its members say they are about good government and getting good people elected to public office – certainly a noble cause.
While the Alliance for Florida has done a nice job talking about supporting candidates, its actual financial support of candidates under Squirrel Poop’s leadership is meager at best.
From January of 2009 until August of 2010 (the date the most recent report is available), the Alliance for Florida had $60,525.99 in expenditures. In theory, these monies were for the Alliance’s stated purpose. In reality,
when you look at the numbers it looks more like the Alliance’s purpose was to supplement Squirrely Poop’s bar tab and acorn habit. In that twenty month period, it spent over sixty grand, yet appears just $6,200 went directly to candidates. Other recipients of Alliance dollars included the Hillsborough County Young Democrats, the Pinellas County REC and the Indiana Republican Convention – because no doubt they have a lot of influence over Hillsborough development in Indiana. Of the candidates the Alliance supported, some of them include some of Peter Schorsch’s professed favorites (Jack Latvala and Jamie Grant both Republicans whom Schorsch claim support him). Schorsch was known to troll around the Alliance’s offices though his name, it should be noted, does not appear on any Alliance reports. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how much income liberal Schorsch has received from conservative Republicans? You’ve got to wonder why a left-wing guy like Schorsch is hanging around this mostly Republican organization.
Squirrel Poop himself was the recipient of over $23,119.00 in Alliance monies. Not a giant sum, but it has been rumored he also received free room and board as part of his compensation. I do not know that to be a fact, but if true, I would hope that Squirrel Poop reported this as “earned income” to the IRS.
But the real big story is the level of spending at bars, restaurants, hotels, liquor stores, and other unusual expenses such as payment to a local beauty queen. Of the sixty grand of Alliance spending, $4,659.00 went to said “entertainment” type expenses. Looks like Squirrel Poop is not only the go to guy when you’ve got an acorn habit, but when you need a drink!
The balance of the Alliance’s spending went to other political party organizations, campaign vendors, and office expenses.
It should be noted that none of the above expenses are illegal. Just seems a bit odd that a committee that raised over $60K to support candidates spent so much time interviewing candidates, so little money supporting candidates, and so much money at Tampa-area bars and restaurants. You can view a copy of the Alliance’s report on the Florida Department of State Division of Elections website by clicking here: http://doe.dos.state.fl.us/campaign-finance/expend.asp#com then enter “Alliance for Florida” in the box where it says “committee name.” Be sure to select election cycle General Election 2010.
p.s. I couldn’t help but notice Squirrel Poop’s campaign ad on Schorsch’s website. It reads “Michael Ciftci for Tampa City Council district 3. Tampa deserves better!” I couldn’t have said that better myself. We deserve better than Michael Ciftci.
p.p.s. Squirrel Poop plays off as though he is a Republican. However, not only is his campaign consultant a big lefty, Squirrel Poop himself is something of a squish. Last year, a week before the General Election, Squirrel Poop’s “Green Energy” group hosted a meet and greet with lefty Democrat Linda Saul-Sena who at the time was running against Republican Ken Hagan for Hillsborough County Commission. I guess that makes him squishy poop…makes you wonder if Hillsborough REC Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush knew what she was doing when she gave Squishy Poop’s campaign a $75 contribution.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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