The Phoenix Flyer

PAC report: DeSantis fundraising neared $835K during October

By: - November 12, 2019 12:32 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet in May 2019. From left to right: Attorney General Ashley Moody, Gov. DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Source: Governor’s office.

The Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee recorded its largest monthly haul this year during October, collecting more than 100 donations totaling $834,625, including $100,000 from a philanthropist who favors Israeli and Jewish causes.

Cherna Moscowitz, widow of the late Irving Moscowitz, is also a major benefactor of America First Action, President Trump’s super PAC, to which she reportedly donated $2 million ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

As previously reported in the Florida Phoenix, the DeSantis committee’s largest donation during October came from Richard Uihlien, an Illinois packing-material magnate who gave $200,000, according to Florida Division of Elections records.

DeSantis has very much aligned himself with both Trump and Israel. He led a high-profile trade mission to that country in late May and aspires to recognition as this country’s most pro-Israel governor.

The gifts brought the committee’s year-to-date tally to more than $5.4 million. The largest spend during October was $50,000 – reflecting the committee’s transfer to the U.S. Treasury Department of money given by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Rudy Giuliani associates facing federal charges involving the investment of overseas money into U.S. political campaigns.

DeSantis has stopped answering reporters’ questions about the pair, who also have been linked to Trump’s conditioning of defense aid to Ukraine upon that country’s agreement to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Florida Consumers First, a PAC supporting Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, reported taking in $184,797 during October, mainly in amounts of less than $1,000. Her largest gift was nearly $35,000 from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Treasure Florida, a committee benefiting Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, reported gifts amounting to $21,000 during October, including one $10,000 gift from Charlie Michaels Inc., a real-estate company whose officers include Carlos Beruff and Charles Tokarz. The two are close to U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who as governor appointed Beruff to chair Florida’s 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission.

The Friends of Ashley Moody committee, supporting Florida’s attorney general, reported raising zero dollars during October.

Correction: This article has been changed to correct the amount raised by Florida Consumers First.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.