PORT ST. LUCIE — He may be a war hero with rock-solid patriotic feelings, but U.S. Congress hopeful Brian Mast sure is wishy-washy when it comes to tapping donors for campaign contributions.
The ultra-conservative wounded Iraq veteran, 36, tied his wagon to Stuart’s anti-sugar movement in the wake of this summer’s green algae controversy — and yet took $100,000 from sugar land owners like Palm Beach’s Fanjul brothers.
Then Mast, whose war injuries include the amputations of both legs, put out an ad blasting All Aboard Florida for the way it would change the daily routine of coastal residents. The new speed-train line linking Miami to Orlando would slash across District 18, the territory between Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach that Mast and Democratic businessman Randy Perkins are fighting for.
If he doesn’t like the railroad, Mast sure likes the money of those who are tied to AAF, if you believe his campaign finances reports.
In the absence of balanced coverage of the race by the Stuart-based out-of-town corporate media, Gossip Extra took an extensive look at Mast’s donors. And we found quite a few instances of Mast taking the cash of pro-AAF interests:
— At least two senior-level employees of CBRE, a large commercial real estate services company based in Los Angeles, contributed to Mast within two days of each other. Senior CBRE appraiser Ron Timblin gave Mast $250 June 22, according to the Federal Elections Commission, and appraiser Tim Warner gave $250 on June 21. What’s the big deal? CBRE happens to have been named the exclusive agent for the 200,000 square feet of retail space at AAF’s MiamiCentral station!
— At least four high-level employees of the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates have given Mast’s campaign money over the course of three days in April: Vice President Michael W. Adcock plunked down $250 April 21; Vice President Douglas M. Gregory went Mast $250 April 21; Associate Vice President Thomas Quinn, $250 April 18 and Vice President Michael Shupp, $250 on April 20. Van Scoyoc is the lobbying firm for the governments of St. Lucie and Martin counties and, last year, authored a legislative agenda for its clients where the firm told county commissioners just to accept AAF’s arrivals instead of fighting it!
— Greenspoon Marder law firm attorney Thomas Sliney donated $250 to Mast’s campaign April 21. Sliney’s firm also handled the potential sale of downtown land to AAF for its West Palm Beach station. In the end, AAF preferred another site.
When asked about the AAF-related contributions, campaign spokeswoman Madison Anderson‘s comment was: “My goodness. Really?”