The already nasty Republican Florida attorney general primary is getting even more brutal in the final weeks of the campaign.
State Rep. Frank White, R-Pensacola, has been running TV ads comparing primary rival former Judge Ashley Moody to former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. White’s team are also hitting Moody’s financial backers, insisting they also backed Clinton and President Barack Obama.
Now Moody is looking to turn that attack around to hit White. This week, the Moody campaign accused Akin Gump, a law firm where White used to work, of contributing to Democrats like Obama and U.S House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Akin Gump is an international law firm and the most profitable lobbying firm in the nation.
The Moody campaign insists that, in 2013, a review of the Federal Election Commission data was conducted and compiled to show the donations of attorneys at top law firms to the presidential campaigns in the 2012 election cycle. According to the review, 77.5 percent of Akin Gump attorneys that donated to a presidential candidate, donated to Obama, ranking it in the top half of most liberal law firms. The Moody campaign also claims that, in 2008, White donated $100 to the Akin Gump Texas PAC. That year, the PAC donated $58,509.82 dollars to Democratic candidates. The federal PAC donated a total of $2,707,729 to federal candidates, with 65 percent of that going to Democrats, like Obama and Clinton. In 2010, the federal PAC donated $1,935,729 to federal candidates, including 73 percent to Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.
While there are more than 900 attorneys working for Akin Gump, the Moody campaign singles out Vernon Jordan as a major campaign player “associated” with Frank White.
“Jordan has also been a strong supporter of democratic candidates donating more than $569,000 to federal campaigns, including more than $76,000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also supported Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Patrick Leahy, Patrick Kennedy, and Corey Booker,” noted the Moody campaign while not showing that White actually worked with Jordan.
Last month, the White campaign tried a similar attack on Moody in a TV spot.
“The choice is clear for attorney general. Conservative Frank White or liberal Judge Ashley Moody? White has the highest A+ rating from the NRA and is 100 percent pro-life or liberal Moody who used to be a Democrat and donated money to pro-abortion liberals. White who stood with President Trump and voted to outlaw sanctuary cities or liberal Ashley Moody who personally sued President Trump for fraud – helping liberals. Judgment matters. Who do you trust?” the narrator of the ad says.
Tim Baker of Data Targeting, part of White’s team, explained why his side ran the ad.
“Since entering the race for attorney general more than a year ago, Ashley Moody has attempted to coast on little more than her establishment support and the hundreds of thousands of dollars she will take from taxpayers to fund her eventual television ads,” Baker said last month. “Floridians are tired of politicians masquerading as conservatives while trying desperately to hide their liberal records. This ad, built on documentation and facts, highlights the clear choice Republicans have in August: conservative Frank White or liberal Judge Ashley Moody, who first ran for office in 2006.”
Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.