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Thursday November 20th 2014

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Why does Pat Bainter care about House District 2?

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Pat Bainter is a powerful political consultant that has pumped over the years millions into the campaigns of Republican lawmakers in the state through a host of Electioneering Communications Organization. Organizations tied to Bainter are behind the negative mailers, which slam Ed Gray and Jack Nobles, being sent to homes in District 2.

We have received confirmation from three separate sources tied to the Florida Legislature that the flyers are being done to help Mike Hill. The Saint Peters Blog reported earlier this month that Hill was using Tim Baker of Data Targeting for his campaign. Data Targeting is Bainter’s company.

The ECO paying for the negative mailers is The Committee for a Better Florida whose principal contributor is Freedom First Committee. Since 2009, Freedom First has paid Better Florida $516,000, Data Targeting $372,173 and three other Bainter organizations over $1 million.

The question in Tallahassee is why is Bainter investing in Mike Hill–knowing that he was soundly trounced by Greg Evers in 2010 for the State Senate.

Bainter has a controversial past. He and Baker left Mike Haridopolos’ Florida Senate campaign in 2011, a few days before Haridopolos dropped his bid to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D). Haridopolis had to battle news reports about his writing a book for a community college and filing inaccurate and incomplete financial disclosure forms three times.

Bainter was also tied to the criminal case against former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. Greer was charged for defrauding the party by setting up a shell company, Victory Strategies, that raised money and diverted a portion of the funds to his bank account. Bainter was accused to have set up secret meetings to negotiate a severance package for Greer.

Earlier this year, The Miami Herald reported that Bainter and other GOP political strategists helped legislative staffers draw up districts friendly to Republican candidates.