Levine Cava’s First Campaign Report

by SDM

SDM took a look at Daniella Levine Cava’s campaign report. (You can view it here.) Some impressions:

  • Ms. Levine Cava seems to think that every time she buys something, it becomes an “in-kind donation” to her campaign. Some examples: Jan 30 – 2 tickets – $100  (to what?); Jan 24 – two entries – “Foundation Fundraising” and “Registration” – $90.80 & $75.00 (again, to what?); Jan. 17 – four entries – “office supplies,” “Leadership Florida Ann,” and two “registration(s)” – $32.60, $250, $40 & $150; Jan. 15 – “visual material” – $567.10 (not very clear what this is for); Jan 8 – “rental chairs” – $321; Jan 6 – more “visual material” – $954 (maybe these were those signs and banners at the kick off?). [SDM Comment: The statute contemplates that politicians will disclose their expenditures so that the public can understand how they are spending their money. These types of entries are not clear enough to judge what is being purchased. We have to hope this is a novice at work and not a designed plan to be obfuscatory.]
  • Ms. Levine Cava’s husband is doing some self-bundling. It looks like $1,000 contributions are pouring in from himself and companies he is affiliated with: Cambridge Capital Corporation; Ipanema Surfing Inc., Leocava LLC, and entries on lines 181 & 182 known only as “LLC” but having the same mailing address as Ipanema Surfing. By SDM’s count, Mr. Cava donated at least $6,000.
  • The police are all-in for Ms. Levine Cava: Broward County PBA ($1,000); By the people, for the people (John Rivera – Miami-Dade PBA, Chairperson – $1,000); Florida PBA TWICE ($2,000) [Isn't the limit $1,000?]; Palm Beach County PBA ($1,000); Pinellas County PBA ($1,000); and, Campaign Account of by the people, for the people ($1,000). [SDM's count: $7,000 from the cops all over Florida. Ms. Bell must not be too popular on the other side of the thin blue line.]
  • Anti-Palmer Trinity/Palmetto Bay gadflies Betty Pegram and Bev Gerald contributed to Ms. Levine Cava. [SDM Says: No surprise here, but a big warning shot to those of us who pay attention to Palmetto Bay politics.]
  • Miscellaneous: a couple contributions from real estate developers and their lawyers along with lots of contributions from lots of different folks. [SDM Says: This ain't no virgin campaign!]

Commissioner Bell must be a little worried about all of this largess falling to her opponent. For her part, Ms. Levine Cava looks to be taking this match very seriously.

Update on a previous post: We reported in January that Ms. Levine Cava held her campaign kickoff on January 7th complete with pre-printed signs and banners. There are no entries on the campaign report for expenditures for signs or banners. There are entries for “marketing materials” and “visual materials” though we don’t know if the signs and banners were reported under these categories.

SDM Says: Ms. Levine Cava seems to think that she can evade Florida election law requirements to pay for campaign expenses through the campaign account by disclosing her purchases as after-the-fact “in-kind” donations. We will have to see if her strategy of minimal disclosure holds up to scrutiny.

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