The Money Trail
Betancourt has accused Diaz-Balart of being an "enabler of corporate greed." Greedy or not, a phalanx of corporate executives, industry associations, and Republican political action committees enabled Diaz-Balart to raise almost a million dollars, about seven times as much as Betancourt. As of press time Diaz-Balart's biggest financers were:
National Republican Congressional Committee, $17,309. The NRCC sent this donation two weeks ago.
Americans for a Republican Majority, $10,000. This PAC is operated by Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and is the top GOP contributor to U.S. House candidates.
National Beer Wholesalers Association, $10,500. An important source of industry money that DeLay and other GOP leaders channel to candidates.
Keep Our Majority PAC, $10,000. Operated by House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, $4500. The creation of Deputy Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and a top source of money for GOP congressional candidates.
Together for Our Political Majority, $5000. Managed by Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY).
American Dream Political Action Committee, $1000: targets Republican Hispanics and is led by U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.), a George W. Bush ally.
Texans for Henry Bonilla, $1000.
Association of Trial Lawyers of America, $10,000.
American Medical Association, $5000.
Diaz-Balart also got checks from Miami-Dade's fabled political lobbyists, including Rodney Barreto, Herman Echevarria, Julio Rebull, Dusty Melton, Ron Book, and Bob Levy. Among the most generous local donors are: Eagle Brands CEO Carlos de la Cruz and family, $10,000; Flo-Sun and the Fanjul family, $11,750; Southern Wine and Spirits, $5000; the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, $5750. Out-of-state corporate contributors include Coca-Cola, Coors, Exxon, and R.J. Reynolds.
The anti-embargo issue did help Betancourt raise some money, including $1000 from the Delahunt for Congress Committee. Along with Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.) led the latest bipartisan charge against the embargo and travel ban. In July the House approved 251 to 177 a measure to permit Cuban Americans to send money to relatives in Cuba without restrictions. (It is pending in the Senate.) Remittances are currently restricted to $100 per month.After her primary win, Betancourt received $5000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also received money from California: $6000 from the Hispanic Unity PAC of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and $5000 from the Building Our Leadership Diversity PAC of Rep. Joe Baca (both D-Calif.). Other national contributors: New York Rep. Charles Rangel's National Leadership PAC, $5000.
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, $5000.
Communication Workers of America, $3500.
21st Century Democrats, $1200.
The American Chiropractic Association, $1500.
Betancourt picked up checks from her local base, a loose alliance of Anglos, Cuban Americans, and other Latinos. Among them are core members of the anti-embargo Cuban Committee for Democracy, including Silvia Wilhelm and Bay of Pigs veteran Alfredo Duran, who gave $500 and $1000 respectively. Others are: Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.), $5000 (via the Florida Leadership PAC); the law firm of De la O and Marko, $3500; Caribe Homes, whose president, Charlie Martinez, is president of the Latin Builders Association, $2000; Wometco Enterprises CEO Arthur Hertz, $1000; Antonio Prado, a Republican and president of the Hamilton Group, $1000; Janet Reno, $500; the Colombian American Democratic Council, $350.
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