FL “Ghost Candidate” Scandal Linked To GOP Operative

Miami’s NBC News affiliate reports:

A former lawmaker accused of violating election law was working for a powerful Republican political operative, according to court records released before the case goes to trial. Prosecutors in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office accuse former Republican state senator Frank Artiles of offering third-party candidate Alex Rodriguez nearly $45,000 to run last November to siphon votes away from the democratic candidate with the same last name.

Records show Artiles had an exclusive political contract with Data Targeting, Inc. worth $15,000 per month, totaling $90,000 plus expenses. The owner of Data Targeting, Inc., is Pat Bainter, a powerful Republican political operative based in Gainesville. Over the years, Bainter has helped dozens of Republican members of Congress, state representatives, and state senators get elected.

Read the full article. As I reported at the time, Artiles resigned from the Florida Senate in 2017 after he drunkenly called black lawmakers a racist slur. He was later accused of hiring a Playboy model who had no relevant qualifications to work as a political consultant.