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kathryn townsend, jason brodeur, butch bundy, seminole county republican party, republican politics, republican politics seminole county, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, republican party of florida, florida republican party, seminole county young republicans,

An analysis on Kathryn Townsend's ethical & campaign finance woes.


by Jacob Engels


Kathryn Townsend is currently the state committeewoman for Seminole County with the Republican Party of Florida, and if she has her way, she will be in the Florida House come November.  She is running against an incumbent, Jason Brodeur.


Brodeur, 39, is seen as an up and comer in Tallahassee, having served as chairman of key committees over the last two years.  He is also the President of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  He has made news for a wide range of reasons, from the popular-in-the-conservative-gun-community-but-hated-by-the-Orlando-Sentinel Docs and Glocks, to more common sense, mainstream issues like pension reform and education reform.  Last year, that same Orlando Sentinel ranked Brodeur as one of the top two representatives from the region.


Townsend's website tells us she is running "For All the Right Reasons".  She never exactly enumerates what those reasons are, but she does offer some bullet points for people to consider.  One of them, the one that I will focus on in this article, is "Honest and Transparent".


I don't know Katherine Townsend at all.  For all I know, she is an identical incarnation of George Washington and Abe Lincoln, but man, it doesn't seem that way to me.  It seems to me like Kathryn Townsend has a tough time complying with rules and obeying laws.  She is quick to go to court, but slow to follow the rules that are expected of candidates from office in the first place.  This sends a bad message about the kind of representative she might be should she get elected.


You see, for talk of Transparency and Honesty, Kathryn isn't complying with the only election law that she really has to comply with.  She hasn't filed her campaign finance report for the cycle, and they were due 2 days ago at midnight.


Does that even matter, people will ask?  I would suggest "Yes, it does."  Why?


Because campaign finance reporting is STATUTORILY MANDATED TRANSPARENCY.  To not file your reports is to disregard the law, earning you a fine of $50/day for the first days after the reports are due and going up later.  It offers the public a chance to examine who is investing in the campaign, and to determine how much has been donated.  It also tells us how she spends her money, and there is a big question mark out there that Katherine may be trying to dodge.


A Game of What If


What if Kathryn Townsend has received $100,000 from union members and trial lawyers?  


Alternatively, what if property insurers, upset at one of Brodeur's votes, have poured $250,000 into her campaign to stop him from adopting pro-consumer policies?


What if Kathryn Townsend raised nothing, or some nominal sum, like $200?


What if Kathryn Townsend took contributions from some controversial entity, like NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Love) Association, an organization that promotes pedophilia?


What if Kathryn Townsend is taking her contributions and paying her mortgage with them?


What if Kathryn Townsend is employing, as a campaign consultant, someone accused of a serious felony, like former Longwood City Commissioner Butch Bundy?  Bundy you might recall is the commissioner that authorities say got drunk and crashed a car, causing serious damage to himself and to a female family friend. 




I'll be the first to admit that I doubt she has raised meaningful sums from trial lawyers or unions, or avowed pedophiles.  I have no knowledge of any of Brodeur's stances on property insurance, so I have know idea whether insurance companies love him or want him gone.  I'll freely suggest that the odds are going that Kathryn probably raised a thousand or so dollars, and that it came from her friends.  But isn't that the point of disclosure rules?  Don't they exist so we don't HAVE to wonder?  They exist so that we, the voters... the public at large... are able to review who has posted up for various candidates, and to decide for ourselves exactly what those contributions mean when you are elected.


The Bundy rumor is a real one, though.  I had NUMEROUS people tell me at the Seminole County Young Republican Hob Nob tell me that he was boasting about being the campaign consultant for Townsend, but we can't confirm or deny whether any money has changed hands because Kathryn doesn't think complying with the law is important.  For all the talk of "Honesty and Transparency", she can't be bothered to post a handful of donations and expenditures in a timely manner.  I'll double back to Mr. Bundy in a moment, though.


This isn't the first time we have seen Kathryn Townsend skirt the rules, either.  Based on my review of news stories, it seems that in 2012, Townsend ran for the state committeewoman job with the RPOF.  These races are interesting, because the job really isn't an elected office in the way we think of elected office.  The Republican and Democratic Parties have election supervisors conduct the elections, but they aren't real elected official jobs like a city or county commission, a constitutional office or a legislative seat.  You aren't held to public records laws or anything, and if you don't like how she acts, you couldn't file an ethics complaint against her.


Well, when Kathryn ran, it seems she didn't file some necessary paperwork required by the Republican Party of Florida.  The rule was a pretty straightforward one: that you had to sign a loyalty oath saying you would only support people in the party you were going to lead.


I will digress, for a moment, to say that I find most party politics pretty reprehensible.  Whether this is a good rule or a bad rule is not for me to say because I don't know, and quite frankly, I don't care.  I can see why, though, in an era of huge, anonymous money, the Republican and Democratic parties have an interest in making sure that the party apparatus is actually loyal to the people they claim.  Imagine, for example, if casino magnate and huge Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson dropped 10 million dollars into Florida to elect Democrat officials who were loyal to Republicans.  Imagine if George Soros did the same, but to Republicans.  It would certainly throw a wrench in the works, and I can see why they would want you to say as much before you are elected.


Kathryn Townsend didn't see it that way.  She didn't sign the paperwork, proceeded with an election and then sued her party to be seated.  She appears to have won that suit by exploiting a loophole - that the rule which was disclosed well enough to be complied with by all but 7 people in the state, wasn't recorded some place the judge wanted it recorded.  In a state with 67 counties and a committee woman and committee man in each county, you have 134 victorious candidates every election cycle.  According to this WFTV article, it seems that 6 victorious people from other counties were all stripped because they filed to comply with this rule.


So about 95% of the Republicans in the state were responsible enough to comply with this really rather pedestrian requirement, but Kathryn Townsend wasn't one of them.  This puts her, by my estimate, in the bottom 5% in terms of being responsible, and her failure to comply with the rules cost her, and her party that she ostensibly cares about, much needed money.  Kathryn's reckless disregard for simple rules cost money that could have been spent to elect people


Kathryn Townsend isn't responsible enough to post her campaign finance report on time, earning fines from the Florida Division of Elections and undermining the transparency she lists as "the right reasons".


I had to laugh when I saw that Townsend, oh she of little responsibility or willingness to comply with rules, is actually employed by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.  Thinking of her employment brings us back to the rumor that she has signed alleged felon Butch Bundy on as a campaign manager.  


KATHRYN TOWNSEND CANDIDATE SUMMARY: An employee of a law enforcement agency who relies on somebody who is accused of committing a felony for advice and fails to comply with the simple, straightforward election laws that everybody else, including her opponent, was able to comply with who runs for generic, nice sounding reasons but offers not one single specific idea or difference from the person she is running against.  Sound about right?


Like I said, I don't know Kathryn Townsend at all, but this small glimpse of her shows a woman full of hubris but devoid of responsibility and transparency.  


Sports coaches and consultants often suggest that how we practice is how we play.  An athlete, company or political candidate who observes the rules as a candidate would seem, therefore, to be more likely to comply with laws, regulations and rules once they are elected.  Would Townsend's casualness lead to her ignoring gift rules in the legislature, or prompt her to play fast and loose with her office account?


Maybe she would, and maybe she wouldn't.  I'll have to wonder.  One way or the other, a widespread willingness to disobey the law and rules doesn't look good coming from a Sheriff's employee, and that would certainly increase the odd the voters will send her "Right Reasons" packing.



Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]





Notice the author of this article didn't dig up any dirt on Jason Brodeur (?) and there's plenty out there...must be a member of the CC.


She also supports gay marriage, gay adoption and abortion. She was not endorsed by ronald reagan republicans when she ran for committeewoman because of these positions. doubt it? Call them 407 865 6642


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