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Kreegel Knew About PAC Ads

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Questions are being raised about how Congressional candidate and physician Paige Kreegel knew about attack ads before they ever aired, the Tampa Bay Timesreports.

Kreegel, who is running in Southwest Florida’s District 19, left a voice mail for his Republican opponent Curt Clawson, giving him a heads up that the Values are Vital PAC was going negative. A voicemail obtained by the Times had Kreegel saying the PAC was going after Clawson and another GOP candidate, Lizbeth Benacquisto.

Kreegel told the Times he learned about the ads through federal Election Commission filings made Friday. The ads started airing on Sunday.

Candidates are not allowed to coordinate in any way with outside groups that can spend unlimited amounts of money backing a candidate. Values are Vital is run by Anthony Farhat, Kreegel’s finance director in 2012, according to the Times.

Also, last week’s flip flop by President Obama – where he acknowledged in an interview that Americans may need to switch doctors under the Affordable Care Act – is the newest sound bite being used to attack Florida’s Charlie Crist.

The Republican Party of Florida and Gov. Rick Scott on Friday released the adinterspersing sound bites from a new Obama interview with emphatic statements of support from Crist, the former governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, the Miami Heraldreports.

It comes just days after the Republican National Campaign Committee's anti-Obamacare ads helped Republican David Jolly win a special election in Congressional District 13. Jolly told the Miami Heraldhe developed some possible alternatives to the Affordable Care Act during his campaign. But he said his stature as the newest member of Congress holds little clout to make those changes happen, the Herald reports.

And while Democrats may want to distance themselves from the law, Crist is in a tricky situation, says Herald political reporter Marc Caputo. Right now, Crist needs to embrace health reform leading into his gubernatorial primary against state Sen. Nan Rich. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.