One of the candidates hoping to lead the Broward Republican Party admits he is violating Florida statutes regarding fundraising. Eugene “Gene” Robinson often touts his role as a “professional fundraiser” as the best reason to elect him chairman of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC). Robinson mentioned his work as a fundraiser when he ran for BREC chairman in 2010, 2014 and this year. BREC will elect a new chairman on Monday, October 26th.
Florida law has strict guidelines and proceedures regarding professional fundraising solicitors and consutlants. An individual or business who solicits funds from the public must first register with the Florida Department of Agriculture. A Department spokesman told REDBROWARD the failure to register can lead to “severe” civil penalties and criminal charges.
A search of the State database shows Robinson is not registered as a professional fundraiser.
In a telephone interview with REDBROWARD, Robinson admitted he is not registered with the State of Florida. Robison was asked about his fundraising activities at last week’s debate at a Tea Party Fort Lauderdale meeting. “I am not registered,” Robinson told REDBROWARD.
“I didn’t know about registering,” Robinson said. “Besides, I never made any money from fundraising. I have never been paid for fundraising.” When asked if he had any paying employment, Robinson said his “very nice family” takes care of him. Lack of financial benefit does not exempt one from registering.
Robinson said he raised funds for Coral Springs Chargers youth football, Majorie Stoneman Douglas High School and for a young lung transplant patient.
Robinson could not remember how much money he raised for these groups. Robinson said he is not a member of any professional fundraising organization.
This is just the latest odd twist coming from the Robinson campaign. In an email announcing his campaign, Robinson included a link to violent clip from the 1991 gangster movie A Rage In Harlem. In the clip, a violent thug (played by Robinson) attempts to rob a character portrayed by actor Forrest Whittaker. The clip ends with one gangster holding a gun to Robinson’s head.
Sure it’s Hollywood make-believe, but is this the image BREC wants for its chairman?
Robinson is running against Lauren C. Cooley, a 23 year old musician and Robert Sutton, the acting BREC chairman.