Eugene “Gene” Robinson is no longer a “professional fundraiser.” Last night during a Broward GOP debate for party chair, Robinson described himself as a “volunteer” fundraiser. The sudden change in his job description followed our report detailing Robinson’s admitted violation of Florida fundraising laws.
Florida requires anyone who solicits funds to be registered with the Department of Agriculture. A department spokesman said violation of the law could lead to criminal penalties. Robinson’s claims to be a “professional fundraiser” date back to his 2010 bid to be chairman of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC).
Yesterday, Robinson told REDBROWARD he was not registered with the State. Robinson claimed he raised money for local youth football programs, sick children and Broward County schools. Robinson could not remember how much money he raised.
Despite touting his fundraising prowess as a reason to elect him chairman, Robinson claimed he has made no money as a “professional fundraiser.”
Sources who attended last night’s debate said Robinson was angry over the REDBROWARD report. A defensive Robinson hoped to secure the votes of the tea party wing of the Broward GOP.
Robinson had been endorsed by Christine Butler, the embattled former chair of BREC. Now, many conservative members are upset with Robinson’s employment mess as well as his decision to include a clip from a violent gangster movie in his campaign email.
Robinson included a clip of his appearance in the 1991 gangster movie “A Rage In Harlem.” In the clip, Robinson’s character attempts to rob a drunk man at a bar. The clip ends with another gangster holding a gun to Robinson’s head.
Some BREC members have inquired with State about filing a formal complaint about Robinson’s fundraising activities.
For now, Robinson remains a candidate for BREC chair along with Lauren Cooley, a 23 year old Fort Lauderdale musician and acting Chairman Robert W. Sutton.
Sutton is the only candidate to contact BREC members with mailers, phone calls and multiple emails.