Florida Woman Buying Elections in the Northeast

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matt Jacob
Phone: 202.408.5565

Florida Woman Buying Elections in the Northeast

WASHINGTON - New York and New Hampshire residents probably think they’ve never
heard of Parker Collier, but in reality, they see her almost every time
they turn on the TV. An investigation by Citizens for Responsibility
and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has revealed that Ms. Collier (who lives
in Naples, Florida) is the primary donor to a group called “Revere
America,” which is spending almost $2.3 million on ads in the two
states. The group’s chairman is former New York Governor George
Pataki, whose former political strategist Art Finkelstein
has been deeply involved in the campaigns of candidates supported by the
Colliers, including that of former Republican Senate candidate Bill
Binnie during the primary this year.

“It’s unlikely residents in either state have any idea a wealthy
Florida resident is trying to impact their votes,” said CREW Executive
Director Melanie Sloan. “If Ms. Collier doesn’t like a candidate, let
her come out and say it. Creating and hiding behind this shady group is
an affront to our democracy, and an insult to voters. Yet thanks to the
Supreme Court and the disastrous Citizens United decision, this is the world we live in.”

Ms. Collier already was quite wealthy prior to marrying Miles
Collier, the grandson of Barron Collier who once owned a large swath of
southwest Florida. In 1923, state lawmakers named the second largest
county in the state after him. Barron Collier earned his fortune in New
York City advertising, but his net worth exploded when he invested that
money in Florida real estate, a business in which the family is still
involved today.

“What the Collier family is doing with Revere America is just the tip of the iceberg thanks to the Citizens United
decision,” said Ms Sloan. “All across the country, the rich are trying
to transform our democracy into a plutocracy, and it’s happening on
both sides of political spectrum. While Revere America is conservative,
there are plenty of liberal groups out there as well that are trying to
do exactly the same thing: buy an election with money from anonymous
donors.”

According to Revere America President Marianne Zuk (an attorney who
is listed as an officer or director for several Collier family
companies) the organization was “was born out of a very successful
political committee called Americans for Responsible Health Care. The
committee was one of the first independent advertisers to support Scott
Brown.” (9/8/10- National Press Club) The organization’s address is
only a post office box at the Washington Square Post Office in
Washington DC’s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

What Revere America seems to revere most is former New York Governor
Pataki, who is featured prominently on the organization’s website.
Perhaps it is only coincidence that New Hampshire is home to the first
presidential primary, and the former New York governor is rumored to be
eyeing a run for the White House.

“Mr. Pataki claims to be an advocate for transparency, now it’s time
for him to prove it,” said Ms. Sloan. “Why isn’t he open about the
fact that one of his political benefactors is putting money up for him
to increase his presence in New Hampshire? Is he really concerned about
the 2010 election, or is he focusing on 2012?”

CLICK HERE to read CREW’s report on Revere America.

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.

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