Previously: Israel vs. Granteed in fundraising.
|Wayne Spath, Israel's friend and supporter.|
Scott Israel's campaign for sheriff this year has taken heavy contributions from some of the least glamorous enforcers in the chain of justice: bail bondsmen from Miami to Jacksonville. Thirty-eight of them, to be exact, shelling out $13,700 for the primary election alone.
Chumming around with bail bondsmen has earned Israel criticism in the past. During the 2008 election, in which he unsuccessfully challenged Al Lamberti, he took $500 from a bail bond agent named Wayne David Collins. Collins, arguably the most powerful bondsman in South Florida, had gotten in trouble with the law in the '80s for throwing around his influence in the Mob town of Providence, Rhode Island. He had his criminal record expunged so he could get a bail bondsman's license. The Miami New Times
ran a hell of a story on him
back in 2004.
Collins' companies also allegedly gave thousands to the Common Sense Coalition, which supported Israel in 2008 (and which, for you history buffs, took in $160,000 on Israel's behalf
from two of Scott Rothstein's partners, while Rothstein continued to pump money to Lamberti).
Israel says Collins isn't supporting him this time around -- though the agency Collins started, Universal Bond, has given the $500 maximum to Israel's primary campaign this season. But it's worth a look into why, exactly, a potential sheriff might be getting so friendly with bail bondsmen in the first place.More »