Kathleen Peters calls David Jolly a "hypocrite" for lobbying for Obamacare, a charge Jolly denies

  • Kathleen Peters meets the press at a news conference in St. Pete

In the increasingly bitter Congressional District 13 GOP primary race, Kathleen Peters today accused David Jolly of personally profiting from the Affordable Care Act, the bete noire of Republicans nationally.

Jolly's financial disclosure forms show that his lobbying firm, Three Bridges Advisors, made more than $80,000 in 2012 lobbying for Faneuil, Inc., a Herndon, Virgnia based that run call centers for government and other regulated industries across the country. Last spring, the company landed a $11.7 million contract to renovate a building and operate a call center in Spokane, Washington that would provide help to people signing up for Obamacare.

"It takes a special kind of dishonesty to publicly oppose Obamacare while personally profiting from it," Peters said at a news conference held in St. Petersburg."I’m asking everyone today to join me to call on David Jolly to return more than $80,000 in Obamacare profits.

But in a press release, Jolly spokesperson Sarah Bascom called Peters' charge "categorically false," and said that Jolly only worked for Faneuil in 2011 and 2012 to advocate for transportation interests in Florida.

"He was not registered to work for the company in 2013 and had no affiliation, connection or knowledge of whatever their goals or objectives were after that point — let alone in the State of Washington," Bascom said.

And Faneuil's Alden J. Eldredge, Vice President of Business Services and General Counsel, said, "David Jolly and his firm did not lobby on Faneuil’s behalf for any issues relating to the Affordable Care Act." But when asked directly what was the nature of Three Bridge Advisors lobbying on transportation issues in Florida, Eldredge could not say. He said that was before his time at the company.

Jolly has been unequivocal that he would "repeal Obamacare," while charging in a recent mailer that Peters stance on the issue is the same as Democrat Alex Sink's. Specifically, the mailer said that Peters “refuses to ‘take a stand’ to repeal Obamacare.”

Peters has strongly objected to that characterization, but at a Tiger Bay Club appearance on Dec. 6 said, "I do not think that we should take a stand and say, 'Absolutely repeal it.' Not unless we have a plan and a proposal to replace it."

So when asked today by CL if that means if she were in the House she would vote to repeal, she said yes. "I absolutely have always opposed Obamacare. I believe it's bad policy. But I believe we have to have a sensible alternative and that's what we need to do."

Peters has previously hit Jolly in a mailer regarding his financial contributions to Democrats, including Kathy Castor, Bill Nelson and Jesse Jackson Jr. "He has previously said he's a conservative Republican who opposes Obamacare," Peters said today. "And yet he has given thousands of dollars to people who very much pushed this as one of their primary, number-one agendas. And there is a hypocrisy in that."

The attacks regarding the Affordable Care Act in this GOP primary reflects on the deep unpopularity of the law within the Republican Party. And as more polls come out daily showing the country as a whole has issues with the plan, no doubt the winner of this race on Jan. 14 will be using it front and center to attack Democrat Alex Sink before the March 11 general election date.

Peters attack comes on the heels of a just released poll from St. Pete Polls that shows her trailing Jolly by five points, 35-30 percent. The poll also shows retired Marine brigadier general Mark Bircher is in third place with 16 percent. 18 percent of the electorate remains undecided.

Bircher received an endorsement from a hero to the Tea Party, former South Florida Republican Congressman Allan West. West said that he backs Bircher because Peters is pro-choice and Jolly is a lobbyist.

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