Crist NASCAR racecar causes controversy in gov. campaign - WFLA News Channel 8

Crist NASCAR racecar causes controversy in gov. campaign

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A racecar that displays the name of former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is at the center of a campaign controversy.

The car, number 98 and scheduled to race in the Coke Zero 400, has “Charlie Crist for Governor” on the front. Crist, now a Democrat, is running for his old job.

The display is the result of a donation, not an expenditure by the Crist campaign – an arrangement that’s drawing criticism from Republicans.

A complaint with the Florida Elections Commission points to the car as an example of “excessive in-kind contributions.”

On the NASCAR website, Charlie Crist for Governor is listed as the sponsor, though a Crist campaign spokesman said it was “an in kind contribution from a supporter to the (political committee), which is not subject to the same limits as the campaign.”

“We sure appreciate them drawing more attention to it though,” said Crist spokesman Brendan Gilifillan.

 The complaint, filed by Juston Johnson of Tallahassee, claims the value of a sponsorship can be tens of thousands of dollars and is “far in excess of Florida’s established contribution limits.”

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