Developer Carlos Beruff may not be able to buy his way into the U.S. Senate, but that’s not the only seat he’s after. Through 10 separate companies, he’s funneled $10,000 to Ron Reagan, Manatee County Commission candidate in District 1.
Other developers have added thousands more, but Beruff is Reagan’s biggest benefactor. A more pliable puppet would be hard to find. Reagan didn’t even live in the district when he filed to run, but he bought a home from Beruff and got a one-year balloon mortgage from a Beruff associate.
Reagan’s financials include a lawsuit over a $25,000 loan he got from nurseryman Darrell Turner, but hasn’t been paying back. Things have gotten so ugly that Turner has put up a sign near the freeway telling people not to vote for Reagan.
In voter guides and public forums, Reagan’s main rival, Corie Holmes, vows to shake up a commission that could use some. Holmes has more than a passing grasp of local issues, including some that others overlook. Reagan’s positions, in contrast, are little more than a pile of platitudes. But Reagan has been putting his developer largess to work.
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His campaign treasurer, notorious Venice dirty trickster Eric Robinson, has sent mailers vilifying Holmes. Even Beruff’s executives are in on the act. Peter Logan, president of Beruff’s Medallion Homes, was caught pilfering one of Holmes’s yard signs, and told police it wasn’t the first time.
If Beruff and company are that worried about Corie Holmes, then Corie Holmes should get your vote.