The world thought it had seen the last of Florida Republican State Sen. Frank Artiles when he resigned on Friday following a drunken, racist tirade at a bar. But alas, the man whose political action committee was called “Veterans for Conservative Principles,” has much, much more to offer.
An investigation by the Miami Herald discovered that Artiles’ “principled” PAC paid $3,500 to a former Hooters calendar girl and a Playboy model—neither of whom had prior political experience—to work for him as “consultants.” He also paid himself $51,000 because, well, he’s so skilled at what he does.
According to the newspaper, Artiles’ campaign hired as a political consultant Hooters calendar girl Heather Thomas, who has a degree in fashion merchandising and whose résumé includes waiting tables and bartending at two Tallahassee bars. She also owns Hot Cheeks Bikini. Thomas had briefly worked for former state Rep. Irv Slosberg, a Democrat, for “a week or two” before being hired by Artiles’ campaign.
Brittney Singletary also was a bartender and a Playboy “Miss Social” model. Singletary told the Herald that she was paid for fundraising work.
The newspaper’s investigation notes Artiles’ apparent affinity for the lavish “fundraising” lifestyle, along with his problems with alcohol. It says that on March 17, 2016, Artiles’ committee paid $17,672 to Churchill Downs for one such fundraiser at the Kentucky Derby.
It then paid $2,693 to the Marriott Key West Beachside less than a month later, also for “fundraising.” Two days later, Singletary and Thomas were paid $600 each, the Herald reported. Then, two days after the May 7, 2016 Kentucky Derby, the two were again paid $600 each.
In all, Artiles campaign spent $1 million, which the newspaper said was “the second most expensive legislative campaign in the state.”
The disgraced former state senator also was forced to change his report on the committee’s spending earlier this year to acknowledge a $2,000 payment by Florida Power & Light for “flights, food, and beverages for his travel to Daytona Beach and Disney’s Epcot theme park,” according to the Herald.
In Artiles’ defense, Mickey Mouse probably does fall into the category of “conservative principles,” if you really think about it. The fundraising? Not so much.
Watch Artiles ask for forgiveness earlier this week while deflecting blame for his behavior on “growing up in a diverse community”: