Ahead of Tuesday’s member-on-member GOP primary in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, the campaigns of Reps. Sandy Adams and John Mica are slinging allegations of misconduct at one another.
On Friday Mica told The Daily Caller that a paid consultant for Adams sent a knife in the mail to one of his supporters.
Mica made the allegation when asked about claims from the Adams campaign that Mica supporters had been threatening and intimidating them. One Adams supporter, who asked not to be named, told TheDC that she had received an intimidating call.
“I was told that my career in politics would be over if I did not stop supporting Sandy Adams and start supporting John Mica,” the Adams supporter said. Adams said she had heard of numerous similar instances.
Asked to comment on the alleged threats, Mica, through a spokesperson, told TheDC that the claims are “a total fabrication, and the only campaign who has threatened supporters is hers, when her paid political consultant, Jason Roe, sent a knife through the U.S. mail to one of our supporters.”
The recipient of the knife was retired New York police officer Jim Bomford, the president of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies of Florida.
Bomford, who provided a photo of the knife to TheDC, explained that both Mica and Adams were members of his organization. He knew that Mica planned to run for re-election in the newly redistricted 7th District, but was waiting to announce it until the redistricting map was final. When Adams, who was redistricted into the 7th said that she, too, would run in that district – instead of running in a different district with no incumbent – Bomford said he spoke with her to try to convince her not to face off against Mica.
In addition, he advised her against employing Roe.
“I advised her that Jason tends to be reckless,” Bomford said. He explained that he knew Roe from long before this campaign “because I represent retired police officers on Capitol Hill.” Roe previously worked as chief of staff to Florida Rep. Tom Feeney.
Roe resigned his position as deputy campaign manager to Mitt Romney in 2007, Hotline On-Call reported at the time, after the FBI asked questions of his former boss, Feeney, regarding a golf trip he took with superlobbyist Jack Abramoff to Scottland in 2003. Bomford said he also told Adams that Roe’s wife, Patty, had been linked with the unethical behavior of former Rep. Rick Renzi, for whom she worked.
“I said I just want to keep this between us,” Bomford told Adams.
“Instead of keeping it to herself, she apparently immediately ran back to Jason … and told Jason what I had said,” Bomford alleged. “Three days later I had the knife in the mail.”
With the knife, he said, was “a subtle warning, you know, ‘you’re stabbing your friends in the back.’”
“I never interpreted it as a threat on my life … my feeling was that he was basically telling me that in the future anything I do [on Capitol Hill] is going to be interfered with,” Bomford said.
Bomford called it “a really dumb thing to do,” and said that it proved his point that Roe was “reckless.” “This is what I was concerned with Sandy,” he said.
Bomford said he went to Adams and asked her why she had told Roe what he said. According to Bomford, Adams responded, “that’s not my problem.” At which point, he said, he told her that his organization would not be supporting her in any way.
“I have nothing against Sandy at all, but this was just way over the line. And the fact that she claims to be former law enforcement, not to understand the gravity of someone sending you a knife through the postal service with a little threat attached really disappoints me.”
The Adams campaign tells the story differently.
“Mr. Bomford refused to show Sandy the letter, after several requests. She encouraged him to file a police report,” said Lisa Boothe, Adams’ communications director.
But ultimately, she said, the incident “has nothing to do with the campaign. He never showed her the letter, he never filed a report, and this continues to stay between the two of them [Bomford and Roe].”
Bomford provided TheDC with photographs of the pocket knife and the envelope it came in – which has a return address of Revolvis Strategies, Roe’s consulting firm. He did not provide a picture of the note.
Roe did send the knife, he confirmed to TheDC, but he explained that it was certainly not meant in a threatening way, and said that the note he wrote made that clear.
“That would be quite a variation on the reality,” he said, when presented with Bomford’s account of the story.
Roe said he met Bomford while working as chief of staff for Rep. Feeney, and described him as a “political gadfly … who was, what I would call, a constant troublemaker, and part of my job was to minimize the trouble that he could cause for the office.”
“We never had a hostile relationship, we actually developed at least a good working relationship,” Roe said.
All of this was before Roe was brought on as a consultant by Adams.
The way Roe explained it, “at some point [Bomford] approached Sandy and handed her a letter in which he accused me and my wife of being corrupt.” Roe assured TheDC that it was a letter, not a conversation, as Bomford had said.
“Needless to say, it kind of caught me by surprise that this happened … I was pretty aggravated by it. It was kind of uncalled for, he and I did not have an adversarial relationship, and I was kind of annoyed by it,” Roe said.
In response, Roe said, “I sent him a handwritten note that said, ‘Dear Jim, Sandy relayed to me what you said about me. I was disappointed and in the midst of it I extracted this knife from my back so you can use it on one of your other quote unquote friends. Sincerely, me. P.S. by the way, I hear you slandered my wife as well, who I’m pretty sure you’ve never even met.”
“He then, went on to tell everyone that I sent him a threat, which is not anywhere near the reality … the knife was making a point, I pulled this from my back,” Roe explained, saying that the fact that Bomford had not yet produced a note completely undermined his story.
“So I did send him a knife, and I unequivocally will say it was not a threat,” Roe said.
“Incidentally, if we’re going to go tit for tat on threats,” Roe said. “Mica has had lobbyists call me and tell me that if I stay with Sandy, that I will regret it and I will get no more clients out of Washington,” Roe alleged. He declined to give the name of any of the lobbyists who had called him.