Shameless: Adam Putnam Passed Law That Made Him Millions, Now He Claims He’s the Victim
Today, Politico Florida reported that Adam Putnam passed legislation in 1999 that led to a land deal between the state of Florida and his family that netted the Putnam family $25 million. After the deal, congressional financial disclosures show that the amount of income Putnam received from his family’s company jumped from between $50,001 and $100,000 to $1,000,000 and $5,000,000.
In a bizarre response to Politico’s investigation, the Putnam campaign insisted that it was the Putnam family — not the Florida taxpayers — who were the true victims of the deal.
“Adam Putnam is the ultimate swamp monster, enriching himself on the backs of Florida taxpayers,” said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “Putnam is so out of touch with Florida voters that his campaign is calling him the victim of a land deal that made him millions. Putnam literally fleeced Florida taxpayers for millions of dollars — and now wants them to feel bad for him.”
The Politico revelations come just a day after Putnam refused to pay farmers for orange trees that were destroyed by the Department of Agriculture. It’s just the latest sign that Putnam operates by a double standard — and is happy to profit off taxpayer money even while refusing to properly compensate farmers.
ICYMI: Politico: As state lawmaker, Putnam created law that later allowed $25M family land deal
- “As a state lawmaker in 1999, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam sponsored sweeping water legislation that included a provision that would later help facilitate a $25 million land deal between the state and his family-owned citrus company.”
- “The exact law created in the Putnam-sponsored bill was cited as justification in July 2005 when the water management district passed a resolution that signed off on the deal that paid Putnam Groves $25 million for land assessed at $19 million.”
- “As part of the deal, the Putnam family was also allowed to continue grazing cattle rent-free until the state needed the land. The district still owns the land and the Putnam family still has the grazing rights, Randy Smith, a district spokesman, told POLITICO Florida Wednesday.”
- “The $19.4 million appraised value was from an outside appraiser hired by Putnam Groves. It was much higher than the $5.5 million the land was valued at in 2005, the Post reported. The outside appraiser put the land’s value at $17 million, but the final price included an estimate that land values would grow by 3 percent each month, the newspaper reported.”
- “‘Do you think any reporters will pick up on the settlement?’ Sharma wrote in an email to Ruth Clements, a district official. ‘The Putnam’s are pretty private people and I would like to give them a heads up if you think something might be in the paper.’ ‘No one has inquired on this end,’ Clements responded. ‘Doubt if this will garner much attention.’”