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Revision as of 14:01, 9 January 2014

Pam Bondi
Pam Bondi.jpg
Attorney General of Florida
Incumbent
In office
2011 - present
Term ends
January 6, 2015
Years in position 3
PartyRepublican
PredecessorBill McCollum (R)
Compensation
Base salary$128,972
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,583,702
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolKing High School (1983)
Bachelor'sUniversity of Florida (1987)
J.D.Stetson Law School (1990)
Personal
BirthdayNovember 17, 1966
Place of birthTampa, Florida
Websites
Office website
Personal website
Pam Bondi (born November 17, 1966, in Tampa, Florida) is the 37th and current Republican Attorney General of Florida. She was first elected to the position on November 2, 2010, winning the general election over Democrat Dan Gelber with 54.8% of the vote. Bondi was sworn in the following January for a four year term expiring on January 6, 2015.

Before becoming attorney general, Bondi served as both a prosecutor and an Assistant State Attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial District.[1] She was a felony bureau chief and member of internal homicide, vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter committees.[2] She resigned as a front-line prosecutor in order to pursue election to her current post as Florida's chief law enforcement officer.

As attorney general, Bondi has gained national attention for her leadership in the Republican-led battle to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly referred to as "Obamacare." Florida was the lead plaintiff in the 26 state lawsuit against the federal government's health care overhaul which ultimately failed after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the law in the summer of 2012.[3] Her first term will also be remembered for her championing legislation known as the "pill mill" bill in 2011 created to combat the prescription drug-abuse epidemic in Florida.[4]

Bondi is running for re-election in 2014.[5] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Biography

The 37th Attorney General of Florida was born in Tampa, Florida. She graduated from King High School in 1983 and went on to receive her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1987. Following college, Bondi went straight into Stetson Law School, where she completed her J.D. three years later. Law degree in hand, she launched her career immediately upon graduation.

Bondi served as a front-line prosecutor in the state of Florida for eighteen years. Before resigning in order to campaign as State Attorney General, she worked as an assistant state attorney for the thirteenth judicial district. In addition to these roles, Bondi has acted as Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee and is a member of the DUI manslaughter committee.

Bondi was recognized by the Tampa Bay Review as a 2001 Lawyers of Distinction Award recipient. Apart from her professional duties, she is also a member of the Tampa Bay United Way and of the University of Florida Gator Club Board of Directors.

Education

  • Graduated from King High School (1983)
  • Bachelor's degree (in criminal justice), University of Florida (1987)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Stetson Law School (1990)

Political Career

Attorney General (2010-present)

Prescription drug abuse legislation

In 2011, Bondi championed legislation known as the "pill mill" bill to address the prescription drug-abuse epidemic in Florida. For her efforts to enhance the state's drug monitoring system and intensify enforcement laws and penalties for suppliers and abusers, she was awarded the Leadership Award by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. She was also bestowed with special recognition awards by the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Board of Medicine Chairman.[6]

Healthcare reform

See also: State Attorneys General Against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

Florida was the lead plaintiff in the 26 state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, the federal government's health care overhaul. Bondi chose attorney Paul Clement to argue the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which began hearing oral arguments on March 23, 2012. Throughout the Supreme Court hearings, Bondi repeated familiar themes to the press: contesting the law's constitutionality, insisting that Florida, which, under Gov. Rick Scott has been defiantly refusing millions in federal health care grants intrinsic to the law, cannot afford the extra $1 billion in Medicaid costs the state will have to pay beginning in 2018 if the law was not struck down.[3] "Our state cannot survive that way," Bondi said in a March 27 news conference while surrounded by other participating attorneys general.[3]

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act, with Chief Justice Roberts providing the deciding vote.[7] The landmark decision was hailed as an at least partial-victory by both ends of the political spectrum. Those who defended the President's healthcare overhaul from the beginning felt the ruling vindicated the President and the law against accusations of unconstitutionality; those who opposed the law, including the 26 attorneys general who instigated the legal challenge, felt likewise redeemed insofar as two key provisos determined by the Supreme Court as necessary to the overall preservation of the law.[8] For one, the court ruled to limit the federal government's authority to require states to participate in the coming Medicaid expansion. Second, the individual mandate failed to stand up to constitutional vetting vis a vis the Commerce Clause, and therefore would survive in the form of a tax. The latter proviso struck at the heart of the lawsuit, and guided Bondi's official statement on the ruling. “All of us who are disappointed with the ultimate outcome today cannot lose sight of what we accomplished. We fought for the principle that the Constitution limits Congress’s power to direct the lives of our people, and on that point, we won," she said. [9]

About two years earlier, the morning after the United States House of Representatives narrowly passed the Senate reconciliation bill, Bill McCollum, the Republican Attorney General of Florida at the time, announced that he would be joining with South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and ten other state attorneys general in challenging the "unconstitutional" health care legislation on the grounds that the measure "clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state's sovereignty." [10] The next day, President Barack Obama signed into law the controversial House Resolution 3590 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Continuing to pursue legal action against the federal mandate was a central tenant of Bondi's 2010 State Attorney General campaign. [11] Two weeks after clinching the statewide position in the general election, the former prosecutor brought McCollum aboard as a chair of her transitional team. [12]

The lawsuit gained significant traction in late 2010 when Federal Judge Clyde Roger Vinson, who had expressed skepticism over the states' argument "that the law forces states into a costly expansion of their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor," nonetheless agreed with the plaintiffs' claim that the mandate forcing all American citizens to purchase health insurance violates the Constitution. [13] Vinson remarked that "the individual mandate [would be] “a great leap” on the notion of economic activity that falls within the Commerce Clause’s parameters" should the Supreme Court adopt that as a constitutional basis for the law. [14] Six weeks to the date after he delivered his initial assessment of the case, Judge Vinson handed down his final ruling, striking down not only the "individual mandate", but the federal health care reform law as a whole.[15]

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Pam Bondi endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [16]

Issues

Trey Radel arrested for cocaine possession

See also: Trey Radel#Controversy

Florida's 19th Congressional District Rep. Trey Radel (R) was arrested in the District of Columbia on October 29, 2013, for possession of cocaine. He was officially charged on November 19, 2013, in D.C. Superior Court with misdemeanor possession of cocaine.[17][18] On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, Radel plead guilty to possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.[17][19][20]

“As a career prosecutor, I understand the devastating effects that addiction can have on one’s life,” Bondi said on November 27, 2013. “While I understand that this is a challenging time for Trey and his family, I believe that he should resign.”[21]

Elections

2014

See also: Florida attorney general election, 2014

Bondi is running for re-election to Florida Attorney General.[5] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

2010

See also: Florida Attorney General election, 2010
  • General Election
  • Bondi won the General Election on November 2, 2010 with 54.8% of the vote.
Attorney General of Florida, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPam Bondi 54.8% 2,882,868
     Democratic Dan Gelber 41.4% 2,181,377
     Non-partisan Jim Lewis 3.8% 199,147
Total Votes 5,263,392
Election Results Via: Florida Department of State
  • Primary Election
  • Bondi defeated Joff Kottkamp and Holly Benson to secure the Republican primary nomination on August 24, 2010 with 37.9% of the vote.
Attorney General of Florida, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPam Bondi 38% 459,022
Jeff Kottkamp 32.9% 397,781
Holly Benson 29.2% 352,573
Total Votes 1,209,376
Election Results Via:Florida Department of State.

Lifestyle criticism

John Stemberger, president and general counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), who had earlier in 2010 endorsed Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp in the Republican primary campaign for state attorney general, took a shot at Pam Bondi's style of living in his August 2010 endorsement letter. [22] [23] He questioned Bondi's credentials as a conservative noting that "personally, she has no children and lives with her 60 year old eye doctor boyfriend." [24]

Speaking with The Miami Herald in response to criticism over the letter, Stemberger insisted that he was not suggesting anything in regards to the Republican prosecutor's sex life. He argued that "marital status, children, living arrangements are all matters that tell us something about a person and their life experience. And therefore are relevant." [23]

Labor issue comment

After an appearance on a weekend call-in radio program for WDBO in Orlando, Bondi drew criticism, in particular from her Republican primary opponent, Jeff Kottkamp, for her response to a question related to a key aspect of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The EFCA was a legislative bill being considered within Congress at the time and was heavily backed by both the major unions in the country and the Obama White House. Bondi remarked that "she was opposed to the secret ballot in votes on unionization," an opinion also held by supporters of the measure. [25]

Bondi, in response to the controversy, contended that "it was difficult to hear the question, and I confused the terms in discussing my opposition to card check." [26] She insisted that she does not support the labor-backed card check program. Kottkamp's campaign, however, did not buy her excuse and claimed this was just another example of Bondi showcasing her Democratic political roots.

Campaign contributions

Comprehensive donor information for Bondi is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Bondi raised a total of $2,583,702 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[27]

Pam Bondi's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Attorney General of Florida Not up for election $0
2010 Attorney General of Florida Won $2,583,702
Grand Total Raised $2,583,702

2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Pam Bondi's donors each year.[28] Click [show] for more information.


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Contact Information

Capitol Address:
Office of Attorney General
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Florida

Phone: (850) 414-3300
Toll Free Phone: (866) 966-7226
Fax: (850) 410-1630

See also

External links

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References

  1. Florida Attorney General's office, "Attorney General Pam Bondi," accessed September 13, 2012
  2. Office of the Florida Attorney General, "Bio of Pam Bondi," accessed September 6, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Tallahassee.com "Bondi has front row seat as historic case is heard," March 27, 2012
  4. My Florida Legal "About the AG," accessed March 27, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tampa Bay Times, AG Pam Bondi files for re-election, July 1, 2013
  6. My Florida Legal "About the AG," accessed March 27, 2012
  7. The Miami New Times, "Obamacare Ruled Constitutional by Supreme Court; Sorry, Pam Bondi," June 28, 2012
  8. The National Law Journal, "Health care ruling: the professional judgments," July 2, 2012
  9. My Florida Legal-Office of the Attorney General, "Attorney General Pam Bondi's Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision in the Health Care Lawsuit," June 28, 2012
  10. ABC Action News "McCollum to file lawsuit against health care bill" 22 March, 2010
  11. The Ledger "Attorney General Candidate Pam Bondi Pans Health Care Law at Hospital Meeting" 16 Sept. 2010
  12. The Palm Beach Post "AG-elect Bondi taps bipartisan AG primary losers for transition team" 17 Nov. 2010
  13. Wall Street Journal "Judge Leery of Health Mandate" 17 Dec. 2010
  14. Hot Air "Judge in 20-state ObamaCare case expresses skepticism over mandate" 17 Dec. 2010
  15. Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services (2011)
  16. My FOX Tampa Bay, "Mitt Romney picks up key Florida endorsement from Pam Bondi," January 9, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 Politico "Rep. Trey Radel charged with cocaine possession," accessed November 19, 2013
  18. Heavy.com, "BREAKING: Florida Rep. Trey Radel Charged With Cocaine Possession," accessed November 19, 2013
  19. Huffington Post, "Trey Radel Arrested In October For Possession Of Cocaine," accessed November 19, 2013
  20. Politico, "Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession", November 20, 2013
  21. WPRO, "Florida AG Is Latest Republican Calling for Radel’s Resignation," accessed November 27, 2013
  22. St. Petersburg Times "John Stemberger endorses Jeff Kottkamp" 29 June, 2010
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Miami Herald "John Stemberger raises questions about Pam Bondi's sex life" 7 Aug. 2010
  24. The Florida Times-Union "Stemberger: Unmarried, childless Pam Bondi is suspect as conservative" 8 Aug. 2010
  25. Pam Bondi's remarks on WDBO in Orlando
  26. Sunshine State News "Jeff Kottkamp Team Attacks Pam Bondi for Breaking With Conservatives on Labor Issue" 16 Aug. 2010
  27. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Pam Bondi," accessed July 8, 2013
  28. Follow the Money.org


Political offices
Preceded by
Bill McCollum (R)
Florida Attorney General
2010–present
Succeeded by
NA