Pam Bondi

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Pam Bondi
Bondi bio photo crop.jpg
37th Attorney General of Florida
Assumed office
January 4, 2011
Governor Rick Scott
Preceded by Bill McCollum
Personal details
Born Pamela Jo Bondi
(1965-11-17) November 17, 1965 (age 51)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Garret Barnes (1990–1992)
Scott Fitzgerald (1997–2002)
Alma mater University of Florida (BA)
Stetson University (JD)

Pamela Jo "Pam" Bondi (born November 17, 1965) is an American attorney, politician and member of the Republican Party who serves as the current Attorney General of Florida.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bondi's hometown is Temple Terrace, Florida. Her father, Joseph Bondi, was a city councilmember and then Mayor of Temple Terrace. She is a graduate of C. Leon King High School in Tampa, Florida. Bondi graduated from the University of Florida in 1987 with a degree in Criminal Justice. She then graduated from Stetson Law School with a JD in 1990 and was admitted to the Florida Bar on June 24, 1991.[2]

Career[edit]

She is a former prosecutor and spokeswoman in Hillsborough County, Florida where she worked as an Assistant State Attorney. Bondi resigned this position to seek the office of Attorney General of Florida. She has made guest appearances on Scarborough Country with Joe Scarborough and various other cable news programming on MSNBC and worked for Fox News as a legal analyst.[3]

Bondi prosecuted former Major League Baseball player Dwight Gooden in 2006 for violating the terms of his probation and for substance abuse.[4][5] Bondi also prosecuted the Martin Anderson death defendants in 2007.[6]

Attorney General[edit]

Pam Bondi, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and other state officials

In 2010, Bondi defeated Democratic State Senator Dan Gelber by a 55% to 41% margin to become the Attorney General of the State of Florida.[7]

Bondi was the lead attorney general in an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services. In the lawsuit the State of Florida and 26 other states argued that the individual mandate provision of the PPACA violates the United States Constitution.[8]

Bondi was re-elected in November 2014, receiving 55% of the vote. Her challenger, George Sheldon, received 42%.[9]

Controversies[edit]

Bondi has been criticized for election fundraising activities, including questions raised about contributions from Donald Trump and his associates.[10] The Florida Attorney General's office received at least 22 fraud complaints about Trump University. In 2013 a spokesperson for Bondi announced her office was considering joining a lawsuit initiated by New York's Attorney General against Trump regarding tax fraud.[11][12] Four days later 'And Justice for All', a PAC that supported Bondi's re-election campaign received a $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, after which Bondi declined to join the lawsuit against Trump University. According to a Bondi spokesman, Bondi personally solicited the donation from Trump several weeks before her office announced it was considering joining the lawsuit against him.[13][14][12] In March 2016 after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the IRS about the potentially illegal donation,[15][16] the Trump Foundation stated that the donation was made in error and that they had intended for it to go to an unrelated Kansas non-profit called Justice for All. When the controversy first arose in 2013, both the PAC and Donald Trump had defended the propriety of the donation.[17][18] On March 14, 2016 Bondi endorsed Trump in the Florida presidential primary, saying she has been friends with Trump "for many years”.[19][20] In June 2016 a spokesperson for Governor Rick Scott stated that the state's ethics commission is looking into the matter.[21] In September 2016 it was reported that the donation violated laws against political contributions from nonprofit organizations, and that Donald Trump had reimbursed the foundation from his own money and paid the IRS an excise tax as a penalty.[22] Trump has said in the past that he expects and receives favors from politicians to whom he gives money.[23][24]

Bondi has opposed same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues on behalf of the state. Following the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016, Bondi was interviewed by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, who questioned her about her sudden change in attitude towards the LGBT community in Florida. Bondi claimed to not only support the gay community, but had posted as such on her website. This statement was later shown to be false. Bondi in a radio interview stated that the CNN interview had not been aired in its entirety and most of it was left on the cutting room floor, omitting the portion about potential scamming of survivors' families. While the entire interview had been aired live, only the portion involving Bondi's position on LGBT issues was originally uploaded to the CNN website. The website featured the interview in its entirety following this comment.[25][26][27]

In 2013, Bondi persuaded Governor Rick Scott to postpone a scheduled execution because it conflicted with her reelection kickoff/fundraising event.[28] After questions were raised in the media, Bondi apologized for moving the execution date.[29][30]

Personal life[edit]

Bondi married Garret Barnes in 1990, and they divorced after 22 months. In 1996, Bondi married Scott Fitzgerald. Their marriage ended in divorce after 6 years.[31]

Electoral history[edit]

Florida Attorney General Republican primary election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pam Bondi 459,022 37.9
Republican Jeff Kottkamp 397,781 32.8
Republican Holly Benson 354,573 29.3
Florida Attorney General election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pam Bondi 2,882,868 54.8
Democratic Dan Gelber 2,181,377 41.4
Independent Jim Lewis 199,147 3.8
Florida Attorney General election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pam Bondi (incumbent) 3,222,524 55.1
Democratic George Sheldon 2,457,317 42.0
Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer 169,394 2.9

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pamela Jo Bondi" AVVO Professional ratings
  2. ^ "Lawyer info-Pam Bondi" Florida Bar, Find a Lawyer
  3. ^ Kam, Dara. "Early on, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi shows ambition". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dwight Gooden chooses prison over rehab". Red Orbit. April 5, 2006. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Attorney General Pam Bondi juggles home life, sudden celebrity". Orlando Sentinel. August 8, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Martin Lee Anderson Death Case Goes to Trial Wednesday". WJHG. October 4, 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ "November 2, 2010 General Election". Doe.dos.state.fl.us. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  8. ^ Bolstad, Erika (2012-03-28). "Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi front and center in fight against health care law | Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  9. ^ Staff (November 5, 2014). "2014 Florida election results: Rick Scott wins, medical marijuana falls short". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Trump contribution to Pam Bondi's re-election draws more scrutiny to her fundraising". Tampa Bay Times. October 17, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Trump's $25K to A.G. Bondi merits probe". Orlando Sentinel. April 2, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Trump contribution to Pam Bondi's re-election draws more scrutiny to her fundraising". Tampa Bay Times. October 17, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ Horwitz, Jeff; Fineout, Gary; Biesecker, Michael (June 6, 2016). "Florida AG asked Trump for donation before nixing fraud case". Associated Press. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  14. ^ Hollyfield, Amy (June 5, 2016). "Orlando Sentinel raises more questions about Pam Bondi's Trump money". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  15. ^ "CREW files complaint against Trump Foundation". CREW. March 21, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Florida AG Personally Asked For Donation Before Declining Lawsuit Against Trump University". Brevard Times. June 7, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Trump camp says $25,000 charity contribution to Florida AG was a mistake". Washington Post. March 22, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ Bookbinder, Noah (May 17, 2016). "Column: The Trump tax filings we've seen highlight the need to see more". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Old questions resurface as Attorney General Pam Bondi endorses Trump". Miami Herald. March 14, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Trump University model: Sell hard, demand to see a warrant". Associated Press. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Gov. Rick Scott: Calls To Investigate Bondi Are Partisan Politics - Local News - 90.7 WMFE". Wmfe.org. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  22. ^ Fahrenthold, David A. (September 1, 2016). "Trump pays IRS a penalty for his foundation violating rules with gift to aid Florida attorney general". Washington Post. 
  23. ^ Michael Biesecker (September 7, 2016). "Trump Seeks Distance From Donation Supporting Florida AG". Associated Press. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  24. ^ A Closer Look: Hillary Clinton "Scandals" vs. Donald Trump Pay to Play on YouTube at 5:16 of 8:55
  25. ^ Matt Wilstein (2016-06-15). "Anderson Cooper: Florida AG Pam Bondi Either 'Mistaken or Not Telling the Truth'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  26. ^ Peters, Jeremy W.; Alvarez, Lizette (June 15, 2016). "After Orlando, a Political Divide on Gay Rights Still Stands". New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  27. ^ Ducassi, Daniel; Caputo, Marc (June 14, 2016). "Bondi says she's not being hypocritical toward LGBT community". Politico. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ Adam C. Smith, Execution rescheduled to accommodate Pam Bondi fundraiser, Tampa Bay Times (September 9, 2013).
  29. ^ James L. Rosica, Bondi apologizes for having execution moved, Tampa Tribune (September 25, 2016).
  30. ^ Attorney General Pam Bondi apologizes for delaying execution: Pam Bondi delayed an execution to go to a campaign fundraiser, Associated Press (September 24, 2013).
  31. ^ Mitchell, Tia (May 30, 2012). "Attorney General Pam Bondi's Cayman trip wasn't a wedding; many wonder why". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Bill McCollum
Attorney General of Florida
2011–present
Incumbent