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Crist donors conflict with candidate’s platform as a women’s advocate

According to the Charlie Crist for Florida website, the candidate for Florida governor supports “equal pay for equal work,” and is a proud supporter of the “Violence Against Women Act.” However, according to recently reported campaign finance records, a whopping $40,000 has been donated to the PAC by two companies that operate strip clubs in Florida; SB Productions and J.W. Lee Properties.

J.W. Lee Properties, which does business as the popular Scarlett’s Cabaret strip club in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and its owners Brandon Samuels, John Blanke, and William Beasley, are all named in a lawsuit spearheaded by one of the clubs former female dancers. One of the owners, Brandon Samuels, sits on the board of Florida Sunshine Entertainment Association representing the adult entertainment industry.

The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants “have a longstanding policy of misclassifying their employees, including the Plaintiff, as independent contractors and refusing to pay the employees at the applicable minimum wage and overtime rate.”

According to a report by blogger Javier Manjarres that appears in today’s Shark Tank, not only is Scarlett’s Cabaret not paying their exotic dancers required by applicable labor laws, the popular strip club charges their girls a mandatory fee to perform; said to be about $100 a night.

The Democratic Party establishment, including DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who are all supporting Crist’s campaign, must be besides themselves after learning that campaign donations have been received from donors who operate a business that is perceived to sexually exploit women, as well as allegedly refusing to pay them their fair and “applicable minimum wage,” or any wages at all.

“And the answer is no, I did not go to Scarlett’s to ask questions and dig up information for this story,” Manjarres wrote in his online journal. “However, for those interested parties, I do hear that the club has a great lunch buffet.”

One-time Republican governor and Independent candidate for U.S. Senate, Charlie Crist, is now running against Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott as a Democrat in this year’s gubernatorial mid-term election.

Photo credits: © 2014 Shark Tank Media LLC

Michael Gold

St Augustine native, Michael Gold, is editor at Historic City News. He is an advocate for grassroots citizen journalism whose job is holding public figures accountable to the public. Founded on the Internet in March 2000, HCN has developed from a periodic newsletter, to an interactive platform, to a publication read by the area's most engaged citizens. Historic City News is focused on news originating from or having an impact on St Augustine and St Johns County. Contact by e-mail

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