“To those politicians who would selfishly parade my family around: Stop.” says Victim’s mother
“My name is Annie,” the video begins, “and our family had healed when insider politicians decided to reopen old wounds.”
The ad is on Clawson’s youtube page.
On Tuesday, Clawson’s Republican opponents Lizbeth Benacquisto, Michael Dreikorn and Page Kreegel called a press conference for 4 p.m. today where they plan to “demand that Curt Clawson explain contradictory statements he made regarding his relationship with a known child rapist, Glen Borst.”
The woman in the video is Annie, the mother of the young girl Borst abused. The child is a female relative.
The Lehigh Acres Gazette is not printing her last name to protect her and the child.
In 2006, Clawson gave a temporary power of attorney to Borst to handle a home sale in Saratoga Springs, Utah. Borst’s wife was the real estate agent who handled the transaction.
Borst was also a temporary caretaker and tenant in the home, Clawson’s campaign has said.
In 2004, Borst pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child and served four months in jail on a plea agreement.
The short video addresses Clawson’s opponents and says they “forced our family into the political fray.”
“Curt Clawson had nothing to do with our private family ordeal,” Annie says on the video. “To those politicians who would selfishly parade my family around: Stop.”
The joint press conference with Benacquisto, Kreegel and Dreikorn was held at 4 p.m. at the old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St. in Fort Myers.
The unprecedented event occurred in Southwest Florida politics. Three Republican rivalries form an alliance, less than two weeks before the District 19 Republican primary special election.
They are questioning an opponent’s ties to a registered sex offender and his financial disclosures.
It was a bizarre news conference — that got even stranger at the end. Candidate Curt Clawson’s opponents called the media together to question why a sex offender was living in his Utah rental property and Clawson’s financial disclosures — then Clawson showed up.
“The most important thing we can do is ask for transparency and ask to answer questions,” said candidate Lizbeth Benacquisto.
After his opponents teamed up to question his record, Clawson made a surprise appearance before the microphones.
“I believe the career politicians are keeping this story alive,” he said.
A registered sex offender named Glen Borst listed Clawson’s Utah property as his address, and Clawson granted Borst power of attorney in 2006 to handle the purchase.
His three opponents in the upcoming special Republican primary voiced concern.
“We were given conflicting stories, we were given evasion, we were given deception and in some cases outright lying,” said candidate Dr. Paige Kreegel.
Benacquisto’s campaign first tipped off reporters. She said there’s more to the story.
“I’m here today to put aside politics and ask for the truth,” Benacquisto said.
Clawson said he didn’t know the man was a sex offender until last week.
“I knew him in junior high, but we lost track for decades and they approached me with investment idea,” Clawson said.
Candidate Michael Dreikorn called for a pledge to change the nasty tone of the race.
“I’m calling for a complete stop to all negative campaigning in this race,” he said.
While his opponents said they disapprove of the negativity — they stopped short of making any promises to end it.
“We can’t be punching bag if they’ll lay down gloves we will as well, and I think that’s best for everybody,” Clawson said.
Political experts call today’s twist unprecedented — saying there’s only one motivation.
“We’re about two weeks outside of voting day. It’s all political in the big scheme,” said Dennis Pearlman, a campaign consultant.
Clawson said his accountant advised him to not disclose the Utah property on financial disclosure forms because that property and three others did not earn rent in the reporting period. He pointed out this has been extremely tough on the family of the sex offense victim.