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Peter Schorsch Finds a Bit of a Problem Between Lois Frankel's Criticism and Her Campaign Cash

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It looks like there's something a bit more ridiculous to Lois Frankel's claim that Rep. Allen West hates women unless he gives $1,000 to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to prove he doesn't.

Peter Schorsch -- who runs the politicking website Saint Petersblog -- noticed that Frankel, the former mayor of West Palm Beach, has been getting quite a few checks in the mail for her congressional campaign to unseat West from a man who apparently isn't too nice toward women either.

Dan Catalfumo, who owns Catalfumo Construction and has given $5,000 to Frankel's campaign committee this election cycle, was acquitted of an aggravated battery charge in 2005 in which he was accused of beating his former fiancée. The battery accusations against Catalfumo, however, surfaced from multiple women throughout the trial.

Schorsch references a few articles from the Palm Beach Post in which the paper reported that the former fiancée, Heather Hill, claimed that Catalfumo was the reason she needed "53 stitches in the back and arm, five staples closing a gash in her head," after a fight between the two.

Hill claimed that Catalfumo offered her hush money -- in the amount of millions of dollars -- to keep the case from going to trial.

The trial came, and that's when others claimed he had a history of violence against women.

In another Palm Beach Post article, Catalfumo's former girlfriend Allison Petronella said during the trial that he "slammed her head into a marble floor, choked her, punched her," and later told the paper that Catalfumo said the only way she would leave their relationship "was in a pine box."

During the trial, the prosecution also noted that Catalfumo was arrested in 1997 on charges of beating his ex-wife, Barbie Catalfumo, sparking rumors of his being "bare-knuckled with women." That charge was dropped after Catalfumo completed counseling.

The kicker, as Schorsch points out, was that Catalfumo won a $102 million construction bid from the Frankel-led West Palm Beach City Commission a year after his acquittal.

Maybe Frankel should demand that West donate that $1,000 to her campaign committee instead.


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