Behind the scenes, Bainter pulls strings
Tucked away in an industrial park outside northwest Gainesville is a business run by one of Florida’s most influential operatives in GOP politics.
Despite his growing list of high-profile clients, being named in a gerrymandering scandal in 2012 and having ties to dozens of political committees that shift tens of millions of dollars every election cycle, few know the man who has helped elect dozens of lawmakers.
“He is the best-kept secret in Alachua County, if not the state,” said Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida. “Rarely do you have someone so powerful that wants to remain behind the scenes.”
Adav Noti, a senior director and attorney with the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C., and former attorney for the Federal Elections Commission, said campaign finance laws are set up to prevent people from hiding behind tax-exempt organizations like 501(c)(4)s.