FriendFinder’s Marc Bell to Throw Charlie Crist Fundraiser

BOCA RATON, Fla.—The cliché that politics makes strange bedfellows is playing out this election cycle with the news that FriendFinder Networks CEO Marc Bell will be holding a fundraiser at his home for current Florida governor and indie candidate for senator Charlie Crist. One of FriendFinder’s properties is the renowned adult publication Penthouse.

According to an item on, “The evening event will be held at Bell’s Boca Raton, Fla., home Oct. 7, less than a month before Crist faces Republican Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country.”

Poltico learned about the fundraiser after receiving an invitation, which requested $500 per person to attend the general reception and $2,400 per couple for a VIP photo opportunity.

Crist, of course, used to be a Republican, but became an independent after announcing his decision to run for the Florida Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez. The change of party—if not heart—was in response to low polling numbers during the run-up to the Republican primary. Crist’s term as governor ends in January 2011.

According to Politico, “Bell … has long played in political races, donating to Democratic and Republican candidates. He gave to President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, as well as to then-Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain’s bids in 2008. This cycle, he’s mostly invested in helping to protect Democratic incumbents, donating to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Florida Reps. Ron Klein and Ted Deutch.”

Poltico contacted both of Crist’s opponents, seeking comment on the presumably controversial fundraiser. Rubio’s campaign declined to comment; however, a spokesman for Meek told the website, “Besides being a lifelong conservative, Crist’s only consistent position is that he will say or do anything to get elected.” reached out to Bell for comment but had not received a reply by post time.