Adam H. Putnam, a Republican, is the Florida Agriculture Commissioner since January 2011. He is a former U.S. Representative for the 12th Congressional District of Florida, having served 2001 to 2011.
- 1 Record and controversies
- 2 Biography
- 3 Money in politics
- 4 Committees and affiliations
- 5 Articles and resources
Record and controversies
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Putnam Bought by the Sugar and Dairy Industries
In December 2010, the Florida Independent reported that then-incoming Agriculture Commissioner Putnam "petitioned the State Board of Education to delay considering a ban on sugary drinks in schools, claiming the focus on soda and chocolate milk does not address the broader picture of school nutrition while insisting students will be better served once the Department of Agriculture is given authority under the president’s new child nutrition bill to establish standards for all school food offerings."
ThinkProgress reported that "campaign finance records show that Putnam is less than an impartial figure in the matter. . . . [T]he incoming Agriculture Commissioner has been the benefactor of a significant amount of money from both the sugar and dairy lobby during the campaign – both of whom have a strong financial interest in keeping sugary drinks in schools. Despite Florida’s $500 contribution limit for both individuals and PACs, Putnam received at least $61,000 in campaign funds from sugar and dairy interests, including maxed-out contributions from Coca Cola’s lobbyist in Tallahassee Brian Ballard and a slew of maxed out contributions from the Sugar Barons of South Florida, the Fanjul family." The report goes on:
- Following his victory on November 2, Putnam also made a wealthy sugar magnate one of his first appointments. Tracy Duda Chapman, Vice President and General Counsel for the corporate megafarm A. Duda & Sons, Inc., was appointed by Putnam as co-chair of his four-member transition team. Chapman is not just heavily invested in the sugar industry herself. She also serves on the leadership of the Florida Land Council trade association alongside the senior vice president of the US Sugar Corporation, Robert Coker, who also maxed out to Putnam.
Putnam voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
Republican Conference Chairman Putnam along with House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) both objected to the introducing of a resolution opposing President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq to the House with a "closed rule." Putnam, stated that, "When Republicans brought an Iraq War resolution to the House floor in November 2005 regarding troop withdrawal under a similarly restrictive rule, they were wrong and did so for political gain." He continued, "You know what? [Democrats] were right...It was a game, and we got beat. I mean, did we learn anything from that? It was a resolution that didn’t go through committee and it should have, and it would have been a better resolution if it had."
After the President's veto of an Iraq supplemental spending bill with a troop withdrawal timetable, House Democrats attempted a second bill without a timetable that only provided short term funding for the war. Putnam called the "short-term" legislation “an irresponsible approach."
- Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (H.R.2206)
Putnam was born July 31, 1974 in Bartow, Florida. He was educated at Bartow High School and the University of Florida, was a farmer, rancher and a member of the Florida House of Representatives before entering the House.
Putnam is noted for being one of Congress' leading supporters of developmental education for children from low-income families. He is the author of the Head Start Accountability Bill.
In 2006, independents Joseph A. Viscusi and Edward W. Bowlin announced their intentions to challenge Putnam in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)  Putnam retained his seat.
In 2009, Putnam announced he would leave Congress in 2010. He was succeeded by ex-Florida Rep. Dennis Ross.
Congressional leadership position
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00009618&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Adam Putnam
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Adam Putnam from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Adam Putnam from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Adam Putnam from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and affiliations
- House Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Budget
- House Committee on Rules
- Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House
Coalitions and caucuses
- Co Chair, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus
- National Republican Congressional Committee
Boards and other affiliations
- Alpha Gamma Rho
- Bartow Chamber of Commerce
- Florida Blue Key
- Florida Farm Bureau
- Former President, Florida 4-H Foundation
- Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa Board of Associates
- Polk County Cattleman's Association
- Polk County Farm Bureau
- Polk County Historical Association
- University of Florida Alumni Association
Articles and resources
- Adam Putnam profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Alumni, organizational website, accessed October 1, 2011
- Brett Ader, Ag. Commissioner took $61K in contributions from sugar/dairy before seeking to halt ban on sugary drinks in schools, Florida Independent, December 22, 2010
- Scott Keyes, Center for American Progress, After Taking Big Sugar Money, Florida Ag. Commissioner Adam Putnam Seeks To Halt Soda Ban In Schools, ThinkProgress blog, December 21, 2010
- Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
- John Aravosis, "Yet another House Republican leader, GOP Rep Putnam (R-FL), tries to downplay Foley stalking of children," AMERICAblog, October 8, 2006. re Mark Foley
- Jonathan Weisman and Debbie Wilgoren, "GOP Chooses Boehner as Minority Leader," Washington Post, November 17, 2006.
- Dana Milbank, "For the GOP, Taking the War Out of the War Debate," Washington Post, February 14, 2007.