THE TIES THAT BIND

Florida Dem Candidate’s Husband Denies Ties to Ukrainian Oligarch

The husband of Democratic Florida congressional candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell denied that he had significant ties to a Ukrainian oligarch Tuesday, after a Monday report from The Daily Beast revealed that he had previously worked as general counsel for businesses partially owned by the oligarch. The Miami Herald reports that Robert Powell vehemently denied a substantive relationship with Ihor Kolomoisky. In a statement from his wife’s campaign, he said that “I have never worked for, represented, answered to, or received any payment from Mr. Kolomoisky at any time.” Kolomoisky, the Herald notes, has been accused of “bribery, murder and embezzlement” in recent years. Mucarsel-Powell’s opponent, Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo, has used the investigation as a political cudgel. A spokesperson for Curbelo’s campaign said that “South Florida immigrant families who have fled corrupt regimes around the world know far too well the kind of violence and corruption an oligarch can wage. It’s incomprehensible and disrespectful to believe someone whose lifestyle has been subsidized by a known contract killer for nearly 10 years could look voters in the eye and allege to fight for them.” Mucarsel-Powell’s camp contends that Powell’s past employers are irrelevant to his wife’s candidacy, stating that “Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is running for Congress, not her husband. To imply that Debbie has anything to do with an indirect shareholder of a parent company that once employed her husband is an enormous stretch.”