JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Special Interests Funnel $6 Million to Lawmakers

From the St. Pete Times:

In the latest election cycle, dozens of Florida legislators raked in $6 million in special-interest campaign money and spent a good deal of it on themselves for meals, rental cars, plane trips and hotels.

Some lawmakers are feeding at the trough of contributors, enjoying expensive dinners at upscale restaurants with donors’ money at a time when one of every 10 Floridians is on food stamps. Others are churning cash from one political committee to another, using it to finance direct contributions and attack ads for other candidates, thereby strengthening their own clout in a virtually untraceable shell game.

All of this is legal. Florida law bans legislators from accepting so much as a cup of coffee from a lobbyist, and individual campaign contributions are limited to $500.

But there is no limit on the amount of cash lawmakers can collect from all manner of special interests in separate fundraising committees the lawmakers create to advance broadly defined public purposes, such as getting one another re-elected.

“If I do it over coffee, I have to pay for my own coffee, but I can accept a $10,000 check,” said Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Democrat from Greenacres who has used political committees to recruit candidates and steer money to several Democratic legislative campaigns.

Read the full article here.

Advertisements

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , ,

%d bloggers like this: