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Senate leaders shadow group fueled by RPOF, and other snippets from campaign finance land

The Alliance for a Strong Economy (led by Sens Alexander, Pruitt, Diaz de la Portilla, Bennett, Haridopolos and Baker) got $350,000 from the Republican Party of Florida (78 percent of its cash) to "promote economic growth and job creation," according to new data.

If (a big if) lawmakers can take credit for shaping the economy (cf. Jeb Bush), then they've got some 'splaining to do. These guys have been in charge of the very GOP-controlled Legislature that has watched Florida's economy sink and make Florida the number-one job loss state in the nation. They have, though, succeeded in pushing tax cuts (also part of their mission).

The Alliance looks like a typical 527 shadow group, giving to others like Integrity for Our Families, Citizens Speaking Out Committee and Florida's Working Families (which worked hardest to nail gov candidate Jim Davis in the 06 Dem primary).

An irony: the alliance could have indirectlly help fund a a flyer attacking Republicans because Florida's working families helped fund Our Community Deserves the best, which put this anti Doc Woodard flyer out that says George W. Bush + Tallahassee Special Interests + Cash: Download CSOC.pdf

Overall, RPOF has once again beat out the Florida Democratic Party in fundraising. It also spent more. RPOF raised/spent: $7.3m/$7m. FDP raised/spent $5.6m/$3.5m. Kudos to RPOF for getting their stuff online. FDP hasn't yet, blaming Fay power outage. So Dem #s are self reported right now.

The data also show that RPOF looks like a fun place to work for us beer lovers. In May, the Beer Industry of Florida comped RPOF $7,500 in beverages (the Dems probably also got their swerve on). Anheuser Bush also gave the party $51,000. The big power brokers, though, were the power brokers. Florida Power and Light gave the most ($425k) followed by Tampa Electric Co. ($211,000).

RPOF is also doing lots of flying, shelling out $312k in air travel.


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Cynical Idealist

Why is it that you press folks focus on the tip of the iceberg?

It doesn't matter what you do to try and publicize the impact of money in politics, it always comes off like you're trying to satisfy your own prurient interests...

See, no matter what your advocate as far as disclosure goes, as a friend told me, "where there's a will, there's a loophole."

So, you force legislators to disclose in one area, they're only going to figure out another way of accomplishing what it is they want to do...

Wake up!

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