In spite of the worst recession in a generation and the highest unemployment in a century, Florida's healthcare companies, electric utilities, gambling interests, prison operators and tobacco companies steered more than $10 million into Florida's two major political parties in the first three months of this year.
Their goal: influence legislation and grease the cogs of the state's political machine.
The money flowed in despite a fundraising ban that prevents legislators -- but not parties -- from raising cash during the session. Republicans raised $7.6 million for the first three months of the year while Democrats raised $2.6 million. Most of the money came in prior to the March 2 start of the session. Full story here.