The Republican Party of Florida had its strongest fundraising quarter this year, pulling in $5.5 million between July and October. It's a veritable who's-who of special interests who seek business out of the state Legislature, Cabinet and governor's mansion, which are all controlled by Republicans.
Compared to the Florida Democratic Party, the sums are staggering. Consider: The 15th most-generous giver to FDP (Humana, Inc.) contributed $15,000. What rank would you be if you gave $15k to RPOF? Seventy.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Number 1 RPOF contributor, gave $375,000. That's in addition to the $100k it gave the Democrats, who raised a total of $894k (i.e., Blue Cross's Republican contribution was 42 percent of the total the Democrats received for the quarter). Genting, the Malaysian gaming giant that bought the Miami Herald's downtown building, came in fifth by contributing $160k.
The party is also spending big on legal fees, about $150k. The feds are wrapping up a probe into some Republicans connected to the party (more charges doubtful, but possible) and former Chairman Jim Greer (who's under indictment) is suing RPOF to get a golden-parachute contract clause enforced. Criminal defense lawyer (and sometime political assassin) Steve R. Andrews pulled in $80,416.13 -- exactly $416.13 more than the firm run by Gov. Rick Scott's pollster, Tony Fabrizio. Andrews, incidentally, was a supported of Scott's Republican rival, Bill McCollum, and had filed a lawsuit that described Scott as a "public hazard."
Here are the top givers to RPOF. Consider this a cheat sheet over which contributor is going to do most of the talking in the state Capitol:
$375,000.00 BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF FLORIDA
$250,000.00 HUIZENGA HOLDINGS, INC
$190,000.00 TECO ENERGY, INC.
$171,671.81 ARDA ROC-PAC
$160,000.00 GENTING NEW YORK, LLC
$155,000.00 FLORIDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PAC
$150,000.00 REALTORS PAC FLORIDA
$125,000.00 FONTAINEBLEAU HILTON RESORT
$115,000.00 DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES, INC.
$110,000.00 DOSAL TOBACCO CORPORATION
$110,000.00 AUTOMATED HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS, LLC
$100,000.00 LEON KENDALL HOLDINGS, LLC
$100,000.00 THE GEO GROUP, INC.
$100,000.00 PROGRESS ENERGY SERVICE CO., LLC
$100,000.00 MCCI GROUP HOLDINGS, LLC
$90,000.00 FLORIDA CUPAC
$65,000.00 FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT CO.
$60,000.00 TENET HEALTHCARE CORP.
$55,350.00 MCNA DENTAL PLANS
$55,000.00 FLORIDA JOBS PAC, CCE
$55,000.00 WELLCARE OF FLORIDA, INC.
$52,500.00 WEST FLAGLER ASSOCIATES, LTD.
$50,467.10 COASTAL DEVELOPMENT, LLC
$50,000.00 MOSAIC FERTILIZER LLC
$50,000.00 ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS, INC. PAC
$50,000.00 FCCI SERVICES INC.
$50,000.00 GULFSTREAM PARK RACING ASSOCIATION
$50,000.00 PREFERRED CARE PARTNERS, INC.
$50,000.00 AMERICAN TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS, INC.
$48,141.68 FLORIDA CRYSTALS CORPORATION
$45,000.00 REALTORS POLITICAL ISSUES
$42,500.00 RONALD BOOK, P.A.
$40,000.00 ISLE OF CAPRI CASINOS, INC.
$40,000.00 MARDI GRAS GAMING
$35,000.00 TAXPAYERS AGAINST INSURANCE
$35,000.00 CENTENE MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC
$35,000.00 U.S. SUGAR CORPORATION
$35,000.00 FLORIDA HOSPITAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
$30,000.00 COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE
$30,000.00 SAVING FLORIDA'S HEARTLAND
$30,000.00 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
$26,850.00 PREMIER BEVERAGE COMPANY, LLC
$25,033.00 AKERMAN SENTERFITT
$25,000.00 THE LEWIS BEAR COMPANY
$25,000.00 HCA EAST FLORIDA DIV & GOOD GOV PAC
$25,000.00 HCA JACKSONVILLE MKT GOOD GOV'T GRP PAC
$25,000.00 ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OF FLORIDA
$25,000.00 HCA WEST FLORIDA DIV. & GOOD GOV PAC
$25,000.00 HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, LLC
$25,000.00 ANHEUSER BUSCH COMPANIES INC.
$25,000.00 COMMUNICATIONS INT'L, INC.
$25,000.00 VITAS HOSPICE SERVICES, LLC
$25,000.00 SOUTHERN GARDENS CITRUS HOLDING CORP.
$25,000.00 HCA NORTH FLORIDA DIV. & GOOD GOV PAC
$25,000.00 GUNSTER LAW FIRM
$20,000.00 UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOC.
$20,000.00 PALM BEACH KENNEL CLUB
$20,000.00 REED ELSEVIER, INC.
$20,000.00 DALE JAMES
$20,000.00 AMERIGROUP CORPORATION
$17,500.00 JM FAMILY ENTERPRISES, INC.
$17,500.00 H.M.A. CORPORATE OFFICES
$15,150.00 GMRI, INC.
$15,000.00 PREFERRED MEDICAL PLAN
$15,000.00 BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS, LLC
$15,000.00 HARRIS CORPORATION
$15,000.00 FLORIDA RESTAURANT ASSOC. PAC, INC.
$15,000.00 BENDERSON MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC
$15,000.00 FLORIDA DENTAL PAC
$15,000.00 LOCKHEED MARTIN
$15,000.00 CENTURYTEL, INC.
$15,000.00 COPART, INC.
$15,000.00 AMERICAN EXPRESS - TRAVEL RELATED SVCS
$15,000.00 FLORIDA MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOC. PAC
$15,000.00 NEAL COMMUNITIES LAND DEVELOPMENT
$14,852.19 JOHNSON & BLANTON, LLC