TALLAHASSEE — For the past six years, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford has reported that his largest source of personal income is from an outfit called "Breckenridge Enterprises."
When asked about Breckenridge, which hasn't been registered in Florida since 2007, Weatherford says he doesn't actually work for the company.
Breckenridge, he says, handles payroll services for the company he does work for, a construction firm out of Mount Pleasant, Texas. That company is Diamond K Corp., but in Florida it's called T. King Construction Inc.
Florida has what's called a "Citizen Legislature," where state senators and representatives serve what are considered part-time jobs. They are required by law to disclose what they earn from other jobs so the public has a better understanding of their qualifications and connections.
But it's no easy task understanding how Weatherford, one of the most powerful politicians in the state, earns the majority of his money or who pays him. His speaker job pays $29,714, so the vast majority of his income — more than 75 percent — comes from other sources.
In recent years, it's become the norm for a Florida House speaker's income to raise questions. Ray Sansom resigned as speaker in 2009 after he was charged with channeling more than $25 million to Northwest Florida State College — where he had taken a $110,000-a-year job as the chief fundraiser. Marco Rubio saw his income to jump once he was on track to be speaker, climbing from $90,000 in 2001 to $414,000 in 2008.
Weatherford's income has remained steady since he joined the Legislature. But he has continued to report his income in a confusing fashion.
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