House Democrats leaders confirmed Monday they are considering holding a caucus meeting of all 44 Democrats that week when lawmakers come up to Tallahassee for committee meetings. At this meeting, which has yet to be scheduled, members would be able to vote Rouson out as incoming minority leader.
“Rouson will have an opportunity to explain his actions,” said Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, who is a member of the House minority leadership team. “Members are concerned about the legalities of what went on. This meeting is being set up for Rouson to explain himself.”
Last week, it was learned that Rouson had formed a fundraising committee that only he could control without telling other Democratic leaders. When Florida Democratic Chair Allison Tant discovered the committee, she fired the two staffers involved.
At issue for Democratic rules chairman Rep. Jim Waldman of Coconut Creek, however, is not that Rouson formed an independent fundraising committee without telling other leaders. It’s that donors contributed checks to the Florida Democratic Party and they were deposited instead to Rouson’s committee, the Florida House Democratic Caucus Affiliated Party Committee, which only he controls.
“From what I understand, the checks were made payable to ‘House Victory 2014’,” Waldman said, referring to the Florida Democratic Party’s fundraising arm for House races. “And instead they were deposited in another account.”