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Florida politics mega-donor pulls the plug on a $5M pro-immigration PAC

Mike fernandez

Prominent political booster Mike Fernandez has cut the biggest check yet from his pro-immigration political committee — to himself.

Fernandez, a former GOP mega-donor who left the party following Donald Trump’s 2016 election, deposited $5 million six months ago into a political committee he said would be used to fund pro-immigration candidates. He made himself chairman of the committee, which he called Diversity ... The Key to the American Dream PAC, and quickly began stroking checks.

The PAC spent more than $500,000 over six months, including $200,000 on the gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Andrew Gillum in mid-September. But only nine days later, Fernandez emptied out the remaining $4,461,157.53 in the committee’s account by refunding himself every penny he hadn’t yet spent.

Reached Thursday night, Fernandez, the 66-year-old chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, said he was shifting focus.

“All of the money will be redirected to a new effort,” he wrote in an email. “The focus and purpose of the [PAC] I just closed did not allow me to spend it on a new effort.”

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