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Politics

DeSantis Has Record $2.67 Million in Matching Funds

November 5, 2018 - 3:00pm
Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis became the biggest one-year recipient of state matching funds as he received another large check leading up to Tuesday’s election.

DeSantis received a check for $363,575 on Friday, bringing to $2.67 million his total from the program, which provides matches for individual contributions of $250 or less to statewide candidates’ campaigns.

DeSantis edged past the haul of 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, as the final checks for this year’s elections were doled out to five candidates, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Crist, who is now a congressman from St. Petersburg, tapped the taxpayer-subsidized program for $2.58 million in his unsuccessful bid in the 2014 mid-term election to unseat Gov. Rick Scott.

This year’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, drew just under $2.37 million from the program. Gillum received a check for $138,632 on Friday.

Overall, the state subsidized 10 campaigns in the current election cycle with a total of $8.92 million in matching funds. That was up from about $6.1 million in 2010 and $4.3 million in 2014.

Four of the candidates who qualified for the program this year lost in their August primary elections, including gubernatorial candidates Gwen Graham and Adam Putnam. In all, Putnam received $2.1 million from the program through his successful 2010 and 2014 races for state agriculture commissioner and his unsuccessful bid for governor.

The matching-funds program was approved by voters in 1998 as part of a constitutional amendment proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission.

An attempt to scuttle the program failed in 2010 when it gained 52.5 percent of the vote, short of the required 60 percent for adoption.

In the Republican primaries this year, the use of the program drew heavy criticism from candidates who didn’t dip into the funding pool.

The campaign of Republican Frank White, a state House member from Pensacola who ran for attorney general, described the program as “a $33 million taxpayer funded welfare-for-politicians slush fund.” In ads, White’s campaign called out his GOP primary opponent, former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, for claiming to stand for reducing government waste but receiving matching funds.

Moody fought back against White, arguing the program was established to combat self-funding by inexperienced candidates. White’s campaign was buoyed by his personal money.

Moody, who easily defeated White in the primary, received $20,900 in her latest matching-funds check, bringing her total from the program to $449,637.

Moody’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa, received a check from the state on Friday for $17,038. Shaw received $319,563 from the state.

In the race for chief financial officer, incumbent Republican Jimmy Patronis got $4,100 on Friday to bring his participation in the program to $328,379.

Patronis’ Democratic opponent, Jeremy Ring, a former state senator from Broward County, is not in the matching-funds program. Nor is state Rep. Matt Caldwell, the Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner who has called the program “campaign welfare.”

Democratic agriculture-commissioner candidate Nikki Fried, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, didn’t receive any money from the program on Friday. Fried drew an overall total of $117,627.


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Comments

No amount of money will save him, the repub party from the voters after this racist, hateful, fearmongering , lying campaign season they have run, have become...……………..At least Trump at 6500 lies, 30/day rate now and counting has done one thing, let everyone see just what repubs are now and decent people just don't like it...……….As you'll find out late tonight...………...And in 2020 they will finish the job getting rid of the head racist, serial liar, most of repub congress.

I do not agree with the matching contribution law. Why should taxpayers pay for candidates who they oppose? Even as they take money our or our pockets, a candidate like Andrew Gillum is probably getting illegal contributions. From a list of donors who donated more than $200 to Andrew Gillum's campaign, I found 25 who exceeded $3000. There a probably more but these 25 are a clear-cut violation of the limits. In the six years, I have been looking into campaign finance disclosures, I have never seen these many violations of the campaign limit law. All candidates are informed about how they have to report donations to their campaigns and the limits on how much they can accept from each contributor. According to the Florida Division of Elections Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may make contributions in excess of:$3,000 to a candidate for statewide office... The Florida website also states: Candidates and committees must report all contributions, loans, expenditures, distributions, and transfers, regardless of the amount. They must report the full name and address of each person contributing or receiving the expenditure and, for contributions over $100, the occupation. I found 156 contributors that donated more than $200 who supplied no address at all, yet Gillum accepted the $37,000 in improperly documented funds. Ron DeSantis had about 12 without addresses with "retired" being the prevalent occupation. Another unusual thing I found is that Gillum had 177 donors who contributed over $200 who had "NONE" as their occupation but gave $118,900.00 to Gillum. In contrast, Ron DeSantis had no one listing their occupation as "NONE". What is most unusual is that 2697 contributors said they were "NOT EMPLOYED", yet they managed to donate $1,850,994.74 to Gillum's campaign. In fact the category of "NOT EMPLOYED" contributed more to Gillum, than any other occupational group. Compare that to Ron DeSantis who had zero "NOT EMPLOYED" in his disclosure Both Gillum and DeSantis had donors who claimed they were the "UNEMPLOYED" but they were few in number In total Gillum received almost two million dollars from donators who had no occupation or refused to disclose it or their employer. Gillum’s Campaign is either very careless or they just do not care about the law. Neither is acceptable for a prospective governor. Whether it is carelessness or lawlessness, we need a governor who will obey the laws that they supposed to enforce. Andrew Gillum does not yet seem to understand that core principle. Tomorrow Floridians will be voting for the next governor of our State. The importance of this office cannot be overstated. All Floridians must know that their governor is a man or woman they can trust. How a candidate acts when seeking power will tell you how they will use that power if elected. Andrew Gillum has questions about his tenure as mayor in Tallahassee but it is hard to know what really happened. However, we can look at his campaign finance disclosers to see how he follows the law while he is seeking power. All candidates are told how they have to report donations to their campaigns and the limits on how much they can accept from each contributor. According to the Florida Division of Elections Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may make contributions in excess of:$3,000 to a candidate for statewide office... From a list of donors who donated more than $200 to Andrew Gillum's campaign, I found 25 who exceeded $3000. There a probably more but these 25 are a clear-cut violation of the limits. In the six years, I have been looking into campaign finance disclosures, I have never seen these many violations of the campaign limit law. Another problem with Gillum's Financial Discloser is the unusual amount of missing information on contributors that is required by law. The Florida website states: Candidates and committees must report all contributions, loans, expenditures, distributions, and transfers, regardless of the amount. They must report the full name and address of each person contributing or receiving the expenditure and, for contributions over $100, the occupation. I found 156 contributors that donated more than $200 who supplied no address at all, yet Gillum accepted the $37,000 in improperly documented funds. Ron DeSantis had about 12 without addresses with "retired" being the prevalent occupation. Another unusual thing I found is that Gillum had 177 donors who contributed over $200 who had "NONE" as their occupation but gave $118,900.00 to Gillum. In contrast, Ron DeSantis had no one listing their occupation as "NONE". What is most unusual is that 2697 contributors said they were "NOT EMPLOYED", yet they managed to donate $1,850,994.74 to Gillum's campaign. In fact the category of "NOT EMPLOYED" contributed more to Gillum, than any other occupational group. Compare that to Ron DeSantis who had zero "NOT EMPLOYED" in his disclosure Both Gillum and DeSantis had donors who claimed they were the "UNEMPLOYED" but they were few in number In total Gillum received almost two million dollars from donators who had no occupation or refused to disclose it or their employer. Gillum’s Campaign is either very careless or they just do not care about the law. Neither is acceptable for a prospective governor. Whether it is carelessness or lawlessness, we need a governor who will obey the laws that they supposed to enforce. Andrew Gillum does not yet seem to understand that core principle.

Wahhhh, Wahhhh, I want my mommy....bye bye Joe Blow....

At least he makes a point. All you are doing is attacking this person.

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