Government has an interest in providing the electorate with information about election-related spending sources. Transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different messages.
Transparency has been lost with the proliferation of political committees being formed in Florida and their ability to move money around to operate in the shadows.
A significant number of the nearly 1,000 political committees active in Florida are frequently interrelated, passing money to each other in ways that make the elections process even murkier.
Here are two excellent articles on this issue that came out this weekend;
Florida voters may see these committees listed in disclaimers on mailers or hear their names at the end of a radio advertisement, but voters trying to search online for additional information may not find the full story of a political committee.
Information on political committees are found in multiple state databases that must be searched individually and pieced together. Even then, pertinent information that would help voters understand a committee’s role in any race can be elusive.
For example, the disclaimer on an electioneering mailer will show the political committee that paid for the mail piece, but when you check the expenditure report on the state campaign finance database, that political committee has only received money from other political committees, when you check those political committees, many times they also have only received money from other political committees, making it nearly impossible to find the original source of funds.
SB 1178 & HB 1057 simply prohibits the transfer of money between political committees or electioneering communication organization and does not restrict free speech in any way. Political committees can be formed, raise and spend unlimited money to influence an election, except now we will know where the money is coming from. SB 1178 and HB 1057 will make the election process more transparent and allow voters to make informed decisions about a candidate.
The powerful elites running Tallahassee do not want to see these bills see the light of day in any committee, they want to continue to operate in the shadows to hide the millions of dollars they use to control legislation that benefits their own self-interest at our expense.
Call the Chairs of the Ethics and Election Committee and the Oversight, Transparency and Ethics Subcommittee and tell them to schedule these bills in their next committee meeting.
Call and email Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Chair of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and tell her to schedule SB 1178 in the next Ethics and Elections Committee meeting.
Phone: (850) 487-5028
Call Representative Neil Combee, Chair of the Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee and tell him to schedule HB 1057 in the next Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee meeting.
Phone: (850) 717-5039