Conflicts and Corruption

Florida lawmakers feed on special-interest money

In the latest election cycle, dozens of Florida legislators raked in $6 million in special-interest campaign money and spent a good deal of it on themselves for meals, rental cars, plane trips and hotels. Some lawmakers are feeding at the trough of contributors, enjoying expensive dinners at upscale restaurants with donors’ money at a time when one in 10 Floridians are on food stamps. Others are churning cash from one political committee to another, sing it to finance direct contributions and attack ads for other candidates, thereby strengthening their own clout in a virtually untraceable shell game.

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