Watchdog reporting on the nation's largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light

‘Nightmare scenario’: How FPL secretly manipulated a Florida state Senate election

Florida Power & Light had a problem. A strong Democratic challenger was threatening to unseat a friendly Republican incumbent in a Gainesville-area state Senate race in 2018. FPL, one of the country’s largest utilities, needed to make sure the GOP held onto the seat. So FPL used a shadowy nonprofit group to secretly bankroll a spoiler candidate, a longtime Democrat named Charles Goston, according to new documents obtained by the Miami Herald. Running as a no-party candidate in the general election, Goston helped split the liberal vote, siphoning off enough votes from the Democratic challenger to swing the race to the GOP incumbent.

Powerbrokers: How FPL secretly took over a Florida news site and used it to bash critics

NOTE: I didn't write this but it provides important context for my coverage of FPL. When Florida Power & Light faced a spate of bad publicity and political blowback, a small but ambitious news website called the Capitolist sprang to the public utility’s defense. Taking aim at foes of FPL’s proposed rate hikes and controversial attempts to buy Jacksonville’s public utility, the Capitolist savaged the critics, impugning their motives and suggesting they were part of “dark money” schemes.

Panhandle backlash on FPL rate hike helped spark DeSantis veto of rooftop solar bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis surprised many in Florida’s environmental community when he vetoed Florida Power & Light’s priority bill that was intended to reduce rooftop solar expansion in Florida. Solar advocates said it was a signal the governor had put “energy freedom ahead of monopoly utility profit margins.” But in conservative Northwest Florida, residents say they deserve some of the credit, as their outrage at FPL and it’s handling of winter price hikes became a catalyst in the bill’s demise.

FPL supports customers paying subsidies but not when it comes to rooftop solar

The argument — that some customers subsidize other customers — is at the heart of the utility industry’s push to change the “net metering” financial terms that have helped expand the solar power industry. Opponents argue that there is no data to justify the claim but also point to another reason to oppose the net metering legislation in Florida: the utility industry’s own contradictions over subsidies.

Consultants named in ghost candidate probe ran gambling petition

The political consultants who created the funding structure for the 2020 ghost candidate scandal are now in the midst of another election controversy over possibly thousands of faked signatures submitted by the campaign that is trying to bring a casino to Jacksonville. Tallahassee-based political consultants Abigail MacIver, Dan Newman and Jeff Pitts, who run Canopy Partners, formed a subsidiary called Game Day Strategies with the goal of getting enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the 2022 November ballot.

This secretive group is trying to create barriers to amending Florida’s Constitution

A secretive organization with the goal of thwarting amendments approved by voters after the 2020 election cycle has spent more than $800,000 on paid petition gatherers in the last four months, using funds from undisclosed sources and raising the specter of another high stakes fight over the future of energy regulation in Florida. The organization calls itself Keep Our Constitution Clean and says its purpose is to keep the state’s premier legal document uncluttered by special interest measures.
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