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House Goes After Political Slush Funds

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Every other November Floridians are bombarded with negative campaign ads. In state and local races, the committees creating the ads are normally funded by Committees of Continual Existence or CCEs. Confusing? Dan Krassner with Integrity Florida explains.

“CCEs are essentially a money pump. They can raise money, but they have to play a shell game that almost looks like money laundering to transfer funds elsewhere to be spent in campaigns,” said Krassner.

There more than 700 CCEs in Florida. They fatten the pockets of politicians and fill our commercial breaks with mud slinging. But that could all change this legislative session. House Speaker Will Weatherford is vowing to clean up Florida’s elections, no matter how complex the task.

“I had a lot of people tell me that campaign finance laws are too complex and it’s too hard to change them and many people have tried, but we’ve decided that complexity can’t be an excuse for inaction,” said Weatherford.

These are the campaign mailers I received during the last election cycle. In this hand are flyers from state and local elections and in this hand are attack ads from federal races. If the bill passes, many of these local attack ads may stop coming because politicians would have to put their names on them but there’s no fix in sight for congressional and presidential ads.

That’s because the US Supreme Court ruled Super PACs, which are essentially CCEs for federal races are completely legit, and nothing the state legislature does can stop them.

Beside’s eliminating CCEs the House bill would also raise the personal campaign contribution limit from five-hundred dollars to 10-thousand per election. Which means a person could give a candidate 10-thousand dollars in a primary race and 10-thousand more in the general election.


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