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Friday, 25 April 2014 13:50

Political influence of Florida energy biz

Written by  Integrity Florida


[Ed. note: Integrity Florida's report substantiates in polite language that:
1. The infamous Florida legislature is corrupted by huge financial donations
2. The greater public good suffers tremendously
3. Long overdue ethics reform is needed


By Ben Wilcox and Dan Krassner
Integrity Florida
March 31, 2014

Nonpartisan government watchdog group Integrity Florida released a research report titled “Power Play: Political influence of Florida’s top energy corporations” on March 31, 2014.

Click here to read the press release.

The findings conclude that, increasingly, the Florida Legislature sets its agenda and policy outcomes based on the needs of large political donors rather than the public interest.  In one recent example, the sitting state senate president openly explained his position on a public policy issue as supporting whatever one major campaign donor tells him to support.  A large Budweiser distributor contributed nearly $300,000 to political candidates and committees aligned with Senate President Don Gaetz and had the edge on its smaller craft beer industry competitors.

A similar pattern exists for the energy sector in Florida where the Florida Legislature maintains a traditional, regulated monopoly-utility model.  This report examines the political influence of the state’s four largest electric utility companies: Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy (formerly Progress Energy), TECO Energy and Gulf Power.

These four corporations registered, on average, one lobbyist for every two state legislators each legislative session between 2007 and 2013.  For the last five election cycles, these electric utilities were among the largest donors to state-level campaigns in Florida. ...

More, including summary and recommendations, which includes stronger ethics rules, inspector reports in the transparent sunshine so public and see what's happening, gift and client disclosures made public, electric bill transparency etc.



Last modified on Friday, 25 April 2014 14:06
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