In-depth Report: Following the political money in Florida

Whenever you find corruption and cronyism in government the first thing to do is follow the money. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10. Politicians are known for piercing themselves, repeatedly.

Two organizations are helping shine the light of day on how money is used in Florida campaigns.

Dan Krassner, Co-Founder and Executive Director Integrity Florida and Ben Wilcox, Research Director Integrity Florida, in an email state, “Florida is considering replacement of its outdated website for tracking money in politics with a statewide electronic filing system for all state and local campaign finance data.”

As this potential solution is reviewed by policymakers to help the public follow the money, the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University and Integrity Florida, today, released the latest installment in the Tough Choices report series:

Tough Choices: Best Practices in Campaign Finance and Public Access to Information. The report, an in-depth analysis of Florida’s campaign finance policies compared to other states in the U.S., found that Florida’s 2013 reform legislation set the right path, but more could be done to improve transparency.

“I am proud of our progress in making Florida’s campaign finance reporting system more transparent through stricter reporting requirements,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford. “We can always do more to increase transparency and accountability, and I appreciate the LeRoy Collins Institute’s and Integrity Florida’s thoughtful suggestions.”

The report found:

The 2013 Florida law on campaign finance is clearly moving the state toward more transparency, aligning with the state’s proud open government culture. The raising of campaign finance limits, while controversial, positions the state near the median of the country, and the call for a comprehensive state-local campaign finance data set will make it easier for citizens to hold their elected officials accountable. While the legislative call for an enhanced statewide campaign finance website that includes local data is an ambitious project, it has tremendous potential to provide valuable information to Floridians and strengthen the Sunshine State’s reputation for open government.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to review the Florida Division of Elections proposal.