Ready, Set, Raise!

Florida lawmakers are dividing their time between work at the statehouse by day, and working the room at nearby fundraisers by night with more of latter than the former as the dash for cash gets frenzied. A prohibition against soliciting money during the regular session means compressing all the fundraising into a cartoonishly hectic chunk.

Everyone agrees that the hunger for money among legislators has grown more acute:


The "battleground fundraiser" could cost a lobbyist $9,000, the equivalent of the maximum $500 donation to all 18 members.

"That's ridiculous," said Miami Beach lobbyist Bob Levy as he scurried between events with a fistful of checks in hand along with a client who runs a tow-truck operators' association.

"This week there are more fundraisers than there are bills moving," said Levy, who also represents several cities.

 

While prohibiting fundraising while the legislature is in session is a good first step against the influence of campaign donations on legislation, this article demonstrates that money and needing to raise it is still too dominant an activity in the state lawmaker's schedule: anyone for a Clean Elections program instead?