Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill filed for sweeping elections changes



From the Fine Print:With less than three weeks left in the session, the Senate is about to unveil a major elections measure that could greatly reshape the 2010 elections, as well as change the role of the two political parties.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Thursday will consider SB 956 - a so-called "shell bill" sponsored by Sen. J.D Alexander. Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla has come up with a 72-page amendment that covers everything from the purging of voter names from the rolls, voter registration, interviewing voters outside of polling places, allows for the recreation of leadership funds by the Senate President and House Speaker, and gives sitting lawmakers more control over the state party.Some of the major changes include:

* Taking away the governor's ability to appoint 10 people to the state executive committee that picks the chairman of the party. Current Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer got his job initially with the help of that change. The new measure would instead increase the representation on the executive committee of sitting state legislators.

* Allows political committees formed in other states to work in Florida - without having to comply with any laws requiring registration or disclosure of finances.

* Allows potential candidates for office to do polls testing the waters without having to open a campaign account first. Political parties could also do polls on potential candidates and share the results.

* Expands the type of help that political parties can do on behalf of candidates, including spending unlimited amounts on "communications media."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:36pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours