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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist will disclose inaugural money



Beginning today, Gov.-elect Charlie Crist will disclose donations to his inaugural committee on a weekly basis on Fridays. So the public will know sooner, rather than later, if anybody is really willing to pony up $500,000 to get the silk tie and engraved cuff links. (Site:

Crist's inaugural committee is racing to raise at least $2.5-million to pay for festivities surrounding the Jan. 2 swearing-in of the governor-elect.

Crist's non-profit committee is set up as a 527 under the IRS code and a new state law requires prompt disclosure of contributions to 527s in which state officials are directly or indirectly involved. But the law (Senate Bill 716) defines contribution as a payment to influence an election outcome.

"It's his decision," Crist spokeswoman Eric Isaac said of the disclosure of inaugural donations. "He is all about transparency."

Common Cause's Ben Wilcox described the solicitation of $500,000 checks to the inaugural as "mind-boggling," and clear evidence of lobbyists and special interests "buying access" to Crist.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:42am]


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