Dockery says FB post breaks no fundraising rules; critics disagree
UPDATE: We just read a copy of the Senate rules, which say that any fundraising activity otherwise prohibited during an extended or special session "shall not be considered a violation" if the event was scheduled before the call for a special or extended session.
Sen. Paula Dockery, the moderate Republican running against AG Bill McCollum for the gubernatorial Republican primary, says her recent Facebook page post inviting "friends" to a fundraiser this weekend was not a violation of Senate money-raising rules -- contrary to what her opponents are whispering.
But the Lakeland lawmaker took the post down this morning anyway, "in an abundance of caution." When the Times/Herald asked Dockery about it earlier today, she said she doesn't always man her FB candidate page and was not aware someone on the campaign had posted fundraiser information. She said she did not want the information posted on the page. Within 15 minutes, the post was gone.
Dockery said she didn't consider it a rule breaker, though, stressing that Senate rules against soliciting donations during a session or special session only apply to senators seeking re-election to the chamber.
"I'm not seeking re-election."
Meanwhile, Rep. David Rivera of Miami transformed a planned fundraiser into a "meet and greet." And Sen. Dave Aronberg wasn't around the Capitol on Monday as the special session was under way -- he was at a fundraiser in Tampa. Aronberg's absence Monday left the regulated industries committee without a quorum.
Ouch. There's fodder for Aronberg's opponent for the Democratic primary for Attorney General, Sen. Dan Gelber, who was in Tallahassee for the session.