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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Going green, but not how you think



A political committee controlled by two Republican legislators from Manatee County continues to rake in big-dollar contributions from interesting sources. Citizens for Housing and Urban Growth, run by Sen. Mike Bennett and Rep. Ron Reagan, just logged in a $50,000 check from a Largo company, Angelo's Aggregate Materials. The firm's plan to expand a landfill near Dade City -- which requires approval by the state Department of Environmental Protection -- has stirred environmental concerns as far away as Tampa.

Bennett and Reagan are among about two dozen Florida lawmakers who control fund-raising groups known as CCEs, committees of continuous existence. The committees appeal to lawmakers because they are not subject to the $500 contribution limits that apply to a legislator's own election campaign. CHUG has to date taken in more than $700,000. Under Senate rules, Bennett must maintain a committee website and to promptly post contributions (the House has no similar rule). The committee's biggest recent expenditure is $14,000 to Bill Helmich's Tallahassee consulting firm.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:19am]


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