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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House GOP votes to keep credit card statements private



House Republicans just voted down an amendment to a campaign finance bill that would have required leadership funds to file reports showing each credit card purchase. The language -- which is the source of much recent controversy -- was tucked at the end of an amendment, offered by Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, a Sarasota Democrat. It failed on a party line vote 42-69.

UPDATED 11:15 a.m.: The House passed the bill 73-42 after the GOP leadership withstood a dozen amendments offered by Democrats to provide more transparency and limit the influence of money. Despite this, Republican supporters labeled the measure (HB1207) a "transparency" measure and refuted that it created leadership funds -- until Democrat Rep. Rick Kriseman read the old law and the new law, showing them identical. Three GOP lawmakers did defect from the party-line debate to vote for an amendment that would have required callers conducting push-polls to identify their organization.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:30pm]


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