A last-minute fundraising frenzy? Not quite
From left, Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, (D), Deerfield Beach, Rep. Betty Reed, (D), Tampa, and Rep. Perry Thurston, (D), Plantation, attend a fund raiser, Monday at Clyde's & Costello's in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
The day before the legislative session begins finds legislators dashing around Tallahassee, picking up checks from lobbyists and clients. (Most fundraising is banned during the 60-day session that starts Tuesday.)
The level of intensity was clearly down from the same day a year ago. Dozens of lawmakers had events scheduled Monday, but some were poorly attended -- like the midday event at Clyde's & Costello's held by three Democrats, Reps. Betty Reed of Tampa, Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed of Deerfield Beach and Hazelle Rogers of Lauderdale Lakes.
"Maybe you guys are scaring them (donors) off," joked Rogers, as reporters hovered on the sidewalk outside the venerable watering hole. A small wicker basket on the table held only a few envelopes.
"It's the economy," said Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation. "But we're not complaining."
Among the others who were raising money Monday were Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, and Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, the two Democrats running for attorney general; and Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, who is in line to become speaker in 2014.