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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The lavish political operation of Chris Dorworth, Fla's cash-strapped future speaker



State Rep. Chris Dorworth is a study in political contradictions.

His personal finances are a shambles, but his ability to raise and spend political money in the capital is nearly unmatched.

dorworth.pngHe has a Duke University MBA, yet is racked by business failures: He lists a net worth of negative $56,290, making him on paper one of the poorest members of the Florida Legislature.

His own house is in foreclosure, but he's poised to become speaker of the Florida House in two years.

Dorworth uses his power base in the Capitol and his skill at raising special interest money to sustain a nearly $1 million personal political fund called Citizens for an Enterprising Democracy.

Super-sized campaign contributions allow Dorworth to employ a travel aide, campaign strategist, fundraising consultant and media adviser. It's all legal.

He pays for airplane trips and catered meals, using unrestricted political donations from an array of interests that covet his support, from citrus growers to health care insurers to law firms to Internet cafes. In July, Disney Worldwide Services stroked an $80,000 check to Dorworth.

Story here

[Last modified: Sunday, September 16, 2012 10:37pm]


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