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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

NFL spreads campaign money in Florida



green-bay-packers-nfl-money-clip.jpgAre you ready for some ... campaign cash?

As America sits down for the Packers-Steelers, the watchdogs at highlight the growing political presence of the NFL. Its PAC, which did not give any money in 2008, has been showering lawmakers with money and some Floridians are among the top recipients.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the South Florida Democrat who helps with party election efforts nationally, got $10,000 in 2010, putting her in company with only a few others. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, each got $5,000; Rep. John Mica, R-Orlando, got $3,535; Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, got $2,000; and Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, got $1,000. Sen. Bill Nelson received $5,000.

The league and its allies have also sharply increased lobbying efforts -- more than any other professional sport -- as issues like concussions and labor matters have attracted lawmakers' attention.

[Last modified: Sunday, February 6, 2011 3:16pm]


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