Republican power brokers raise money to protect redistricting laws
The top four Republicans in the Florida House and Senate have signed up to raise money for Protect Your Vote, the electioneering committee created by former Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning to "nix" Amendments 5 and 6, two constitutional amendments intended to prevent lawmakers from gerrymandering legislative and congressional districts.
So far, the alliance of incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos; likely 2013-14 Senate President Don Gaetz; incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon; and probable 2013-14 House Speaker Will Weatherford has netted a $25,000 check from TECO Energy in Tampa.
Meanwhile, the authors of the proposed amendments, FairDistrictsFlorida.org, have collected $5.8 million. Of that total, $1 million is from the state and national teachers unions, and another $500,000 is from a political action committee run by Florida Education Association's former communications director, Bill Phillips.Phillips' group, Florida Watch Ballot Committee, received $500,000 from America Votes four days before transferring it to FairDistricts.
The Protect Your Vote team has put together its own analysis, claiming 25 percent of FairDistricts' money is from unions, 25 percent is from lawyers and 23 percent is from "other major liberal donors and groups."