Troxler: How to fix money in Florida politics
Howard Troxler's Sunday column focuses on how to fix money in Florida politics:
(1) Make it illegal for sitting members of the Florida Legislature to operate these committees, or to take any money for that matter, other than for their own re-election account.
(2) Require every campaign ad to report its backers. My model for this is the "nutritional analysis" we see on everything we buy at the grocery store these days.
On the first point, I think we can constitutionally ban sitting legislators from taking these payoffs. The act of writing the law is so important, and the potential for corruption so great, that we are entitled to ban direct payoffs to the law writers. In legal terms, there is a "compelling interest" that justifies it.
As for the second point, I think that every committee or campaign ad ought to have to list its major contributors in a box, akin to the nutritional label. It is technically possible, it is not burdensome, and it is entirely justified by the compelling public interest in knowing whose money is paying for the campaign.
At the very least, I would ban members of the Legislature from taking unlimited payoffs. No doubt this concept will seem bizarre and alien to the Capitol culture. But I appeal to the common sense of the rest of the world.