Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Republican Party of Florida raises $4.9 million in first quarter

Florida's economy may be rocky, but corporations are flooding the coffers of the party that controls virtually every lever of power in state government.

The Republican Party of Florida raised $4.9 million in the first three months of 2011. That's four times as much as the Florida Democratic Party and over $1 million more than the state Republican Party did at this point in the last presidential election cycle.

Campaign contributions tend to open doors in the Legislature, and some of Florida's biggest businesses showed their generosity to Republicans in the months before the 2011 session convened: $250,000 to the state party from Florida Power & Light, $200,000 from Progress Energy and $180,000 from TECO Energy — utilities keenly interested in a renewable energy bill that would allow hefty rate increases. Blue Cross Blue Shield, closely involved in health care overhauls and state employee benefits, gave $250,000, and the political action committee of the Florida Chamber of Commerce gave $200,000.

Democrats have little influence left on state policies and it showed in the party's $1.2 million fundraising total. Even the reliably pro-Democratic American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees gave $50,000 to the Republican Party and $5,000 to the Democrats.

The Democratic Party's biggest donor was STM Consulting, a Jacksonville construction and management company that gave $120,000. Other donors: Blue Cross Blue Shield, $100,000; FPL, $75,000; TECO, $62,500; AT&T, $40,000; and Joseph Strasser, a retired government employee in Jacksonville, $40,000.

Factoring in political committees and lawmakers' campaign accounts, FPL doled out at least $313,000. Blue Cross Blue Shield contributed even more: at least $449,000 in the first quarter to the parties, lawmakers and political committees.

The Democratic Party spent more than $1 million in the first quarter, including tens of thousands to help elect a Democratic mayor of Jacksonville.

The Republican Party spent $2.6 million in that period, including $132,000 for legal expenses, $61,000 to the pollster Gov. Rick Scott used, and $69,000 to a consultant advising the U.S. Senate campaign of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos. A party spokesman said the money was not for work on the Haridopolos campaign.

Republican Party of Florida raises $4.9 million in first quarter 04/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings