Everyone says that they're for open and transparent elections and campaign finance. But in reality, what we legally allow makes a mockery of the current system.
I know this personally. I was targeted in my 2016 campaign for the Florida House by about $100,000 in attack mailers from obscure political committees. But I did not know -- and still do not know -- who was behind those attack ads because special interests are allowed to launder their campaign dollars through multiple committees to hide their identities. They can remain in the shadows and secretly fund their dirty political ads. This is simply wrong.
Honestly, I can't take a cup of coffee and not report it without violating laws and getting fined. But somebody, somewhere, anywhere, can spend the value of a house against me in negative ads and no one ever knows who did it. I'm a CPA and I can track it for awhile, but at some point it falls into a black hole -- almost like a clearinghouse -- of these political committees and then neither I or anyone can trace where the money is actually coming from.
This is a real problem.
Authored & Sponsored The "Eliminate Dark Money" Bill In Florida
As a Member of the Florida House of Representatives, I authored H.B. 1057 in order to block the transfer of money from one political committee to another political committee, which would be a big step towards full transparency.
This simple fix to a loophole in our campaign finance laws would help bring much needed sunshine by ensuring that all voters have the ability to see who is funding the support or opposition to a candidate running for office.
This effort earned me a Champion Award from the Orlando Sentinel, and it's not something that I will give up on.