State Rep. Jackie Toldeo (R-FL)is running for the U.S. Congress in Florida's 15th District and was able to raise almost $100,000 during the recently concluded legislative session.
Rep. Toledo's total fundraising haul during the legislative session was $93,450. Toledo raised this amount from February 25 to March 14.
Toledo, who recently served on the Florida House's Public Integrity and Ethics Committee, waited until March 8 to make her congressional campaign announcement.
It's common practice for state lawmakers to raise money for their federal races but cannot fundraise if they are running for reelection or for another state-level position, which is completely legal.
Is this fair to state-level lawmakers looking to raise cash for their races?
But just because she was allowed to raise money for her federal race, did Jackie Toledo exploit a loophole in violation of the “spirit" of State Ethics Rule Fifteen?
As Article 15.3 (c) in the rules of the Florida House of Representatives reads, "A member may neither solicit nor accept any campaign contribution for state, district, county, or municipal office during the 60-day regular legislative session or any extended or special session on the member's own behalf, on behalf of a political party, on behalf of any organization with respect to which the member's solicitation is regulated under s. 106.0701, Florida Statutes, or on behalf of a candidate for the House of Representatives; however, a member may contribute to the member's own campaign."
Possible punishments for this infractions would include, but are not limited to, "fined, censured, reprimanded, placed on probation, or expelled or have such other lesser penalty imposed as may be appropriate." This would also only occur if two-thirds of the House votes in favor of disciplining the colleague.
Sine die occurred at 11:59 PM on March 14. Rule 15.3 prohibits soliciting or accepting campaign contributions during the legislative session.
Toledo is currently running in a contested primary race against former US Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL).