Florida legislators are prohibited from fundraising during the yearly legislative session, but it appears as if a hand full of Florida Democratic lawmakers forgot about longstanding Rule 15:3, and decided to raise cash anyways.
According to Florida House Republicans, no less than 10 Democratic legislators appear to have raised a total of $115,000 for their respective campaigns during this year's session, which began on January 11th and ended on March 14th.
Here is the list of Democratic lawmakers and how much they took in during the session:
Joe Cassello (D-Boynton Beach) - $2,000
Kevin Chambliss (D-Homestead) - $1,075
Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) - $3,299.96
Michael Gottlieb (D-Davie) - $2,000
Dianne Hart (D-Tampa) - $5,700
Yvonne Hinson (D-Gainesville)- $2,225
Dottie Joseph (D-North Miami) - $1,000
Andrew Learned (D-Brandon) - $10,854
Michelle Rayner (St. Petersburg) - $2,260
David Silvers (D-Palm Beach) - $85,750
Much like most of the group, Rep. Eskamani took in her donations during both the regular session and the subsequent special sessions, while Rep. Hinson only accepted donations during two special sessions.
One thing to point out is that Eskamani took in about $1,000 on the first two days of the regular session (Jan 12-13) so it could be argued that the “check was in the mail” and was posted on those days.
Rep. Learned could argue that he too received checks ($7,100 worth) after the regular session began. Learned received the bulk of the $10,854 in question on January 14th.
But what about the other days?
Rep. Silvers appears to not have received the memo having raised almost $86,000 while he was up in Tallahassee.
“It’s ‘rules for thee but not for me’ as far as Florida Democrats are concerned. Either they are deliberately breaking the rules, or this is another glaring example of the inept chaos that exists at the Florida Democrat Party,” stated a spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida - House Campaigns.
Here is how Rule 15:3 of the Florida House of Representatives reads:
(c) A member may neither solicit nor accept any campaign contribution 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.