Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Charlie Crist and his running mate, Karla Hernandez-Mats, are campaigning on the narrative that they haven’t been “bought by special interests,” but that assertion appears to be far from the truth.
As energy prices in Florida skyrocket, Crist and Hernandez-Mats have criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis for allegedly protecting special interest groups like FPL.
“Florida is the least affordable state in the entire country. From housing costs to insurance premiums, Floridians are faced with costs that are just too high. Unlike Ron, Charlie and I are not bought by special interests. We will lower costs for Floridians,” stated Hernandez-Mats.
But how exactly will they do this?
Crist is campaigning against DeSantis and FPL and has not received a penny from the energy giant, according to state finance reports.
But while Crist may not have been “bought” by FPL and other energy groups, he has received a large sum of donations from another “special interest” group— the Trial
Schlesinger, one of the largest personal injury firms in Broward County, is supporting Crist’s gubernatorial campaign.
According to state campaign finance records, Crist and his political action committee, Friends of Charlie Crist, have received a slew of campaign donations from attorneys and firms with a vested interest in practices like land development and real estate brokerage, just to mention a couple.
Two of the largest land developers and Real Estate firms supporting Crist are Coastal Construction and The Koniver Stern Group, respectfully.
Here is snapshot of what Crist's financial disclosure looks like:
The Washington Years
Since first being elected to the U.S. Congress in 2016, Crist has racked up an impressive list of “special interest” support SEIU Teamsters, Teacher’s unions, and even Real Estate groups.
During his reelection campaign to the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm election cycle, Crist raised $3.3 million in total contributions, of which $984,000 came from, wait for it…wait for it…special interest groups.
These special interests groups range from the aforementioned Real Estate, land developers, and trial attorneys, but also include support from the pharmaceutical, technology, healthcare, labor, defense, and financial lobbies, just to mention a few others.
Albertine Enterprises, Inc., is a D.C-based advocacy company supporting Crist that advocates for “international trade, technology, financial services, and medical devices.”
In 2021, months before announcing his gubernatorial challenge to Gov. DeSantis, Crist raised $439,000 for his congressional campaign of which $94,500 came from some of the same special interest groups, including support from Big Pharma and current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
To defeat DeSantis in the general election, Crist must dig deep to raise enough campaign cash to compete with the record-breaking haul DeSantis recently raised.
DeSantis has raised ten times more cash than Crist.
Florida is the least affordable state in the entire country.
From housing costs to insurance premiums, Floridians are faced with costs that are just too high.
Unlike Ron, Charlie and I are not bought by special interests. We will lower costs for Floridians.
— Karla Hernández (@KarlaforFlorida) September 18, 2022