Will Rick Scott’s opposition to campaign reform doom ethics overhaul?by Dara Kam | April 9th, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott’s opposition to proposed campaign finance changes will also doom an ethics reform, the two top priorities of House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, according to the lead GOP senator on both issues.
The campaign finance proposal, a priority of Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, approved by his chamber last month would boost individual contribution limits from $500 to $3,000 for local and legislative candidates and to $5,000 for statewide candidates.
Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers on Monday told The Associated Press that the governor “can’t imagine signing a bill” that would raise contributions by any amount.
The Senate proposal, approved by the Rules Committee Tuesday, would keep the contribution levels but impose more frequent reporting requirements for political committees.
“My feeling is that the governor has probably sapped the energy out of campaign any campaign fiannce bill this session,” Senate Ethics and Elections Committee Chairman Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg. told reporters Tuesday.
The House hasn’t moved on the ethics package, a priority of Gaetz, R-Niceville, since receiving it from the Senate, which passed it on the first day of the legislative session 31 days ago.
“Unfortunately, the House is tying their campaign finance bill to our ethics bill, which we passed as our first order of business on the first day of session and has now been over there for 31 days, just sitting,” he said. “They wanted these changes in campaign finance in return for doing some fairly sensible, easy to understand things on ethics. That’s a shame. What I’ve been told is they had to have campaign finance to pass our ethics package.”