Maplight, a group that monitors the connection between money and politics, has released a report that says the state of Florida is “owned” by a conservative group called the Club for Growth.
The report is “an analysis of campaign contributions from companies and organizations to the sitting members of Congress from each state,” a press release explains. According to the group’s release, “this research data in a visualization, displaying logos of each state’s ‘owner,’ [makes] it possible to see which groups are seeking to influence members of Congress across the country.”
According to the group, Florida’s No. 1 “owner” is the Club for Growth. In total, the group has donated $355,391 to Florida’s congressional delegation.
The Center for Responsive Politics lists the Club for Growth as one of the “heavy hitters” in the world of political contributions. According to the Center, Club for Growth ”is a conservative political action group that seeks to promote public policies that support a fiscally conservative economic agenda”:
The Club accomplishes its mission by raising money through its political action committee and donating it to candidates that adhere to this vision. It also solidifies its clout through independent expenditures through a separate 527 committee. The Club’s PAC also acts as a conduit for federal candidates by accepting and transmitting earmarked contributions from the club’s many members to federal candidates. Historically, the Club has contributed to the campaigns of Republicans; and the Club’s conduit activities and adherence to a cornerstone of conservative philosophy give it serious clout in Washington — conservative candidates often battle for the Club’s endorsement, particularly during intra-party primaries. The Club also recorded some lobbying expenditures earlier in the decade. During the 2010 election cycle, it spent more then $8.2 million primarily advocating for Republican candidates or against Democratic candidates through television, radio and other communications known as independent expenditures.
The Nation described the group this past February as “an organization funded by extremely wealthy conservatives to carry out their budget-stripping goals” that “has been a key player in Republican Governor Scott Walker’s move to take out the state’s organized workers.” The Nation‘s John Nichols has reported that “the Club for Growth is part of a ‘national strategy’ to get ‘newly elected Republican governors’ to destroy labor and unions.”
Maplight lists Publix Super Markets, Florida Crystals, National Beer Wholesalers Association and Honeywell as other big contributors to Florida congress members. These groups have contributed $270,800, $231,550, $202,500 and $191,768, respectively.