Florida chief financial officer and Democratic candidate for governor Alex Sink has launched her own 527 committees, Hold Them Accountable Inc., which will be able to accept unlimited campaign contributions provided they are disclosed.
According to the Florida Division of Elections, Sink signed a “statement of solicitation” allowing her to raise money for the group and formalizing her connection to it on Aug. 31. Sink campaign lawyer Ronald G. Meyer formed the committee on Aug. 16, and Liana Fox, a Hillsborough Community College professor and member of Sink’s “financial literacy team” as CFO is listed as the treasurer/chairperson. The sole contribution so far is $500 from Sink campaign finance chairman Richard Swann.
On Sept. 2, at a press conference with Bud Chiles, after he dropped out of the race for governor, Sink said, “If my campaign decides to set up a 527, then the contributions will be fully transparent.” However, based on records filed with the IRS and the Florida Division of Elections, that decision had already been made, and Sink herself had signed a statement of solicitation for the group two days before.
Chiles, who endorsed Sink after dropping out of the race, had called 527 financings “legal money laundering” and supported legislation that would require every 527 groups to disclose every donor above $500 on its television ads or mailers.
Meanwhile, her Republican opponent Rick Scott’s 527, Let’s Get to Work, continues to accept contributions after the primary. On Aug. 30, South Florida Stadium LLC, the company that owns the Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium, gave $100,000 to the group. The group continued to spend money after the primary on media purchases, mailings, consulting, phone banking, and research.
Scott’s campaign issued a statement Thursday to the Palm Beach Post saying that they have filed a motion in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta seeking to convert a temporary injunction — valid through the primary election — into a permanent injunction, invalidating the state spending cap. Sink’s campaign hasn’t made a decision whether to take public money, but if she decides to and the injunction stays valid, then this new 527 is an alternative form of financing that would soften the blow for her.
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.