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Posted on October 23, 2016
Loranne Ausley, Democratic candidate for Florida House District 9, is running a campaign that criticizes the power of special interests while taking significant contributions from special interests.
Tallahassee Reports has learned that Ausley has accepted large contributions given by corporate interests through a political action committee (PAC) called Florida 2020.
Paperwork on file with the Department of State lists the PAC address of Florida 2020 as 118 North Gadsden Street in Tallahassee and notes that Ms. Ausley is the chairperson and the registered agent.
As of the latest reporting period, Florida 2020 has raised $105,523. Top contributors include some of the most powerful corporate interests in Florida.
The top contributors are listed below:
FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY (PRIVATE UTILITY), $10,000
DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES, INC.,$10,000
THE FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, $10,000
FLORIDA JOBS PAC, $5,000
FCCI SERVICES (INSURANCE), $5,000
TECO ENERGY (PRIVATE UTILITY), $5,000
UNITED STATES SUGAR CORPORATION $5,000
Our report comes after Ausley has released a campaign advertisement titled ‘Everyday People.”
The advertisement features Ausley who states, “Everyday working people, that is who I represent. But right now special interests run our state government and control our legislators. They get the benefits and we get the cuts. I ‘m Loranne Ausley and I stand with you….”
See advertisement below:
In the advertisement, it appears Ms. Ausley is criticizing the same special interests that are providing significant financial support to her campaign.
In addition, some of the PAC contributors represent policy positions that are in direct opposition to the public positions taken by Ms. Ausley.
For example, Ms. Ausley’s PAC took $15,000 from private utilities that are supporting the passage of Amendment One, a controversial referendum dealing with solar power. Ms. Ausley has spoken out against Amendment One.
Also, Ms. Ausley writes on her website that she “will stand up to those who would rather play political games than preserve the natural resources that help make Florida a great place to live…”
However, a recent investigative report by the Miami Herald found the sugar industry spent more than $57 million over 22 years to influence Florida campaigns and minimize clean-up costs and postpone deadlines.
Despite a number of local forums, no local media has covered the Florida 2020 PAC and how it relates to the election of the Florida House District 9 representative.
Ms. Ausley has refused to talk to Tallahassee Reports and has recently backed out of a political forum held by NEBA, the Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates. The forum was scheduled to feature Ausley and her opponent, GOP candidate Jim Messer.