Five Other Companies Besides Publix That Gave Big Money to "NRA Sellout" Adam Putnam

Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam
Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam Florida House of Representatives

Florida gubernatorial candidate, Rick Scott ally, and self-proclaimed "Proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam will pretty much take campaign money from anyone. Case in point: He scheduled a fundraiser last week with a man who was previously videotaped repeatedly shooting two dogs. Putnam responded by saying that the donation from said dog-shooter was fine, since his opponent, the Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis, "took donations from Democrats," because apparently, Democrats are morally equivalent to people who shoot dogs.

But one of Putnam's big donors has spent the last week gravely regretting their financial support: Publix faced a "die-in" from Parkland survivors, led by David Hogg, over the $650,000 the grocery chain has given Putnam over the last three years. Gun-control advocates demanded Floridians boycott Publix until the company changes its ways — and, in response, Publix agreed to suspend its political donations and reevaluate where its money goes.

For gun-control advocates, that's a victory (though it's unlikely Publix will stop donating political cash overall), but there are a whole bunch of other Florida corporations and executives still propping up the "proud NRA sellout."

Those companies have so far evaded criticism for their donations — here are the most prominent few:

1. Florida Power & Light. FPL, the company that spent millions trying to con Floridians into giving up their solar-power rights in 2016, runs a nuclear plant in Homestead that polluted Miami's drinking water supply and remains a massive carbon polluter contributing to climate change. According to the Miami Herald, FPL had already given Putnam's "Florida Grown" political-action committee a whopping $587,060 as of March 2017.

2. Big Sugar. U.S. Sugar and Florida Crystals are the only companies that Florida environmentalists hate more than utility firms. Environmentalists blame Big Sugar for polluting the Everglades and the state's drinking-water supply. According to a Treasure Cost Palm analysis from last month, U.S. Sugar has given Putnam's PAC $340,000 since 2017, while Florida Crystals has kicked in $65,000.

3. Walt Disney World. Much like Publix, Disney is another beloved Florida corporation with absolutely garbage politics. The company was the subject of a huge labor protest earlier this year, which somehow didn't get much national press attention. According to Florida Division of Elections, the Big Mouse has pumped $510,000 into Putnam's PAC since 2017.

4. Comcast and AT&T. According to state records, Comcast dumped $75,000 into the Florida Grown PAC in the last 12 months. AT&T pitched in $25,000, too. If you don't already despise these companies, then — congrats! You must be the CEO of Comcast yourself. Your life sounds cool. Can we have $75,000, too?

5. Private Prison Giant GEO Group. GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, is the second-largest private-prison company in America. They control both standard prisons and even a bunch of detention centers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union said that ICE guards at a GEO facility in Arizona were torturing Iraqi inmates. GEO has repeatedly been sued for allegedly forcing immigration detainees to work for food, has been accused of sucking money out of defenseless prisoners for necessary items, has been accused of mismanaging millions in federal money, and operated a Southern California facility that was named the "deadliest ICE detention center of 2017." The company helped prop up Donald Trump's presidential campaign — and has donated at least $50,000 to Putnam's PAC, per state records.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.