Florida Republicans Are Doing the Bidding of Corporations Thanks to Huge Campaign Donations

Florida's government is apparently "for the corporations, by the corporation." Gov. Rick Scott promised to run Florida like a business, and his fellow Republicans in the legislature are pushing through many "pro-business" reforms.

They also happen to be taking in tons of cash from corporations. For example, a company that deals in private prisons has given about $100,000 in the first three months of the year to GOP politicians in Florida, so it's really no surprise those same politicians are pushing through plans to privatize prisons in South Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel has found that "the top two dozen companies and interest groups gave a combined $4.2 million during the first three months of 2011 -- a bit more than $500,000 to Democrats and the rest to the Republican Party of Florida, individual GOP lawmakers or the political funds they control."

Unsurprisingly, those companies have found some of their pet legislation glide through the legislature.

  • Walt Disney Co. shelled out $188,010 and a bill that would eliminate tax advantages for online travel companies that the company opposes has found itself stalled.
  • Universal Orlando has given $181,549 (most in in-kind donations, meaning they let Republicans use their theme parks for fundraising events) and is championing a bill for tax cuts for filming in Florida.
  • The Florida Association of Realtors has given a whopping $275,500 and coincidentally wants to put an amendment on the ballot to lower property taxes.
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida donated $449,500, the most of any entity, which is unsurprising given that health care reform has become a hot button issue.
  • That private prison company, the GEO Group gave $106,000 in total, and now both houses of the legislature have plans to privatize prisons.

While many of these groups and businesses say they are only favoring Republicans in their political donations because they are following "the will of the people," The Orlando Sentinel points out that many of these same groups helped to recruit Republicans to run for open seats and helped finance their campaigns in the first place.

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