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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Perspective From Florida

Two recent pieces from Florida shine a little light on the road campaign finance reform has traveled in the last thirty years.

Gary Fineout writes in today's Miami Herald about a new law signed by Governor Jeb Bush that requires disclosure of contributors to Committees of Continuous Existence, political groups set up by trade organizations, business groups, and the like. As one state lawmaker put it:
The public will be able to connect the dots between contributions and what's going on in the political process.

Compare the efforts in the Sunshine State of today with those of the pre-Buckley era in a great article by Martin Dyckman in The St. Petersburg Times. Dyckman writes about the steps Floridians took when Jack Eckerd (of the Eckerd Pharmacy chain) spent huge amounts of his vast personal fortune to run for governor.

The steps? Spending limits. And the effect? As Dyckman says:
It was no coincidence that some of the best people Florida ever elected began or advanced their careers on that leveled playing field.

Amen to that.

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