Shortly after passing two of their biggest priorities of the legislative session, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz said last week they were confident that Governor Rick Scott would sign off on the bills.
This after Scott said that the campaign finance may not be one that he can support. “I continue to say this, no one has shown me a rationale for raising these limits, so I don’t know why we would do it,” he told reporters last Wednesday. “I haven’t seen a rationale yet.”
The bill raises the campaign contribution limits to $3,000 from $500 for statewide candidates, thereby giving the Governor and any potential opponent, i.e. Charlie Crist, an easier way to raise campaign cash.
It’s difficult to imagine Scott giving Crist the ability to raise six times what he might be able to otherwise, to say nothing about the optics of signing a bill that further opens the floodgates of political money.
So here’s a question for when Scott does veto this bill…
What happens to the baby when the bathwater gets thrown out?
Once Scott vetoes this bill and kills the increase in contribution limits, he also ensures that Committees of Continuous Existence — the bete noire of good government folks like Integrity Florida’s Dan Krassner — are around for at least another year.
Will lawmakers who voted to outlaw CCEs go back to raising money for CCEs?
I mean, how bad will it look when Lawmaker X, who said on the House/Senate floor how important it is to rid Florida’s campaign finance of CCEs, goes back to conducting business as usual.
One more thought about the possibility of Scott vetoing the campaign finance reform bill….
Lawmakers received the budget today at 1:37 p.m., thereby raising the possibility of an early end to session (as early as Thursday afternoon). However, Gaetz and Weatherford made sure to send the Governor HB 569 promptly enough that he must act on the bill before Friday.
So what happens if the Legislature signs off on the budget on Thursday and concludes early the rest of its business. Will the Legislature remain in session just to make sure Scott does not veto its priority legislation?