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Commission appointees contribute to Rick Scott, his political action committee, and other GOP candidates

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Healthcare experience may not be a prerequisite to get onto the newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding, but contributing to political committee and candidates doesn’t hurt.

Carlos Beruff, a homebuilder from Parrish, Florida, is the executive director of the commission. A review of campaign finance records shows that Beruff gave a $107,369.69 to Republican candidates and causes over the years.

Nearly $80,000 of it went to Gov. Rick Scott or his Let’s Get to Work committee –including  $3,000 to Scott in January 2014, plus $75,000 to Let’s Get to Work in 2010, 2012, and 2013 — and another $15,000 to the Republican Party of Florida in May 2014.

Beruff also gave $10,000 to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam‘s political committee, Sunshine State Leadership Project.

The governor has reappointed Beruff to State College of Florida in 2012, the South Florida Water Management District board of governors and Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority.

Beruff also served on Scott’s “regulatory reform transition team” after first being elected in November 2010. He is not the only appointee on the commission that has given campaign contributions, a review of campaign finance reports show.

Scott created the commission via executive order and charged it with examining the revenues of hospitals and insurance companies as well as the salaries of executive officers, senior management as well as legal and lobbying expenses, among other things. Scott created the commission in the aftermath of the 2015 legislative session meltdown, attributable to healthcare financing and the use of Medicaid dollars.

Scott announced the nine appointments Monday morning. Three senators expressed an interest in serving on the group but none were appointed. The one physician on the commission, Jason Rosenburg, gave $2,500 to Let’s Get to Work in December 2013 and contributed another $1,450.40 in “in kind” contributions.

He also contributed directly to Scott and on March 26, 2014, gave Scott a check for $1,000. Rosenburg, of Gainesville, is a reconstructive microsurgeon and a former chair of the Florida Board of Medicine, according to the press release.

Robert Spottswood, another committee member, contributed $10,000 to Rick Scott’s Let’s Get to Work Campaign in September 2013 and $3,000 to Rick Scott in October 2014.

Eugene Lamb, Jr. is the one commission member who donated money to Democrats. Lamb gave money to both Tallahassee City Commisioner Curtis Richardson and state Sen. Bill Montford in September 2009, and also contributed to Judge Charles Dodson.

Marili Cancio Johnson gave $300 to Jeff Atwater in September 2013 and gave $190 to the Republican Party of  Florida in 2010.

The commission holds its first meeting in Tallahassee on May 20.

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