Has Darryl Rouson put his thumb on the scale in the Democratic primary for House District 61?

in Uncategorized by

Perusing through the campaign finance records of incoming House Democrat Leader Darryl Rouson’s CCE — Floridians for Common Sense — there are several interesting nuggets.

First of all, in addition to Barry Edwards being on the CCE’s payroll, so too is former House Democrat Leader Ron Saunders. He received a $3,500 check from FCS for “consulting and strategic advice.”

Just as interesting is the $500 check the CCE gave to Sean Shaw, one of four Democrats running in House District 61. Does this mean Rouson is getting involved in what is expected to be a competitive Democratic primary? After all Shaw is running against Ed Narain, a very viable candidate who hasn’t exactly been a slouch in the fundraising department?

But even if Narain hadn’t raised one penny, should Rouson be putting his thumb on the scale by contributing to Shaw?

One of the difficulties of attempting to determine what Rouson’s CCE is up to is the fact that its required website is, as of this posting, not even up-and-running.

Rouson, who was chosen to lead House Democrats after the 2014 elections following a contentious contest with Rep. Mia Jones is currently trying to increase the party’s size in the House. But his style of doing so came under withering criticism at last month’s gathering of Florida Democrats from two members who said they were unhappy with Rouson, reported Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.

It’s not clear if the discontent goes beyond those two members, or how far it does go.

One of those two members, Rep. Ricardo Rangel confronted Rouson over the role of Edwards, who has also worked with Republicans, in any efforts to win seats in the House. Rangel said that, before the House leadership election, Rouson had promised “that [Edwards] wouldn’t be involved in anything, he would not step foot in Tallahassee.”

Rouson countered that Edwards has long been a part of his fundraising committee, and that members who asked for Edwards’ help in their campaigns would have to answer for themselves.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.