Inside the numbers: Who were the top contributors to Florida’s political parties

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Players in the ongoing fight over casino gambling and one of the state’s biggest medical insurance providers led the list of heavy donors to the Republican Party of Florida, which raked in more than $3.1 million for the first three months of 2012.  Meanwhile, unions and health care interests helped fill coffers at the Florida Democratic Party, which collected $1.2 million for the quarter ending March 31, according to reports filed with the Florida Division of Election within the Department of State.

Universal Studios and Disney contributed $180,000 and $125,000 respectively to the RPOF during the period. Gambling giants Genting and the Seminole Tribe of Florida pumped $100,000 and $125,000 respectively into the GOP account. Overall, the top RPOF contributor for the quarter was Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, which gave more than $275,000. Other top contributors included AETNA ($150,000), U.S. Sugar Corp. ($115,846), HCA health care affiliates ($100,000) and TECO ($95,000.)  Business and industry groups also contributed heavily. The Florida Chamber of Commerce ($60,000) and the Florida Retail Federation ($60,000) were joined by the Florida Medical Association ($50,000.)  Charter Schools USA added $54,000 as lawmakers debated a pair of measures that make it easier for charter schools to expand. Transportation corporation CSX gave $44,500.

The state Democratic party, meanwhile, received a large chunk of its contributions from unions.

AFSCME, which represents many government workers at the state and local level, gave $139,000 and Florida Professional Firefighters, which added more than $135,000. Overall, firefighter groups gave more than $232,000 for the quarter. The party also received $125,000 from Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  The party’s biggest contributor for the quarter was Moving Orlando Forward, a group of attorneys, donors and businesses including Disney and the Orlando Magic. The group gave $155,000. Another top contributor was Hill Brow LLC, which lists as its officers executives from Genting’s Resorts World Miami. The group gave $150,000. Florida Power and Light chipped in $85,000. AETNA also gave $50,000 to the Democrats, matching its RPOF effort.

Via The News Service of Florida

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.