Scott-linked committee tops $2.5 million raised this year

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Buoyed by a few big contributions, a political committee closely linked to Gov. Rick Scott collected $560,000 in May — bringing its total this year to slightly more than $2.5 million, according to a list of donors on its website, reports Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida.

The Let’s Get to Work Committee has been stockpiling cash, indicating on the website that it spent only about $13,000 in May on relatively routine expenses such as consulting services, accounting and equipment.

Scott has already said he plans to run for re-election in 2014, and the committee, known as an electioneering communications organization, could play an important role. Such organizations are not bound by the same $500 limits on contributions made directly to candidates’ campaigns and can pour money into political ads.

The committee in May received $450,000 from a handful of contributors. Fort Lauderdale businessman H. Wayne Huizenga, who has long supported Republican candidates, contributed $250,000, according to the list on the committee website.

Meanwhile, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, another major player in Republican politics, contributed $100,000, the list shows. Also, workers-compensation insurer Guarantee Insurance Co. and two firms that share the same address and have other ties contributed a total of $100,000.

The committee also received dozens of smaller contributions, such as $5,000 from Sea World Parks & Entertainment, Inc., of Orlando, and $20,000 from people or firms identified as being developers or in real estate.

Only one Democrat, Weston Sen. Nan Rich, has announced plans to run against Scott in 2014, though others mentioned as possibilities include former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the party’s unsuccessful 2010 nominee. Rich has opened a campaign account but will not have to report contributions until next month.

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.