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Southern Alliance for Clean Energy main funder for Floridians for Solar Choice

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As we reported on over the weekend, no group has appeared more bothered by the prospect of a constitutional amendment giving Floridians the opportunity to install rooftop solar energy in their homes than Americans for Prosperity.

The Koch Brothers-funded libertarian group has been feuding with Conservatives for Energy Freedom, which has been spearheading the effort to get that measure on the 2016 ballot.

AFP has been saying that Floridians for Solar Choice, the political committee formed to get the measure on the ballot, was simply a “front” for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), the progressive environmental group that has been pushing for more solar power options in Florida for years.

Make what you will of the term “front,” but the fact is that the drive to get the 683,149 signatures on the ballot next year is relying primarily on funding from SACE in the early going.

According to a filing posted on the state Division of Elections website, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Action Fund has provided more than $263,000 in monetary and in-kind donations. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy itself is listed as providing more than $100,000. The PAC has raised a total of $370,458.

Floridians for Solar Choice spent $123,286 in February, with almost all of that going to petition printing, signature gathering or signature validation.

Somewhat interestingly, for all of their criticism about the proposed amendment, Chris Hudson, AFP’s Florida director, said this week that his organization did “not have a position on that initiative.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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