Rick Scott and Florida's checkbook
Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich say states should go bankrupt

Mike Haridopolos should thank Rick Scott

There is much gnashing going on in Tallahassee over the question of whether Senate President Mike Haridopolos should raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign during the 60-day legislative session.

The answer - Yes.  But with one condition. Haridopolos should make disclosures each day of the session about the amont of money he has received and from whom.

The fact of the matter is that whether a candidate receives money during the session is largely irrelevant.  Honest politicians will be honest. Crooks will cheat, steal and lie.

What is needed is full disclosure and Haradopolos could lead the way by expanding disclosure requirements.

Florida political campaigns were forever changed by Rick Scott.  He is not the first rich guy to spend his own money to run for public office but no one has been willing to spend anywhere near as much of his own dough as Scott did - a whopping $75 million.

Scott also proved that a rich candidate can get into a race relatively late and win. Afterall, Republican Bill McCollum had been running for more than a year and lost to Scott in less than five months.

Scott's campaign legacy for the average candidate is that they must start raising large sums of money as soon as possible in the fear that another Scott - perhaps Jeff Greene - will decide to run.

So end all the needless angst over when to raise money for a campaign. Toss in some serious public disclosure about the sources of the money and voters will have all the information they need to decide if  a candidate is doing the right thing.

Besides, we have far more serious problems about how money is raised and spent on campaigns by shadowy groups that hide their identities and real purpose behind phony names.

That is what we should be worried about.

Art by Patrick Crowley, art director, illustrator, humorist and author of  My Handsome Life


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