The Washington Post reports:
The Florida governor’s fundraisers hoped that nine lobbyists would raise at least $1 million each for DeSantis’s political action committee, the state and the Republican Governors Association, according to the document, which was drafted by Heather Barker, a top DeSantis aide and his primary fundraiser, and shared with others. To help them haul in large sums of money, the document suggested that lobbyists be allowed to offer their clients certain perks, such as meals and rounds of golf with DeSantis, who loves the sport.
While it is common for politicians to seek donations from lobbyists, the efforts by DeSantis to effectively auction off his leisure time to those seeking to influence state policy created a special pathway of access for wealthy donors to the governor that is striking in the way that it was documented in writing, ethics experts said. The golf-related fundraising was part of a broader push by DeSantis to cultivate relationships with big contributors, some of whom have received state appointments or benefited from state policies.
In 2019, a DeSantis fundraiser put together a document of FL’s top 40 lobbyists and their biggest clients. Each lobbyist was given a number— many $1 million. To raise $$, lobbyists could set up golf & dinners w/DeSantis and their clients in exchange for $: https://t.co/DlQUV8vD6D
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 20, 2023
Like I have said, you didn’t drain the swamp. You are the swamp. https://t.co/3nA1o3QTRD
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) August 20, 2023
DeSantis started showing up at a premier golf club w/o a membership, so many times that the club had to ask him to stop. Aides made plans to find lobbyists to bring him to a different club, & make donations to play with him.
W/ the great @jdawsey1 https://t.co/ZvrXkY6TCn
— Isaac Arnsdorf (@iarnsdorf) August 20, 2023
An absolutely explosive story by @iarnsdorf and @jdawsey1 of The Washington Post about how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has systemically squeezed the state’s biggest lobbyists and corporations for donations during his four years in Tallahassee: https://t.co/e49XCdsMe2
— Jason Garcia (@Jason_Garcia) August 20, 2023