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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

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Rick Scott campaign transfers $27 million war chest to new type of campaign committee


Published:   |   Updated: March 7, 2014 at 08:34 PM

TALLAHASSEE -- A committee aligned with Gov. Rick Scott has transferred its massive $27 million war chest from one type of campaign committee to another that offers more options for political messaging.

Since 2010, Let’s Get to Work has been raising unlimited sums of campaign cash as a so-called “electioneering communication organization.”

Those are committees that can only fund advertisements (think television ads and mailers).

The committees, which many campaigns use, can coordinate directly with a candidate, but can’t use “express advocacy.” That means they can’t fund advertisements that use terms like “vote for/against” this candidate, or “elect” this candidate.

On March 6, the committee closed and shifted $27.3 million to a “political committee” that kept the Let’s Get to Work name.

A political committee is allowed to coordinate with a campaign as long as they don’t use express advocacy. If the committee is setup to fund advertisements that directly say “elect” Scott, however, it will not be able to coordinate with his campaign. If it did that, it would be at odds with campaign finance limits.

A political committee also has another advantage over an ECO: It can write checks to the Republican Party of Florida, which can expressly advocate for Scott.

From the money side, Let’s Get to Work’s last month as an ECO was one of its worst.

The committee brought in just under $185,000 compared to the roughly $817,000 brought in by Crist’s committee.

Scott’s committee still holds a commanding lead. Crist’s has raised $4.4 million since opening up Nov. 4, and has $4 million in the bank. Scott’s political committee is starting with the cool $27 million.

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