For Immediate Release:
Contact: Janelle Christensen
Organization: Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida Releases Campaign Finance Tutorial
Who’s bankrolling your elected state officials?
Voters have a right to know, and it’s public information. Yet even with a link to Florida Campaign Finance Database, unearthing it isn’t easy.
Now, the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF) has demystified the process with a new tutorial, “How To Use The Florida Campaign Finance Database Tutorial.”
“We want a more informed and empowered voting population,” said DECF President, Dr. Janelle Christensen. “Knowing who is contributing to the campaigns of our lawmakers is crucial because unfortunately, special interests are playing an increasing role in our politics.”
The database itself isn’t new, but few Floridians are even aware it exists. Those who are describe the user experience as “clunky” and “confusing.” While the media helps to succinctly boil down fast facts, voters can use this tool to verify – and drill deeper.
“When we tell people the campaigns of Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) are funded by the Koch brothers and developer/agricultural interests, they don’t have to take our word for it – they can look it up for themselves – we want them to,” Christensen said. “With so much misinformation floating around on social media, the more credible information voters have, the better.”
The Koch Brothers Group Ltd. amassed fortunes from fossil fuel extraction. In decades of political activism, they’ve supported climate change denying candidates, while the cattle and sugar industries in Florida have contributed to stunning levels of water pollution, spurring a plague of harmful algal blooms along the coasts. That’s exactly the kind of information voters need.
“Accepting special interest dollars doesn’t always mean a politician is going to vote for the interests of industry over public health,” Christensen said. “But when you follow the money and check how a politician votes, there is often a pattern.”
Lee DECF’s new tutorial is the first in a series. Partnering with Miami-Dade DECF, another slated for release next month will walk voters through research of state lawmakers’ environmental voting records.