Candidates running for statewide office in Florida have been able to tap into the state’s public financing system, or as Speaker Richard Corcoran calls it, Florida’s “welfare for politicians.”
Here is the skinny on how this system works:
Under the state’s public financing system, statewide candidates who agree to limit their expenditures can receive taxpayer-funded matching dollars. Outside contributions of up to $250 are matched and contributions above that amount are matched to $250.-POLITICO
Corcoran recently penned a letter with Rep. Jim Boyd (R) asking the Constitutional Revision Commission to scrap the taxpayer funded campaign finance system, a move that is inline with Gov. Rick Scott’s agenda.
That’s right, we are paying for the campaigns of running for office, regardless of what political affiliation or ideology they belong, or prescribe to.
Obviously, if Corcoran decides to run for governor in 2018, he won’t be utilizing tax dollars to do it. His likely opponent, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has not stated if he would take the money or not, but state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala, will use the financing system.
One statewide candidate who will not use state’s financing to fund his campaign is Rep. Matt Caldwell (R). Caldwell, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner, has taken a pledge not to take taxpayer dollars to fund his campaign, and has challenged his primary and potential general election opponents to do the same.
“Furthermore, I challenge the other candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture – Democrat and Republican – to make the same pledge. Public financing of statewide political campaigns is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a disservice to Florida’s hardworking families.
As I continue to travel across the Sunshine State, it is clear that Floridians are looking to elect a leader who not only runs as a conservative but lives by conservative principles. I have always been guided by those values and that is why, when I was elected into office in 2010, I rejected the pension program offered to legislators. I believe holding office is a sacrifice and a public service, not an entitlement.”-Rep. Matt Caldwell