BREAKING: DeSantis Admin Using State Employees To Solicit Florida Donors


(trendingpoliticsnews) – Public employees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have been quietly but forcefully soliciting Florida’s deep-pocketed network of lobbyists for donations to their boss’s nascent presidential campaign, a breach of longstanding norms that raises ethical and legal questions about whether DeSantis is permitting his public staff to campaign with public resources.

NBC News reported Thursday that the governor’s staff in Tallahassee is sending around text messages with unique donations links to track contributions as the governor builds on $8.2 million raised in the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign. One recipient of the offer-you-can’t-refuse questioned its appropriateness.

“The bottom line is that the administration appears to be keeping tabs on who is giving, and are doing it using state staff,” a longtime Florida lobbyist said. “You are in a prisoner’s dilemma. They are going to remain in power. We all understand that.”

Typically, a public official like Governor DeSantis relies on private campaign staff to solicit donations and should keep a firewall between their world and that of his or her public employees, according to legal experts. While the text solicitations may have been sent on personal time, the question remains whether staffers in the governor’s office used the connections they made on the job to hit up potential donors.

“At a minimum, even if they are sitting in their home at 9 p.m. using their personal phone and contacting lobbyists that they somehow magically met in their personal capacity and not through their role in the governor’s office, it still smells yucky. There’s a misuse of public position issue here that is obvious to anyone paying attention,” said a longtime Florida election attorney who wished to remain anonymous.

To complicate matters, the Florida Legislature is still going back and forth with Governor DeSantis as they hammer out a budget for fiscal year 2024, leaving many lobbyists in a lurch as they fight for priorities.

“What the f— am I supposed to do?” one lobbyist said. “I have a lot of business in front of the DeSantis administration.”