A lack of campaign finance disclosure in Florida? Who knew?!

One of my favorite nonprofits, National Institute on Money in State Politics, has a new report out, “Independent Spending in Florida, 2006-2010,” by Kevin McNellis.

The report finds an “increasing use of independent spending in Florida allowing both large donors and candidates to circumvent the state’s contribution and public financing limits, but poor disclosure laws inhibit analysis of the impact this spending had on the outcome of elections.”

Of course, SCOTUS’ Citizens United v. FEC decision from 2010 is not to blame, as porous disclosure laws in the Sunshine State have been in place for decades.

I’ve written a considerable amount on the topic, including this 2005 article with Beth Garrett,  “Veiled Political Actors and Campaign Disclosure Laws in Direct Democracy,” published in Election Law Journal, and a 2006 coauthored book chapter with Ray La Raja and Susan Orr on party financing in Florida published in the 3rd edition of The State of the Parties, “Surviving BCRA: State Party Finance in 2004.”

Ashley Lopez does a nice job summarizing the report in her column for The Florida Independent. It’s worth the read, as is the full report.