Our champ is taking aim at ‘dark money’ in elections


Joe Gruters: A freshman state House Republican from Sarasota, he was targeted in his 2016 primary campaign by a series of attack mailers from obscure political committees. Gruters estimates the effort cost $100,000, but the original source of the money behind it was hidden by an all-too-common practice in state politics: Special interests launder their campaign dollars through multiple committees to hide their fingerprints, and distance themselves in the public eye from any dirty politics paid for with their cash. Gruters, who accurately described this process as a “shell game,” has introduced legislation to bar political committees from transferring their funds to other committees. If leaders in Tallahassee give a hoot about transparency, they’ll get behind this bill.

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