Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Under Fire for Alleged Misuse of Public Funds in Presidential Campaign

In a violation of long-standing conventions that raises ethical and legal concerns about whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is allowing his public staff to campaign with public funds, DeSantis' public employees have been quietly but adamantly requesting contributions to their boss's nascent presidential campaign from Florida's wealthy network of lobbyists.

In order to track donations as the governor adds to the $8.2 million he has already received in the first 24 hours of his presidential campaign, NBC News reported on Thursday that the governor's office in Tallahassee is sending out text messages with specific donation URLs. One recipient of the impossible-to-refuse offer questioned if it was acceptable.

An experienced Florida lobbyist stated, "The bottom line is that the administration appears to be keeping track of who is giving, and they're doing it using state staff." "You're in a catch-22 situation. They will continue to hold onto power. Everyone is aware of that.

According to legal experts, a public person like Governor DeSantis typically uses private campaign workers to raise money and should maintain a firewall between their world and that of his or her public employees. The question of whether staff members in the governor's office utilized the contacts they acquired while working to contact potential donations still exists, even though the text solicitations may have been conducted on personal time.

"At the very least, it smells bad even if they are sitting in their house at nine o'clock at night using their personal phone and calling lobbyists that they somehow met in their personal capacity and not via their position in the governor's office. Anyone paying attention can see that there is an abuse of public position issue here, according to a veteran Florida election lawyer who requested anonymity.

The Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis are still working on a budget for fiscal year 2024, which is complicating matters and leaving many lobbyists scrambling to further their agendas.

One lobbyist exclaimed, "What the f— am I supposed to do?" "I have a lot of business with the DeSantis administration," the speaker said.

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