‘Who gave it, who got it?’ How political influence in Miami is bought — and concealed

Miami Herald

Despite state laws requiring political committees to disclose their donors and how they spend their money, Preserve Miami Beach’s Future hasn’t disclosed its funders or its expenditures. The committee hasn’t filed a report with state election officials for the period in which it sent mailers to Miami Beach voters. It also failed to submit a final campaign treasurer’s report, which was due Oct. 5.

Austin Graham, a lawyer with the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center’s State and Local Reform Program, said that he has seen examples in other states of political committees concealing their financial backers, especially committees involved in ballot initiatives. “With ballot initiatives where the economic stakes are pretty high you will see corporate interests trying to get involved in this stuff but trying to shield their involvement through pass-through entities,” Graham said. The enforcement of campaign finance violations varies from state to state. Graham said that in addition to having strong campaign finance laws, it’s important for states to adequately fund their enforcement agencies.

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