Jul 29, 2022 • 19M

The bipartisan plot to take out Florida's best senator

A populist state senator had a bright political future. But one of the state's most powerful corporations despised him. Political consultants from both parties worked on a plan to get rid of him.

 
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"Rent-seeking" is a term in economics that describes when a corporation uses its political influence to twist tax laws and other public policy in its favor. Seeking Rents – The Podcast brings you the stories of how that's happening in Florida, where corporate interests like Florida Power & Light, Big Sugar, and Walt Disney World wield enormous influence everywhere from local city halls to the state Capitol. Hosted by award-winning journalist Jason Garcia, Florida's leading corporate-accountability reporter.
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In this episode: Newspapers across Florida have been pulling back the curtain on schemes orchestrated by political consultants working on behalf of a small number of big corporate clients, including utility giant Florida Power & Light. Many of their plans focused on one target in particular: Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Cuban-American Democrat from Miami who was once seen as a future candidate for governor — but is now out of office thanks to a ghost. (Transcript)

Further reading:

  • Orlando Sentinel | Floodlight: Operatives working with FPL plotted primary challenge for Miami senator

  • Miami Herald: Powerbrokers: How FPL secretly took over a Florida news site and used it to bash critics

  • Orlando Sentinel | Floodlight: Firm working for FPL took control of news site, let execs influence coverage, records show

  • Florida Times-Union: 'Unsettling,' 'un-American': FPL consultant obtained personal information, surveillance photo of journalist Nate Monroe

  • Orlando Sentinel | Floodlight: Dark power: How FPL, other utilities neutralize opponents, grow profits

  • Orlando Sentinel: Tampa congresswoman asks DOJ to probe FPL’s use of ‘dark money’

  • Miami Herald: Investment firm downgrades assessment of FPL parent company, citing Miami Herald report

  • WFTS: Tampa City Council wants voters to decide on rent control

  • WESH: Orange County commission votes in favor of ordinance to protect tenants

  • Tampa Bay Times: Incoming Florida leaders Passidomo, Renner point to housing, ‘woke’ issues as priorities

  • Washington Post: DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw makes sure reporters feel the burn

Contact: Garcia.JasonR@gmail.com

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