Ron DeSantis wanted to change the way campaigns were funded. Then the fights started.
When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took office in January of 2019, he had plans to revamp how state campaign finance laws work. Specifically, he wanted to end the “pay-to-play” system of political campaigns, which had allowed wealthy donors to essentially buy influence with elected officials.
The move was met with stiff resistance from both sides of the aisle, with critics pointing to the potential for corruption, as well as the difficulty of ensuring transparency in a state-sponsored campaign finance system. Despite the opposition, DeSantis and his allies pushed the measure through the legislature, and it became law in April of 2019.
Since then, the law has been met with ongoing court challenges, most recently from former Florida House of Representatives Speaker Richard Corcoran, who filed a legal challenge in June of 2020. Corcoran’s challenge focused on the potential for political parties to indirectly skirt campaign finance laws by transferring funds to one another.
So far, DeSantis’ new campaign finance law has resulted in a number of changes in how Florida campaigns are funded, but also in a number of continued legal battles. While the Governor is fighting for a new system in the Sunshine State, it appears that the fights over it are far from over.