Sarasota Democrat files election law complaint against Rick Scott
Rick Scott is already refining a credible stump speech, running with enthusiasm.


A Sarasota Democratic leader is targeting Gov. Rick Scott, accusing his month-old U.S. Senate campaign of violating federal election law.

Sarasota County Democratic Executive Committee chair JoAnne DeVries filed the Federal Election Commission complaint Tuesday, claiming Scott hid campaign donors and therefore leading to conflicts of interest.

According to the complaint, Scott’s campaign emailed donors as early as March 29, asking for donations for his as-of-yet-unannounced Senate bid, in addition to not filing the financial report for the first quarter of 2018, which ended on March 31.

The email in question sought $5,400 from individuals or $10,800 from couples. If an individual did contribute that amount – thereby reaching the $5,000 threshold for federal candidates – Scott would be required to file a quarterly financial report for the first quarter by April 15. The complaint notes that he has not.

“Complainant respectfully requests that the Commission promptly act to ensure that Mr. Scott stops hiding his campaign activity from the general public and starts following the reporting requirements imposed by the Act and Commission regulations on every single candidate for federal office,” the paperwork says.

“Rick Scott is not above the law,” DeVries said in a statement. “He coordinated illegally with his Super PAC, has refused to disclose his secret financial account that would show the extent of his conflicts of interest and now, he is skirting more laws to keep Floridians in the dark on what he’s done as governor and as a Senate candidate.”

DeVries notes that it is “especially alarming” for Scott, particularly after he became “$46 million richer as governor while hiding his secret account from the people of Florida.” She also suggests those donors might have business interests before Scott as Governor.

Both the complaint and exhibits submitted to the FEC can be viewed here.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


  • Steve Wykle

    May 17, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Very well done in detailing (with supporting factual documents for all to see) the complaint you filed. This needs to be pursued with vigor.

    Would be nice if someone could force PACs, lobbyists, and charitable organizations that engage in political activity to do the same. There is nothing constitutionally that allows them to hide their sources of income/donations and how they spend money. It’s a double standard that encourages “dark” money to flow through these organizations so the voting public is kept in the dark as to who and how much they are supporting a candidate or Party during the elections. The majority of money raised by these organizations far exceed the amounts raised by a campaign. We need to know who is effectively buying candidates and what companies are donating for the purpose of electing a candidate (supposed indirectly) and influencing legislation.

    Corporations and monied interests have a much greater ability to influence our elections, which is not fair to those voters who are unable to compete with their unlimited contribution amounts. Also, it is difficult (if not impossible) to identify contributions by foreign entities and individuals to interfere in our elections (which is illegal I think).

    This is not an issue of free speech. It’s allowing certain individuals and companies to have a greater voice in our elections which has a negative effect on the lives of most Americans. This is not a Democracy. It’s is kleptocracy and kratocracy. We are no longer ruled by the People, but by the wealthy, elite, and powerful interest groups. It needs to be stopped at all costs, even if we have to do a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united and put limits on one person’s spending and an organization’s/lobbyist’s influence on the election of our representatives and their voting on key bills that favor the few rather than the many.

    I can’t believe anyone would vote for Scott. He’s been a disaster for Florida, and the country even as Governor. Imagine the damage he can do in the Senate if elected?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704