Tampa Bay Buccaneers top $1.4M report for anti-Amendment 3 committee


The political committee opposing a constitutional amendment to limit gambling expansion in the Sunshine State raised more than $1.45 million between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28 with the help of a $500,000 infusion from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The committee, known as Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3, tacked on $1.45 million during the late-September reporting period. Other six-figure donors included Los Angeles-based Elevated LLC at $400,000, the St. Petersburg Kennel Club at $250,000, Cardroom Tech at $145,000, and Citadel of Florida chipping in $100,000.

The haul was offset by nearly $720,000 in spending, almost all of which headed to The Stoneridge Group, an Alpharetta, GA-based company that provided the pro-gaming committee with direct mail services.

As of Sept. 28, Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 had raised just shy of $6 million to date and had nearly $4.2 million left to spend.

The committee is one of two major outfits formed to oppose Amendment 3, which would give Florida voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state. The other has committee working against the amendment is Vote NO on 3, which raised $250,000 during the same week-long reporting period.

Vote NO on 3 received all of that money from West Flagler Associates, the parent company of Miami’s Magic City Casino. The company has staked the committee with every dime of the $900,000 it has raised since being formed in early July.

The group also spent about $180,000 for the week, and like it’s fellow anti-Amendment 3 committee nearly all of that cash headed direct mail campaigns, this time through Washington-based MDW Communications.

Vote NO on 3 finished the reporting period with $77,000 in the bank.

Voters In Charge, the political committee sponsoring Amendment 3, reported no income in its new report, though it has vastly outraised the anti-Amendment three committees.

It brought in $10 million during the Sept. 15 through Sept. 21 reporting period and has so far raised $36.75 million. It had $14.65 million of that cash on hand on Sept. 28.

Voters in Charge has received a heavy amount of support from Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who both have a stake in limiting the expansion of gambling in the state.

Amendment 3 is one of several measures that will go before voters in the 2018 general election. Proposed amendments need to earn at least 60 percent approval from voters to be added to the state constitution.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the measure is supported by 54 percent of voters with 28 percent saying they plan to vote “no.” The remaining 18 percent were undecided.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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