Ron DeSantis’ Florida ‘Freedom Fund’ off to slow fundraising start
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a news conference Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Florida Governor
Anti-weed and anti-abortion forces have a long way to go to match the money in favor of the citizens' initiatives DeSantis opposes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis believes that statewide races in Florida will largely be lopsided, so he’s said he wants to focus on killing Constitutional amendments legalizing cannabis and restoring reproductive rights abridged in recent years by the Legislature.

Thus far, though, his political committee formed to that end has not raised much money.

The Florida Freedom Fund, a name seen as ironic by some critics, has brought in only $10,000 in the five weeks of fundraising activity ending June 21, 2024.

“From up and down ballot races to critical amendments, we’re steadfast in our mission to keep Florida free,” a DeSantis spokesperson, Taryn Fenske, told POLITICO upon launch.

But steadfastness aside, the $2,000 a week fundraising pace simply won’t be enough to counter the high-dollar campaigns for recreational pot and rollbacks of legislative restrictions on abortion, as seen currently by the ban on the procedure after the sixth week of pregnancy that went into effect earlier this year.

DeSantis has talked a big game about how he will fight the “overly broad” amendments.

“We are working with a lot of stakeholders who are interested in making sure that we defeat Amendment 3, which would basically do marijuana, wherever you want, just smoke it, take it. And it would turn Florida into San Francisco, or Chicago, or some of these places,” DeSantis said at a press event earlier this month. “We already have medical marijuana, it’s out there. But we got to keep our streets clean, we cannot have every town smelling like marijuana.”

“This amendment is written maybe more liberal than New York and California, but you would basically have a cottage industry where people would be coming into Florida for this purpose,” the Governor told faith leaders this month regarding the abortion amendment.

“I think this really requires everybody of faith to want to be involved in defeating what they put on this ballot,” he added.

Anti-weed stakeholders and anti-abortion faith leaders have a long way to go to match the money in favor of the citizens’ initiatives though.

Floridians Protecting Freedom, which is behind the abortion amendment, has raised nearly $38 million and still had more than $15 million on hand at last check. Though the week ending June 21 was its slowest fundraising period in some time, the committee cleared more than $212,000 all the same.

Smart & Safe Florida, the best-funded cannabis legalization amendment in American history, has raised more than $60 million, and had more than $13 million on hand as of June 21.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


19 comments

  • Michael K

    June 29, 2024 at 2:42 pm

    If something from DeSantis includes the word “freedom,” you can be assured that some right, privilege or access is about to be taken away or placed under his control.

    Reply

    • Gabriel

      June 30, 2024 at 2:35 am

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      Reply

  • PeterH

    June 29, 2024 at 3:39 pm

    Republican “freedom” can easily be translated to Republican “FREEDUMB”

    Americans need to look no further than the policies of Ron DeSantis and those of the US House FREEDUMB CAUCUS.

    Reply

  • Flash Light

    June 29, 2024 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Rhonda – I am a person of faith too. I believe Florida voters know what real freedom is.
    Voting yes on Amndments 3 and 4.

    Reply

  • MH/Duuuval

    June 29, 2024 at 8:08 pm

    Two more years of tedious commentary on everything under the sun by Dee? Oy!

    Reply

    • MH/Duuuval

      July 1, 2024 at 8:18 am

      Politico on June 1 says that Dee’s book payments make him a mini-millionaire, yet he still owes $17k for his student loan.

      Deep state, if you’re listening, get those student debt loans from Dee’s tax returns — as you would any citizen. Dee has the money now.

      Reply

      • MH/Duuuval

        July 2, 2024 at 5:21 pm

        At this point the federal government is derelict in its duty by not putting the IRS to work confiscating Dee’s tax returns. The bum still owes $17k some 20 years after leaving school.

        Reply

  • Therron Freeman

    June 30, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    I think having these amendments on the ballet is beneficial to Florida and giving women there rights backs it shouldn’t never have been taken away from them in the first place and this state will see more jobs and more funds for programs and not have to dip into the state budget when you have a multi million dollar opportunity to expand and grow..vote yes on 3 and 4 and reshape this state amd allow us Americans make that choice

    Reply

  • John Kociuba

    June 30, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    If it wasn’t for comic relief Florida Politics reporters would be taken seriously. Shall we create a Doppelganger of Andrew Gillum smoking crack to shadow Gov. Ron Desantis least we satisfy Soviet Negro Republic Democrats within United States? Alas, abortion was acknowledged as murder for thousands upon thousands of years until International Communist Jewish Spectrum thru money at creatures of statute therein turning infanticide, promiscuity, irresponsibility into a courageous action of civil liberties. Note. Communists are putting chemicals into the grass turning young boys into paranoid transvestites and pacifists. No? One ought read “Queer Communism And The Ministry Of Love” by Glyn Salton-Cox. No. No. No. We’re all racists, homophobic, climate deniers. See. Racism doesn’t exist for human physical abilities only intellectual abilities! No. Ask Lebron James Son and Lakers. Whereas if we discussed CYBER SECURITY than we have to finance minority infiltration thru lawfare. Wahhabist, Communist, Luciferians have worked together before American Civil War thru international Socialist Organization. Research Friedrich Sorge, his son. Karl Marx’s flock were a bunch of Rabbi. Harry Haywood, Victor L. Berger, Cyril Briggs, Felix Frankfurter, Bella Moskawitz, Angela Davis, David Wheeler, Cloward & Piven, Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky, Harry Hay, Harvey Milk, Michael Luther Jr, Barack Hussein Obama, BLM, ANTIFA, countless upon countless of open Communist subversives and collectivist trash.

    Reply

    • Cheesy Floridian

      July 1, 2024 at 2:18 pm

      I think you have drunk to much of the kool aid

      Reply

    • Michael K

      July 1, 2024 at 7:52 pm

      OMG: It’s Steve Bannon direct from prison? Or “Q” themself?

      Reply

    • MH/Duuuval

      July 2, 2024 at 12:57 pm

      Cloward & Piven?

      Reply

    • Ocean Joe

      July 2, 2024 at 7:36 pm

      The Wahhabis aren’t going to like being lumped in with the rest of those folks.

      Reply

      • MH/Duuuval

        July 3, 2024 at 5:23 pm

        The Wahhabis aren’t like you or I.

        They gave Jared Kushner a $2-billion line of credit as his father-in-law was leaving office. This is what can happen when you make nice with guys who had a journalist murdered and his body melted down with acid.

        Reply

    • Silly Wabbit

      July 6, 2024 at 12:11 pm

      You kwazy.

      Reply

  • Louise

    June 30, 2024 at 7:23 pm

    I agree with most the others. Anything Ron DeSantis sponsors is an automatic NO, for me. Face it he’s a Trumper and has done an incredible amount of damage to Democracy already
    He also, obviously, has major issues with his sexuality or he wouldn’t be so involved with others lives

    Reply

    • Renne

      June 30, 2024 at 8:09 pm

      You hit the nail on the head. I feel pot should be legal, but I think we should be made to buy from dispenserys. This way when you get it you know what your getting. It’s not laced with anything. Also it should be taxed and the taxes made to pay for health insurance for Florida. A smart young governor should want that. Instead of messing with our constitution. Remember our forefathers made that constitution so dictatorship or communist could not be there for life. Can you imagine DeSantis being in longer than 8 years?

      Reply

    • Sherry

      June 30, 2024 at 10:28 pm

      Exactly

      Reply

  • Cheesy Floridian

    July 1, 2024 at 2:20 pm

    Ron DeSantis’ version of “freedom” is a lot different than the rest of the state. I think it shows he really doesn’t listen to the people of Florida. He doesn’t pay attention and thinks he is the smartest dude in the room. News flash, he isn’t.

    Reply

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