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March roars in for let's get to work

Mar. 18, 2013

While speculation abounds that the fallout from Gov. Rick Scottís change in position on Medicaid could harm his 2014 re-election, the group building his campaign account hasnít been troubled finding donors.

After a relatively quiet February for the fundraising committee "Letís Get to Work," the political machine picked up $809,825 in the first two weeks of March. Among the biggest contributors were: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, $237,500; Florida Power & Light Company, $50,000; and $125,000 from a group of election committees with ties to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Ė Florida Jobs PAC, Florida Chamber of Commerce Alliance, and the Partnership for Floridaís Future.

The contributions posted by Letís Get to Work are the first reported by the Tallahassee-based campaign committee since Scott proposed the state accept for up to three years the expansion of Medicaid as outlined in the federal Affordable Care Act. Legislators have rejected Scottís proposal but are now crafting their own plan that could increase health care coverage and bring the additional federal dollars to Florida.

The committee posted $11,500 in February after gathering $1.2 million in January. In 2012, the group collected $4.79 million. Of the March money, $86,750 arrived on March 14, a day after another potential landmine was thrust before the governor, Jennifer Carrollís hasty exit from office in the wake of the arrests of individuals involved with Internet cafes run by Allied Veterans of the World.

Carroll had previously worked Ė while a member of the state Legislature Ė as a consultant for the outfit that now has more than 50 members facing racketeering and money laundering charges.

Scott has called for Letís Get to Work to purge itself of any contributions they have received from Allied Veterans or affiliated companies. "I want funds from these groups to be immediately given to charity. We have zero tolerance for this kind of criminal activity. Period,Ē Scott said in a release.

The Republican Party of Florida announced Friday it intends to donate $300,000 to the Florida Veterans Foundation charity after determining it had received about $271,000 during the current and most recent election cycles. The Florida Democratic Party has declared it will make a similar charitable contribution once officials total contributions the party has gotten from the groups under investigation.

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