“Secret donor name in Florida Senate races wiped from records, replaced”

Tampa Bay Times:

The name of the mystery donor behind a $550,000 effort that helped promote no-party candidates in three key Florida Senate races, including one that is under investigation, was changed in campaign finance reports over the weekend.

While making changes to fix errors in campaign finance reports is common, election attorneys, say it is unusual to see political committees change the name of their sole donor two months after the fact.

Even so, two political committees — Our Florida and The Truth — amended campaign filings and changed the name of the entity that funded the political mailers from Proclivity to Grow United Inc., a tax-exempt corporation that is also registered in Delaware and whose address is a post office box in Denver.

Unlike Proclivity, however, Grow United Inc. has made other donations in Florida politics, including to the Florida Democratic Party and other affiliated committees, including the one that led Senate Democratic campaigns.

The amount and date of the donations to the political committees that purchased the political mail are identical. Treasurers who update information on their campaign finance records are doing so under oath.

“The Division of Elections allows a political committee or candidate to amend reports in order to fix errors,” said Natalie Kato, a Tallahassee-based elections and campaign finance attorney. “However, completely changing the sole donor to a political committee after the election is arguably not in the spirit of the law, and could be the basis of a complaint.”…

The mystery donor has been the focus of a dark money mystery during the 2020 election cycle.

Its$550,000 in untraceable contributions to the political committees funded political mailers that were sent to voters in Senate Districts 9, 37 and 39 in the month leading up to the Nov. 3 election. The ads talked up no-party candidates that did no independent campaigning as ones with progressive ideals in an apparent attempt to reach Democratic voters and divert some votes from the Democratic candidates in those races.

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