Healing the Florida Democratic Party: Step 2 – Eliminate role of corporate lobbyists

By FrigeEnterprises - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45694888

By FrigeEnterprises – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45694888

The Florida Democratic Party itself has improved in recent years in terms of the role of consultants and outside vendors. Allison Tant’s time as Chair without question eliminated some of the more malign forces that have influenced the party through the years. But with Tant now leaving, some of those consultants are lining up behind candidates for state chair or trying to play kingmakers in the race.  Tant’s work of freezing out some of these characters could very easily be undone based on what happens in the current race for FDP chair.

For many years, the Democrats have been in the wilderness leading ambitious politicos that are registered as Democrats to begin lobbying careers in front of a largely Republican legislature.  These individuals have chosen financial gain over the welfare of their party – that’s a fair choice when it comes to feeding your family and maintaining a high standard of living. However, these types of individuals should not continue to have influence over the decision making of the Democratic Party or over the perception of Democrats in the media. Progressive activists who have a very different world view than these professional guns-for-hire need to make it clear that these sorts of charecters need not have prominent roles under a new state chair.

Lobbyists who are involved with the telecommunications industry, power companies, sugar corporations and Disney all have ties to potential candidates for Democratic Party chair. While many progressives and true believers have thrown behind potential candidates of their choice and are working social media aggressively, lobbyists and political consultants have begun flirting with some of the potential candidates themselves, in the hopes of maintaining some control over the party apparatus for the coming election cycle.

Some of these lobbyists depend on the credibility as “Democratic insiders” or “Democratic operatives” afforded to them by major media outlets, especially those on the national level. Others have deep ties to media at the state level which allows them push narratives that at times are counterproductive to the welfare of the party.

The consultant-lobbyist driven Florida Democratic Party model has failed voters in the state and the grassroots level of the party. Allison Tant tried in some respects to root out this culture, but further action must be taken. However a fear must be aired that the early days of this chairs race has seen a reengaging of some consultants with ties to the types of industries and corporations that progressives loathe with the express purpose of controlling the party apparatus.

9 comments

  1. Patti Lynn · · Reply

    Perhaps you might be willing to identify who is supporting whom. That might give us an idea of what we’re fighting. Getting the Party out of Tallahassee would be the BEST first step. And the
    I-4 corrider is the best place to relocate.

  2. JOE KREPS · · Reply

    NAME, NAMES……………..

    1. It’s not that difficult to figure out. Just look at the lobbyist directory.

      1. Patti Lynn · ·

        Kartik, YOU do this for a living. Is there a reason you just won’t tell us? Spell it out, man…don’t give me a link to a “Lobbyist Directory.” I haven’t the foggiest idea of which dots connect with which politician. That is why I rely on folks such as YOU…that’s your line of work, no?????

  3. […] about Bullard’s inability to raise money. This charge being lobbed by party insiders, lobbyists and those with a vested interest in maintaining as close to the status quo as possible, could be more lethal. It is often forgotten, that the FDP Chair is not selected the […]

  4. Barbara DeVane · · Reply

    Time to name names of consultants and who they represent in the legislature and who they are backing for Chair. Inquiring
    Minds Want to Know and need to know. Imperative that we know.

  5. The corrupting influence of corporate money and lobbyists representing them on both sides of the aisle has GOT to be reformed! “Florida for Sale” is how it has gone for many years now; the benign neglect of ordinary Floridians, Snott’s relentless chipping away at funding for programs sustaining the most vulnerable of Floridians–the poor and lower middle class and niggardly bare-bones funding of public education affects us all! Our future depends on providing opportunities for ALL Floridians, not just the well-heeled! If a third-world banana republic is what we want, then citizens can do nothing to demand reform!

  6. […] Progressive bloggers Brook Hines and Kartik Krishnaiyer are in full-force at The Florida Squeeze, where they offer some of the best insights in the way forward for Florida Democrats and the Florida Democratic Party. […]

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