As a special session of the Legislature inches closer for hammering out Florida’s spending plan ahead of the June 30 deadline, some lawmakers have even more pressing business to conduct: fundraising. A new email from Naples Republican Rep. Kathleen Passidomo does just that, as she announces she will seek the Senate seat of term-limited Sen. Garrett Richter. “I have worked diligently in Tallahassee to cut government spending, balance the budget, lower taxes, and reduce burdensome regulations,” she writes. “As my good friend Garrett Richter leaves the Florida Senate due to term limits, I have announced my candidacy to seek the Republican nomination for the Florida Senate.” Passidomo notes how this race, unlike previous races, will be “difficult and expensive” as she promises to run a “vigorous campaign.” She then asks for readers to download a petition for her campaign. And while they are at it, why not kick in $25, $50, $100, or “any amount up to $1,000” to make sure Passidomo has enough resources to “run the kind of campaign necessary to win.” What makes this money pitch particularly noteworthy is in the postscript: “Contributions must be received before the Legislature convenes for special session on June 20 and legislators are prohibited from accepting donations.” Oops … the scheduled special session is June 1, set to pass a budget (contingent or otherwise) by the constitutionally mandated deadline of June 30. While asking for money from supporters is vital to a campaign, one can’t help but wonder about the letter’s timing. How can constituents expect lawmakers to agree on the state’s budget (undoubtedly the most vital job they have) when they can’t even get their own calendars straight?
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