Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala wants Florida’s utility companies to stop contributing to campaigns this election cycle and invest in improving equipment instead.
More than 6.5 million Floridians lost power thanks to Hurricane Irma—with some waiting more than a week for restoration. Jack Latvala, a Republican senator and candidate for governor, says utility companies ought to forgo campaign contributions and spend the money on infrastructure instead.
Latvala says, “I just think that the kind of money that they spend in political campaigns and on political purposes leads to a perception—or a reality—of their control of the political process in Tallahassee.”
Large utility companies have spent $3.6 million dollars already this cycle.
“I have taken some of those,” he admits, “not nearly as much as some of my colleagues and competitors—but I’m seeing the error of my ways and I’m not going to take any more.”
This cycle Latvala’s campaign committee has taken $25,000 dollars from Duke Energy. His chief Republican rival for governor, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has accepted $250,000 from Florida Power and Light.
But even if Florida’s utilities devoted $3.6 million to improvements, it would be a drop in the bucket. Florida Power and Light alone funneled about $3 billion into hardening its equipment ahead of Irma.