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When Political Speech Isn't Exactly Free

Former Democratic Representative Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee has raised slightly more than 501 thousand dollars, making her the third-most successful money raiser in the House. 

By raising more than $501,000 in contributions, former Democratic Representative Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee ranked third in the House in terms of fundraising this year. Ten House candidates raised more than $400,000.

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She was one of 10 House candidates raising more than 400 thousand dollars. Common Cause lobbyist Ben Wilcox says the problem is, the money comes with strings attached.

“People don’t give money to politicians just for good government. They’re hoping government is going to be good for them.”

In the Florida Senate, eight candidates raised more than 700 thousand dollars, including two from South Florida who raised more than 1 million dollars. Reformers say there’s little they can do since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key reforms in the controversial 2010 decision, Citizens United.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.