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Tampa Bay Times: DeSantis and Moody Subjects of “Elections Commission Complaint”

According to a recent report from the Tampa Bay TimesFlorida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are “the subject of a Florida Elections Commission complaint” after the two broke state law after they promoted a campaign website soliciting donations for DeSantis’s reelection campaign. 

The complaint, filed by American Bridge 21st Century, calls out DeSantis and Moody for violating Florida Chapter 104 Section 31 during an April 1 bill signing ceremony. Despite serving in their official capacity, the two Republicans directed Floridians to a campaign website paid for by Ron DeSantis for Governor that included links to donate to his reelection campaign. 

Both DeSantis and Moody have “the opportunity to respond to the Commission as it reviews whether the complaints pass legal muster” but have yet to comment on their effort to skirt Florida election law for financial and political gain

Tampa Bay Times: DeSantis touting video by Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman draws election complaint

By: Emily Mahoney | April 08, 2022

Key Points

  • “Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection campaign recently released an original song and accompanying video by Johnny Van Zant, frontman of Jacksonville Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his brother, Donnie, called ‘Sweet Florida.’ The lyrics praise the governor for ‘callin’ out Dr. (Anthony) Fauci’ and ‘fighting for the right to keep our state free.’”
  • “But this unusual campaign production is also now the subject of a Florida Elections Commission complaint, filed this week by the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge 21st Century.”
  • “In two separate complaints, the group accuses DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody of violating state law by promoting the song at an April 1 bill-signing event where they were serving in their official capacities. Florida law prohibits elected officials from using their ‘official authority or influence’ for the purpose of ‘influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result.’”
  • “A disclaimer on the bottom of the video states that it was paid for by DeSantis’ reelection campaign. The campaign declined to say how much it cost.”
  • “Neither DeSantis’ nor Moody’s office immediately responded to an email requesting comment. The two officials have the opportunity to respond to the Commission as it reviews whether the complaints pass legal muster.”
  • “A spokesperson for American Bridge said the group filed the complaints just Tuesday morning.”
  • “DeSantis mentioned the song during at least one other official news conference later that day, as did Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Friday.”

Read the full report here.

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