The Longboat Key Public Interest Committee's (PIC) board of directors will meet in October to discuss the organization's future.
PIC has typically reported to the Florida Elections Committee as a committee of continuous existence (CCE). But a bill Gov. Rick Scott signed into law eliminates CCEs, a type of quasi-political action committee that virtually anyone, including candidates for office, could create that critics argued were ripe for abuse because they lacked limits on what expenditures were allowed.
As a result, PIC — and all other CCEs — must cease all operations and have a zero bank-account balance by Sept. 30.
At the same time the Florida Legislature was passing broad changes to the state’s campaign finance laws, the Florida Elections Commission (FEC) was investigating a complaint filed by Longboat Key Town Commission candidate Gene Jaleski alleging that PIC failed to register as a political committee when it advertised its endorsements for the March election.
The FEC determined that PIC “failed to register as a political committee and published a political advertisement that did not comply with statutory disclaimer requirements.”
Next month, the board will meet to discuss reorganizing as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organization “with the intent of continuing our educational mission without political overtones,” according to a letter the board sent PIC members last week.
For more information, pick up a Sept. 5 copy of the Longboat Observer.
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently 1 Response
- You failed to mention the $600 fine levied against the PIC board for their shenanigans. You also fail to mention that the PIC board failed to ask their members if they wanted to be a political advocacy organization, or if they wanted their dues to be used for illegal political ads. Sadly many residents trusted PIC and relied on the organization to help in their choices for town commission. That a sitting commissioner, running for office, contributed money to PIC, which was then used to place illegal ads advocating his re-election, is shameful. The PIC board violated the trust of its members. In the case of Erwin Pastor, who lost by fewer than 25 votes, one cannot help but think that the illegal actions by the PIC board subverted the town election. I think that PIC owes the three candidates who were victims of illegal activities from a formerly trusted community organization, deserve a sincere apology from the PIC board members. Who can trust these people again?
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