Zombie Campaigns

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“Don’t bury me… I’m not dead!” 

Campaigns collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in failed runs for office are funding lavish lifestyles by moving the election date out a decade…or more!

But some possibly forgotten candidates from generations past are starting to come back to life as their “election date” nears.

Former State Representative Richard Steinberg, who was forced to resign for harassing and “stalking a Miami prosecutor via text messages” has almost $30,000 in a campaign for a 2020 run for office in District 113 on Miami Beach.  He hasn’t made an expenditure in over 5 years.  Will he move the election date out again to keep the cash “warm,” or will he actually make another run at office with lobbyist money left over from a generation ago?

Lobbyists could be competing against themselves from a decade ago.

Former Senator John Legg appears to be living the life with his cell phone, sunpass, software, and drink tickets paid for from his zombie 2022 campaign account, which will pop back to life when Senator Wilton Simpson is Term Limited.  Legg is sitting on a $150,000 pile of campaign cash from redistricting for his 2022 run.  Hard money.  That is a steep hill to climb for someone to compete with, even a sitting state legislator…

Then there is Frank Artiles, who sent his campaign account so far into the future it has dropped out of the system!  Last check he had more than $50,000 for a now dead and non-existent “future” senate run.  He printed something last December and was actively using the fund for paying his phone bill.

These types abuses of campaign finance law, while legal, shouldn’t be tolerated.  The legislature should eliminate zombie campaigns by prohibiting resignation more than 4 years out from when funds were originally collected.