|The Seminole Tribe of Florida plunked down $100,000 to the Republican Party of Florida in its fight to keep its monopoly.|
In the past year, parimutuel and casino companies have contributed over a million dollars to state legislators and Republican political action committees as the gambling industry gears up for a combative legislative session in 2012. The stakes are high. State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rep. Erik Fresen have drafted two bills that would regulate existing parimutuel gambling centers and allow Miami-Dade and Broward voters an opportunity to approve mega-casino resorts, but cuts out the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Banana Republican spent the past two days analyzing campaign finance reports for every state legislator running for reelection and several political action committees to determine just how much the Seminoles and their competitors, including but not limited to, Malaysian-based Genting, which wants to build a casino resort on the site of the Miami Herald, and Magic City Casino, the former Flagler Dog Track that won voter approval to have slot machines and card games at its parimutuel facility.
The Republican Party of Florida has received gobs of loot from the gambling industry showing the G.O.P is in firm control of the state legislature.Instead of making it rain on multiple state legislators, the Seminole Tribe has made one big lump donation to the Republican Party of Florida. Genting has raised the most of its competitors with a whopping $185,960 going to the state G.O.P. committee and three other Republican political action committees. Magic City Casino's owners, like other parimutuel companies in south Florida, seem to prefer a strategy that spreads the wealth. The company gave $77,500 to the Republican Party and $23,000 split among seven legislators.
We broke down who's giving to whom and how much with graphs:
Five legislators, including Bogdanoff, received $1,500 a piece from Gulfstream Park. The race track also gave $55,000 to the G.O.P.
Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach raised $86,000 for the GOP and a slew of state representatives and senators. The biggest threat to the gambling industry is the Walt Disney Co., which is vehemently opposed to expanding casinos in Florida. Mickey Mouse is not taking any chances, dropping contributions on lawmakers who are for and against gambling.
You can view a breakdown of all the contributions given to each political action committee and state legislator that received in the spreadsheet below:Gambling Political Contributions
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.