Home Economy Ron DeSantis wanted to change the way campaigns were funded. Then the fights started.

Ron DeSantis wanted to change the way campaigns were funded. Then the fights started.


The fights over campaign finance reform started almost immediately after Ron DeSantis took office as Florida’s Governor in 2019. The Republican Governor proposed a plan to cap donations to lobbyist groups, limit third-party donations, and create a new “pay-to-play” law that would prevent individuals from donating amounts that exceed $3,000 annually to political campaigns.

The proposal immediately faced opposition from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, with some accusing DeSantis of limiting free speech and preventing individuals from fully expressing their political views. The state’s Republicans, however, argued that the reforms were necessary in order to reduce the influence of outside interests and allow equal access to politicians.

Reformers proposed that the limit should be even lower, or that candidates should disclose more information about their donors, but these objections were unsuccessful. DeSantis’ plan was eventually signed into law, and came into effect in July 2019.

The fights, however, did not end there. Political activists and organizations quickly filed a lawsuit alleging that the law violated citizens’ First Amendment rights, and vowed to challenge the new regulations during the 2020 elections. The next year, the lawsuit was heard before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the court ruled that the law was constitutional.

The debate over campaign financing will likely continue into the future, and both parties are sure to remain at odds over how best to ensure that elections remain fair and free of undue influence.

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