“New Jobs and Revenue for Florida” a political action committee with the reported purpose of holding a statewide constitutional referendum on gambling raised and spent approximately $600,000 during the second quarter of 2012.
Tallahassee lawyer and political consultant John French filed paperwork in April to create the committee but would not disclose who is behind the PAC. But campaign finance reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections show that all of the $605,500 in contributions to the committee came from Bayfront 2011 Development, LLC or Resorts World Miami, LLC — companies connected to gambling giant, Genting.
“Resorts World Miami is committed to providing world-class entertainment and hospitality experiences, and Florida is a premiere destination for visitors from all over the globe,” said Cory Tilley, a spokesman for Resorts World Miami. “Our contribution to ‘New Jobs and Revenue for Florida’ is simply one more example of our commitment to exploring how to enhance entertainment and hospitality choices here. Job creation and expanding economic opportunity for the people of Florida are goals we are proud to support.”
Much of the nearly$600,000 spent by the committee went to Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, the consulting and polling firm which counts Gov. Rick Scott among its clients. $150,000 went to high-powered attorney Bruce Rogow. $50,000 went to National Voter Outreach, Inc. for petition gathering.
Polling, legal services, grassroots organization. Sure sounds like there will be a gambling imitative on the ballot in 2014, right? But Brian Hughes, a spokesman for New Jobs and Revenue for Florida, is non-commital. “New Jobs and Revenue for Florida is an exploratory effort to consider whether or not there are ways to have more entertainment options in Florida,” Hughes said. “If entertainment companies are willing to make investments here, creating thousands of jobs and providing new revenue to local and state governments, Florida would be better for it.”