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Campaign finance law and a Daytona strip club

Orlando Sentinel Reports:

Sean L. Bishop, 41, is being tried this week on a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge that he had funneled $1,500 through other people to fund the campaigns of City Commissioner Shiela McKay-Vaughan and candidate Paul Zimmerman. The felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Bishop has pleaded not guilty.

The trial, before Chief Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, didn’t broach what is discussed in court records — that people at the strip club, which has been involved in a long-standing lawsuit against Daytona Beach, tried to influence the election.

The Volusia jury also didn’t hear about the full scope of the investigation, in which officials tried to trace $8,500 in campaign contributions made to those two candidates.

Instead, Assistant State Attorney Dennis Craig said the case was straightforward. He told jurors that Bishop gave cash to others who wrote the contribution checks — an alleged violation of rules that prohibit contributions through another person. (source)

If you look at the campaign contributions listings in Florida, an awful lot of people who couldn’t possibly afford their contributions still made them. Seems like selective enforcement to me. That may not make it right, but if this law were applied equally, a lot of big companies and big law firms in Florida would be running scared.

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