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Florida the 'Wild West' for Third-Party PACs

JIM REED/Tampa Tribune

Nancy Watkins’ accounting office on a leafy street in Tampa may be one of the scariest addresses in Florida — for Democrats.

Inside, Watkins guides millions of dollars in fundraising and spending that flow through dozens of murky political committees backing Republican candidates and causes. 

Here's the rest of the story from the Palm Beach Post:

The dollars are behind some of the toughest campaign mailers and TV spots this election season. But Watkins also has been targeted by critics. A Democratic candidate for governor, Bud Chiles, stood outside the office two years ago and called it “ground zero for what’s wrong with Florida politics.” Watkins, though, said she shouldn’t be accused of running a virtual Halloween horror house against Democratic candidates and causes. Democrats have benefited from spending by third-party political committees in national races at — at levels similar to those backing Republicans. But within Florida, Democrats hold little influence in state-level politics. As a result, they are vastly out-gunned by outside groups siding with the GOP, although Democrats are still helped by spending from labor organizations and trial lawyers.

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