Some members of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration are allegedly soliciting donations from lobbyists, according to reports.
The allegations stem from a May 25 article from NBC News, which said they have reviewed text messages from four DeSantis administration officials, “including those directly in the governor’s office and with leadership positions in state agencies.”
According to the report, the officials asked lobbyists to contribute to DeSantis’s presidential campaign — which he formally kicked off on Wednesday on Twitter — through a link. One anonymous lobbyist told the outlet that it appears the DeSantis administration is “keeping tabs on who is giving, and are doing it using state staff.” It is a bit unconventional, as administration staffers traditionally leave soliciting to the campaign side, creating a distance between the two facets of the candidate’s political life.
Breitbart News reached out to both DeSantis’s office and his campaign for comment but did not receive a response.
NBC, however, reported one administration official in the Executive Office of the Governor (EOG) who said they “wouldn’t be shocked if team eog somehow raised more money than lobbyists,” noting that they as well as others have personally donated to the governor’s campaign.
“I’m not sure what every EOG staffer does on their free time and after hours, with their first amendment rights, but I wouldn’t be shocked if team eog somehow raised more money than lobbyists,” the staffer said.
“I can confirm I (and many other staff) personally donated,” the individual added, according to NBC News.
While it remains unclear if they are doing so on their personal time and on personal devices, some believe it would still pose an ethical dilemma, inquiring if such actions constitute what one attorney described as a “misuse of public position issue.”
The report coincides with the DeSantis campaign pulling in $8.2 million in the first 24 hours of the governor’s presidential campaign, one million of which was raised one hour after the campaign launch.
DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck described the haul as “historic,” adding that it “shows that grassroots Republicans across the country are uniting behind Governor DeSantis’ vision for our Great American Comeback.”
Ron DeSantis Blatantly Plagiarizes President Trump’s “Great American Comeback” pic.twitter.com/p30AUr9h2W
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) May 25, 2023
“Governor DeSantis has built the strongest, most sophisticated organization in the history of American politics, and the tremendous support we’ve experienced in the last 24 hours will be critical as we hit the ground running in the early nominating states to share Governor DeSantis’ plan to revitalize the American Spirit,” Peck added.
DeSantis is expected to begin his “campaign kickoff” in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday before visiting other cities in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
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@tomaskenn via Storyful
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