By JIM SAUNDERS
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 13, 2016………. Millions of dollars poured into Florida’s political system during the first three months of 2016, with huge chunks coming from business groups and industries such as utilities and insurers.
But much of the money didn’t go directly to candidates or to the state Republican or Democratic parties. Instead, it landed in the accounts of political committees — often known by motherhood-and-apple-pie names — that will play a major role this year as voters elect all 160 members of the Legislature and decide the fate of high-profile ballot initiatives.
Candidates, parties and political committees were required to file detailed reports by Monday about how much money they had raised and spent as of March 31. The reports show heavy spending by businesses and groups that have stakes in what happens in Tallahassee, such as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Florida Blue, Publix Super Markets, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida.