CONTACT: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 / Damien@ProgressFlorida.org
SOUTH FLORIDA – There is growing controversy regarding a contract signed by numerous Republican congressmen, including Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Curbelo is among about two dozen GOP congressional representatives who have promised to supply detailed information about their "legislative agenda" and "political justifications" to national Republican donors in exchange for financial support.
The NRCC’s 'Patriot Program' creates a system that encourages elected leaders to act as a rubber stamp for big donors, rather than working on behalf of citizens in their district. The contract has become mired in controversy, with numerous state affiliates of ProgressNow, one of the nation's largest and most influential progressive advocacy organizations, last week calling on Republican candidates to withdraw from the program and disclose all correspondence with the NRCC.
“There have been questions about Rep. Curbelo doing the bidding of campaign donors in the past, but this NRCC contract takes pay-to-play politics to a whole new level,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo. “We’re calling on Rep. Curbelo to ditch the NRCC’s antidemocratic ‘Patriot Program’ that caters to Washington special interests at the expense of Florida families.”
This past congressional session, Curbelo sided with special interests in voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ignoring tens of thousands in his South Florida district who stand to lose their health insurance if the law is undone. He also sided with polluters by voting for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Florida is notorious for corporate special interest influence and government corruption. Progress Florida and our allies have documented in various reports how the Koch Brothers and American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) exert undue influence over state policy. And Florida has been called the most politically corrupt state in the nation, with the most federal corruption convictions from 2000-2010.