FL Utility May Face Audit In “Ghost Candidate” Scandal

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Democratic lawmakers in Orlando and Jacksonville are seeking an audit of Florida Power & Light, following Orlando Sentinel reports revealing ties between the utility giant and the operatives who orchestrated the “ghost” candidate scandal in last year’s state Senate elections.

Records recently obtained by the Sentinel showed the consultants who controlled Grow United Inc., the dark-money nonprofit at the center of the “ghost” controversy, billed FPL more than $3 million days before they began moving money through the entity.

The documents also showed that FPL donated more than $10 million in recent years to other entities controlled by those consultants, who were also coordinating on campaign contributions and strategy with top executives at the utility, including CEO and President Eric Silagy.

Read the full article. In August 2021, former Republican state senator Frank Artiles was arrested in the alleged scheme in which a Democratic incumbent was unseated after a “ghost” candidate with the same name siphoned away votes. The Republican “winner” – who was not apparently aware of the operation – was allowed to take office. Ghost candidates were also put forward in several other races to little effect.