This week, we focus on a name that not many folks know outside of the hyper-targeted world of lobbyists, consultants, pollsters, and special interest groups in Florida. Florida Politics at first blush looks like a finely tuned news-gathering machine, stepping in to provide deep, often well-reported coverage of the political landscape here during a time of retracting local news operations and outright news deserts. The website has grown from a simple blog to a full-service outlet and platform that doesn’t do huge numbers, but has captured the right kinds of eyeballs to be relevant.
But a recent investigative report by NPR and Floodlight uncovered what’s been called the “worst secret in Florida politics,” that the outlet will run positive coverage for your candidate or cause if you write a nice, fat check.
We spoke with Floodlight’s director of investigations, Miranda Green, as well as former State Senate candidate Eunic Epstein-Ortiz, who has direct experience dealing with the site and its publisher, Peter Schorsch.