Florida State Senator Mandy Dawson (D) is under investigation for soliciting support from nine lobbyists to pay for a trip to South Africa for her and a male companion. Even more stunning than the fact that she serves on the Ethics Committee is the language she used in her solicitation letter… acknowledging that her request was improper and instructing donors to work around the rules.
I need to raise funds to help defray the cost. As a longtime supporter of mine, I am asking if you would consider helping to sponsor my trip. I would like to request $2,500, if at all possible. Due to ethics regulations, the check should be made out to the Florida Caucus of Black State Legislators.
Obviously she knew that Florida law prohibits legislators from soliciting “gifts” from lobbyists “for the personal benefit of the Senator or any member of the Senator’s immediate family.” The law also bars legislators from taking gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists, committees of continuous existence, or principals. So she simply asked them to give the money to the Black Caucus so they could effectively launder the money for her.
The trip took place in 2 months ago, and since there’s an investigation pending, I won’t comment on the fact that she remains a Florida Senator because of this incident….
However, upon further investigation, I found this tidbit:
Florida Sen. Mandy Dawson has made headlines for all the wrong reasons before. In 2002 she was arrested and charged with prescription drug fraud.
She was re-elected on 11/02/2004.
I bet Florida voters would also be curious to know that according to www.publicdata.com, Muriel A. “Mandy” Dawson was also convicted in 1984 for violating statute 832.05(2)(a) by passing worthless checks.
How on earth does this woman continue to hold elective office?
Feel free to contact her and let her know that you support her right as a criminal to hold elected office as long as she wears a (D) next to her name…
Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Phone: SunCom 277-5112
District Address - Fort Lauderdale
33 Northeast Second Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1033
Phone: SunCom 453-4317
TollFree: 877-632-9766 (Statewide)
Update: Ethics Panel Reprimands Fla. State Senator - It was only the third time in 30 years the Senate has disciplined one of its members for an ethics violation. In addition, the article includes another fraud of Dawson previously unreported: “In 2002, she misrepresented her educational background in an official biography.”