Miami Herald by Mary Ellen Klas
August 19, 2019
A secretive organization with the goal of thwarting amendments approved by voters after the 2020 election cycle has spent more than $800,000 on paid petition gatherers in the last four months, using funds from undisclosed sources and raising the specter of another high stakes fight over the future of energy regulation in Florida.
The organization calls itself Keep Our Constitution Clean and says its purpose is to keep the state’s premier legal document uncluttered by special interest measures.
But activists involved in other petition drives say they believe the group is linked to the utility industry, which is opposing a proposed amendment that would deregulate the state’s monopoly utilities, the way the telecom industry was deregulated 37 years ago.
Keep Our Constitution Clean has formed a political committee and a nonprofit “dark money” group to hire petition gatherers to pursue signatures for an amendment that would require that any amendment voters pass in the future would have to be passed twice by voters before becoming law.
While Keep Our Constitution Clean has filed an annual report with the Division of Corporations, as required by law, it has not filed a disclosure of its donors as required for nonprofits by the IRS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
A spokeswoman for the organization said the group has sought a six-month extension on its IRS disclosure but she would not say whether it has submitted its nonprofit paperwork to the state as required by law.