Tuesday, July 26, 2022

How Florida Power & Light "secretly took over a Florida news site and used it to bash critics"

Miami Herald:

Taking aim at foes of FPL’s proposed rate hikes and controversial attempts to buy Jacksonville’s public utility, the Capitolist savaged the critics, impugning their motives and suggesting they were part of “dark money” schemes.


While portraying itself as a feisty independent outlet, the Capitolist — which aims its content directly at Tallahassee decision makers — was bankrolled and controlled by executives of the power company through a small group of trusted intermediaries from an Alabama consulting firm, according to an investigation by the Miami Herald, based on a massive leak of documents.


Just three days before the 2018 election, the vice president of state legislative affairs at FPL...ordered a hit piece about the Democratic candidate for governor

Orlando Sentinel:

The records, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight, show that an operative for Alabama-based political consulting firm Matrix LLC, signed an option agreement in September 2019 to purchase a controlling stake in The Capitolist.


The Capitolist records emerged during an ongoing investigation by the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight into Matrix’s work for FPL. The utility’s relationship with the Birmingham firm has come under scrutiny after Matrix operatives orchestrated a “ghost” candidate scheme to influence three state Senate races in 2020.