The Phoenix Flyer

“I had never seen those memos before,” Gov. DeSantis says

By: - September 24, 2019 1:42 pm

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday denied knowledge of documents describing plans to require hefty campaign donations for the privilege of playing golf, dining, or other activities with the governor.

The Tampa Bay Times reported about the memoranda circulated by DeSantis’ political team on Sept. 12. The documents describe a price list for access to the governor: $25,000 to participate in a golf foursome and $100,000 for a one-on-one game; $25,000 for a short meeting with DeSantis; $150,000 for a dinner event; $250,000 for an hour in an “intimate and high-dollar” gathering.

“I had never seen those memos before,” DeSantis told reporters following his meeting Tuesday with the independently elected members of the Florida Cabinet.

“That was the first time I had seen them. They had no effect on me or anything that I’ve done. I mean, at the end of the day, you know, my job is to pursue the state’s best interests. If people want to support that, great. But, at the end of the day, that’s the calculation that I make.”

Since the report appeared, Susie Wiles, whose name appears on some of the memos, has departed as chair of the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee and President Trump’s Florida re-election campaign, according to a Politico Florida report. That story also said she’d departed her position with Ballard Partners, a politically connected lobbying firm.

Wiles is a veteran political organizer who’d also worked on DeSantis’ campaign for governor and as chair of his transition team.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.