Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said he has instructed her treasurer to return the $5,500 she received from Allied Veterans. She does not want to donate to charity because she is concerned that the charity could be forced to pay it back if creditors of the affiliated companies use the state’s claw back laws to get their money.
“I don’t want to harm some charities just because we want to look like we’re doing something good,’’ she said.
Allied Veterans was part of a political coalition of Internet cafe owners who last year pushed for legislation that would have legalized their enterprise by clarifying state law that the software-based technology was a legitimate sweepstakes game. Efforts to clarify the law and regulate them passed a Senate committee, but was stymied when the House insisted on banning them.
Now prosecutors say the machines are clearly illegal because they operate as online slot machines. The Legislature is rushing to ban them completely, rather than pursue more regulations or taxes.
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, among the chief advocates for regulating and not banning the machines, said he received $5,500 from Allied Veterans and has spent the funds.
“The money was raised in 2011 and spent in 2012,’’ he said. “It’s gone.”
Contributing to this report were Herald/Times reporters Toluse Olorunnipa and Tia Mitchell, along with Tampa Bay Times reporter Connie Humburg and Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, had received $14,000 in contributions. A political committee, Putting People First, which Radar was affiliated with along with other Democratic candidates, received the Allied Veterans contribution.