Editor’s note: Eric Robinson, the subject of the following report by the Sarasota Herald Tribune, is the treasurer of a political action committee jointly funded by Florida Power and Light and several dozen Indian River Shores Residents. The PAC, calling itself “Flip the Switch,” is supporting three candidates for the Vero Beach City Council who have pledged to approve a sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers to FPL for $30 million. A team of five utility experts advised the City it will take $47 million, not $30 million, to partition and downsize Vero Electric without the move leading to higher rates for the remaining customers.
Eric Robinson can’t stand being called “The Prince of Dark Money.”
He gained the reputation as one of the most connected campaign money men in the state, helping bring bare-knuckle campaign tactics long common at the federal level to local races. Robinson, sometimes reveling in the job and typically profiting mightily along the way, has helped pro-development interests gain or maintain influence, determine who sits in the Florida Legislature and on school, city and county boards and boost or kill local referendum proposals — all while concealing the source of many donations.
Despite his success — Robinson has set up more than 50 political committees that manage close to $6 million — he protests his sometimes sinister public image. He says he is not some Machiavellian operative who plots ways to destroy candidates deemed insufficiently conservative, or a lackey for local real estate developers or Florida’s governor.
“I’m just an accountant,” Robinson said repeatedly during a series of interviews with the Herald-Tribune. “I’m a good guy. I’m not some right-wing nut.”
Editor’s note: Apparently working in a coordinated effort with the island weekly, civic activist, Charlie Wilson, last week filed an compliant with the Florida Elections Commission in what can only be seen as an effort to silence InsideVero.