How Florida condo associations wielded political power before the Surfside collapse

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Over the last decade, groups lobbying on behalf of condo associations and the lawyers, property managers and other professionals who work for them have been paid nearly $2 million to influence lawmakers of both parties, according to campaign finance records. Millions more in campaign contributions have been spent by political action committees whose interests include condo association laws; they represent real estate lawyers, real estate agents and home builders.

Condo associations are volunteer, elected groups of residents who largely get organized to fight regulations that would subject them to greater scrutiny or require them to impose higher fees on their fellow unit owners.

“They are a very vocal constituency on issues that a lot of people in Florida don’t really care about,” said George Moraitis Jr., a Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer and a Republican who served from 2010 to 2018 in the state House of Representatives, where he sponsored…

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