By Frank Gluck of the Fort Myers News-Press, 7/25/2018:
The company behind Florida’s troubled SunPass toll system won the lucrative, seven-year contract with the help of one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top supporters despite allegations of favoritism and the company’s history of problems, records show.
On Wednesday the department said the backlog of [electronic toll charge] transactions had increased to 170 million. Late fees and penalties are on hold until the system is fully operational.
… The company won its contested bid for that contract with the help of Brian Ballard, a close Scott supporter and one of the nation’s top lobbyists. Ballard is helping the governor raise money for his GOP campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Ballard, a Tallahassee lobbyist who continues to represent Conduent, hosted a $25,000-per-person fundraiser in Washington, D.C., according to media reports. Ballard also collected more than $97,000 in donations for Scott between April and June, according to campaign finance disclosures.