Nominally, there are still limits for individual contributions by corporations ("corporations are people, too"), but in fact corporations like FPL with major regulatory issues that require approval by either politicians or their appointees (to places like the Public Utilities Commission in the state or Nuclear Regulatory Commission in DC) are able to funnel unlimited amounts through dark channels, hidden from public view.
Corporations make contributions that require public disclosure -- like this one by FPL to a political committee -- for only one reason: to make an impression.
The impression, here, is that Jorge Lopez swings the FPL bat. So when Jorge Lopez cruises by, he might as well have big decal affixed to his lapel: "I represent FPL and if you don't do what I want you to, I can't protect you from FPL's wrath."
Of course, FPL has to be careful. Its strategy, when it is too obvious or blatant like the city elections in South Miami has backfired. There, Jorge Lopez et al. attempted the kinds of dirty tricks that finally repulse voters. South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard is strongly supported by voters because he opposes the FPL leviathan.
Now the county commission data for campaign contributions, released recently, demonstrate other phenomena. A few jump out. For example, with no opposition Pepe Diaz and Jean Monestine (first time incumbent) have raised a ton of money. "Thank you's".
The advantage of incumbency is clear.
The money comes, of course, mainly from special interests who do business with the county. We haven't checked with a fine tooth comb if all the contributions are "legal". We find, sometimes, that contributors have so little regard for campaign finance limits that they will write multiple checks from the same account or even from defunct businesses.
The only hotly contested race is the race for county commission District 8 where incumbent Lynda Bell faces Daniella Levine Cava. That's the one to watch.