Nation’s Largest Electricity Retailer Has Allegedly Financed Straw Candidates

Back in March, Frank Artiles, a former Republican Florida state representative with strong financial ties to the utility industry, was arrested on suspicion of orchestrating an election fraud scheme that helped oust one of Florida’s most prominent climate advocates, former state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, a Democrat. According to investigators, Artiles reportedly paid an auto salesman with the same surname as Rodríguez to run as a third-party “ghost” candidate against Rodríguez and his then-Republican challenger, state Sen. Ileana Garcia. Farcical as it sounds, it worked. The auto salesman, despite never campaigning, likely siphoned off 6,300 votes from Rodríguez’s re-campaign to…