DeSantis’ Dollar Dilemma: The Wait for Financial Transparency Lengthens

In a recent turn of events, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a fresh face in the presidential race, has requested more time to unveil his personal finances. A time extension that, get this, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) actually granted. Interesting, right?

Charlie Spies, counsel for the governor and his presidential campaign, put forth this request, citing a desire for “accuracy and consistency” with a financial disclosure also due on July 1, 2023, to the Florida Commission on Ethics. In response, Lisa J. Stevenson, acting general counsel at the FEC, granted a 17-day extension. So now, we get to wait until July to find out what DeSantis has been up to financially.

If we look back, DeSantis wasn’t exactly rolling in cash last year. In fact, his relative lack of wealth was notable, especially when you compare him to billionaire big shots like former President Donald Trump. As of 2022, DeSantis was rocking a net worth of less than $319,000, still wrestling with student loan debt, and owning no property – a far cry from the opulent lifestyle of his fellow presidential contenders.

The real tea, though, will be if there’s been a sudden leap in DeSantis’ wealth in the past year. After all, he’s been riding high on a wave of national attention thanks to his re-election campaign and a presidential consideration during his tiffs with corporate behemoths like Walt Disney Co.

But DeSantis isn’t the only one playing the extension game. Other presidential hopefuls, including Trump, environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and author Marianne Williamson, have also requested more time for their financial disclosures. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Nikki Haley have already submitted their reports on time, giving us a peek at their income, assets, debts, and more.

The game of financial transparency is a crucial one in presidential politics, providing a lens into a candidate’s financial integrity and potential conflicts of interest. With DeSantis’ announcement of his presidential candidacy just a month ago, the initial deadline for filing his public financial disclosure report was 30 days. But now, with this extension, we’ll just have to sit tight and see what the governor’s finances reveal when July rolls around.