The little-known Palm Beach County Soil & Water Conservation District (PBCSWCD) is a public state office held by five elected officials (supervisors) and has three employees. They state on their website that their mission is to “educate residents, land users, and businesses on ways to protect our natural resources, promote best management practices and conserve, improve and sustain the environment.”
Rob Long ran afoul of campaign finance laws when he first ran for PBCSWCD in 2016 and was sworn into office in 2017. Long was the subject of a Consent of Final Order by the Florida Elections Commission on November 16, 2018 for not filing treasurer’s reports during his 2016 campaign to be elected as a supervisor to PBCSWCD. During his 2016 campaign, he was collecting donations from the public and expending money on yard signs and digital advertising and more. The State of Florida compels candidates to file timely reports of this activity for public disclosure. Long failed to do this until weeks after his win onto the PBCSWCD. Although technically on the hook for several thousand dollars in fines, Long paid $1,533.30 for his violation of campaign finance laws in Florida.
You can read three articles on the issue here, here, and here. You will not find the issue mentioned in mainstream news outlets such as the Sun-Sentinel or the Palm Beach Post, even though they were notified of the matter.
As of this morning, we have confirmed Long may have issues with his current election. As of this writing, Long seems in compliance with campaign finance laws, though, even though not required, it is unusual for candidates not to file a campaign depository form during the qualification period. He filed to run for PBCSWCD in April 2020 and he only filed his Appointment of Campaign Depository form on Thursday, September 17, 2020, according to the Palm Beach County Elections Office. His first treasurer’s report will be due on September 25, 2020, and to not run afoul of any campaign finance laws again, Long will not to be able to show any campaign finance activity before the start of this reporting period. We may update after September 25, 2020 if irregularities are found.
UPDATE: Here is a link to Long’s first treasurer’s report which shows he has raised and spent zero dollars in his current campaign: https://www.voterfocus.com/CampaignFinance/pdf_palmbeach/e8c569_G3_dhc8261sdc553.pdf