John Kirtley, a successful venture capitalist, said Step Up didn’t contribute any money to political committees or candidates. He said he did and just used the Step Up address because he’s also the chairman of the board for the organization.
Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up, said, “One of the primary reasons we’ve been so successful, we spend about $1 million every other cycle in local political races, which in Florida is a lot of money.”
9 Investigates sat down with Tuthill to find out if the organization is trying to buy politicians.
When 9 Investigates followed the money, we uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions coming from Step Up’s addresses over the past decade.
A controversial Florida program that receives hundreds of millions in tax dollars to send poor kids to private schools has ties to big money being used to influence state legislators.
9 Investigates uncovered a revealing video where the president of the organization unveiled his political strategy, and we discovered that hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions are coming from the organization’s address, even though it’s not allowed to make political contributions.
Step Up For Students received $286 million this year alone