FLORIDA: Catching the Rabbit

Florida's William H. Johnston is a broad-beamed, red-faced gambling tycoon who likes to play Santa Claus for a children's hospital, act like a civic leader in Jacksonville, and throw his weight around in the state government. In 1948, with two other moneybags, Johnston tossed $450,000 into the campaign kitty of fun-loving Politician Fuller Warren. At first, this seemed a good bet: Warren was elected governor over a Fort Pierce citrus grower named Dan McCarty.

On a long-term basis, the picture was different. When the Kefauver committee finished nosing around Florida in 1950, it concluded: After making a huge contribution to Warren's...

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