How the cruise industry secretly backed ‘dark money’ mailers about defunding Key West police

As Key West, Fla., prepared to vote on three referendums that would drastically limit the number of cruise ships allowed to dock at the city’s port — and potentially set a precedent that could do nationwide damage to one of the country’s biggest tourism industries — cruise companies knew they had to do something to sway the public into voting no. But the companies, pollsters had told them, were not popular in the tropical resort city, and the limits were expected to pass. Any “no” campaign had to seem as if it were coming from locals, such as the bar, restaurant and shop owners who were buildi...


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