Donald Trump Archives - Page 5 of 313 - Florida Politics

Roger Stone descends on Tallahassee, says he will meet with Richard Corcoran

Roger Stone, an outspoken and infamous strategist of behind-the-scenes Republican politics who often is credited with orchestrating key elements of Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, said he’ll be meeting with House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

“I’m going to meet Richard Corcoran only because I’ve never met him and I’m curious to meet him,” Stone said. Corcoran has confirmed his intent to meet with Stone. 

“I’ve let it be known that I’d like to get with him if he has time,” Corcoran told the Miami Herald on Wednesday.

Corcoran, a Land O’Lakes Republican, has yet to announce a gubernatorial bid, but extensive PAC fundraising and recent ads demonstrate an all-but-certain declaration following the 2018 Legislative Session. It’s a political prediction that is further strengthened by Stone, who spoke of Corcoran as if he already was a candidate. 

“He’s one of the candidates for governor [who] I don’t know,” Stone said.

He emphasized that the meeting will be casual and friendly, likely at a “bar or something.” A “strictly social” occasion, according to Stone. The agent provocateur said he’s interested only in sizing up the speaker.

“We have a mutual friend,” Stone said. “I expressed an interest in just meeting him, but there’s no agenda other than to take his measure.”

Stone said he has not formed an opinion of Corcoran because the two haven’t met. Though he did indicate a respect for Corcoran’s intelligence. 

“He has hired Tony Fabrizio, who in my opinion is the single best political strategist in the Republican Party today,” Stone said. “So if he’s hired Fabrizio he’s gotta be a really smart guy.” 

Stone is widely considered a pioneer of opposition research and negative advertising, both staple techniques in national and state campaigns via PACs that are not directly associated with candidates.

Stone’s name is usually preceded with qualifiers that attempt to capture a resume rich with success in the more sinister practices of American politics. He’s often described as unabashedly Machiavellian, controversial, provocative and deceitful. He told reporters of his date with Corcoran following an event hosted by the Capital Tiger Bay Club, where he gave a humorous synopsis of his involvement in shady areas of politics, a decades-long career that includes cameos at Watergate, the Brooks Brothers Riot and the destruction of the Reform Party. 

Despite his knack for finding political activity, the infamous “dirty trickster” did not express anything beyond intrigue for upcoming state-based elections.

Stone did, however, suggest that he would’ve supported John Morgan, the owner of a powerhouse law firm who received widespread publicity after flirting with the idea of running for governor as a Democrat and briefly as an Independent.

“I was hopeful that John Morgan would run,” Stone, a lifelong operative of the political right, said. “I think he’s a good man and I probably would’ve ended up voting for him.

“I think he’s been courageous and he’s really put his money where his mouth is on the question of medicinal marijuana.”

Stone said his grandparents both died of cancer and cited the dangers of opioid treatment. He said “pot” helped curb his relatives’ ailments and referenced his own marijuana usage.

“I smoked pot when I was in high school and college,” Stone said. Though he’s now “a vodka guy, to tell you the truth.”

Stone said he has not met any Democratic gubernatorial candidates. He knows Republican candidate Ron DeSantis “well” and said he’s met Adam Putnam.

But Stone maintained he has “no idea” whether he’ll get involved in the governor’s race. An author of five books — each noted for its conspiratorial audacity — he’s dedicating time toward publishing another, which he says will outline “Stone’s Rules.”

“Most of [my rules] are out there,” Stone said. His collection includes “basics like ‘two men can keep a secret if one of them is dead.’”

Stone conceded that some of the rules might be modern adaptations of the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli and Sun Tzu. However, Stone said, that’s only if you buy the idea that nothing is original.

The Florida Democratic Party was quick to criticize the reported meeting between Corcoran and Stone.

“Even by the standards of the far right, Stone is a particularly vile and loathsome figure,” the FDP said in a news release. “The fact that Corcoran is reportedly meeting with Stone marks a new low, even for the House Speaker.”

Citing Stone’s history of promoting conspiracies concerning Barack Obama‘s birthplace, along with Stone’s offensive language on Twitter (the social media site suspended his account indefinitely), FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe said, “Richard Corcoran should be condemning Stone’s bigoted paranoia — not embracing it. Corcoran should immediately cancel this reported meeting and make clear that Stone’s extreme, hateful politics have no place in our state.”

Donald Trump ad disses ‘disgraceful’ Democrats for SOTU ‘disrespect’

Donald Trump maligned what he called “disgraceful” Democrats in a new campaign ad Tuesday.

The specific Democratic disgrace: not applauding POTUS during the State of the Union.

The campaign ad, per a campaign media release, “displays the predictable and consistent, yet utterly disgraceful, behavior of Democrat Members of Congress as they reacted to President Trump’s first State of the Union Address to the nation.”

The spot, which builds on an assertion that non-clapping Dems were “treasonous” this week, depicts what the media release calls “the unprecedented expressions of disrespect” from Democrats, with shots of the scowling visages of Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders.

“President Trump’s State of the Union address was so profound that even the mainstream media called it ‘strong’ and ‘inspirational,’” said Michal S. Glassner, Executive Director of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

“Yet, our ad demonstrates that the unprecedented expressions of disrespect shown by the Democrats towards our people and our country were also profound – for the wrong reasons. The breathtaking indifference in reaction to President Trump’s calls for unity and to the President’s bold stories of freedom-loving heroes speaks for itself. The Democrats just sat there, and they were disgraceful,” he concluded.

Not all Democrats refused to applaud President Trump’s address.

Notably, North Florida Democratic Rep. Al Lawson applauded Trump.

Trump lauded Lawson.

“Who was that guy? He was a nice guy. I think he was a reverend. And he was clapping,” Trump said this week. “And I wouldn’t say it was exactly a rousing — but he was putting his hands together.  And I want to find out who he is.  I’m going to send him a letter of thank you.  And he was probably severely reprimanded.”

During campaign kickoff, Bob Buesing gets aggressive versus Dana Young

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

That was the message Bob Buesing conveyed to a crowd of Democrats with checkbooks in their pockets Tuesday night at his campaign kickoff event at Mise en Place in Tampa. The attorney and civic activist will need the financial support as he takes on Republican state Senator Dana Young for the second time in three years.

Some Democrats in Tallahassee and Hillsborough County thought they could end the Tampa Republican’s legislative career when they rallied behind Buesing, a first-time candidate, to challenge her in what was then a newly created Senate district.

But Young proved victorious, taking 48 percent of the vote to Buesing’s 41 percent. Independent Joe Redner received 9.5 percent.

Redner won’t be a factor this time around, announcing last year that he would sit this race out and back Buesing in this year’s rematch.

Although Redner is willing to rally behind Buesing, some members of Senate Democratic leadership weren’t convinced that he was the right candidate, believing that the urbane attorney might not have the fire in his belly to win against a Republican strongly backed by her party leadership.

Maybe that’s why Buesing was so aggressive during his first official campaign event.

“For Dana, her service in Tallahassee has been all about self-service. For me, it will be all about public service,” Buesing said about halfway through his 12-minute speech, which began with a strong denunciation of President Donald Trump.

Buesing blasted Young’s support for last year’s controversial omnibus education bill, HB 7069. That legislation included measures that forced school districts to share construction money with charter schools and created financial incentives for new charters to open and compete with low-performing public schools. It was pushed in the House by Speaker Richard Corcoran, who Buesing invoked several times as being Young’s “buddy.”

Referring to the fact that HB 7069 passed the Senate by just a single vote, Buesing said it was Young who made the deciding vote (of course that comment could be made about any Senator who voted for it), and joked that if he had been in the Senate, ” I would have pushed that ‘no’ button so hard I would have broken it.”

“Gutting public education is a disgrace and Dana, we are going to hold you accountable for that vote,” he promised.

Buesing also took verbal shots at Young for failing to support Medicaid expansion and claimed that his strong opposition to fracking during the 2016 campaign led her to craft her own bill opposing the controversial process, which has been condemned by environmentalists (Young maintained throughout the 2016 campaign that she had voted against fracking in the Legislature. PolitiFact Florida later ruled that statement “half-true”).

Demonstrating how he is ready to get more personal, Buesing also brought up an issue that he never talked about on the campaign trail in 2016 — Young’s personal wealth.

“Isn’t it interesting that in her first six years (in the Legislature) her net worth went from $452,000 to more than $4.7 million?” he asked, drawing some gasps in the crowded room. “That’s more than a tenfold increase. The average portfolio went up about twice. Something’s going wrong in Tallahassee.”

As he stated in 2016, Buesing says if elected, he will donate his legislative salary to the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.

Young is sixth-generation Floridian who was raised in Tallahassee. An attorney who represented clients in regulatory compliance, permitting, zoning, and administrative law proceedings, she made her first bid for political office in what is now considered House District 60 in 2010 when she defeated the late Stacey Frank in a highly partisan race. She easily won re-election in 2012 and 2014 with virtually no Democratic opposition, before she opted to run for the newly created Senate District 18 seat (created after redistricting) in 2016.

Contacted in Tallahassee where the Legislature is in the middle of its regular session, Young’s political team is opting to stay above the fray — for now.

“Senator Young is focused on doing her job for her constituents who elected her to serve over Mr. Buesing,” said Sarah Bascom, a spokesperson for Young. “Right now is not the time for politics, but rather focusing on the needs of her community. There will come a time to address his comments, but right now she is focused on her job over political rhetoric.”

Young is a formidable fundraiser. She currently has more than $700,000 cash in hand in her political committee, Friends of Dana Young, and another $192,000 in her regular campaign account.

Senate District 18 includes South Tampa, Westchase and Town ‘N Country.

New poll shows improving job approval ratings for Marco Rubio, Donald Trump

Good news in a new survey for Sen. Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump, as both have shown jumps in popularity since last year.

That’s the contention of the latest poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory.

Rubio, per the survey, saw 55 percent strongly or somewhat approve of him, compared to the 35 percent who somewhat or strongly disapprove of the Senator.

Rubio’s overall approval is up 13 points since October 2017; his disapproval is down one point. Fifty-nine percent of non-party affiliated voters approve of the Senator, as do 36 percent of surveyed Democrats.

Trump, meanwhile, is not at net approval. However, his numbers are trending up.

Forty-three percent surveyed strongly or somewhat approve of Trump’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove somewhat or strongly. This is up from a 37/59 split in October.

“Most presidents would consider 43 percent approval and net negative 10 percentage points a troubling number, but Trump’s approval is up 6 percentage points from his approval level in October, and his net negatives have improved by 12 percentage points,” noted UNF polling director Michael Binder.

Splits reflect party lines. Eighty-one percent of Republicans approve of the President, and 16 percent disapprove. 10 percent of Democrats approve, while 87 percent disapprove.

Trump is still underwater with NPAs also: Forty percent approval, against 55 percent disapproval.

Across the board, the bulk of Trump disapproval is in the “strongly disapprove” camp, a trend which has not changed from previous surveys.

Methodology: The University of North Florida (UNF), Florida Statewide Poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at UNF Monday, January 29, through Sunday, February 4, by live callers via the telephone, and calls were made from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The margin of error for likely voters in the November 2018 midterm election is +/- 4.7 percentage points.

Tax law savings eyed for utility customers

With tax savings already expected to cover nearly $2 billion in hurricane-related costs, Florida regulators Tuesday began moving forward with a process to determine how utility customers should benefit from the federal tax overhaul.

Electric, gas and private water and wastewater utilities are expected to pass tax savings from the overhaul to customers, and the Florida Public Service Commission will oversee how much — and when — the money will flow through.

Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co., Gulf Power Co. and Florida Public Utilities Co. entered into rate settlements last year that address the issue of passing through tax savings to customers, though those agreements were negotiated before Congress and President Donald Trump approved the tax-cut package in December.

In recent weeks, Duke, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light have announced that they will use tax savings to avoid billing customers for Hurricane Irma and other storm restoration costs, a total estimated tab that tops $1.9 billion. The Public Service Commission on Tuesday signed off on Duke’s plan to shield customers from getting hit with $513 million in storm costs.

Also, Jeff Stone, general counsel of Gulf Power, said the Pensacola-based utility is working to move forward with savings for its customers by March 1. Unlike Duke, Tampa Electric and FPL, Gulf was largely spared damage from Hurricane Irma in September.

The federal tax changes include reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. But the law and utility finances are complex. Jon Moyle, a lawyer for the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, said Tuesday that money should come back to customers “sooner rather than later” and that it be clear how the savings flow.

Moyle, whose group includes large commercial electricity users, said he doesn’t want to see the money “mushed together with a bunch of other stuff, and then somebody wakes up a couple of years from now and says, ‘Hey, where did that tax reform savings ever show up?’”

Moyle’s comments drew a reply from John Butler, an attorney for FPL, which recently said it would use tax savings to cover about $1.3 billion in storm costs that otherwise likely would have been passed on to customers.

“FPL is not mushing,” Butler said. “We are going to use not only all of one year’s tax savings but multiple years’ tax savings to replenish the reserve for the $1.3 billion write-off that we were able to take. And by doing that, we were able to get tax savings to customers in the form of forgoing what otherwise would have been a storm-cost recovery surcharge as close to immediately as I think is possible.”

The Public Service Commission approved moving forward with a process that will start Thursday with staff members meeting with electric utilities. Meetings will follow next week with gas, water and wastewater utilities.

Commission lawyer Suzanne Brownless said each utility has a “unique financial situation.” Ultimately, parties, including representatives of consumers and businesses, will be able to take part in legal “discovery” to delve into information about the implications of the tax changes for each utility.

“These tax law changes are very complex,” Public Service Commission member Julie Brown said. “I envision that we will have a process or proceedings, plural, to ensure the full transparency and accuracy of all the savings that will accrue to the customers.”

Email Insights: Gwen Graham says Ron DeSantis is Donald Trump’s ‘favorite lapdog’

An email sent out by the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham Tuesday said U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’ is simply repaying President Donald Trump with his recent “ridiculously false and utterly outrageous accusations” against the FBI.

“Congressman Ron DeSantis’ conspiracy-theory attacks are quid-pro-quo payments for Donald Trump’s support. He’s Trump’s favorite lapdog in Congress, appearing on Fox News almost daily to attack the FBI,” Graham said in the email.

“Our country faces a serious national security crisis. The president may be compromised by a foreign country and Ron DeSantis would rather investigate our top law enforcement agency instead of Russian interference in our elections.”

The email links to articles and videos where DeSantis proposed defunding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, that U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo answers a lot of questions, and that he wants an investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice.

The email also calls the Northeast Florida congressman “a leading member of the conspiracy caucus defending Trump.”

“Ron DeSantis represents everything I entered public service to stop. He’s focused on partisanship and President Trump instead of the job he was elected to do — fight for our public schools, protect Florida’s environment, and boost our economy,” Graham said.

“As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I will always defend the men and women who protect our country. As governor, I will always defend our institutions from Donald Trump and his lapdogs.”

Sanctuary cities become latest flashpoint in heated HD 72 special election

Sanctuary cities have become another flashpoint in the heated political battle otherwise known as the House District 72 special election.

In this latest salvo, Republican James Buchanan says Democrat Margaret Good has been less than straightforward in her opinion about the issue.

Pressed on where she stood on the issue during a candidates forum Monday night in Siesta Key, Good said she opposed legislation that has already been passed in the Florida House that would penalize cities and counties if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Good also noted mailers sent against her on the issue played on “fear.”

That answer didn’t satisfy Buchanan, who is fighting to win the northern Sarasota County seat. In a statement Tuesday, the Sarasota Republican said he enjoyed participating in the forum but “once again, my opponent has refused to answer … whether or not she supports banning sanctuary cities here in Florida.”

“As a public servant, we must be accountable and honest to those we represent,” Buchanan charged. “Unfortunately, my opponent has been deceitful in her response to the voters of Sarasota.”

Buchanan campaign manager Nick Catroppo went further to criticize Good, a 41-year-old Siesta Key attorney who has out-fundraised Buchanann.

“As a community, we deserve better than a politician that lies,” Catroppo said Tuesday. “For Good to play politics with the safety and security of our community, she should be disqualified from representing us in Tallahassee. It’s very simple; do you or don’t you support Sanctuary Cities?”

Good responded by insisting that she’s been clear on the issue of sanctuary city since day one.

“(I)f you commit a crime in Florida you will be punished — whether you are here legally or illegally. We must uphold the law and I support local and federal law enforcement who do just that,” Good said.

“James Buchanan continues to attack me on Sanctuary Cities as a scare tactic to garner votes. He does not want to talk about the issues that matter most to Sarasota families because he knows that he would not work for us, the voters of Sarasota,” she continued. “He would for the corporate special interests, polluters like Big Sugar, and the insiders who are funding his campaign.

“James’ priorities are clear: he’ll side with Donald Trump‘s agenda instead of working for us. He will make health care more expensive for working families, turn our public schools over to for-profit corporations, and increase our dependence on fossil fuels like oil and coal.”

Good concluded: “I know the importance of affordable, high-quality health care, the need to invest in our public schools, and how vital protecting our environment is to our economy and future generations. It’s time for James to put down Donald Trump’s campaign playbook of fear and division and start listening to the people of Sarasota.”

During the first week of the Legislative Session last month, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill aimed at sanctuary cities — for the third consecutive year. Two times previously, the bill died in the Senate, and a companion bill (SB 308) wasn’t filed until last week by Fernandina Beach Republican Aaron Bean.

The Judiciary Committee tabled Bean’s bill.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is strongly pushing the bill, as his political action committee aired a controversial television ad that echoed the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco in 2015. The gunman was an undocumented immigrant who had been deported several times before returning to the U.S. He was acquitted on charges related to the shooting last fall, but was later sentenced to time served on gun-related charges.

Corcoran recently sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security investigate Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman for their city’s sanctuary-city policies.

Gillum and Corcoran have agreed to debate the issue next week.

Critics contend there are no such sanctuary cities (or counties) in Florida, saying conservative lawmakers are politically exploiting the issue.

Buchanan, Good and Libertarian Alison Foxall are on the ballot, where early voting began last weekend. Election Day is Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Bill removing Confederate holidays advances despite being called ‘cultural genocide’

Legislation that would eliminate state holidays honoring Confederate figures advanced in the Senate Tuesday despite pushback from numerous speakers who said the proposal would be “cultural genocide” and an “insult” to their ancestors.

“This is cultural genocide,” a man from Jacksonville said. “Southern white people are in the minority. You can’t take away our culture and our heroes.”

The proposal was quickly politicized and those opposing the bill asked lawmakers to be like President Donald Trump who defends “our national anthem and beautiful statues.” One Republican speaker who opposed the bill said it was an “insult” to his ancestors and that he might sit out the next election if his representatives voted in support of the proposal.

Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat, is sponsoring the bill, which she acknowledged in committee to be a “sensitive issue” to tackle in the Florida Legislature. Her measure cleared the Senate Community Affairs Committee, with Republican Sens. Tom Lee and Aaron Bean against it.

The companion bill in the House has yet to be heard in committee, making the proposal’s chances of passing the Legislature this session slim.

If the proposal were to pass, it would eliminate the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and Confederate Memorial Day from the state’s list of legal holidays. A legal holiday does not necessarily make that day a paid holidays for public employee, and these three are not.

Scott McCoy with the Southern Poverty Law Center said it is time Florida puts an end to “its celebration of treasonous government and two of its leaders who fought to enslave and oppress and entire group of people based on the color of their skin.”

“When our government recognizes and celebrates the Confederacy and its white supremacist beliefs – whether through holidays, public monuments or naming of institutions – it undermines confidence in our government’s ability to serve all of its citizens,” McCoy said.

CD 12 Democratic hopeful Chris Hunter wants to restore ‘principled leadership’ to D.C.

A member of the Bilirakis family has represented Florida’s 12th Congressional District since 1982, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is not targeting it as a seat that could flip this fall.

But that isn’t deterring former federal prosecutor and FBI agent Chris Hunter. 

“I think people in the 12th district are looking for a restoration of principled leadership at all levels. That’s not partisan, that’s just what all of us should expect out of those who offer to serve,” says the Trinity-based Democrat who filed to run for Congress last month.

“People respect the fact that I’ve served our community. I’ve served our country, and I offer an approach to principled leadership that is appealing to people no matter where they’re coming from politically.”

A Hershey, Pennsylvania native who moved to Florida a decade ago, Hunter resigned from his position as a senior prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in December to pursue a run for political office. He says he “loved every single thing” about his work with the DOJ and before that with the FBI.

But he’s a lifelong believer in American service that can be performed in a variety of ways.

“I could continue to do the public service job I already had, which I loved, or I could resign and offer to serve in a way that responds to what the country needs right now. It’s as simple as that.”

Talking about public service, Hunter gets animated.

“I’d like to think there’s a way to overcome the challenges we face in our society by lifting our heads up, getting out of our computers and looking out across our communities and thinking about which each of us can do to make a positive difference. I think we need to re-engage in person, and when we do what we find is we have a lot in common,” he says. “That’s a worthwhile experience to try to have, and that’s not something that can be had effectively unless people actually engage with one another.”

While some congressional Democratic aspirants (particularly in South Florida) are running on a platform that if elected they would support impeaching President Donald Trump, Hunter has no interest in the subject, quickly pivoting to his mantra regarding a “renewal of an American service ethic.”

If Hunter survives a contested Democratic primary, he’ll be facing in Gus Bilirakis a GOP legislator who has served in politics/public service for two decades, beginning as a state Representative in 1998 before succeeding his father, Michael, in representing the Pasco/Pinellas county seat in 2006.

Hunter labels Bilirakis as an entrenched career lawmaker who has lost his perspective in representing his constituents, specifically referring to his co-sponsorship of a controversial bill pushed by the drug industry in 2016 that weakened federal regulations just as the opioid crisis was reaching its peak.

That bill’s lead sponsor in the House, Pennsylvania Republican, Tom Marino, withdrew from consideration as Trump’s drug czar last October following a report by 60 Minutes and The Washington Post.

“The incumbent here was one of a cabal of legislators who did the bidding of the drug lobby, handcuffed the DEA and exacerbated the opioid crisis,” Hunter says. “All the way while sticking drug industry lobbyist money into their bank accounts.”

Hunter says that vote illustrates how “some career politicians get entrenched, get comfortable and think that nobody in their home district cares or is paying close attention.”

A former FBI agent, Hunter says he has plenty to say about highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools. The fight over the memo has put Trump at odds with his top law enforcement officials, who have urged the White House to reconsider releasing the document.

Hunter penned an op-ed on the issue which ran Tuesday in the Tampa Bay Times.

“The recent conduct by certain members of the House Intelligence community and others reveals an alarming absence of maturity, seriousness of purpose and probity,” Hunter writes. “Scurrilous attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI create public safety and national security risk.

“Intentionally shattering trust in the men and women who work hard every day to keep us safe will impact federal criminal jury trials and will threaten access to critical counterintelligence sources of information.”

Stephen Perenich, Robert Tager, Mathew Thomas and Kimberly H. Walker are other Democrats running in CD 12.

Mary Barzee Flores says Donna Shalala isn’t right for CD 27

Former University of Miami President Donna Shalala is reportedly mulling a run for Florida’s 27th Congressional District and that doesn’t sit well with Mary Barzee Flores, one of the many Democrats vying to flip the seat currently held by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“While I have a tremendous amount of respect for Donna Shalala, I am convinced that she has vastly different values than what the people of District 27 want in their member of Congress, especially in this moment,” Barzee Flores said in a blog post on Medium.

Barzee Flores said there’s a “strong cohort of Democrats already running,” and that Shalala would not only be a break from what CD 27’s looking for, but that she’s “compromised” when it comes to major issues facing the district’s voters.

“Donna Shalala was on the payroll of one of the biggest insurers in the country, UnitedHealthcare for over a decade — She sat on their board, and was compensated almost $700,000 while premiums for the rest of us went higher and higher,” Barzee Flores wrote.

“This is one of the most pressing issues affecting tens of thousands of Miami’s families — and it’s one where Shalala is compromised. And it’s far from the only issue where her credibility is questionable.

Barzee Flores said Shalala was also the wrong pick for those who remember the housing crisis due to her work with homebuilders; the wrong choice for hourly workers due to her treatment of UM janitorial staff; and the wrong choice for those looking for stalwart opposition to the environmental policies of President Donald Trump.

“Donna Shalala took one of Miami’s last wildlife corridors that gave habitat to native species as urban and suburban areas have expanded, and sold it to build a Walmart — A Walmart! — and a large parking lot, over the objections of the community and environmental experts.

“I’m not going to let someone who has used their positions of power and influence to enrich themselves, while fighting against affordable healthcare, against our lowest wage workers, and against environmental experts in favor of Walmart developers, to just come in and take this seat,” she wrote.

The former federal judge is running against Matt Haggman, state Rep. David Richardson, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, and Miami Beach City Commissioners Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Ken Russell in the CD 27 Democratic Primary.

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