‘Don’t ask for government permission’: Mike Hill mocks unemployed constituent

Mike Hill
The latest lowlight in a series.

Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola, no stranger to gaffes in normal times, is stepping up his game during the coronavirus crisis.

Hill’s latest antic is an email to a constituent who made the mistake of reaching out to the Panhandle lawmaker for help navigating the state’s unemployment claims system.

“It is clear now that government created this disaster,” Hill wrote Amanda McCallum, a server at a Pensacola bar, “and government does not have the answer.”

“When Americans are tired of being afraid and instead want to work and provide for their families,” Hill insisted, “they will.”

“Don’t ask for government permission,” Hill advised.

McCallum has no control over whether she works, of course. The same government that Hill is a part of closed bars and dine-in restaurants as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

McCallum posted Hill’s response on her personal Facebook page.

Hill’s career in the Florida Legislature has been typified by unforced errors, as even casual observers of The Process know.

Before this year’s Session, the legislator was yanked by Speaker Jose Oliva from the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee, after offering offensive commentary about the LGBTQ community.

In May, the News Journal released audio detailing Hill’s exchange with an audience member at a meeting with a group called Women for Responsible Legislation.

A man in the audience (incorrectly) cited 1 Corinthians, saying it supports putting gays to death, then asks Hill to sponsor legislation allowing the same.

Hill is heard on tape laughing before saying, “I wonder how that would go over.”

That drew condemnation  from not only from lawmakers of the opposing party, but also Gov. Ron DeSantis and Speaker Oliva.

Oliva released a joint statement on the matter with Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls: “We unequivocally condemn both the question asked of Rep. Hill, and Rep. Hill’s laughter and refusal to push back and remind his audience that this is America and we don’t stone people to death we disagree with.”

Hill’s recalcitrance has led to a serious primary challenge in Michelle Salzman. She is backed by former Senate President Don Gaetz, former Rep. Frank White and several other influential Northwest Florida Republicans.

Hill’s fundraising was frozen during Session, and he raised just $1,250 since Sine Die. He has under $20,000 cash on hand, a perilous position to be in with the GOP establishment squared up against him.

Salzman has approximately $27,000 on hand, with a high burn rate cutting into over $52,000 raised thus far.

Hill was elected to HD 1 in 2018 after previously holding HD 2 and giving it up for an ill-fated Senate run.

His return to the Legislature took every trick in the book — he trashed one of his Republican primary opponent for being childless and falsely claimed that he had both President Donald Trump’s endorsement and, oddly, his star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He won the GOP nomination by just 542 votes.

HD 1 covers the western edge of Escambia County. It is solidly Republican. Hill received 60% of the vote in the 2018 general election. The district also went plus-27 for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.


Florida Politics’ AG Gancarski, Drew Wilson, and Ryan Nicol contributed to this post.

Staff Reports


  • Ward Posey

    April 18, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Mike Hill needs his butt kicked.

  • Janna

    April 18, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for doing this

  • Johny Reb "seber" Trump

    April 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Mike Hill is an outstanding Representative of Florida. He is a fine Christian. That is what the left and this publication does not like, “Christians”. The Democrats and the left hate God and everything that religion is about. The people in Mike Hill’s district like and respect him and he will win again when he runs for reelection. Keep up the Great work Mike!!!!!

    • Pablo

      April 18, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Your wrong the left does not dislike Christians but they do hate false Christians that follow only the old testament and reject the teachings of Jesus like your hateful representative! Real Christians love and follow Jesus at all times.

      • Johny Reb "seber" Trump

        April 18, 2020 at 2:18 pm

        you are wrong, Pelosi and her bunch hate God,, they are in favor of abortions, and many other things that disrespect God..

      • DCRW

        April 18, 2020 at 11:05 pm

        Johny Reb sounds like one of those “Christians” that guzzles an 18-pack of Busch Light all day then goes home and beats on his wife and kids. Then drags himself to church the next day and thinks all is well.

        • Johny Reb "seber" Trump

          April 19, 2020 at 6:54 am

          DCRWM you are pathetic, typical left wing socialist democrat. You are probably a atheist to boot. go worship the Devil.

          • DCRW

            April 19, 2020 at 9:54 am

            C’mon Reb, you’re slacking. You left out libtard and snowflake!

    • Bob

      April 21, 2020 at 2:57 am

      Hill is a “fine Christian” huh? I attended Catholic schools for 14 years and I don’t recall any classes on how to be a first class jerk. That’s all this story is about. The guy’s an idiot. No elected official, regardless of party, should respond to a constituent this way, especially one who has been laid off from her job. Democrats don’t hate Christians. They dislike Christians-in-Name-Only, like Hill. The folks who want to sue the government to place a nativity scene on public property, but will turn around and cheer when the government separates children from their parents seeking asylum at the US border and locks the kids in cages. Christianity is not a justification for being rude, uncaring and unhelpful. It is the exact opposite.

  • Nick

    April 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    If this were only the first time. But Mr. Hill has exhibited these behaviors consistently. The bible teaches us acceptance, patience, tolerance, and empathy for one another. None of which Mr. Hill seems to put into practice. How can anyone approve of his response to his constituent that reached out for help? How could anyone approve of lynching members of the LGBT community has he once agreed with? He uses the “Christian” label of convenience to get votes. This is the only political that blocks people from his social media when someone posts something he does not like, as he did with me when I asked on his page about the unemployment issues. Instead of answering me, he blocked me to avoid addressing my concerns. His behaviors are just not consistent with the core values of the American people.

Comments are closed.


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