Juan Peñalosa fails upward, lands spot on Andrew Yang committee
Juan Penalosa.

Juan Penalosa
He left the FDP in shambles. Now he's on board Yang's NYC Mayor campaign.

Andrew Yang marketed himself as a tech-savvy candidate during his brief but memorable presidential campaign, but that apparently doesn’t apply to those backing his campaign for New York City Mayor.

On Wednesday, POLITICO reported that Juan Peñalosa has been brought on to help run Future Forward NYC, a political committee supporting Yang’s candidacy.

The committee was founded by David Rose, the investor behind entrepreneurial networking site Gust. If Rose had bothered to perform a simple Google search, he might’ve saved himself some heartache.

That search would have shown that the former Florida Democratic Party Executive Director has a knack for clutching defeat from the jaws of victory.

After all, his boneheaded decision to snag a Paycheck Protection Program loan for FDP in the early days of the pandemic contributed to what can only be described as a catastrophic meltdown on Election Day.

The same search would have also shown that during Peñalosa’s tenure, the Florida Democratic Party went into the red. Things got so bad that Blue Cross canceled health insurance coverage for party employees, leading new FDP Chair Manny Diaz to call in a favor from Minnesota Democrats.

Fundraising is a core activity for political committees and Rose, purportedly a “close friend of Yang,” hired a guy that wasn’t able to raise much of anything outside of a federal loan from a program that Florida Democrats had been slamming for a lack of accountability.

Still, one has to give Peñalosa credit. Just like the famous fictional New Yorker Cosmo Kramer, he has mastered the skill of failing forward into success.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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