Joe Henderson: Unforced financial errors continue to dog Nikki Fried

Nikki Fried
Accuracy is important when filing financial disclosures, but so is timeliness.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried should invest in GPS tracking or at least a good roadmap. Her gubernatorial campaign keeps going in circles and winding up in the same place: Trying to explain away a mistake.

As Florida Politics reported, the latest one is another missed deadline to file a financial disclosure report. The report was due July 1, and Fried needed to meet that deadline. Technically, she has until the grace period ends Sept. 1 on this one before fines start kicking in, but c’mon.

But she missed the official deadline, just as she missed on several other occasions. Fried is piling up unforced errors.

“Commissioner Fried’s Form 6 is being finalized to ensure accuracy and will be submitted within the Sept. 1 grace period,” Fried spokesperson Max Flugrath told Florida Politics reporter Jason Ogles.

Well, OK, we all want accuracy, but this latest move is stretching the limits of political patience. Statewide officeholders know well in advance about the July 1 deadline, and given Fried’s shaky history with such reports, her campaign should have moved heaven and earth to comply.

The longer this goes, the more reason people have to be suspicious about what’s in Fried’s numbers.

Earlier this year, Fried raised eyebrows throughout the Florida political world by filing an amendment to her 2018 financial disclosure.

It showed she had a lot more cash from different sources than previously disclosed.

That’s not an oops. That’s more of a “what the hell?”

In a follow-up to the Florida Politics report, Brian Burgess of The Capitolist laid out a timeline of Fried’s finances from 2016 to the present. Republicans dedicated to beating Fried will devour that red meat, and it should alarm Democrats.

After all, they demanded to see former President Donald Trump‘s taxes and other personal financial info. Fried has to play the same rules if she wants to be Governor of the third-largest state in the union.

The spotlight was on her for a couple of reasons. As the only statewide Democrat elected in Florida since 2018, Fried became the face and voice of her party.

She loudly challenged Gov. Ron DeSantis on just about everything from the outset, and he responded by freezing her out. She didn’t back down, which is good. It’s not healthy for any state, especially one this large, to have one party act as if the other is irrelevant.

That’s how GOP lawmakers here usually act, though.

But in letting her ambition go into overdrive, Fried overlooked a few details. You gotta do the paperwork.

The saying “follow the money” is not just a bromide from the Watergate era. It’s a game plan for how Fried’s opponents, and everyone, will view her finances. The longer people wait for full disclosure, the more suspicious they will get.

Yes, accuracy is important for Fried, especially now.

Timeliness is too. If she doesn’t know that yet, I’m sure people will line up to explain it to her.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


12 comments

  • Arthro

    July 12, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Nikki is a joke. No way could she handle the job of Governor.

  • Tom

    July 12, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Well said Joe. Compliments to you, Jason, Peter & Florida Politics team. Also Brian’s expose is overwhelming in fact outline. Deserves media accolades. You really have to question this candidacy in total. The runner up teasing for weeks was juvenile, the post announcement effort has been a disaster. It’s sophomoric at best and she was a college class President. Fried is not ready for prime time. There is no there, there. Investigation and hearings are warranted. Reporting significant earnings and new luxury housing when the average peeps is recovering from a 100 year pandemic is about as politically insensitive as possible. Smacks of elitism. What a disastrous first 6 weeks. So much more to look forward to. If she lasts.
    The gift that keeps on giving.

  • Ed

    July 12, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    It brings me great pleasure watching Nikki’s campaign crash and burn. So tired of her constant and often times bogus attacks on our fine Governor of Florida. Just imagine if she were the Governor. It would be a complete disaster. Looking forward to her returning to private life. We don’t need nuts like her in Government. Bye bye Nikki Pelosi.

  • Kiss of Death

    July 12, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    When you are an elected statewide D and Mr. Henderson turns on you the D stands for done.

    • Ed

      July 12, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      She should be done. Shame on her for her personal attacks on DeSantis. Maybe she should spend more time on her personal finances rather than taking shots at the Governor. So long Nikki. Have to admit I will not miss you for one second.

  • Bob

    July 12, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Senator Nelson was re-elected in 2012.

    • Tom

      July 12, 2021 at 11:13 pm

      So?
      He always ran as a moderate, conservative non Washington type.
      Your not comparing the fraud to him?

  • Ocean Joe

    July 13, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Bad roll out, overwhelmed by GOP money, Desantis catapulting to top tier status as a presidential candidate if the bloat gets off the stage, etc. But one thing you have to give her credit for: she’s clearly on the consumer’s side, not the Chamber’s. As ag commissioner she’s done a good job. Her detractors never seem to attack her on substance. I see a conflict of interest in the “pot” department, but otherwise she’s doing the job. And BTW, credit to Matt Caldwell. He lost to her by 8k out of 8m votes, but he took it like a man. Republicans, you could learn something from this.

    • Tom

      July 13, 2021 at 11:15 am

      That’s a great way of cleaning up someone’s manure. Are you kidding me. She’s empty like a tossed carton at a grocery store. No there, there. Her continued “gotcha” attempts have fallen flat. Her campaign is miserable. Who are these wise people she surrounds self with, empty vessels. Sometimes the candidate is the problem, they can’t save her. It smells bad. Consumer side? Really? It looks pretty elite and smacks of insider. Rules for us and rules for her. Total Dem Gov clone like Whitmer & Cuomo without the grabbing. If she inches across the primary its electoral disaster in general. Even her liberal scream won’t save her or Dems. America’s Governor is a serious man, whiz kid who pity’s fools gladly. He’s on a mission. Consumers love pols who pretend to be on the side of peeps and are laughibg to the bank. It’s called hypocrite. Hearings and special inquiry should be made. What a joke.

    • Tom

      July 13, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Yes, please learn from Caldwell.
      Examples: Gore in 2000, never forget the windsurfer Kerry in 04, how bout Stacey Abrams in 2016, and of course Hillary lecturing all on accepting results until she had her meltdown. How bout all the threats of violence from lefties in 2020 if Dems don’t win. Typical elitism.

      • Ed

        July 13, 2021 at 12:11 pm

        Don’t forget the Texas Democrats in the state legislature that have fled Texas on private jets, with masks off and drinking beer. They are basically filibustering. They will eventually have to return and face the consequences of being in the minority.

        • Tom

          July 13, 2021 at 2:52 pm

          Thanks Ed. Yes most current example of Dems taking the ball and running away. Disgraceful and pathetic cowards they are. It’s ok when Dems do what they want and say. No accountability. Ends always justify the means under the Dems and the media.

Comments are closed.


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