A new video ad targeting voters in Florida’s 27th Congressional District is painting Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo as a socialist by highlighting her past interactions with leftist groups and support for expanding universal health care.
Titled “Revolution,” the 30-second spot will run in Miami-Dade County on broadcast TV and digital platforms for the next three weeks, Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) Press Secretary Cally Perkins told Florida Politics.
“Annette Taddeo, spotted huddling with the Miami chapter of a socialist group that supports the Cuban communist regime. Taddeo joined them to rally support for socialist-style spending that could bankrupt the country,” a voiceover says at the beginning of the video, which intersperses a shot of the Miami skyline with images and video of Democratic Socialist protesters, communist imagery and the late Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro.
Taddeo won state office in September 2017 with support from the Miami-Dade Democratic Party Progressive Caucus. The organization’s then-Chair, Thomas Kennedy, was one of the main organizers for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign in South Florida and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
She later endorsed Kennedy’s bid for the Florida Democratic National Committee.
The “huddling” to which the ad refers was an April 2018 panel discussion on expanding state and federal health care access. Taddeo participated alongside several other Democrats in the event. The Miami chapter of the DSA participated in the event, which was held in the unincorporated Richmond Heights neighborhood.
Taddeo has repeatedly backed bills in the Florida Senate that would help close the state’s “coverage gap” by increasing Medicaid support, a move Sanders backs too. But she was also among several Florida Democrats who criticized Sanders for his soft rhetoric on Castro.
The video flashes to a shot of Taddeo in the Florida Senate overlaid with a hammer-and-sickle emblem and the words, “Annette Taddeo supports Bernie’s plan.” The screen shows the headline of an Associated Press report about employing ex-prisoners. That report made no mention of Taddeo.
However, Taddeo did push for people to receive unemployment compensation during the height of the pandemic even if they failed to show proof they were seeking work — a requirement the Department of Economic Opportunity at the time waived as the state’s job market collapsed.
“She supports paying people even more not to work and locking down those who do,” the voiceover says.
The video then shows a tweet Taddeo sent out March 21, 2020, calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis to “lock down Florida” as hospitals ran short of ventilators amid a flood of COVID-19 patients.
She posted the tweet one day after DeSantis issued executive orders closing all restaurants, bars and gyms, waiving requirements for in-person government meetings and prohibiting “medically unnecessary” medical procedures statewide. The executive orders mirrored similar guidance from former President Donald Trump’s administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The revolution won’t be televised, but Taddeo’s socialist ideas will,” the ad says. It then switches to a shot of Taddeo saying, “This election will determine if we become a socialist dictatorship.”
Writing across the video says, “Annette Taddeo: Too risky.”
The ad is part of a $1.7 million reservation in English- and Spanish-language airtime the CLF recently made in CD 27. Taddeo is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar for the CD 27 seat.
Working in conjunction with U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the CLF has made $162 million in ad set-asides this election cycle. The spending in CD 27 is the first time this cycle the organization is paying for ads in Florida, according to its list of prior spending.
“We’re in a great position to elect a new Republican majority,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement. “We’ll continue expanding our arsenal and laying down the additional firepower we need to take the fight to Democrats and win.”
Many consider CD 27 the most competitive U.S. House seat in South Florida. Accordingly, far more money has gone to broadcast buys there than any other district in the area.
Recent polling supports that assessment. An internal survey conducted Oct. 3-5 found Taddeo is in a “statistical tie” with Salazar. Of 400 respondents, 47% said they prefer Taddeo over the incumbent, compared to 46% who back Salazar and nearly 7% who arestill undecided.
Other polls show Salazar maintaining a tenuous lead with Taddeo in striking distance.
The website FiveThirtyEight offered a less sunny outlook for Taddeo, to whom it gave a 7% chance of winning based on 40,000 simulations of the election.
Taddeo’s campaign manager, Nick Merlino, believes the late sweep of ad buys is evidence Salazar is on the ropes and Taddeo can overtake her by Election Day.
“This last-minute scramble to purchase considerable airtime,” he said, “shows what we all know, that our message is reaching voters and that we’re on track to flip this district.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the Miami chapter of the DSA hosted the April 2018 forum in Richmond Heights. The group participated in, but did not host, the event, according to Taddeo and organizers of the event.
October 12, 2022 at 7:14 am
If these neo nazi animals were the only ones in Florida then there would be slavery and Florida would be like Mississippi with a beach. No one would come here because of these animals.
October 12, 2022 at 4:07 pm
“support for expanding universal health care”: How much do you have to hate other people–and yourself–to think healthcare is a bad thing? All other rich countries have it. The US is the only rich country where medical debt forces 500,000 families into bankruptcy every year.
Now, the Republicans, Oz, admits he wants Universal Medicare ADVANTAGE For All. He wants to raise the payroll tax to 20% to pay for it so that he can siphon money to the Republican Party’s Medicare Advantage donors/owners. Republicans plan to tax workers and the Middle Class to shovel more tax breaks and subsidies to rich donors and corporations.
VOTE OUT REPUBLICANS!
VOTE FOR TADDEO!
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