Annette Taddeo lampoons María Elvira Salazar for claiming she founded Univision, Telemundo
Maria Elvira Salazar faces a well-funded Annette Taddeo.

Taddeo Salazar 1
‘Having such an impact on the media landscape before even taking her first steps is a tremendous accomplishment.’

Miami Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo is lobbing playful ridicule at U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar after the Republican incumbent and former TV journalist asserted that she helped found Spanish-language media giants Telemundo and Univision.

During a brief interview Monday evening, Salazar told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that before she entered politics, she founded two of the largest Spanish-language networks in the world — the youngest of which launched before she turned 1.

“Thank God we’re waking up to the fact that for 30 years, the Democratic Party has been playing political football with (Hispanic voters), and you know why I can say it? Because before getting to Congress I was on television. I’m one of the founders of Spanish television, Univision and Telemundo,” said Salazar, who was born in Miami on Nov. 1, 1961.

Puerto Rican industrialist and newspaper owner Ángel Ramos Torres founded Telemundo in 1954. American billionaire and philanthropist Jerry Perenchio officially founded Univision in 1962, though the organization claims roots dating back to the 1940s.

Salazar’s claims of being a founder of Univision and Telemundo begin at 2:33 in the clip below.

In a tongue-in-cheek statement Tuesday, Taddeo expressed awe at Salazar’s self-professed credentials.

“While my campaign against María Elvira has been contentious, I’ve always made it a point to put politics aside to give credit where credit is due. Last night, while watching her interview on Ingraham Angle, I learned that María Elvira supposedly founded both Telemundo and Univision — two pillars of Spanish media,” she said before errantly claiming both outlets were founded before Salazar’s birth; technically, only Telemundo was.

“This achievement is even more impressive considering Telemundo and Univision were both founded several years before she was born. Having such an impact on the media landscape before even taking her first steps is a tremendous accomplishment that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should be able to recognize and applaud.”

Recent polling shows Salazar and Taddeo are neck-and-neck in the race for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, the seat for which has alternated blue and red since moderate Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retired from office in 2018.

During her Monday appearance on Ingraham to talk about the pivotal Hispanic vote in the election, Salazar said 2022 will go down as “the year of the Hispanic Republicans” as voter increasingly side with GOP candidates on a wave of issues of religious expression, crime, taxes, small government, immigration and family-oriented policy.

“The problem with my opponent — not only her, but the whole Democratic Party — is that they have to defend the undefendable,” she said. “They have to defend something called Democratic socialism.”

A major pillar of Democratic socialism movement is increasing taxes for the richest 1% of Americans to ease financial strains on the rest of the population and better fund public services, including universal health care.

It’s an issue Salazar has criticized numerous times, including in February 2019, when she told the hosts of Fox & Friends, “The 1%, the most — the richest people, pay 99% of the taxes.”

Co-host Steve Doocy later announced a correction. Referencing research from the nonprofit Tax Foundation, he said the top 1% pay roughly 45% of the nation’s taxes.

But even that was inaccurate. According to the organization’s then-most-recent analysis of public data, the top 1% paid 39% of federal income taxes.

Taddeo shared a clip of the incident Monday with the caption, ‘When even Fox News calls you out for your notorious lies,” she wrote.

She added to that statement Tuesday.

“All joking aside, our community often refers to María Elvira as ‘María Mentirosa’ (liar María) due to her incessant proclivity for lying,” she said. “She will do anything, oftentimes at the expense of our very democracy, but what she doesn’t realize is that I will always call her out on her lies and hold her accountable for her failures as the current Congresswoman for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.”

Taddeo nearly lapped Salazar in spending over the 57 days leading up to Oct. 1 as the two turn toward the homestretch in the race for CD 27. Salazar holds far more cash in reserve.

CD 27 covers a large portion of Miami-Dade County, including the municipalities of Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Coral Terrace, Fisher Island, Glenvar Heights, Kendall, Olympia Heights, Richmond Heights, Sunset, The Crossings, Three Lakes, Westchester and Westwood Lakes.

Analyses of CD 27, as redrawn by the Gov. Ron DeSantis administration, show it is now safer than before for Republicans but still the most closely divided congressional district in Florida.

Republicans hold a nearly 3,000 voter registration advantage, with 148,204 GOP voters to 145,613 Democrats. There are nearly 142,000 voters with no party affiliation, according to the most recent L2 voter data.

It’s also 74% Hispanic, the highest percentage for the voting age population anywhere in the state.

Early voting runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 6.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704