‘Enough is enough’: Mike Caruso files bill making hate acts, antisemitic messages a felony
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/5/23-Rep. Mike Caruso, R-Delray Beach, during the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. Caruso alternates chairing the committee with Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'If we don’t do something now, then soon we may just have 1933 Nazi Germany here all over again.'

Delray Beach Republican Rep. Mike Caruso is trying to crack down on a disturbing rise in antisemitism through new legislation that would make publicly displaying a swastika and other intolerant imagery a felony.

That classification would also apply to people who distribute materials “with religious or ethnic animus,” harass others for their religious or ethnic heritage, and “maliciously deface” or damage public or private property, namely cemeteries and schools.

Each would be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The proposed new law would also allow for first-degree misdemeanor charges — punishable by up to a year in prison — to be filed against a person who publicly distributes flyers featuring any material, objectionable or otherwise, if the flyers lead to littering.

“I will not stand here and do nothing. I will not be complacent, and I will not sit around. With that attitude, are we just going to wait for these haters to start breaking the glass windows and storefronts of the Jewish store owners again, like they did in the past, before we wake up?” Caruso said at a Thursday morning press conference.

“I hope I speak for all the legislators, my fellow legislators, that enough is enough.”

Caruso’s bill (HB 269) comes in response to intolerant displays across the state, including projections last week of antisemitic messages and swastikas on buildings in downtown West Palm Beach and Jacksonville and antisemitic flyers left outside of homes in Boca Raton.

Similar flyers popped up in Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and Vero Beach in July, prompting calls for a federal probe into the matter.

It’s unclear if Caruso’s proposed legislation would raise potential First Amendment concerns down the line.

In October, former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom he unsuccessfully tried to supplant, for remaining largely mum about rising antisemitism across the state. Incidents include banners hung on overpasses urging drivers to “end Jewish supremacy,” light projections in Jacksonville saying Kanye West was “right about the Jews,” and the appearance of a Nazi flag outside Disney World.

In a since-deleted January tweet for which she received no official reprimand, DeSantis’ then-Press Secretary Christina Pushaw intimated — without any evidence — that a pro-Nazi demonstration that month in Orlando may have been the work of Democratic operatives trying to make the Governor look bad. DeSantis later repositioned Pushaw as his re-election campaign’s “rapid response director” after characterizing the subsequent outcry as an attempt to “smear” him.

Officials in Palm Beach County and Jacksonville have proposed legislation to categorize projecting unauthorized light displays on buildings as “blight and graffiti,” punishable by up to 60 days in jail or at least $2,000.

Jacksonville passed an emergency measure late Tuesday night doing just that. In West Palm Beach, a closed-door discussion at County Hall last week resulted in Caruso’s bill, which he filed Jan. 19.

“We are called to stand for the six million Jews that were murdered by Hitler’s Nazis in World War II. Today, we are called to stand for the 672,000 Jews that live in Florida. If we don’t do something now, then soon we may just have 1933 Nazi Germany here all over again,” Caruso said.

Republican Reps. Randy Fine of Palm Bay, Peggy Gossett-Seidman of Highland Beach and Democratic Reps. Michael Gottlieb of Davie, David Silvers of Lake Clarke Shores and Allison Tant of Tallahassee signed on as co-sponsors to the bill.

Fine and Miami Republican Rep. Vicki Lopez also co-filed a related bill (HB 245) last week, one day before Caruso filed his measure, that would make intimidating or harassing someone based on their race, color, religion, gender or national origin a third-degree felony.

As of Thursday afternoon, Senate versions of both bills remained pending.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 was the highest year on record for documented reports of harassment, vandalism and violence against Jews. The group, which has tracked antisemitism since 1979, said in December that 2022 was likely just as bad or worse.

Jewish people make up about 0.2% of the world population, roughly 2.4% of the U.S. population and 3.9% of the Florida electorate.

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.


  • matthew Lusk

    January 26, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    Is not the uni-party sending abhrams tanks to the NAZI battallion in Ukraine?

    • Impeach Biden

      January 26, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      Seek psychiatric help.

  • cassandra

    January 26, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    Agree that something should be done to make all people safer.

    Desantis should condemn his NAZIs. How about prison time for governors who encourage NAZI behavior. But light shows and flyers? Offensive T-Shirts and Christian Cross necklaces?


    • Paul Passarelli

      January 26, 2023 at 3:39 pm

      It’s amazing that we can agree on the major points of so many topics despite having arrived at our conclusions from diametrically opposite directions.

      –In Liberty

  • Paul Passarelli

    January 26, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    I don’t know what to think here. Is Rep. Mike Caruso clear on his intent to violate the First Amendment? Does he recall that ‘krystal nacht’ was perpetrated by the *GOVERNMENT* against the citizens?

    I *HOPE* he means well, but I cannot in good conscience simply let what he is proposing go unchallenged. Because I suspect that there might be sinister motives in his proposal.

    Caruso is six years my senior, so he is old enough to know better.

    • wristaction

      January 26, 2023 at 10:48 pm

      His motive is to act as instructed by the wealthy jews who paid for his campaign. Kinda too clumsily obvious to be “sinister”.

      • Paul Passarelli

        January 27, 2023 at 12:58 am

        OK, when I say that there are sinister motives behind the proposed legislation, I’m referring to its obvious flaw when examined under the light of Chief Justice Marshall’s criteria: “A law repugnant to the Constitution is void.”

        I suspect that the bill is being introduced to appease certain parties, but it is understood that it cannot pass, or if it does pass it it would almost certainly be repealed or nullified. I think that John 8:44 (below) agrees with me on that.

        I’m beginning to think you mean something else. And suddenly your writing style and demeanor is very different from the Troll behind the Elliot Offen and/or Joe Corsin Fake Aliases. He (they) are Leftwing and stupid, you have a vocabulary.

        • wristaction

          January 27, 2023 at 6:24 pm

          I don’t know what you mean. It seemed to me that we mainly agree. I only objected that Caruso being a pageboy for his campaign donors is more pathetic than sinister. Although I now see that you meant ulterior when you said sinister.

          I’m not so sure that the bill won’t pass in some form, if not this time, then perhaps in a revised version. If Democrats don’t support it now it’s only because it’s too generic to permit exeptions to allow antiwhite speech. The judeo-left has rhetorical work-arounds for this (i.e., “historically marginalized”).

    • Tjb

      January 28, 2023 at 9:17 am

      The Secretary General of the United Nations …
“Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, wwhich is prohibited under international law

      • Paul Passarelli

        January 29, 2023 at 12:07 am

        The article states:
        Each would be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

        The proposed new law would also allow for first-degree misdemeanor charges — punishable by up to a year in prison — to be filed against a person who publicly distributes flyers featuring any material, objectionable or otherwise, if the flyers lead to littering.

        … projecting unauthorized light displays on buildings as “blight and graffiti,” punishable by up to 60 days in jail or at least $2,000.

        That sure seems like a limit and a prohibition to me!

        I don’t have five years that I can throw away in prison, not even 60 days in jail and/or $2,000.

        To be blunt: The Secretary General of the United Nations can shove his opinion where the sun doesn’t shine.

        I maintain that the cure to offensive speech, is more speech in opposition to the offensive speech, not squelching it. The best weapon against liars is the facts. Why do you think I hate Democrats with such passion & fury? It’s not because they’re truthful.

        • Tjb

          January 29, 2023 at 2:21 pm

          The truthful facts:
          Looks like Paul is a supporter of hate speech. Keep up the good work Polly, you might get 2% of the vote the next time you run for a state office. That will be an approximate increase of 100% from your last state run in Connecticut.

          • Paul Passarelli

            January 29, 2023 at 2:32 pm

            If you think I support hate speech then you are a bigger idiot than I previously surmised. I’m a supporter of *FREE SPEECH*, even the speech I _would_ print on the end of a spiked club and shove down your throat… But I don’t initiate violence.

            Why do you think I engage you? Because of your brilliant prose? Pfft! Not a chance. I engage you because what you say is mostly composed of falsehoods, distortions, & outright lies. You use words to hurt your adversaries. I use them to *try* to enlighten. But no man is blinder than the one who refuses to see. And that is the typical Left-wing reaction to anything that doesn’t fit their agenda.

            Last week someone asked the best question: “Are you unaware?” My question to you would be: Are you really that unaware?

          • Tjb

            January 29, 2023 at 3:46 pm

            Replying to your delusional comment below.at 2:32
            Paul, what are my falsehoods?
            Looking at you comments in this article, I see violent threats, “spike club, shove down my throat” , “shove his opinion up his ass”.to name only a few.
            Are you the guy who calls out there is a active shooter in the gym,when there isn’t, for the sake of free speech.
            Here is a solid fact ( not a falsehood)… you received less than 2% of the vote when you ran for state office in Connecticut. Christina Pushaw is laughing at you, and Donald Trump would be calling you “ the biggest loser”.

        • cassandra

          January 31, 2023 at 7:38 pm

          I hope you will maintain your outrage after you realize that this is not merely about stopping a few lit up swastikas. These politicians don’t care about Jewish people. They care only about Israel. And every new bit of NAZI-ish “intolerant imagery” gets Apartheid Israel more sympathy, more US tax money, more power.

          What they really want is to completely crush the increasingly effective ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions’ (BDS) movement and other ‘Boycotts of Israel’ which are actual threats to the Criminal State of Israel. Watch & see.

  • Handsome truth

    January 26, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    You will never stop us !!!

    • Paul Passarelli

      January 26, 2023 at 10:01 pm

      What is there to stop? Eventually the sane people are going to get so sick & tired of the George Soros Malcontents, that there will be a pushback.

      We will only tolerate the whining & the disruption of normal lives up to a point. I don’t know when or where it will happen, but the Leftist taking of inches is eventually going to push some humble shopkeeper or tradesman or professional to their breaking point. Some Occupy Idiot is going to hurt their wife or their child, and it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, There will be a massive pushback against the Urban Shitholes, and their insane lawless tolerance for lawlessness & mayhem. And it will spread like wildfire.

      There will be a gradual return to normalcy. People will walk the city streets and feel safe. Depravity & debauchery will be frowned upon. Campuses will return to being centers of higher learning and free speech, not SJW indoctrination centers & safe spaces for Progressive-Socialist propaganda.

      Not go take your Fake Alias and Troll someplace else.

      BTW which one are you pretending to be today Joe Corsin or Elliot Offen?

      BTW, why do you pick your Fake Aliases from funeral notifications? Have you no shame? #DemocratFail

    • wristaction

      January 26, 2023 at 10:46 pm

      You’re awesome brother.

      • Tjb

        January 27, 2023 at 5:11 pm

        When I read Paul’s comments I now know why he received just over 1% of the vote when he ran for a state seat in Connecticut.

        • Paul Passarelli

          January 27, 2023 at 10:38 pm

          @Tjb, I don’t know what you know or don’t.

  • wristaction

    January 26, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    In this country, rooted in “white supremacy” and “Christian bigotry”, so our officials and scholars say, you may say or do any vile thing you like to or about White people and Christians with zero reprecussions. The party supposedly of and for “white supremacy” and “Christian theocracy” will not risk their carreers to defend White people or Christians when they are attacked.

    Say something direct about Jews, however, and there is a national bi-partisan mobilization of federal, state and local law enforcement, the corporate media and legislators to criminalize speech.

    Caruso wants to act before there is a repeat of Krystalnacht. What does he mean? Is he saying that Jews are behind the violent radical uprisings in the country? Is he suggesting that jewish bankers are responsible for the economic immiseration Americans are enduring? Is he expecting jews to start assassinating American officials? These are what precipitated Krystalnacht.

  • John 8:44

    January 26, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    This will be challenged and remembered. This will not stand treasonous jew this message is directed at you.

  • Fed up

    January 27, 2023 at 8:23 am

    America is a Zionist controlled nation.
    Free speech is a joke, you cannot mention any truth about Jews…

  • Andrew Jackson V

    January 27, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Here is Mike Caruso’s Office Phone Number if you’d like to contact him and tell him how you feel about this Assault on your 1st Amendment right to Free Speech. 561-750-2396.

    This will only stand if we do nothing. These reps need to be overwhelmed by their constituents that we’re not going to take this shit any longer.

  • Leonardo

    February 3, 2023 at 3:53 am

    America is so gone. Absolutely destroyed by subversive Jews. The United States went from paradise to garbage can since the Jews came over.

    • Paul Passarelli

      February 3, 2023 at 9:34 am

      “Then, from 1850 up until the 1930s, came ‘the great emigration’. Around 1.5 million left the country. They went to the Americas and Australia – to escape poverty and religious persecution, and to seek a better life for themselves and their families.”

      Read the above citation. I’ll give you a nickel if you can guess which population I’m referring to.

      Your hatred is based on ignorance. I can help you cure that ignorance. The choice is up to you.

Comments are closed.


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