Gov. DeSantis derides ‘paid agitators’ protesting in Governor’s Office
Ron DeSantis.

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'These people are paid to be agitators quite frankly.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t believe there is anything spontaneous about protests in the Florida Capitol’s Plaza Level this week.

During a very friendly interview on Newsmax, the Florida Governor suggested the protesters were paid provocateurs, using a loaded phrase to make his point.

“These people are paid to be agitators quite frankly,” DeSantis said Friday night, before telling his interviewer that the “agitators” didn’t bother him a bit.

(The word “agitator” has historically been used to malign civil rights protests, and it’s unclear whether DeSantis was embracing that lineage here intentionally.)

“But, you know, with me, that has no impact on the idea that if you protest me that I’m going to like trim my sails. No, that just tells me I’m over the target and that tells me that the Left knows that they’re losing and they have been losing in the state of Florida.”

“I think some of these paid protests are kind of a result of the fact that they’re coming to terms with the fact that they have lost these debates,” DeSantis added. “So the Left is on the run here.”

The Associated Press reports that 14 people were arrested and taken to the Leon County Jail, with the Florida Capitol Police and Florida Highway Patrol providing law enforcement response.

The responsible party was the Dream Defenders, a group with which DeSantis has something of a history dating back to the 2018 campaign.

During a debate with Andrew Gillum, DeSantis said that Gillum signed a “pledge” to the group, an assertion the Democrat denied.

On June 11, the day of a Freedom Forum hosted by the Dream Defenders, Gillum signed the Freedom Pledge, as did the other major Democratic candidates running for governor at the time.

On stage, every candidate vocally pledged not to accept financial contributions from private prison companies like The GEO Group. Gillum acknowledged that during the debate.

“The only thing that I said is that as Governor, I will not see private prisons operating here in the state of Florida,” Gillum said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Liberal Lunatic

    May 6, 2023 at 7:54 am

    So this is what Elliott Offen and the rest of the unemployed, living with mom and dad well into their thirties do. I imagine the recruiters for these agitators also comb the university’s looking for Benie Sanders kooks as well. When is your next event Elliott? 😜

    • Elliott Offen

      May 6, 2023 at 9:38 am

      👆Calls other people unemployed yet here he is just like everyone else. This is the stupidity that’s plaguing Florida at the moment. Combination of mental health illness, intellectual disability, and religion. Creates sub-apes.

  • corruption and abuse of power in Florida

    May 6, 2023 at 8:28 am

    why don’t we just have state run media I mean isn’t that what Newsmax is it’s like a spin off of Fox News.

    No, they weren’t paid. More than 60% of Floridians are over Ron DeSantis.

    And even though I don’t agree with Trump Trump, or actually destroy DeSantis in a primary

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 6, 2023 at 9:03 am

    “Paid provocateurs,” huh? Bearing in mind that allegations made by Republicans are typically confessions, I accept Rhonda’s confession that he is a paid provocateur. Problem is, he is paid by Florida taxpayers for doing nothing but nodding to the Supermajority GOP while maliciously provoking any people (including but not limited to corporations) he doesn’t like personally. If Rhonda has proof of payment, slap in on the table. Otherwise quit lying, Rhonda. To anyone on Rhonda’s side, bear in mind, he will “other” you the very moment it’s convenient for him, just like his orange role model did to all His J6 suckers.

    • Liberal Lunatic

      May 6, 2023 at 9:25 am

      I’m betting you are one of those paid agitators as well. Is there a summer tour again? Start in Portland and firebombing the Federal Courthouse then up to Seattle through the Midwest in Minneapolis, Chicago, then of course NYC, and finally another looting, and torching of downtown Atlanta.

      • Elliott Offen

        May 6, 2023 at 9:41 am

        👆Because he comments here then he must be one of those “paid agitators” 🤡. This is the subhuman level of intelligence that the GOP has capitalized on over the last 20 years. Mike Lindell is Albert Einstein compared to this ape.

      • Dont Say FLA

        May 6, 2023 at 9:47 am

        Hello and good morning, Tro-eLL! I will repeat to you the offer I made to Rhonda: If you have proof of payment, slap in on the table. Otherwise quit lying, When you have to come here to write diversions and distractions and sling invented allegations you can’t support, doesn’t that make you realize you’ve been conned into the thoughts that lead to your expressions?

      • Tjb

        May 6, 2023 at 11:21 am

        Did we see you at the Capitol on Jan 6 beating a Capitol Police Officer?

  • Michael K

    May 6, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Instead of actually engaging in dialogue with constituents, our governor stifles dissent and apparently cannot fathom that a large swath of Floridians are disgusted by what is transpiring. Make no mistake about his bigotry and disdain for fellow citizens who do not abide by his regressive, authoritarian tactics.

    Regarding the super majority – remember that only 54% of registered voters actually voted in 2022 – an appallingly low turnout – which explains why voter suppression efforts are such a priority for the Republican Party. Democrats and NPAs far outnumber registered Republicans.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 6, 2023 at 9:53 am

      Also regarding Florida state government’s GOP supermajority , without it Rhon DasPanties would be a colossal failure. He loses every fight he picks. He succeeds only in the echo chamber. He has no qualification or experience on which to run a campaign to be US President, which at this point can probably be inferred to be the reason why he keeps failing to declare a candidacy. Sine Die is done, but still no announcement. Rhonda won’t announce, not unless Trump’s indictments get really serious. He is just burning money from suckers in a, so far, pretty successful move at getting his name out there. Knowing he can’t win nationally, I think his real ambition is to be the next MTG. an attention seeking national rep that’s elected by a particularly foolish, highly localized, isolated set of voters.

  • Sugar foot

    May 6, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    People are who they, just leave them alone. Gay or trans.

  • William Anderson

    May 7, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Does he have any proof they were paid, or is he just spreading bs, accusations he knows are not facts, lying?

    DeSantis is a fraud, like Trump.

  • Rob Desantos

    May 10, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    “Quite frankly” is a favorite phrase of douchebags everywhere.

  • Rob Desantos

    May 10, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Meanwhile when it comes to “paid agitators” on the Right, they’re called the Florida House of Representatives.

Comments are closed.


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