Darren Soto politicizes Orlando tragedy despite years of NRA support

IMG_5311Our friend Peter Schorsch has an exquisite takedown of Darren Soto’s record on guns in wake of his highly politicized call for a Special Session of the Florida Legislature after the Orlando tragedy. Soto’s record on guns as Schorsch points out is consistent over the years including as recently as last year. Schorsch writes:

Rather than working with community groups and leaders who have been at the forefront of gun control efforts in Florida, Soto has instead, seriously undermined them. Take, for example, the League of Women Voters, which recently led the successful campaign to block campus carry laws in Florida and called for policy action in response to Sunday’s shooting. If the group had hoped to make a nonpartisan call for a special session to enact serious reform, they’d be facing an uphill battle thanks to Soto’s political posturing.

That’s not even the worst of it. In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Soto seems to be painting himself as a leader on gun control. In fact, the opposite is true.  Throughout his ten-year-career in the Florida Legislature, Soto has consistently sided with the gun lobby — on everything from “Stand Your Ground” to “Docs vs. Glocks” and more.

Soto even received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association as a state Representative and as a Senator.

Just last year, Soto voted to strengthen Florida’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” gun law (SB 344), making it harder for prosecutors to try gun casesLucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, a black teenager killed in Jacksonville in a 2012 dispute over loud music, urged the Senate Criminal Justice Committee to vote down SB 344. Soto sided with the gun lobby rather than grieving mothers when he voted for the bill, which the NRA deemed a “must-pass priority.”

As we’ve demonstrated before Soto has a record contrary to liberal values and progressive interests on a number of issues including education the environment and regulation of business. But Soto whose political ambitions know zero bounds has shamelessly sought to exploit a tragedy for his own political gain even though it is contrary to his long-standing and established record.

In this election climate, you’d think politicians would get more credit for standing on their convictions and record –  but in some cases the politicians have no convictions and want to run for said record – Darren Soto appears of that ilk.


  1. David Lutrin · ·

    Soto has always been a DINO. Plain and simple: he sucks, always has and always will.


  2. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…..how many times has this blog defended Katie Edwards? How many times has this blog promoted Katie Edwards? And when you ask anyone about Katie Edwards, what does everyone automatically think…”isn’t she the pro-gun Democrat who is supported by the NRA”?

    Yes, Darren Soto did have an “A” rating from the NRA. But what about the “liberal icon” and former Susannah Randolph employer Alan Grayson, who had a “B” from the NRA? And what about another liberal icon, Mark Pafford, also a “B” grade as well? Also, Senator Soto has never been endorsed by the NRA….Katie Edwards has been endorsed by the NRA.

    I do find it somewhat confusing that this blog goes after Senator Soto for guns, but has cozies up with Katie Edwards all of the time, and fails to mention the voting record of Grayson and Pafford, who are obviously viewed favorably by the NRA, at least during the time where we are examining Senator Soto. This article (along with Peter’s article) seems to be practicing “cafeteria commentary”, picking and choosing what is to be presented to the reader in a Fox News-type fashion.Still, when it comes to gun issues, how can we take any commentary seriously from a blog that gives Katie Edwards extremely favorable coverage? Pot meet kettle?

    Honestly, this post sounds like something written up by Susannah Randolph and her group who, by the way, has a history of distorting the truth with the “Taliban Dan” ad. Why don’t you ask Randolph if she agrees with Grayson’s votes on gun issues, since she worked for Grayson at the time? Criticizing Senator Soto for his record is fine…that is what debates are for. However, only presenting one side of the argument is parochial at best, and dishonest at worst.


    1. here’s the truth about Alan Grayson’s NRA Rating:


      GRAYSON = F “True enemy of gun owners’ rights. A consistent anti-gun candidate who always opposes gun owners’ rights and/or actively leads anti-gun legislative efforts, or sponsors anti-gun legislation.”


    2. More truth –> here’s what Gun Owners of America have to say about Alan Grayson:

      Grayson = F
      Anti-Gun Voter: a philosophically committed anti-gunner.


      1. First, Grayson having a “B” in 2010, the same time Soto had an “A”, still stands as a valid point, regardless of other information. Other grades did not make his “B” grade magically disappear.

        Second, deflecting the argument doesn’t take away from my original argument, which is all of the free media that this blog has given to Katie Edwards, the extremely pro-gun, NRA-supported Democrat. Again, it is kind of hypocritical giving Edwards a pass for years for being pro-gun while attacking Senator Soto at a politically opportune moment.

        The article tries to label Darren Soto as a political opportunist, yet the timing of this article is extremely fishy. I just looked back at the archives of this website and not once can I see an article questioning Senator Soto’s record on gun, yet his “A” rating is from six years ago. Why now? Why not earlier? And, again, why not criticize Katie Edwards for her position on guns? It is amazing the double standard that applies here. If anyone is trying to politicize the issues, I would argue that it is The Florida Squeeze.

        If anything, Edwards is more responsible for creating a pro-gun environment in Florida than Sen. Soto ever could be! Additionally, there is always talk about her running for statewide office. If that happens, someone better primary her out, especially if she runs for Attorney General! Imagine AG Edwards defending anti-gun laws? It would be just like Pam Bondi’s record regarding the LGBT community.

        If you are going to attack someone for their agenda, at least be consistent.


  3. Darren Vierday · ·

    Fifteen of the victims lived in Senator Soto’s district. Their families asked for something to be done, and he is still a State Senator until November. So not only is Senator Soto (and Sen Thompson and Rep. John Cortes) answering their call to action, he is answering the President’s call to action, like our U.S. Senate Democrats.
    This morning, the NRA attacked him this morning using similar talking points to this blog post:
    “These ultra liberal, gun hating Democrats, should be ashamed. A call for a special session is nothing more than political posturing. They are attempting to use a tragedy for political gain,” defends NRA Lobbyist Marion Hammer.
    Glad to see that we can count on both the NRA and this blog to run counter to that whole “Orlando United” thing by actually politicizing this mass shooting.
    Usually, I just laugh off many of the flailing attacks I see on this blog, but this post really angers me. Maybe it’s the fact that this horrible atrocity happened blocks from my house. Maybe its because my neighborhood still has news trucks and a police presence. maybe its because I’ve stood by friends and wondered when we were waiting for the victims.
    Moreso, maybe it’s because this blog couldn’t wait an entire week to gleefully attack an elected official for doing his job. Did the staff at the Florida Squeeze celebrate the shooting, thinking it would be a boon to whomever you support?
    If anyone is “politicizing” this tragedy, it’s the NRA, desperately defending against the tide of public opinion. And it’s this blog, desperately looking at this tragedy for ammunition to fire at a State Senator answering to his constituents on a desperate candidate’s behalf.


  4. Ruth Ann Eaddy · ·

    I agree with Darren Vierday. Your readers are tired of your opposition to Darren Soto. They are not responding or maybe they are no longer reading the blog.


    1. I don’t do personal attacks. It’s his voting record and statements that are fair game like that of every public official. If the voters in CD-9 want to put someone like him in office that is certainly their right. My sense is though many liberals don’t know his record or what he says so we will remain vigilant in tracking what he says and does. Thx.


  5. Gun bans and laws only serve to give criminals and terrorists the upper hand. Long standing gun bans did not save people at the Bataclan in Paris. Also Pulse shooter was authorized to purchase/carry firearm he was a armed security guard a ban would not have stopped him from obtaining firearms. Stop thinking your safe just because some law is in place, your only fooling yourself. Responsible gun owners stop crime 2.5 million times according to FBI statistics. More people are stabbed than shot with a rifle of any type including semi-auto assault style. 2x as many people are beaten to death than shot by all rifles combined. Also of the 35k people shot to death more than 1/2 are SELF INFLICTED suicides. You may want to give up your rights to own a firearm but I’d rather keep mine and know how to use my firearms because it will protect me better than some dumb law criminals don’t care about.


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