In the last three decades, the Florida Legislature has gotten progressively worse. Every time I feel we’ve reached a new bottom, we go lower. In 1997, after the GOP takeover of the State House, I told friends the legislature had reached a new low for buffoonery. But those days were relatively enlightened. In 2001, after term limits kicked in, the State House appeared to be worst sort of “citizen legislature,” but at that point the State Senate was focused on moderating the House’s worst instincts so the center held. In 2011 and 12, the legislature hit new lows, but in Rick Scott they had a cartoonish Governor, who didn’t really know how to work the process.
Now in 2022, we have Ron DeSantis, the defacto leader of the national GOP as the Governor and a set of legislators that are so devoid of fear about reelection in this polarized partisan era with safe seats dominating the map, we have reached a new low.
The GOP’s efforts to curtail reproductive freedom as well as humiliate LGBTQ+ children are draconian, overbearing, and unAmerican. Efforts to restrict abortion access exacerbate existing health care inequities for working families, and as we’ve discussed before this is a CORE economic issue and in the opinion of this writer really has nothing to do with “morality.”
We generally don’t pick on individual legislators on here – heck we’ve never run an article targeting Anthony Sabatini even! But this case is a exceptional. But today we have no choice, because not only is the Senator Ileana Garcia making a fool of herself, but she’s the chief beneficiary of the biggest election fraud scandal the nation saw in 2020.
The knock-on effect of the ghost candidate scandal has been to deliver a more Republican State Senate, with Senator Garcia, an ideological zealot quickly becoming the most visible member of the body outside of internal political circles. Oh the shame!
Throughout the years, we’ve had some extraordinarily obtuse legislators. Whether it was Senators Robert Harden and Anna Cowin in the 1990’s or Dennis Baxley throughout his career or the incredibly embarrassing Kim Daniels (who btw, was a Democrat).
In 2022, the legislator causing the most hubub is Senator Garcia, who as we noted above came to office as a beneficiary of the biggest electoral fraud scandal in nation during 2020. Ironic given all the protestations from the GOP about supposed Democratic “electoral fraud.”
Garcia’s previous claim to fame was that she founded “Latina’s for Trump,” but now she’s added several absolutely insane statement to that dubious distinction. Her views have become so extreme, she recently left Twitter.
Here are some choice quotes from Senator Garcia:
In Senate Committee on Tuesday:
“It never dawned on me how bad this situation is, but sometimes it’s caused by us, in the–I don’t know–I guess in our journey for validation we expose too much of ourselves sometimes. And I have seen–and I–the first time I had to deal with this was working at the Department of Homeland Security, when we started working on the human trafficking campaign, how the very rules and laws that we have to protect us actually counter us, they’re against us. Freedom of expression, the issues with–Where do you draw the line between freedom of expression and pornography? Social media and the things that we post on social media–I can’t begin to tell you…
“You know, if you could sit down and really think twice about the pictures of your kids that you post? Sometimes I see parents very innocently posing with their kids, or putting pictures of–nude pics of their children on social media and I think to myself, ‘Wow, they have no clue as to what they’re exposing themselves to, what they’re inviting in.’ Just hash tagging has long term consequences. But I think that the responsibility starts with us, with you, and the content that you put out there, and then the responsibility will continue with legislators like the ones on this committee today.”
Last month, Senator Garcia sat down with WFOR’s Jim DeFede and similarly said some very strange things.
Jim DeFede: “You don’t think that the African American experience today is different than the experience [of] either yourself or someone like me?”
GARCIA: “No, not at all.”
DeFede: “You think it’s the same?”
GARCIA: “Yes, we do. That’s why we had Obama as president. That’s the best example in the world. Obama was president. Not for four years, for eight. So–you know.”
In the same interview Garcia indicated carving out exceptions to a proposed ban on abortion for victims of rape and incest was unnecessary.
It’s pretty galling to have someone so ignorant and ideological in public office. It’s even worse when that person doesn’t represent their constituents in a meaningful way – a constituency where she won less than 50% and as noted above won office as a result of a shady, dark money-driven fraud.