Express Lane: Dems looking to rally in Early Voting after a week of GOP success; antisemitism rocks Florida with DeSantis seemingly unwilling to condemn it; The good and bad of Chairman Diaz’s endorsements

We’ve never seen such a one-sided week in Florida politics in terms of real ballots cast. The GOP has effectively run the table throughout the state outside of Leon, Pinellas and Alachua Counties in early voting so far.

The Democrats have tapped Karla Hernández, the party’s Lieutenant Governor nominee to try and turn things around in south Florida, where Democratic turnout has been underwhelming to say the least in Early Voting and really poor in Vote-by-Mail also outside of Palm Beach County.

Hernández is starting her day in a few hours, by joining the Florida Democratic Party, local activists, union leaders, and volunteers for a canvass launch to get out the vote in Miami Springs. 

Afterward, she will join Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for a Souls to the Polls rally in Hallandale Beach and a “Come Vote with Me” event in Miramar, where they will meet with Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, elected officials and community members to mobilize voters ahead of November 8.

In the evening, she will join community leaders, local activists, and grassroots supporters for a Souls to the Polls event in Delray Beach.

Florida has been stung by a string of antisemitic actions and Governor Ron DeSantis has sat silently. It continues a pattern for DeSantis of ignoring the flames of ethnic and religious hatred that have increased exponentially in this state during his tenure as Governor. In fact, it can be argued at times that DeSantis fans the flames of antisemitism by using whether consciously or unconsciously antisemitic tropes including his attacks on the media, entertainment industry and the likes of George Soros.

This week. we’ve seen greater efforts by antisemitic groups to get their message across, from an overpass on I-10 in Jacksonville, to the Florida-Georgia football game where Governor DeSantis reportedly was in attendance to the “The Sunshine State Nationalists (SSN) are a new Florida-based neo-Nazi organization established in early 2022 by ‘Pale Heretic,’ an associate of GDL and NSM. The group, which refers to itself as ‘Ron’s Holocaust Task Force,’ a reference to Governor DeSantis, engages in activism ‘to free the state from Jewish rule from Miami, Palm Beach County and Boca Raton.”

“Floridians of all stripes have condemned the vicious anti-Semitism that has recently polluted our airwaves,” said former Governor Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2022. “But Ron DeSantis still refuses to denounce Nazis that carry his flags. Under Ron’s watch, violent, white supremacist groups are openly operating in Florida and even using his name. Florida deserves a governor that will forcefully and unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism and other hate. I will always stand with Florida’s Jewish community, even condemning anti-Semitism from within my own party, and I welcome this effort to shine a light on how DeSantis’ refusal to condemn Nazis fuels rising anti-Semitism.” 

The majority of Jewish elected legislators have signed an open letter regarding Governor DeSantis’ inaction on antisemitism and have endorsed Charlie Crist.

Manny Diaz’s local endorsements have been getting lots of attention in recent days after his endorsement of Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, a nominal Democrat, who is backed heavily by local GOPers, lobbyists and FPL led directly to the Leon County Democratic Party endorsing Commissioner Kristin Dozier, Dailey’s challenger (who has been strongly backed by this website).

But Diaz’s foray into local races hasn’t been all bad. His endorsement of Dr. Allen Zeman in a critical Broward County Board Race was the right call, as was his endorsement of Harvey Ward in Gainesville Mayor’s Race. Diaz has tried to get Democrats to react to DeSantis’ foray into local races, particularly those for school board, which is an important function. But the Tallahassee decision remains a blot on what has been an otherwise good initiative from the party Chairman. For too long, Democrats have stayed out of local races and let the GOP build a bench or not tied Democrats at the local level to any sort of party loyalty, allowing them to remain nominal Democrats while serving GOP-aligned interests.

But Diaz just should have stayed out of the Tallahassee race.

One comment

  1. Patti Lynn · ·

    I am in a continuous state of shock at what is happening in Florida and our country. The damned Governor does not have the moral compass that would DEMAND a condemnation of the anti-Semitism raging through FloriDUH. He is promoting policies to intimidate voters, mostly black and brown voters. He is a callous, calculating, cold-hearted man, and he needs to GO!!!


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