Things That Matter

He Finally Resigned After A Night Of Racist And Sexist Comments Against Fellow Senator Went Public

It’s been a busy week for Florida Senator Frank Artiles, who on Monday went on a racist and sexist rant that ultimately led to his resignation on Friday. While at Tallahassee’s members only Governors Club, Cuban-American Artiles dropped the n-word in front of fellow African-American colleagues Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale. Artiles also called Sen. Gibson a “b-tch,” a “girl,” and “this f-cking asshole.” He then proceeded to drop the n-word when referring to Florida Senate President Joe Negron, who Artiles also referred to as a “pu–y.”

Artiles’ was elected as Republican Senator in 2016.

According to the Miami Herald, Sen. Gibson later described Artiles behavior that night as, “[…] the most disrespect I’ve ever encountered.”


USA Today reports that Florida Governor Rick Scott reached out to Sen. Gibson, expressing grief over Artiles’ behavior: “I talked to Senator Gibson right after I heard about it, and said I’m sorry that anyone would talk to her like that. She’s a wonderful person. But nobody should be talked to like that.”

The following day, Artiles went into damage control mode by apologizing to Sen. Gibson, Motto-Time reports.


“In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate,” Artiles said, according to Time-Motto, “I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”

By this time, however, the Florida Democratic Party was already calling for Artiles’ resignation.

As revelations of Artiles’ highly problematic behavior became public, several prominent political figures began asking for the Artiles’ resignation.


The Miami Herald reports that Senate President Negron later said, “Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated while I am serving as Senate President.” Senate President Negron, however, did not see any need to pursue disciplinary action.

On Wednesday, USA Today reports, Senate President Negron told Artiles to publicly apologize to Sen. Gibson for his comments, which he did. Senate President Negron considered the matter closed, but on Thursday Senator Thurston filed a complaint, which opened the door to an official investigation.

In a scathing OP-ED, the Sun Sentinel called out the Senator, saying, “Artiles’ continued presence is a stain on the party, a blight on the Legislature and an affront to the Miami-Dade citizens he represents.”

As pressure mounted, Artiles sent an official letter to Senate President Negron offering his resignation.


In his resignation letter, Artiles again apologized for his behavior, saying:

It is clear to me my recent actions and words that I spoke fell far short of what I expect for myself, and for this I am very sorry. I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to all of my fellow Senators and lawmakers.

He added:

To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness.

After resigning, information about Artiles’ questionable practices came to light.


Recent findings show that during Artiles’ campaign for the senate, his election committee — Veterans For Conservative Principles — hired both a Playboy model and a Hooters calendar girl as political consultants. For their efforts, they received $1,500 and $2,000 respectively, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Not much else is known about what skills they offered, as details are still coming out.

Senate President Negron acknowledged that Artiles did the right thing by submitting his resignation.

@JOENEGRONFL / TWITTER

According to USA Today, Senate President Negron released the following statement on the matter: “As Senator Artiles has noted, he holds himself responsible and accountable for his actions and comments. Despite the events of the last week, Senator Artiles has a long and proud record of public service.”

Aside from serving as a Florida Senator, Artiles is also an ex-Marine, which he noted in his resignation.

After Artiles announced his resignation, Sen. Gibson released her own short statement:


The brief statement said, “I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support. This has been an ordeal that no one should have to endure. I wish [Artiles] well in all of his endeavors.”

USA Today reports that a Florida Governor Scott must set up a special election to fill the newly vacated seat.

[H/T] Miami Herald: Miami state senator curses at black lawmaker — and refers to fellow Republicans as ‘n-ggas’

READ: Venezuelans Lost 19 Pounds Because There’s No Food But The Government Gave To Trump’s Inauguration

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Naked Woman Is Stuck In Storm Drain For Weeks But How She Got There Is Even More Strange

Things That Matter

Naked Woman Is Stuck In Storm Drain For Weeks But How She Got There Is Even More Strange

Rescuers are still scratching their heads after helping a woman out of a storm drain, where she had allegedly been trapped for weeks. Although her family is glad that the woman has been rescued, they have more questions than answers about the woman’s past few weeks.

Woman is rescued from storm drain after being missing for three weeks.

A 43-year-old woman who had been missing for three weeks was rescued Tuesday after she was found trapped inside a storm drain just a few feet away from a busy street in the Florida city of Delray Beach. She was naked and unable to stand on her own.

The bizarre rescue began when a good Samaritan heard yelling coming from a drain and called 911, according to Delray Beach Fire Rescue. How she ended up in the drain is even more unusual:

The woman told officers she went for a swim in a canal near her boyfriend’s home in West Delray Beach on March 3, according to Delray Beach police.

“While she was swimming, she came across a doorway near a shallow part of the canal. She stated she entered the doorway and noticed a tunnel,” reads the March 23 incident report. According to the report, she became curious and began walking down the tunnel, which led to another tunnel and so on until she became lost.

Thanks to the good Samaritan, the woman is now recovering.

Credit: DELRAY BEACH FIRE RESCUE / FACEBOOK

If it weren’t for the compassion of one bystander, the woman could still be trapped. “There’s a lady stuck in a sewer, yes ma’am, she cannot get out. She’s screaming for help … she don’t have no clothes,” a woman told the 911 operator, according to a recording of the call the Miami Herald obtained through a public record request. The woman told the operator she was in her car, with her windows down, when she heard the screams.

The woman will now undergo a mental assessment. Her mother told police she has a history of mental illness and is known for “doing odd things and making bad decisions when she is high on drugs,” according to the report. Police said she is a Methadone patient and that her last dose was the day prior to her disappearance.

Her boyfriend had reported her missing three weeks before her rescue.

The woman had been reported missing by her boyfriend on March 3, after 9 p.m., when he spoke to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say they don’t know how long the woman was in the tunnels. The woman claims she was walking in the tunnels, lost, for about three weeks until she “saw some light” and decided to sit there because she saw people walking by, according to the report. It’s unclear how long it took for someone to notice her.

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Florida Moves To Ban Iguanas (Among Other Animals) As They Start Showing Up In People’s Toilets

Things That Matter

Florida Moves To Ban Iguanas (Among Other Animals) As They Start Showing Up In People’s Toilets

There’s never a dull moment in Florida. The state is well known for its fondness for all things exotic and/or strange, it has a long history of accommodating religious cults and now the ex-President Trump calls the state home. But now the state is trying to clamp down on another unwanted resident – invasive reptiles that are overrunning the state and literally showing up in people’s toilets.

Florida moves to ban iguanas as they become an invasive species in the state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has ruled that within the next few weeks the breeding and dealing of 16 of the most ecologically-damaging non-native species must be brought to a halt. The ban will apply to several types of python that have proliferated to crisis point in the Everglades, as well as all types of tegu lizards, anacondas, Nile monitor lizards and green iguanas.

Green iguanas have multiplied in Florida to such a degree since they were first spotted there in 1960 that they are regarded as an environmental hazard. They puncture seawalls, tear up sidewalks and carry salmonella.

An animal once prized as an exotic curiosity is now widely decried as a pest. The iguanas hang out on roofs, dig under houses and to the horror of home owners can crawl into sewers only to emerge, thrashing around, in the toilet bowl.

The state conservation commission now encourages Floridians to humanely kill the lizards, which can grow up to 5ft and 17lbs, on their own property. No hunting licenses are required.

Iguanas are just one of many exotic animals that have become a problem for the state.

In an effort to protect local ecology, economy, and human health, the state is making it illegal for Floridians to breed or sell such animals as Burmese and scrub pythons, Green anacondas, Nile monitors, green iguanas, and tegus, among several other invasive species. Finalized on February 25, the new rules are meant to improve the regulations on the ownership of invasive reptiles in Florida, and they’re expected to go into effect later this summer. 

“Stringent biosecurity measures are required for those entities in possession of Prohibited species to limit escapes,” declares the Florida wildlife commission in its guidelines. 

These reptiles are becoming a major menace in the state, ravaging sensitive ecosystems and wreaking havoc in urban environments. The Burmese python, for example, is now endemic in the Everglades, where it consumes a wide variety of prey. 

But not everyone is onboard with the idea of banning the sale of these animals.

When the commission debated the rules last month it was inundated with comments, many from exotic pet owners and breeders pleading for the ban not to go ahead. As the Washington Post reported, one woman burst into tears over the idea of losing her pet iguanas and pythons.

“If you take them away, I would be really messed up,” she wailed.

But the spread of invasive species through sensitive ecosystems such as the Everglades is happening at such speed that the state felt duty bound to act. The reptiles are also causing havoc in urban areas.

To soften the blow to pet owners, a concession has been tucked into the new regulations. Anyone who cannot contemplate the thought of being parted from their iguana or tegu can apply for a free permit. But the reprieve will last only for the life of the animal. Once the critter is gone, it cannot be replaced by a new pet from the list of banned species.

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