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.

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@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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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

Things That Matter

Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Disinformation Campaign Aimed At Florida’s Latino Voters

Things That Matter

Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Disinformation Campaign Aimed At Florida’s Latino Voters

H2Woah! / Flickr

A disturbing disinformation campaign is taking place in Florida and it is targeting the Cuban-American community. The racist insert in The Miami Herald recently brought a spotlight to the wide reaching disinformation campaign made to convince Cuban-Americans to stay loyal to the Republican Party.

Politicians are growing concerned about the increasingly aggressive disinformation campaign in southern Florida.

From Whatsapp clips to Facebook groups, there has been an aggressive and seemingly success disinformation campaign aimed at Cuban and Cuban-Americans in southern Florida. QAnon and conspiracies are mainstays in Spanish-language YouTube channels and other social media sites. The ads claim things as extreme as President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were secretly selling uranium to Russia.

The campaign to mislead Latino voters in one of the larget swing states is causing alarm.

“People see the videos and the disinformation so many times that it gets to them. They feel they can’t trust the media, and that’s the most worrisome part,” Democratic strategist Evelyn Pérez-Vedía told NBC News. “Now they call Spanish-language media fake news.”

Politicians are calling for an investigation into the disinformation campaign to end it.

Representatives Joaquin Castro and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell are calling on the FBI to launch a formal investigation. The disinformation is aiming to move Latino voters to President Trump. A recent influx of Puerto Ricans who fled natural disasters has put the Republican hold on the Florida Latino vote in jeopardy.

Rep. Murcasel-Powell is sounding the alarm that the disinformation situation in Florida is akin to the Russian influence of the past.

“As we rapidly approach election day, Latino circles in South Florida have witnessed a surge in posts containing false or misleading information on social media…While disinformation on social media is, itself, problematic, even more concerning is the fact that disinformation originating on social media is now shaping and pervading more traditional media outlets in South Florida,” reads a letter from Reps. Castro and Mucarsel-Powell “As the FBI works to secure our elections, we urge you to keep the Latino community in mind and consider efforts of foreign actors to spread disinformation and sow doubt in our election systems among Latinos, especially in South Florida.”

It’s a reminder that it is important to be critical of what you see in social media.

It is always very important to double check your sources and do your research. Don’t just believe everything you see on social media, even if it is something that your friends and family are sharing and talking about. It is also important to keep those you love accountable and let them know when they are sharing things that just aren’t true.

READ: Florida Republican Representative Shows Off Cuban Man He Claims Is His Stepson

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