Hispanic supporters express disappointment in Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign
Campaign’s former finance co-chair and key Hispanic politicians take campaign to task for insensitivity to Hispanic supporters
Published: April 2, 2014
JUST THE STATS
AMOUNT SPENT BY GOV. RICK SCOTT’S “LET’S GET TO WORK” POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE TO AIR ITS MOST RECENT ATTACK AD AGAINST OPPONENT CHARLIE CRIST AND on A SOFT-FOCUS COMMERCIAL ABOUT scott’s TOUGH CHILDHOOD
AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED TO SCOTT’S CAMPAIGN BY FORMER SCOTT FINANCE CO-CHAIR MIKE FERNANDEZ, WHO IS WORTH MORE THAN $3 BILLION
AMOUNT FERNANDEZ HELPED RAISE FOR SCOTT’S ANTICIPATED $100 MILLION CAMPAIGN ASSAULT ON CRIST
“I AM NOT THE CHIEF OF STAFF, I AM NOT THE CAMPAIGN MANAGER, I AM NOT THE STRATEGY CONSULTANT. I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN, I AM NOT A YES MAN AND DON’T MISTAKE MY SMILE AND COURTEOUS NATURE AS WEAKNESS. SO I WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK MY MIND AS I OWE IT TO RICK [SCOTT]. ANYTIME YOU WANT ME OUT, JUST TELL ME AND I WILL GO AWAY WITH A SMILE.”
– MIKE FERNANDEZ, FORMER CAMPAIGN FINANCE CO-CHAIRMAN FOR GOV. RICK SCOTT
WORST WEEK EVER
We’ll admit that it can be difficult to disguise our snickering schadenfreude when we watch the tight-lipped, super-lubed campaign machine behind Gov. Rick Scott’s $100 million re-election volley crumble in the most absurd manner possible. All of the ingredients of a great telenovela are in there, after all – white staffers faking Mexican accents on their way to Chipotle in a van, a disgruntled Hispanic billionaire shooting out email missives that were always going to find their way to the public, sagging poll numbers, lies and denials – all while the governor was orchestrating a Hispanic outreach component to his campaign, because, uh, Florida.
It all started with an email from campaign finance co-chair Mike Fernandez – of the recently departed from said duty department – sent at the whiskey hour of 11 p.m. on Feb. 20 to several higher-ups in the campaign. In said email (the first of two that surfaced) Fernandez accuses the campaign of being “homogeneous in its thinking and … feeding off each other and scared of disagreeing with the governor.” He goes on, as billionaires do, to lay out his concerns with the heaving mass of $100 million dysfunction, taking a minute to point out that, while his friend and co-worker “Luis” was in a van with senior staff members, somebody started talking all Mexican like that was a funny thing. Not funny!
“I truly believe that the difference in this race is the Hispanic vote,” he wrote in an email published by the Miami Herald. “But what do I know, I have only made over a billion selling to this population.”
Here we should note that Fernandez himself is not the awesome whistleblower we wish he were, but more of an accidental hero. Fernandez, like Scott, made his riches off the medical concerns of poor people. But when the guy who raised one-third of your campaign riches goes rogue? You’re in trouble.
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