Scandals Keep Piling Up On Florida Democrats

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Scandals amongst Democratic politicians in Florida are piling up as multiple Democrats have come under fire throughout recent months.

At least four separate major scandals pertaining to several Democratic politicians in Florida have surfaced as of Tuesday, including sexual harassment allegations, perjury charges, resignations and ongoing investigations.

Miami Beach Commissioner Rosen Gonzalez told The Miami Herald that she contacted police to tell them Rafael Velasquez, a candidate for a commission seat in Miami Beach, flashed his penis while the two were in a car after having dinner in October.

“I want to get a restraining order,” Rosen Gonzalez said. “He can call me a liar all he wants, but other women are coming forward.” She mentioned that she had previously backed Velasquez, but decided to come forward about the alleged incident when a friend told her to break her silence.

Democratic State Rep. Daisy Baez officially resigned from her seat in the Florida Legislature Wednesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge in a case over her legal residency.

Baez was charged with a misdemeanor perjury charge and will pay a $1,000 fine, take an ethics course and serve one year of probation. She will not be allowed to run for public office during her time on probation, according to a plea agreement obtained by Politico.

Democrats in the Florida Senate are also likely to choose a new state senate leader after state Sen. Jeff Clemens resigned for having an affair with a lobbyist, according to The Sun Sentinel. State Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville is expected to be voted in as their next minority leader next week, in his place.

Clemens had an affair with Devon West, a Broward County lobbyist, and stepped down within 24 hours after the news broke. Clemens said he will be attending therapy and “will seek to personally apologize to anyone I have wronged while seeking forgiveness, and will spend my time being a better husband and father.” Clemens was elected to serve as minority leader in 2019-20, but will no longer be taking on that role.

Like many other Florida Democrats, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has also been facing heat after she fought to keep prosecutors from examining a laptop that police may have been planted for her since-indicted staffer Imran Awan to find, along with a letter to the U.S. Attorney.

U.S. Capitol Police found the laptop after midnight April 6, 2017, in a tiny room that formerly served as a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building, according to a Capitol Police report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Exclusive: Police Report Indicates Wasserman Schultz IT Aide Planted Computer For Investigators To Find)

Alongside the laptop were a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. Attorney. Police also found notes in a composition notebook marked “attorney-client privilege.”

Even though the laptop had the username “RepDWS,”  Wasserman Schultz said it was Awan’s computer and that she had never even seen it. The situation is still under investigation.

The multiple ongoing scandals in the Democratic Party could severely affect Democrats in the 2018 elections in the already-red state that supported President Donald Trump.

Editor’s Note:

The Daily Caller, Inc., the Daily Caller News Foundation, and Luke Rosiak have settled a defamation lawsuit brought by Imran Awan, Abid Awan, Jamal Awan, Tina Alvi, and Rao Abbas (“the Plaintiffs”), in the D.C. Superior Court, Awan et al. v. The Daily Caller, Inc. et al., No. 2020 CA 000652 B (D.C. Super.) (“The Lawsuit”).
The Plaintiffs filed the Lawsuit in 2020, alleging that they were defamed by statements made by The Daily Caller entities and Mr. Rosiak, including statements in Obstruction of Justice, a 2019 book authored by Mr. Rosiak and published by Regnery Publishing, a business of Salem Media Group, Inc., about the Plaintiffs’ work for the U.S. House of Representatives. In response, The Daily Caller entities and Mr. Rosiak each denied liability and contested the Plaintiffs’ claims. 
None of the Defendants has admitted to any fault as part of this settlement. Nevertheless, The Daily Caller entities and Mr. Rosiak recognize that no charges have ever been filed against the Plaintiffs relating to their congressional IT work.

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