December 3, 2022

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Why did the Florida GOP pay the white supremacist Rubio canvasser?

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Why did the Florida GOP pay the white supremacist Rubio canvasser?

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The Florida Republican Party has yet to publicly comment after reports surfaced earlier this week that the state’s GOP paid a known White supremacist nearly $10,000 over the summer for canvassing work done on their behalf.

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Twenty-seven-year-old, Christopher Monzon, made the news on Monday after reportedly being attacked in the conservative Miami-area neighborhood, of Hialeah.

Despite no evidence for the claim that it was a politically motivated attack, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) tweeted on Monday that Monzon was attacked by “four animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in the neighborhood.

Hialeah resident, Diana Rosa Lopez, rebutted the Senator’s allegations that the fight between her son Javier Jesus Lopez and Monzon had anything to do with politics.

“My son doesn’t know anything about politics. He likes fishing,” Lopez told the Miami Herald in a Tuesday interview at her house. “My son has never voted.”

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This isn’t the first time Sen. Rubio has failed to condemn the increase in supremacist activity and rhetoric – particularly in Florida.

In June, The New York Times reported on the infiltration of members of the alt-right nationalist group, the Proud Boys, into the Florida GOP – landing positions on school boards. Writing,

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Several Proud Boys are currently serving on the Miami-Dade GOP Executive Committee. When asked about their participation, the chair of the Miami-Dade GOP confirmed their extremist status: “Yes, we have fringe elements.”

When local affiliate WPLG-TV asked Senator Rubio if “he was OK with Proud Boys serving on the Miami-Dade GOP committee,” Rubio snarkily deflected, responding “Well, when you ask me about the Communists and Socialists that are part of the local Democratic party, then we can talk about members of the Republican party.”

Pressed on the issue, the United States Senator said he wouldn’t “condemn members of the Republican Party.”
Occupy Democrats reached out to the Republican lawmaker via phone and email for a statement on news reports regarding Monzon’s ties to right-wing hate groups – and whether he condones or was aware

Occupy’s calls went unanswered, but the Senator’s office responded with an email, saying,

“Thank you for contacting my office. We have reviewed your message and determined that you are a resident of another state. We kindly request you contact the U.S. Senator’s or the U.S. Representative who represent the area where you live so they can better assist you with your issue.”

Monzon was vocal about his bigoted views. The Southern nationist – and self-proclaimed “Cuban Confederate” — frequently shared his vitriol on social media and frequently used the n*word.

According to the report by the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism, Florida is home to the most January 6th defendants charged in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and recorded over “400 incidents of white supremacist propaganda – a majority aimed at the state’s sizable Jewish community.

“Florida is home to an extensive, interconnected network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists. This network, which often collaborates in planning and executing propaganda distribution campaigns, banner drops and in-person demonstrations, includes the White Lives Matter (WLM) network, the antisemitic Goyim Defense League (GDL), the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA), NSDAP (named after the Nazi Party of Germany), the neo-Nazi Sunshine State Nationalists (SSN),  NatSoc Florida (NSF) and the National Socialist Movement (NSM),” the ADL wrote.

Former Florida Republican legislator, Juan-Carlos Planas  — an election attorney who’s since joined the Democratic Party – condemned the GOP’s refusal to denounce White supremacy in Florida. Planas pushed back on Rubio’s attempts to gaslight and deflect in his comments accusing the left-wing party of being infiltrated with “socialists.”

Planas tweeted:

Hate and extremism are spreading across the country, and Florida has been ground zero for much of the hateful activity.

Florida Republicans not taking a quick and decisive stand against increased violence and the role the GOP has played in exacerbating the brazenness of hate groups operating in the state.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to Rubio’s tweet about the attack on Monzon with a comment that was right about one thing – “there is no place for violence in politics.”

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But, apparently, there’s a place for white supremacists in the Republican Party – and silence on the matter is complicity.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Monzon received four payments from the Florida Republican Party between June and August 2022. Occupy reached out to Helen Aguirre Perre – Communications Director for the Florida GOP – for a statement on where the party stands with this pressing issue.

So far, crickets.

Original reporting by Matt Shuham and Christopher Mathias at Huffpost.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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