This week, mailers began to arrive in Senate District 9 from a shadowy, dark money organization called Floridians for Equality and Justice. Despite professing to be a progressive organization, Floridians for Equality and Justice are using Republican dark money tactics in an attempt to influence a Democratic primary.
- Despite engaging in “paid electioneering communication,” there is no record of the organization registering as a Political Committee in Florida. In fact, there is no record of this group registering anywhere in Florida.
- The address of the organization is a UPS store in Miami that has been used by Republican campaigns and Political Committees in the past. Their phone number does not ring and goes straight to voicemail. Their webpage also lists no one in leadership positions.
- Despite listing progressive groups Equality Florida and Ruth’s List Florida on their webpage, those same groups have no relationships with this organization, nor any knowledge of their activities.
- They used the likeness of Senator Annette Taddeo, a strong supporter of Patricia Sigman, in a mail piece endorsing another candidate in the race.
Senate Victory, Senator Annette Taddeo, Equality Florida, & Ruth’s List Florida are calling on all candidates in Senate District 9 to denounce these Republican-style dark money tactics.
“I am outraged this organization would use my likeness to promote a candidate I do not support,” declared Senator Annette Taddeo. “Patricia Sigman has my endorsement because she is the only candidate in this race who has a proven track record of fighting on behalf of Central Floridians. Dark money attacks have no place in a Democratic primary, and a real progressive would never resort to using dark money to win an election.”
“Patricia Sigman has fought for the LGBTQ community throughout her career and that’s why she has the endorsement of Equality Florida Action PAC,” stated Equality Florida’s Senior Political Director Joe Saunders. “Our organization has been on the frontlines of the battle for equal rights for decades and we condemn any group that seeks to use our reputation to further their dark money politics.”
“Ruth’s List Florida is appalled by these dirty tricks, but frankly not surprised. Patricia Sigman has spent her career fighting for progressive issues like women’s rights and will be a strong voice for progressive values in the Florida Senate. We are outraged that this faux group using Republican tactics would use our good name to give themselves the appearance of credibility- and we demand that all candidates in Senate 9 denounce these cowardly attacks funded with secret money,” Barbara Zdravecky, interim CEO of Ruth’s List stated.
Copies of the mailers will be provided upon request.