Here in Florida, we have to put up with a lot of undesirable characters on the right, like Rick Scott and Pam Bondi. But we have not-so-desirables on the left as well, such as DWS. One that always gets my eyes rolling is Florida's own Leslie Wimes. She was featured this week on Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, Fox and Friends, RealClearPolitics, and other outlets saying Hillary is in "full-blown panic mode” about African-American voter turnout.
I was going to say something way back when there was a diary featuring her “endorsement" of Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. The “diarist”, who was banned earlier this year, was miffed because Hillary didn’t reach out to Leslie’s Florida-based organization, the “Democratic African-American Women's Caucus", which Leslie founded. (BTW—calling it a caucus implies members of a legislative body, but whatever....) I'm sure she's upset that Hillary ignored her. I don't blame her though. Frankly, Bernie was wise to stay away from her as well.
My issue with Leslie isn’t her attacks on Hillary, nor the fact that the only time I ever seem to hear her name is when Hillary's poll numbers take a mild hit. That is really more of an issue with the media. (It must be so frustrating to have people the media declare as "spokespeople" for an entire race. Really media--knock it the hell off already.) My issue with Leslie also isn't that she attacks Democrats in close races in social media tirades, like Patrick Murphy and Charlie Crist to name a few.
No, my problem with Leslie is her association with Sunshine State News, which is a right-wing smear site that came into existence soon after Rick Scott’s election. It is much like "Newsmax" or "Fox News", except worse. (Srsly, why do conservatives try to label their bullshit sites "news"?) SSN was exposed by the Tampa Bay Times, which called out their phony claim that their parent company was CNN. The editor, Nancy Smith, refused to say who their real owners are:
Editors at Sunshine have repeatedly declined to identify the owner of the news service that frequently praises Republican Gov. Rick Scott and routinely trashes Democrats and the mainstream media. Earlier this year Smith praised Scott as a "hero'' and described him as "utterly charming'' in a column critical of the Capital press corps. A study completed in July by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism ranks Sunshine as the least transparent news website in journalism's new Internet-based landscape. The study found that news websites were more likely to offer balanced news coverage when they were more transparent about funding sources.
Although Tampa Bay times couldn't find out, I have a pretty darn good guess of who it might be. I’m pretty sure you can guess as well, since SSN puts in their "About" section that they are the "only news organization in Florida with an editorial board that believes free-market, less-government solutions”. Sound familiar?
SSN is designed to hurt the Democratic candidates and the Democratic cause. Leslie Wimes is a featured writer on SSN, as she seems to play the Doug Schoen role of "balance" for being the "Democratic voice". Now, let me say that I have a lot of respect for people who go to right-wing sites or shows to defend our Democratic principles or fight for our candidates. Unfortunately, that is NOT Leslie.
She plays the attack dog well. Not just Hillary, but several other Democrats as well. You can see of all of her work here: www.sunshinestatenews.com/...
This year, I should note that there are a lot of good Democratic candidates in Florida running. There are ballot initiatives that we strongly support, like Amendment 2--Medical Marijuana. There are causes we fight for, like Black Lives Matter.
Do you see Leslie Wimes promoting any of these candidates, initiatives, or causes on SSN? No.
What you do see is her attacking Democrats up and down the ticket. And SSN is all to happy to provide the platform to push a narrative that even Democrats like Leslie can't stand them.
This isn't to say that Leslie doesn't sometimes have good points, or that she doesn't have any genuine concerns, but she should ask herself why a conservative site is giving her a platform to attack the Democrats. I can pretty much gaurantee if they thought her hit jobs would mean better Democrats or pushing our cause for racial equality, she wouldn't be there as the Democratic stooge. All she is doing is helping our Democratic opponents in tight races bring voter suppression, dog whisltes and gun violence. That's what her buddies Marco Rubio and David Jolly will bring with their Senate and House majorities.
I have plenty to say about members of my own party at times, but I didn't go on right-wing sites to do it. It's a betrayal and slimy. Of course, Leslie is free to do whatever she wants to promote herself, but don't think for a second that I nor any other Florida Democrat is going to respond to what she says knowing the kind of person she is.
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