Rebekah Jones made national headlines this week when the state leaked an internal report from Governor Ron DeSantis' Inspector General to the press, catching the pro-DeSantis media red-handed for illegally obtaining the final version before the state even sent it to Jones' attorneys.
The report, which found Rebekah told the truth about the state ordering her to hide and delete data from public access (though contended that's not a crime), has been hailed as a victory for Jones' case, according to legal experts.
"The state did its own investigation of itself entirely separate from my whistleblower complaint and still could not find proof that anything I said was false," Rebekah told The Miami Herald. "I didn't interview for this report, we didn't file our complaint with his IG, and yet they still couldn't disprove what happened in what is supposed to be their own narrative."
On the two most bombastic charges - that state officials pressured Rebekah to falsify figures for the purpose of misleading the public - the state's investigation of itself determined it could neither prove nor disprove what happened, despite multiple DOH employees submitting sworn statements supporting Rebekah's report.
Still, a neutral finding from what amounts to the state's own position statement is a considerable win, said Tallahassee attorney and former head of ACLU Florida Richard Johnson.
Despite the bulk of the alt-right media attacking Jones, largely based on fired-Politico hack Marc Caputo's defamatory and fabricated opinion blog, the report itself supports the crux of Jones' claims
Jones' whistleblower complaint is still active with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and once a determination is made on her complaint (now two years old), Jones and her lawyers plan to sue for what might be the largest whistleblower settlement for any government agency in United States history.
Former Florida Governor (and current candidate for Florida governor) Charlie Crist praised Rebekah during his speech condemning DeSantis' evil intentions, thanking her for her work during COVID-19, her run for office and her fight for government accountability.
Both Crist and Fried have been fierce supporters of Jones for two years, and Jones has the full-backing of both the Florida Democratic Party and the National Democratic Party in her run against Matt Gaetz, whose sex-trafficking investigation has been in grand jury proceedings since at least last summer.
Jones also took the time to speak to reporters and called out DeSantis' absence in Northwest Florida since news of Gaetz' alleged-sex trafficking of underage boys and girls broke in January 2021.
“He hasn’t been seen publicly with him in a year and a half,” Jones observed of DeSantis and Gaetz.- Scott Powers, Florida Politics
The positive press from the state's internal report and the Orlando event have boosted the visibility of Rebekah's campaign in Northwest Florida to unseat Matt Gaetz.
Despite a Desantis-backed Democratic living in another district filing to run against her, Rebekah's polling at 88% in the Democratic primary, which party officials have said they don't view as a "contested race," given the damage the Desantis-backed shill candidate has done to the party while openly coordinating with Desantis' administration to defame and smear Florida’s whistleblowing heroine.
Another "ghost candidate" from Palm Coast, Robert Jones, also filed to run in the First District, though whether or not he or the fake Democratic candidate will make the ballot once qualifying ends in June remains to be seen.
In a head-to-head race with Matt Gaetz, the most recent polling from fivethiryeight.com shows Jones leading Gaetz by 6 points, something she highlighted during her speech in Orlando.
The June 1 event recognized the start of Pride month nationwide as Ron DeSantis works to demonize, criminalize and silence LGBT Floridians through oppressive and unconstitutional executive actions.
Organizer Jack Petocz, who organized the national walk-outs in protest of Florida's discriminatory and predatory "Don't Say Gay" bill earlier this year, introduced Rebekah as one of the main speakers of the event for her efforts to expose DeSantis at great personal cost to herself and her family.
Democratic Congressional candidate Maxwell Alejandro Frost also spoke at the event, as did activists Zander Moricz and Will Larkins, Pulse shooting survivor and gun-reform advocate Brandon Wolf, as well as Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried and Anna Eskamani.