UDATED Oct. 23, 2018, 5 p.m. EDT — Florida’s GOP nominee for governor Ron DeSantis has a close friend who is also a campaign aide with links to the Proud Boys, a violent far-right white nationalist group, ThinkProgress reported Tuesday.
The association with the aide was the latest instance of DeSantis’ long history of having racist tendencies, which includes close personal ties and alliances with racist groups. He’s running against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who could become the state’s first African-American governor if elected.
Corey Breier, who serves as the candidate’s Miami-Dade County Jewish Outreach Chairman, reportedly attended the Proud Boys’ infamous Oct. 17 rally in Coral Gables, Florida, where members reportedly heckled House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The state police locked down the event over safety concerns.
ThinkProgress said social media postings placed Breier in the middle of that action.
“Breier posted an image on Facebook indicating he was on the campaign trail with Jeanette Nuñez, a Florida State representative who is DeSantis’ running mate for lieutenant governor,” the outlet stated.
Meanwhile, New York City police continued to arrest Proud Boy members on Monday. A week earlier, several members of the Neo-Nazi group brawled with anti-racism protesters on a Manhattan sidewalk after a political event.
DeSantis’ campaign did not respond to ThinkProgress’ requests for comments.
UPDATED Sept. 20, 2018, 1:30 p.m. EDT — The GOP’s nominee for Florida governor, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, found himself once again denying that he’s a racist. He tried on Thursday to distance himself from a big campaign donor who called President Barack Obama the N-word, Politico reported.
Steven A. Alembik, a 67-year-old self-employed data and email services provider, tweeted that the former president is a “F—KING MUSLIM N—ER.” The slur came in response to a Republican National Committee tweet disparaging Obama for criticizing the Republican Party.
Alembik has reportedly donated $22,920 to DeSantis over the years.
That news came on the heels of a Miami Herald report on Sept. 14 about DeSantis dropping a racist former state lawmaker from taking part in his campaign fundraiser.
Ralph Arza resigned under pressure in 2006 from the Florida Legislature for calling a fellow lawmaker the N-word in a voice mail message.
The Herald obtained an invitation to the Sept. 20, $10,000-a-head, fundraiser in which Arza was listed as a co-chair. DeSantis now says Arza was removed as a co-chair after a vetting process.
Updated September 10, 2018, 11:45 a.m., EDT–New details emerged about links between a white supremacist group and Rep. Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for Florida governor.
The Trump-backed candidate spoke four times at Freedom Center conferences organized by right-wing conservative David Horowitz, who has said Black people owe their freedom to whites who are the target of the nation’s “only serious race war,” the Washington Post reported.
“I just want to say what an honor it’s been to be here to speak. David has done such great work, and I’ve been an admirer. I’ve been to these conferences in the past but I’ve been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing,” DeSantis said, endorsing Horowitz, at the 2015 event.
The congressman also participated at Freedom Center gatherings in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Only his 2017 speech was previously reported.
A closer look at Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis’ background revealed that he has vast connections with white supremacists, contradicting the Republican nominee for governor’s flimsy denial that he’s a racist.
Less than 24 hours after winning the GOP nomination, DeSantis warned voters on Wednesday that his Black Democratic rival for the governor’s office, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, would “monkey up” the state.
The immediate pushback against DeSantis for blowing his racist dog whistle led the Trump-backed nominee to quit his role as an administrator for a hate group on Facebook, American Ledger reported on Wednesday night.
DeSantis was reportedly one of 52 administrators for a group named Tea Party, which is unaffiliated with the official Tea Party Patriots. Corey Stewart, the Trump-inspired racist GOP U.S. Senate nominee for Virginia, is also an administrator of the 95,000-member social media group.
Among the group’s racist gems, it referred to Black Lives Matter activists as “ghetto scum” and NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as “overpaid ball chasers” who “kneel like ISIS.” Group members have also spread the conspiracy theory that the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a hoax, according to Think Progress.
Prior to the revelation of DeSantis’ connection to the social media site, the congressman went to a convention that featured white supremacists, the Naples Daily News reported in June.
Back in November, DeSantis attended the conference that featured right-wing conservatives who try to cast racist views as legitimate political policies. David Horowitz, founder and president of the think tank the David Horowitz Freedom Center, picked up the $1,218 tab for the lawmaker to stay at a luxury beachfront hotel in Palm Beach. Horowitz, a so-called conservative intellectual, once lamented over the national “melodrama of Black victimization and white oppression,” according to the newspaper.
With all of these documented instances of DeSantis’ certain feelings about non-white people, there’s little doubt that this is all just the tip of a massive racist iceberg.