Who is Likely to be Our Next Florida Commissioner of Agriculture? - FNR Editorial (Edited 06/06/2022)
Florida State Senate President, Wilton Simpson, is a Republican from the 10th District, covering north and central Pasco County, Hernando County and Citrus County.
Simpson’s votes are in opposition to the Republican Party Platform and of DeSantis’ Floridians-first agenda. In fact, the American Conservative Union Foundation issued a 83.54% lifetime rating for Simpson’s voting record in the Florida legislature, a far cry from most conservative Florida lawmakers.
Simpson terms out this year and has his sights set on becoming the next Commissioner of Agriculture. What would that mean for Floridians to have a man with his ideology as the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture?
Voting Record in the Florida Legislature
Wilton Simpson’s voting record reveals a lack of allegiance to the Republican Party Platform. He’s reduced gun rights, undermined election integrity through support of online voting registration, opposed E-verify security for businesses, supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and advanced Obama’s Medicaid Expansion for Florida:
• VOTED YES for Obamacare Implementation, expanding Medicare: http://ratings.conservative.org/bills/FL-2015-senate-SB2-SpecialSession
• VOTED YES for Online Voting Registrations, undermining Election Integrity: http://ratings.conservative.org/bills/FL-2015-senate-SB228
• VOTED YES for In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants, exploiting Florida tax payers and mocking our immigration laws: http://ratings.conservative.org/bills/FL-2014-senate-HB851
• Opposed E-verify; a practice that mandates all Florida businesses verify the workers they hire prove they are legal to work: https://floridianpress.com/2021/12/anthony-sabatini-blames-sprowls-and-simpson-for-standing-in-the-way-of-e-verify/
• VOTED YES for Gun Control against law-abiding Americans: https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180421/florida-alert-it-s-time-to-name-the-betrayers-who-voted-for-gun-control
Simpson not only supported gun control, he actually authored SB7026, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which affects buying, selling, or transferring guns and accessories. Simpson authored this gun-control bill after Mike Fernandez donated $250,000 to Simpson’s PAC. Fernandez is a South Florida gun control activist, but only when it suits him. His own security detail carry firearms, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he can to disarm the “peasantry” of Florida (A few months later, Fernandez donated $200,000 to then Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum). Simpson’s “Red Flag” legislation restricts adults from buying guns and accessories and allows ‘red flag’ accusations that gun owners are an immediate threat to others to result in confiscation, a situation ripe for abuse and one which hasn’t decreased gun crimes.
During the recent 2022 legislative session, Governor Ron DeSantis asked for a Constitutional Carry bill, saying he would sign the legislation into law if it landed on his desk. The Senate President controls which bills advance to committee and the floor and no bill was even introduced in the Senate under Simpson’s leadership. One House member explained her failure to co-sponsor the House bill was fear of retribution by House leadership and she would never have a bill heard or funds allocated to her district.
Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture oversees all concealed carry permits and firearms licensing in the state of Florida. Do you trust the person who authored the gun control law, reversing what had been a trend to constitutional liberty that had earned Florida the nickname, “The Gunshine State,” to protect Second Amendment rights? As Governor DeSantis said recently, “We used to be the leader on Second Amendment issues.”
Opposition to DeSantis
Simpson’s voting record and policy positions put him in direct opposition of our very popular and well-loved Governor, Ron DeSantis. Simpson battled DeSantis’ proposed congressional maps, resisted fulfilling his $100 billion-plus state budget and rejected his attempts to rein in tech and social media companies and stalled an anti-union bill. Simpson even told the Governor NO when DeSantis wanted to give relief to Floridians at the gas pump when prices shot up. Simpson’s brand seems to be anti-DeSantis, despite DeSantis’ strong leadership and commitment to the fundamental principles of the Republican Party Platform.
Can you trust the endorsements?
The NRA Endorsement
In 2018, the NRA released a scathing alert against the Florida Republicans who voted for SB-7026, the “gun control bill.” Simpson’s name made their list of “betrayers.”
The NRA urged their supporters:
“When [these Republicans] ask for your support, when they ask you to volunteer in their campaigns, when they ask for your donations, when they ask for your votes, think long and hard about what they had done. ”
Since this alert, and after sponsoring a table at a recent NRA gala fundraiser, Simpson received the NRA endorsement. The NRA failed to explain how they endorsed Simpson after this excoriating directive presented to Florida voters. Apparently, they hope you have a short memory.
President Trump Endorsement
Former President Trump, whose endorsements as of late have been questionable, touting Simpson’s fitness for Commissioner of Agriculture. Trump also endorsed Las Vegas sheriff Joe Lombardo for Nevada governor, in a stark departure from the Nevada GOP. Trump also gave his endorsement to incumbent U.S. Congressman from South Florida and Blue Falcon, Brian Mast. Simpson, Lombardo and Mast all have one thing in common: all are gun-control Republicans, flush with campaign cash. But they desperately need the Trump endorsement. Who else would you go to for an endorsement to make the “RINO” go away?
Governor DeSantis Endorsement
Finally, shockwaves were sent through conservative circles last week when Governor DeSantis endorsed Simpson for Commissioner of Agriculture. This, after the DeSantis camp targeted Simpson only months ago when Club for Growth dropped $75,000 in ads against Simpson in his own district. Governor DeSantis rarely makes a political misstep, but this will be judged as one of the few. DeSantis needs nothing from Simpson; Simpson needs DeSantis. Unfortunately, Simpson got it And trusting Floridians are cannon fodder.
Simpson received an astounding amount of sugar-industry campaign money, including $675,000 to one of several political committees he chaired. Simpson supported a bill to expand Florida’s Right to Farm Law to shield them from lawsuits over particle emissions. The industry was rocked when a federal lawsuit was filed over Big Sugar’s practice of setting fire to its fields to clear excess leaves before harvesting the stalks, choking nearby towns.
Financial Endorsement via Disclosures
If money buys political seats, Simpson is a shoo-in. His PACs are flush with cash:
• Jobs for Florida, $21.5 million
• Florida Green, $3.1 million
• Future Florida, $3.1 million
• Friends of Wilton Simpson, $4.9 million
Filings with the Florida State Financial Disclosure site, http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/search.cfm, reveal the following information about the history of Simpson’s finances:
In 2012, he reported his net worth was $15.6 million.
By 2018, Simpson’s filed financial disclosure showed his net worth had soared up to $26 million. http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/Forms/2018/211905-Form6.pdf
And by 2019, Simpson’s net worth had incredibly increased to $33.4 million.
Politics seems to be lucrative work if you can get it.
It seems Simpson, with his coveted endorsements and sweet campaign honey pot, is lined up to become Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture where he will enjoy unprecedented authority over Floridians’ gun rights and land management. This should concern all Floridians and, specifically, the GOP.
Every endorsement and advancement of a Republican who defies the Republican Party platform makes the GOP increasingly irrelevant.
And maybe with the money flow originating from the Left to “Republican” candidates, that’s exactly the point.
Message to Shaw: “Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.” Andrew Breitbart
We need true conservatives like Alex Newman in the Florida Legislature. He's running for district 28 and will be a great asset if we can get him past the RINOs in the primary. Listen to him on Frank Speech at 4:30 daily and you will see what I mean. He needs all the support he can get since he's not bought off by the big money bunch.