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The Grossly Cynical, Hypocritical Campaign of Janet Cruz

September 19, 2018 - 6:00am
Janet Cruz
Janet Cruz

When State Rep. Janet Cruz jumped into a Florida Senate race against incumbent Republican Dana Young, she told Tampa voters she was motivated to run because of the February school shootings in Parkland.

The term-limited House minority leader had previously filed to run for a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.

Her (in)action during the 2018 legislative session screams the ultimate hypocrisy.

Within three weeks of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida’s Legislature and conservative governor had done something Republicans had resisted for more than 20 years: they voted to defy the National Rifle Association.

Legislators, including Young, who had sworn allegiance to the Second Amendment voted to raise the age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21, extend the waiting period for all gun purchases, and ban bump stocks. But they also used the tragedy to patch together a plan to address weaknesses in the mental health and school security safety nets, budgeting $400 million to accomplish that.

While the House debated the proposal, parents who lost children at Stoneman Douglas lobbied the governor, lawmakers and the media to get the bill approved, saying, "There is enough good in the middle of this bill that everyone can agree on.” 

Despite the pleas of Parkland parents to pass the legislation as a first step, Cruz and all but nine of the House Democrats voted no on the measure. Young, on the other hand, heeded the aggrieved parents and voted for the compromise.

For gun control advocates, it was a definite improvement, though falling short of a ban on assault weapons that have been used in most mass killings. 

For the NRA, it represented an unconstitutional abridging of the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Moments after the bill became law, the NRA’s Washington lawyers filed a federal lawsuit.

Firing blanks at reporters
Firing blanks at reporters

Then there is Cruz’ alliance with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn who mused publicly about killing journalists as he fired blanks from a machine gun turret on a Navy vessel.

Buckhorn’s remarks were widely circulated in the national media. Buckhorn’s hate-fueled rhetoric made headlines in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, CNN, and Raw Story.

A year later a crazed shooter massacred five newsroom workers at the Annapolis Capital Gazette.

But Buckhorn, who boasted he would relish being the triggerman mowing down journalists is a major patron behind Cruz, the politico that said she was so moved by the Parkland shooting.

Cruz still uses the massacre of 17 students at  Stoneman Douglas as the reason for her decision to try to remain in the Legislature.

Cruz has disappointed fellow Democrats on other fronts as well. 

She accepted campaign contributions from a well-known predatory lender that victimizes a significant portion of her constituency.

Janet Cruz ad
Janet Cruz ad

Cruz alienated an influential segment of her own party when she conspired with failed gubernatorial and Congressional candidate Alex Sink to shove progressive favorite Bob Buesing out of the race.  

Sink used the carrot and stick approach with Buesing: no support from the state Democratic Party if he remained in the race, but a possible appointment (with a Democratic governor) if he bowed out.

The punchline: an appointment possibility was viable as long as one of the Party ‘s handpicked choices -- Gwen Graham or Phil Levine -- won the primary. Both are sitting at home musing about “what ifs.”

Then there was the ultimate insult to Cruz.

During the first Democratic gubernatorial debate, candidate Phil Levine could not identify Cruz as the outgoing minority leader of the Florida House.  Her undistinguished record may have something to do with that knowledge gap.


Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, writes the Tampa Bay Beat blog.


Cruz is running a very amusing campaign! Have you seen her most recent mailer from the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign, featuring 4 "Parents" against Dana Young? Yet, one of her parents is a felon, so she can't vote! And was arrested for guns at one point, isn't Cruz against this too?! Hmm...way to go with your research!

Declaring 2 homestead exemptions is kind of a big deal. Most people know what that means. That commercial they are running for Dana Young against Cruz is one of the best I've ever seen.

Well, the Republicans and the Trump administration certainly don't completely control the market on hypocrisy and incompetence among politicians. There's way more than enough schlock to go around!

Yawn, another political hit piece on Dems and oh, Cruz this time...big shocker here...

Yawn. Another Cruz parrot trolling.

Nope, just trolling your mom...

Always our LOUDEST constituency (WOMEN), will ultimately destroy this Country with their ever present "Momism" attitudes and perspectives; The "19th Amendment" was probably one of America's BIGGEST mistakes,...and the "start" of the "watering down" of America's resolve in all PERTINENT "issues" !

typical sexist, racist, right-wing scumbag, probably from NY, just like Trump...

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle! Absolutely correct. All around!

Jim what about Dana Young? I guess you have nothing bad to say about her? We'll see in when Janet Cruz beats your girl in November! In Tampa we speak with our votes!

And you support Cruz, who claimed two homestead exemptions and paid large fines. Typical hypocrite.

funny you should bring up candidates who paid large fines and hypocrisy in politics, considering your biggest FL candidate and governor is the poster boy for paying fines for wrong doing... Too funny

Comments are now closed.

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