Florida Senator Gets Powerful Lobbyist To Help Her Get Mother’s Power Restored After Irma
This is a story of power, restoring power, and having the audacity, and power, to flaunt your abuse of power while facing no real consequences for your actions. This is the story of American politics, Florida style.
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After Hurricane Irma left the state of Florida, 12+ million Floridians found themselves without power. Some of the people without power happened to include the mother and sister of a powerful State Senator in Florida, Daphne Campbell, D-North Miami Beach. What do you do when your kin doesn’t have power? What do you do when you find yourself with a different kind of power, mainly political power? You do what it appears Daphne Campbell did, you use that power to turn on the power for your mother and sister.
A website named Rise News originally broke the story of text messages being sent from the Florida State Senator to John H. Holley, the Vice President of Florida Power & Light. As it so happens, the Senator from North Miami Beach sits on the Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities. Needless to say, this would be a committee of significant interest to Florida Power & Light.
The text messages were sent starting Monday, September 12th, just a day after the storm had moved through the state, and ended Tuesday, September 13th. Here is the transcript from the text shared via images originally on Rise News.
Monday, September 12th:
Senator Campbell: John good afternoon. Can someone helps me with the power. I do have a sick person in my house and she’s using oxygen. The address is (address given). Same than my children’s house (address given). Thanks Senator Campbell
John H. Holley: Let me see what we can do. It’s ugly out there. How are you doing?
Senator Campbell: (Address given) This one is my sister.
I was working as a only Nurse and was the only….
Senator Campbell: Thank you very much but my sister one still not on yet. Million thanks. My sick Mom thanked you too.
John H. Holley: Working on it
Senator Campbell: The power for my mom off again. Can you please ask someone to take care of that ASAP
John H. Holley: I will def let them know.
Senator Campbell: John please gives a call. I need foods for those with no power. Can you help
Tuesday September 13th:
Senator Campbell: John Good Morning Miami
According to Rise News, Campbell herself bragged about her power connections at a recent event this past Saturday night, September 16th, in North Miami. She was the one who allowed Rise News to take a picture of her phone showing the text.
The power was eventually restored to her mother’s home, with some of her mother’s neighbors also seeing their power restored. Much of the community, however, is still without power. In the South Florida area alone, the area this Senator represents, over 66,000 homes are still without power.
For her part, the Senator obviously believes she has done nothing wrong. For the Power company’s part, they also believe that nothing wrong has been done.
FPL spokesperson Mark Bubriski claimed that he was “positive that she did not receive special treatment.” Of course being able to ping the VP of the company and get your mother and sister moved to the top of the restoration list wouldn’t at all constitute special treatment.
Campbell has told local media outlets that since her mother is her constituent, it wasn’t out of bounds for her to ask for special service since her mother is on oxygen.
This begs the question, why did her text only focus on her mother and her sister? And why her sister? What special reason did she have to request her sister get pushed to the front of the line to get her power restored?
Also, the hurricane was tracking to hit Florida well more than a week before it hit. As it approached, it became increasingly clear that this would be, at the very least, a major power interruption. If her mother needed power for her oxygen, then why was she or her family not assuring that her mother had a generator?
The excuse for why she felt she could push her mother to the front of the line by calling the VP of Florida Power & Light, one of the most powerful lobbyists in the state falls far short of credible belief. Of the hundreds of thousands of Floridians still without power, I’m willing to bet, given Florida’s demographic, that many of them include homes where people are on oxygen.
This woman sits on the committee in State government that has the most power to affect Florida Power & Light. Yet this woman had the audacity to not just claim she did nothing wrong, but to actually offer the information herself to a local news outlet, Rise News.
One would have to be an actor of the highest caliber to be able to muster a surprise face if it were to eventually come out that the Senator from North Miami Beach had reason to believe the special pleading for special privilege, Senate Power Privilege, was going to be discovered.
So, what do you do when you know bad news is going to come out about you? You release it first, and you attempt to own the news. After all, they’ll say, if she really thought she did something wrong, surely she wouldn’t voluntarily reveal what she did.
Another possibility for why the Senator from North Miami Beach might voluntarily reveal this information is this; the woman lives in such a Safe Senatorial Power Space that she cannot begin to fathom how inappropriate it was to attempt to curry favor with a powerful lobbyist, the most powerful lobbyist that her committee affects, especially when she did so at a profound time of crisis for the rest of her so-called constituents.
Either way, putting on my magic political psychic hat, I see a self-investigation that comes to the conclusion that “we investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong.” From what it appears, she comes from a heavily democratic district, and she appears to bring home the fat from the state coffers to her district.
Given all of this information, my political psychic hat further reveals that the Senator from North Miami Beach will suffer nothing but some negative stories for a few weeks, at least until the next faux outrage pops on the news media screens.
Perhaps she has a reason to feel comfortable sharing her deliberate abuse of power to restore power for her family members. Perhaps she gets a perverse pleasure knowing she can dupe her constituents, flaunt her office’s alleged code of ethics, and still come out, at the end, with all of her powers, restored, undiminished.
If my political psychic hat fails me, I’ll let you know. And then I’ll eat it.
Tags: Hurricane Irma, Florida State Senator, Daphne Campbell, North Miami Beach, John H Holley, Florida Power & Light, Lobbyist, Committee on Communications, Energy, Public Utilities