Jose Javier Rodriguez

Post-debate “oops” moment: De Blasio channels Che — in Miami


It’s typically una cosa buena to show off your Spanish-speaking creds in Miami.

But not so much for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who sparked outrage after he reportedly quoted Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara earlier today.

“The eyes of the world are on Miami-Dade and on this airport,” De Blasio said at a rally in support of employees protesting poor working conditions at Miami International Airport. “Hasta la victoria siempre!”

The Spanish phrase — Until victory, always! — has long been associated with Guevara, from his purported “farewell letter” to Cuba.

De Blasio’s comments quickly drew condemnation, and Florida Democrats demanded that the presidential contender apologize.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo (@TerrieRizzo) tweeted:

“Mayor Bill DeBlasio does not speak for Floridians or the Florida Democratic Party and he would be wise to apologize.”

State Sen. Annette Taddeo blasted De Blasio on Twitter, saying she was “utterly disgusted.”

State Sen. José Javier Rodrigues also slammed the presidential hopeful in a tweet followed by this post from Javier Estevez, a Miami Democrat running for the state House:

De Blasio’s gaffe gave a boost to Republicans, who’ve been busy painting Democrats — in Miami for two nights of debate that will wrap up this evening — as a bunch of socialists.






EMILY’s List backs Mary Barzee Flores in CD 27

20374691_747055515505507_3902901032105913306_nEMILY’s List is backing Mary Barzee Flores in what is expected to be a heated race to replace Miami U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who’s quitting Congress after nearly three decades.

Flores, a onetime public defender and former Miami-Dade circuit judge, will face off in the Democratic primary against (among others) state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who’s also a lawyer and who flipped a GOP seat last year after emerging victorious in a vicious contest with incumbent Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (another lawyer).

The backing of Emily’s List not only aids Flores in the fundraising arena, but could also give her a leg up with women voters, who may be more voted to support female candidates amid the national uprising about sexual harassment in the boardroom, in statehouses, in Congress, and, of course, in Hollywood.

The EMILY’s List press release, issued this morning:

“Mary Barzee Flores has built a reputation as a dogged public defender and empathetic judge in the same community she was born and where she and her husband ​are ​rais​ing​ their family. Now EMILY’s List is proud to endorse her as she seeks to bring her incredible work ethic and passion for her hometown to the halls of Congress,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in the release.

“This open seat represents an opportunity for Floridians to send a message to Washington. Working families need a representative who will fight to protect basic women’s health care services, defend against the rolling back of environmental protections, and push to reform our broken immigration system. Mary is ready for the job, and we look forward to supporting her every step of the way.”

Mary stepped up to run and to fight for the working families of Miami-Dade County after the 2016 election inspired her to be the candidate she knew her community needed. She is running for the open seat currently held by retiring incumbent Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has represented this district since 1990 — a time during which South Florida has undergone dramatic changes. Mary is an outstanding leader running a strong grassroots campaign, and she has what it takes to flip this must-win seat.


JJR asks Bondi to investigate opioid manufacturers

State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Miami Democrat who’s running to replace veteran Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is asking Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to launch an investigation into pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids to determine whether their drugs have played a role in what some describe as an opioid epidemic.


Officials in several other states — including Ohio, Illinois, New York, West Virginia, California and Mississippi — have filed lawsuits against the drug manufacturers, including one based in Florida.

More than 25,000 people in the U.S. died after overdosing on opioids like fentanyl, oxycodone and hydrocodone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read Rodriguez’s letter here.