COVID-19 Surges (again), Gaetz Grand Jury Indictment, Desantis V Trump, and more.

Q: What's this post about? This public release discusses recent news and events related to the 2022 elections, as well as campaign updates and plans for January-February 2022, a statement about spoiler candidates, and calls for ballot petitions, fundraising, and volunteers.


 

News and Recent Events


Election 2022: Rebekah Jones vs (Matt Gaetz?)

Matt Gaetz' ex-girlfriend testified against him in front of a grandy jury in Orlando related to charges of obstruction and sex trafficking minors. While an indictment may come soon, Gaetz has resisted pressure from his own party to step down since last fall, when polls showed me gearing up to beat him in the election this November. It's not clear if an indictment will force his hand, but he continues to campaign and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his legal defense either way.


Further marred by his own bad behavior, Gaetz attempted to divert attention away from his pedophilia by attacking a local music festival, lying about the conditions put in place to protect workers and attendees from rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, by writing Florida's Criminal-in-Chief, DeSantis, who approved the concert's rules.


The downward spiral continued from there, with Gaetz announcing that he "cancelled" his membership to a Capital Hill club in Washington D.C. for complying with the city's new vaccine mandates (he wouldn't be allowed in without it, anyways). Gaetz has no problem complying with mask mandates on flights - I know because I was on one of his flights from DC to Pensacola last month. But his antics aren't getting him the attention he's used to, with most coverage coming from tabloids like the Daily Mail, or his own podcast. Still, he's fundraising off his insanity, which is why we need to show him how absurd he is by outpacing him in this quarter's fundraising goals.--> Click here to donate! <--


Election 2022: Desantis unraveling

A long-simmering feud between Trump and Desantis boiled over this week, with the two publicly shaming each other for their respective failed leadership. Someone on Trump's team pointed out that no one gets under Desantis' skin like I do, so I got a surprise message about how Trump could endorse me just to spite DeSantis. Never a fan of Gaetz, Trump wouldn't think twice about kicking Gaetz to the curb and making a comment as honest and simple as "The way Ron Desantis went after Rebekah Jones and her family was wrong."


And Trump would be right to do it - Desantis' obsession with my success has been well-documented over the last year-and-a-half. Even the mention about his illegal raid of my home, my firing for defending science, and his coercing Twitter to suspend my account... and Desantis starts yelling at reporters. The man who emails about one female scientist 12 times a day every single day for a year straight can hardly contain himself when publicly confronted with his sickness.


The spat between Trump and Desantis intensified when Roger Stone revealed that Desantis lied about his whereabouts over a two-week period in December when he went AWOL as COVID-19 spun out of control and a million much needed tests expired in storage facilities (which he also initially lied about). During the MIA period in December, Desantis' spokesmonster first claimed the family went on vacation, then another spokesperson claimed he was the hospital with his wife, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

According to Stone, Desantis was actually having an affair with a Newsmax reporter at the time. Roger Stone claims to have video evidence, but after Matt Gaetz' unhinged "January 6 Truth Video" conference, you just can't trust the GOP to deliver on the video proof the way I always have.


A flurry of click-bait came out of the Governor's office following the news of the affair, including the firing of the Orange County Director of Health at DOH for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated in an email that landed him on administrative leave. And despite Omicron rendering Desantis' prized antibody treatments useless, he continues to place orders for vast quantities, lining the pockets of his largest donors. This follows DOH Director Ladapo's public statement demonizing masking, testing and vaccines.


Desantis also proposed a bill to require special accommodations for white people who feel uncomfortable learning about slavery and the Civil War. "Surely that's a misrepresentation of what he's proposing?" you might think/ask. I wish. Here's the bill's language, from a recent article:

"A bill that would ban public schools and private companies from making white people "feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress" when being taught or trained about discrimination in the nation's past passed out of the State Senate Education Committee on a party-line vote Tuesday."


And if Desantis' dangling of derivative disputations didn't cover up the rising cases and deaths, the affair, and the feud with Trump, perhaps his creation of an elections police force would. The silver lining? The world seems to have finally woken up to the danger Desantis poses to our communities, state and nation, rightfully (and finally) calling him out for what he is: An Authoritarian.

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And while all of the melodrama and useless busyness unfolded, I was meeting with local leaders to ensure we were representing everyone in our district fairly, providing resources to veterans trying to access their benefits and other local services, making progress on expanding and diversifying our campaign staff, planning out the next few months to win this election, and taking care of my son, who has been in the hospital since last Friday.


I'm starting to think I'm a rare breed of future Congress members who aren't engulfed in conspiracy, criminal activity, and cronyism every day of the week. Some call it refreshing, while I say it should be the new standard.


 

Campaign Activities


January

Planning for the 2022 election kicks off for us with ambitious goals and aggressive outreach - which is why we need your support to meet our goals over the next six weeks! Click here to donate today!


While COVID-19 put a wrinkle in our event plans this month, we’re resuming in-person operations in February, assuming this most recent wave of the virus begins to recede by then.


February


You can download a PDF copy of our tentative public events schedule below or click here.

Feb22Events
.pdf
Download PDF • 163KB


Black History Month - We're celebrating the people and places that make up Northwest Florida’s African American history, including our famous (Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James) and lesser-known (Willie “Blue” Waitman) black community leaders. In tandem with original artwork commissioned with local artist Carter J, we’ll be adding a storymap to our website where members of the community can submit the people, places and stories that inspire them during Black History Month.


Valentine’s Day Meet and Greet - We’ll be celebrating Valentine’s day all weekend, with meet and greets scheduled across Northwest Florida. Events will be announced over the next few weeks.


Plus...

Volunteers wanted for Valentine’s Day postcard writing to voters on Feb. 9-10! We’ll be outside at my house on the beach! Cards, stamps, food, drinks, etc. will be provided! Email us at Info@RebekahJonesCampaign.com to volunteer!


Mardi Gras Parades and Balls-

If there’s a Mardi Gras parade in Northwest Florida this month, we’ll be there.

Krewe of Seville Ball, Feb. 5

Krewe of Warriors Ball, Feb. 11

Milton Parade, Feb. 12

Ft. Walton Beach Parade, Feb. 13

Pensacola Beach Kids and Pets Parade, Feb. 19

Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade, Feb. 19

Mardi Gras Ball at the Pennsylvania Yacht Club, Feb. 25

Cordova Mardi Gras Ball, Feb. 25

Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade, Feb. 26

Krewe of Wrecks Parade, Pensacola Beach, Feb. 27

Pawdi Gras Destin, Feb. 27


Other events/press:

Viewpoint with Seeta and Friends, radio show Feb. 7 at 12:00 PM ET

Sea Turtle Conservation & Community Sustainability Workshop, Feb. 8

Pensacon, Feb. 18-20, 2022

Gallery Night (Pensacon), Feb. 18, 5-10 PM

Beaches Activists Movement of Brevard County Speaking Event, Feb. 24 6 PM CT


Polling: Near the end of February, we’ll conduct another large-scale poll of where voters stand with the issues, with the incumbent and his behavior, and on Rebekah’s favorability heading into prime-time.


On the ground: Petition signing, talking to voters, door-to-door canvassing and more! Volunteers needed to help us reach more of our neighbors!


Help us do all we can do, be all that we can be, and reach as many people as possible by supporting our campaign today!

Every contribution helps us mail more letters, attend more events, schedule more meet and greets, and continue to engage with our community in meaningful ways!



Are you a registered Florida voter? Send us a ballot petition! Click here to download a petition with instructions! We need all petitions sent to us, which we then verify with the state, by April 2022! Digital signatures are not accepted by the state of Florida at this time.


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On the home front: Local Party Politics and Spoiler Candidates

We heard a lot about Republican spoiler candidates in Florida during the last election cycle - one even went to jail over the scheme. Spoiler candidates with similar sounding names or identical last names who don't campaign are the most obvious example of "spoiler candidate recruiting," a practice that I was pleasantly surprised to find out was not only highly unethical, but also illegal.


But what is it called when a small group of people pay a candidate who doesn't live in the district, cannot win a primary, isn't from the state, can't or doesn't fundraise, and serves only as a name on the ballot to keep away endorsements and financing from larger groups? Is that not also a spoiler candidate scheme, even if the two candidates' names aren't the same? Aside from the ethical issues of any member involved in this scheme holding any official titles or positions within the party they're sabotaging (that should disqualify them immediately, right?),what are the legal consequences of engaging in this activity, if any? That's a question my attorneys and I have been trying to figure out these last two months.


I've been put through a crash course on local corruption in party politics this past year, and it's shocking to me how small minded people with an ounce power will intentionally sabotage their own community, country, party, even their own ideals, out of pettiness - and it absolutely happens within both political parties. Refuse to kiss the ring of a self-important wealthy socialite? Expect a spoiler candidate to be on the ballot to keep the national party from giving you money, or to keep you from getting major endorsements where the by-laws prohibit them from endorsing before a primary.


Become a cross-over candidate with appeal across parties and with NPAs, while becoming the first candidate in 30 years polling within 6 points of the GOP incumbent, with a national platform and international praise for your work and advocacy? Be ready for a small group of people who can't win elections themselves to recruit someone to run against you. If they know they can't beat you, they'll just lie, cheat and sabotage every other candidate on the ballot to punish you for the crime of not needing their support, not wanting the strings that come with their support, and refusing their ultimatums.


For me, this came from a very small and isolated group of people that have never won their own races for public office, and found someone who doesn't even live in the district anymore, who moved to the state for the first time in 2020, and admittedly has no chance of winning, to list their name on the ballot for the sole purpose of preventing me from getting full funding and party support, as well as major endorsements. Primary elections in Florida are August 23, 2022, giving candidates a measly 11 weeks to bring in major groups and organizers for fundraising (unless you take dark money before then, which I have not done and will not do).


I believe living in the district you want to represent should be a requirement, but it's not. I believe campaign financing should be transparent, but it's not. The second item I plan to fix in Congress by supporting legislation that will overturn Citizens United.


Because if you don't live here, work here, send your kids to school here, you can't fully understand the challenges we face as families here every single day -- even absent of a pandemic.


We need to normalize electing people who care more about our communities than they do about political favoritism, grabbing power, or grifting off the bloated political infrastructure in this country.


I'm the only candidate here who has roots in Florida - my grandparents are from (and still live in) Florida; my dad even went to Boca High; my son grew up attending Florida's public schools (and still does); and my daughter was born right here in the Panhandle. I went to college in Florida, worked for the state of Florida, and my husband still works for the state of Florida as a scientist - going on six years now.


I'm the only one who has fought for Floridians, and risked everything in doing so - including my job, safety and freedom.


I'm the only candidate who has polled within striking distance of the GOP incumbent here since 1992, and at the last poll in October, I was only trailing by 6 points. Even the Cook Political Index updated the first district to reflect recent polling we've done in the district, slicing off 10 points from its R+ rating.


I'm the only candidate who didn't grow up with money, who works with our neighbors to get resources and services they need, and is hitting the pavement every single day to win this election. I'm the only candidate actively recruiting honest, hard-working community leaders to fight for every office in my community so that no corrupt school board member, county commissioner or state legislature runs unopposed.


And I do all of this while taking care of my family, managing my data systems, filming a movie, suing the state, and continuing my work as a science advocate in the media.


If you're wondering why on Earth any Democrat would be engaged in activities that could jeopardize the only shot they have at winning this race, and in doing so hurt races up and down the ballot, you're not alone. But all anyone has to do is file three forms and they're in the primary. It's shameful, unethical, disparaging. But is it illegal? Only time (and the lawyers) will tell.


Send a message to potential spoiler candidates and their recruiters that Rebekah is the only choice for Florida's First Congressional District by contributing to the campaign today!

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