Val Demmings: California's third senator?
September 30, 2022
“Follow the money” is a cliché in politics. It shows how knowledgeable people expect an officeholder to act. For Congresswoman Val Demings, a Democrat, who is running against Florida’s incumbent Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, the facts show that liberal, progressive donors in California and big labor unions expect her votes to be aligned with their interests and agendas, not necessarily Florida’s. Moreover, Demings’ voting record in Congress confirms her alignment with the policies of liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from California, whose legislative leadership has led directly to our current inflation and recession.
A senator from Florida should represent the interests of the people of Florida. Yet these entities were listed among Demings’ “top 20 contributors” on the non-partisan website opensecrets.org:
#2 American Federation of Teachers — the folks who sued to keep schools closed
#3 Walt Disney Co. — a California company that does business in Florida
#7 University of California — What business have they in Florida?
#15 Alphabet, Inc. — parent of Google, a California company
Demings’ “top 20 contributors” include 10 more major labor unions. What do they expect for their money? We elect members of Congress to work for us. If elected to the U.S. Senate, for whom would Demings be working?
Florida voters, and especially Jewish voters, are entitled to ask how our senator will stand on issues they care about, including Israel. Here are some of Rubio’s top contributors, per the same source, opensecrets.org:
#1 Pro-Israel America PAC
#2 The Villages
#6 Republican Jewish Coalition
#15 Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits — Florida company founded in 1933 by Jews
Is there any doubt which candidate will be a better friend to American Jews and to the State of Israel? Here is what the American Jewish Congress says about Rubio (ajcongress.org/jewishpoliticalguide/senators/marco-rubio):
• He opposed the Iran nuclear deal and supported moving our embassy to Jerusalem.
• He supported the Taylor Force Act to prevent rewarding terrorists with US money.
• He cosponsored the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act.
• He cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the Combatting BDS Act of 2017.
• He voted for the 2019 Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.
• He is a co-sponsor of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.
• He cosponsored opposition to the UN’s denial of the legality of Israeli settlements.
Every liberal government-spending program that caused or contributed to our current inflation and recession woes had Demings’ support. Republicans who say “Demings votes 100 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi” aren’t making this up. Another non-partisan website — justfacts.votesmart.org, which calls itself “The Voter’s Self Defense System” — shows that Demings voted “Yes” on all 109 “party-line” or near-party-line votes in the House of Representatives from January 2021 to August 2022. Presumably she voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Californian, on all of those votes.
Val Demings is the wrong choice to represent Floridians, especially Jewish Floridians, in the United States Senate. Her California connections, her voting consistently with Nancy Pelosi, and her heavy funding by labor unions, to whom she would surely be beholden, makes me doubt whether her Senate votes would serve the interests of most Floridians. Moreover, the sharp contrast between Demings’ financial contributors and those of Senator Marco Rubio, makes clear to me who would be more likely to support Jewish interests and the State of Israel. Vote for Rubio. He has earned your vote.
More information from one of the sources I used:
As of Sept. 15, 2022, per opensecrets.org, whose motto is “Following the Money in Politics,” really shows contribution sources, saying, “The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs (political action committees), their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.” The website calls these “Contributors 2011-2022,” but a bar graph shows that the overwhelming majority of Demings’ contributions came in 2022.
Rabbi Sanford (Sandy) Olshansky is a member of the national Leadership Council of the Republican Jewish Coalition.