Enough with the Identity Politics already! (It really is getting old.)

District 108 mapDespite the Second Ever Official “VotersOpinon Recommends” in the History of the World, Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell handily beat out the opposition in the August Democratic primary.  On November 4, 2014, she will face a new challenger by the name of Cedon Saintil, Jr., a self-described “local businessman and pastor,” who is registered as NPA (No Party Affiliation).

Ordinarily I’d support anyone running against an incompetent politician.  This is not to say that Mr. Saintil wouldn’t be a good choice for House District 108.  I’m sure he could do a better job than Daphne Campbell.  Almost anyone would.

I’m also pretty sure that Mr. Saintil won’t be able to snatch the tiara from Daphne’s tightly clenched fist.

I'm a celebrity

But his failure to unseat her won’t be entirely his own fault.

I happened to come across an email sent by “Mario Apollon / a concerned Haitian American citizen,” of Apollon & Associates, 1525 NW 24 Street, North Miami, Florida 33167, inviting “All my Friends, Supporters & members of the community” to a fundraiser in support of Cedon Saintil, Jr.’s candidacy.

If the name Mario Apollon sounds familiar, it should.  He ran against North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith in the 2011 election.  It was also commonly believed that Mario was NMB Councilcritter Frantz Pierre’s ringer installed in the race to advance Frantzie’s ultimately failed “Haitian Agenda.”

As an interesting side note, according to his Facebook page (and the Florida Division of Corporations), Mario Apollon is a resident of North Miami.  One of Apollon’s good friends happens to be Carpetbagger Hans Mardy, who also “relocated” to North Miami Beach in time to run in the 2009 and 2011 elections, and also conveniently “moved” back to North Miami after losing in NMB.

Hans-Mario friendship

Facebook BFFs

(FYI, both of them are also Frantzie’s Facebook and Real Life friends.)

In his email supporting Cedric Saintil, Jr., Mario Apollon wrote:

“Needless to say that the Haitian Diaspora is no longer what it used to be 30 years ago. Thanks to the hard work of our predecessors who have settled across the nation, our brothers and sisters are no longer refugees who are desperate to put foods on the table. Our aspiration has passed beyond hunger & poverty. We are now professionals with bigger dreams, vision and aspiration to take part of the American dream.

We become doctors, lawyers, businessmen, educators, and politicians just to name a few. As we move on to the social ladder, we become more eager to change the negative stereotype that has been followed us for decades.”

At that moment, he had me at “American dream.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there.

Mario Apollon then proceeded to blow all his political capital by stating:

“If we’re serious about helping Haiti, let’s start with the Haitian Diaspora.”


What did “helping Haiti” have to do with the “American dream?”

Silly me!  And here I thought District 108 was in the State of Florida.

But not according to Mario Apollon.  He continued:

As a concerned Haitian American citizen, I call upon your goodwill to put our differences aside for the betterment of the Haitian Diaspora and eventually our homeland, and abroad.

Instead of discussing District 108’s representation in Tallahassee, FLORIDA, Mario’s bigger concern is “the betterment of the Haitian Diaspora” and his “homeland.”

Although it’s entirely possible that Florida House of Representatives District 108 candidate Cedric Saintil, Jr. does not espouse the same Identity Politics as his supporter/fundraiser, Mario Apollon.  But if you received that email, what would you think?

Here’s the thing.

According to the statistics published by the Florida House of Representatives, the voting age population of District 108 is made up of:  60.0% non-Hispanic Blacks, 12.7% non-Hispanic Whites, 22.6% Hispanic, and 4.6% are classified as “Hispanic Black” and “non-Hispanic Other.”

Even if most of those non-Hispanic Blacks are Haitians (which is highly unlikely), at least 40% of the voters believe that District 108 is in Florida.

Not Haiti.

I seriously doubt that Mario Apollon’s email will affect the outcome of the election one way or the other.  For one thing, Cedric Saintil Jr. has almost no name recognition.  For another, judging by the fact that no Republicans even dare to run in District 108, the only thing voters seem to care about is that their state rep is a Democrat.  Saintil’s NPA classification isn’t exactly helping his cause.

But most importantly, it’s nearly impossible to unseat an incumbent.  Even worse, the longer elected officials are in office, the harder it is to get rid of them.  Daphne has held her position since she was first elected in 2010.  After her primary sweep in August, I’m pretty sure she’s not staying up nights worrying about losing her seat to Saintil.

Unfortunately, the citizens of District 108 will probably be stuck with Daphne Campbell for the next two years.  If they’re serious about getting rid of her, they’d better come up with a viable candidate by 2016.

Otherwise, the “Celebrity” of the Florida House will continue her reign.

Princess Daphne

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. Allan Jacob says:

    Although I can sense some displeasure with Rep. Campbell in your post, as a strong supporter of school choice I must come to her rescue. She has been a loyal friend to the school choice movement in Florida that helps so many poor children in our district. Moreover, she was the only Democrat to buck the Democratic caucus last session and vote for the Step Up bill that expanded the choice options. So what is it about her that makes her worse than all the other Reps in surrounding districts who do nothing for us?


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      According to an article dated February 11, 2013 entited “Florida Dem Engulfed in Scandals,” (http://freebeacon.com/politics/florida-dem-engulfed-in-scandals/):
      Florida Democratic State Rep. Daphne Campbell and her family are being investigated for several counts of fraud and corruption.
      The Miami Herald reports the Campbell family scandals include attempting to change Florida law in order to get out of five traffic tickets, Medicaid fraud, tax fraud, identity fraud, grand theft, voting fraud, wrongful deaths, and mistreatment of seniors.
      Campbell denies any wrongdoing.
      Campbell claims photographs showing her husband’s car (with her campaign bumper sticker) running several red-lights were digitally altered.
      “It’s a lie,” she said. “That camera is a made up story. You can do anything with the computer now.”
      Other claims against Campbell and her family are:
      “Campbell and her husband own businesses that bill Medicaid. And the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating them two years ago. Their son, 30-year-old Gregory Campbell, faces Medicaid fraud charges in an alleged $300,000 scheme.”
      “[Campbell] and her husband last spring were slapped with $145,000 worth of liens. The IRS also began examining the Campbells over financial transactions involving a web of family healthcare businesses. Two former business associates told The Herald and IRS that the Campbells scammed them.”
      “Campbell’s husband pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal charge of falsely using someone else’s Social Security number to obtain $829,103 involving six separate loans, one of which was from a Honda dealership.”
      “[Campbell’s] top aide Janice Shackelford was arrested for grand theft last fall for allegedly charging constituents, mostly Haitian immigrants, phony fees for help that never materialized. Before Campbell hired her, Shackelford had pleaded guilty to a 2006 grand theft charge in Miami-Dade; a swindling charge was dropped.”
      “North Miami has been plagued with “unscrupulous” absentee ballot irregularities at assisted living facilities, a county ethics group reported in 2008. Campbell campaigned in a North Miami ALF. And that very ALF was highlighted in the ethics group report that pointedly mentioned the Democrat by name.”
      “Campbell and her son ran Professional Group Home, based in Miami-Dade. And two developmentally disabled Miami-Dade residents died in its care in 2006, one after she was raped by a dangerous resident. The rapist wasn’t supervised closely despite Daphne Campbell’s assurance to a judge that he would get “’one-on-one” monitoring from staffers who will “’be with him everywhere he goes.””
      “The four deaths — plus inspections that found everything from rodent feces, cockroaches and squalor at the Campbell’s facilities — led the state to try to terminate their contract for about 10 group homes. The Campbells fought the state to keep their license so they could continue to work in the healthcare field and bill Medicaid.”
      “She co-sponsored legislation to deny public access to the state-kept list of troubled ALFs. Without access to the information, The Herald would not have been able to document the abuse of the elderly in state care.”
      Campbell continues to claim the charges are false saying, “I don’t have no tax liens,” and denies knowledge of any tax problems.

      But, I guess, you’re right. None of this “makes her worse than all other Reps.” After all, politicians practice the second oldest profession. We all get to pay for the “privilege” of getting screwed without getting kissed.


  2. […] figure, State Representative Daphne Campbell, is also playing out over the airwaves.  Miz Daph is defending her seat for District 108 against challenger Cedon Saintil, Jr., and here’s where it gets […]


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