Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis wants voters to know that he does not approve of racist rhetoric or keep the company of those who employ it — but he also has no plans to return campaign donations from such individuals.
According to The Grio, DeSantis said Thursday he would no longer accept contributions from a donor who referred to former President Barack Obama using the N-word, but he also said he would not refund the man’s previous contribution.
The money has already been spent, the Republican candidate said.
> A Democratic party-affiliated group named American Bridge provided a screen shot of Alembik’s tweet, in which he used profanity to describe Obama as a Muslim N-word.
> “We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric,”campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson.
> But Lawson explained that even though they don’t agree with racism, funds DeSantis took from Steven Alembik’s company, SMA Communications, was spent ahead of the Aug. 28 primary and therefore can’t be sent back.
SMA Communications’ lists DeSantis’ campaign as a client on its website, but Lawson was adamant that GOP candidate has never worked with the firm:
> “He is in no way a vendor for us. He’s never done any work for us. Period,” Lawson said.
> Sean Jackson, chairman of the Black Republicans of South Florida, was authorized to speak to press on behalf of Alembik and insists he isn’t a racist and that he has a “plethora of Black friends.”