by Frank Holmes, reporter
She’s a rising star. She came close to being named Joe Biden’s vice president. She wants to be a U.S. senator—and she’s the subject of a serious ethics complaint that she abused her office to fuel her personal political ambitions.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-FL, hopes to dethrone Sen. Marco Rubio to represent Florida in the Senate…and it’s going to be an uphill climb, thanks in part to her own actions.
Sponsored: [WEIRD] Increase brain cell activity… with a “bearded shrub”?
Demings stands accused of violating House ethics by using her official, government account to drive volunteers—and donors—to her Senate campaign.
The Florida Democrat’s official congressional account, @RepValDemings, pinned a tweet to its profile that said: “This is my Twitter account as representative for the People of Florida’s 10th District. For my campaign Twitter, see @ValDemings.”
“Demings has committed a clear violation by using her official account to link to her campaign account,” wrote the ethics watchdog Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
The group demanded accountability in a letter it sent to the House Office of Congressional Ethics last Tuesday.
“House ethics rules require strict separation between campaign and official acts: a Member is prohibited from using official resources for campaign purposes and a Member is prohibited from using campaign funds for official purposes,” wrote FACT’s executive director, Kendra Arnold. “A Member’s official social media accounts may not include any personal, political, or campaign information, or links to campaign-related accounts or sites.”
Her letter also quotes the House Ethics Manual, which says, “Government funds should not be spent to help incumbents gain reelection.”
Sponsored: #1 Food For Increased Energy?
After FACT’s complaint went public, the Washington Free Beacon contacted Rep. Deming’s office for comment—but she didn’t want to communicate.
Demings’ office deleted the tweet—something her critics say amounts to an attempt to cover up her ethics violation, while still keeping the benefits she got from it.
Republicans say that fishy move is exactly what you’d expect from someone who is guilty and knows she’s busted.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” said a spokesperson for the National Republican Senate Committee.
“On day one of her campaign for U.S. Senate, Val Demings committed a flagrant violation of ethics rules, and then tried to get rid of the evidence,” according to NRSC spokeswoman Priscilla Ivasco.
Demings is widely considered the Democrats’ strongest candidate in Florida. She’s a 64-year-old former police chief of Orlando in her third term in the House of Representatives. Her husband, Jerry, is the Mayor of Orange County.
Her police career makes her seem tough—even though she called Minneapolis’ plan to defund police “very thoughtful” and “overdue.”
Sponsored: [STUDY] They lost 23 POUNDS with the help of THIS
Senator Rubio says Demings’ leftist voting record makes her too liberal to represent Florida.
“How can you vote with ‘the Squad’ 94% of the time and argue that you’re not an honorary member of that group?” asked Sen. Marco Rubio. “How can you vote with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time and argue that you’re not a far-left, liberal extremist?”
Even at her strongest, Demings would face a hard slog beating Marci Rubio in 2022. Midterm elections favor the party out of power, and Marco Rubio is a popular lawmaker seeking his third term in an increasingly Republican state.
Democrats are secretly admitting Demings would have a hard time winning the race on her best day. She’s already raised $1 million—a lot of money at this stage—but Rubio has $4 million on hand.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Thomas Kennedy, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida, told The Hill. “I just think it’s still going to be a tough race.”
But it’s going to be much harder for the Democrats in the Sunshine State if Demings keeps stumbling into ethics violations.
“If this is any indication as to what we can expect from her campaign, it’s going to be a long cycle for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s hand-picked candidate,” said Ivasco.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”