Curious to know how Scott Plakon and Will Weatherford sleep at night after trying to link a mother and school teacher to a child predator? So are we. Tomorrow Karen Castor Dentel, FL Dems Chairman Rod Smith and upset parents will speak out against this despicable, desperate attack launched by Florida Republicans in the 11th hour.
WHAT: FL Dems Chairman Smith and Karen Castor Dentel to greet voters at early voting location.
WHEN: Saturday, November 3rd at 10:30a.m.
WHERE: Winter Park Library, 460 East New England Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789. Across from Rollins College.
A group supporting Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon’s re-election bid is sending last-minute advertisements that attempt to link Plakon’s opponent, Democrat Karen Castor Dentel, to convicted child sex predator Jerry Sandusky.
Mailers began arriving Friday at homes in House District 30 in Orange and Seminole counties that on one side depict a grainy image of Castor Dentel, an elementary-school teacher in Maitland. And on the other: the image of a jumpsuit- and handcuff-clad Sandusky, the former Penn State University assistant football coach who in June was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Next to Sandusky’s image, the mailer reads: “Karen Castor Dentel would rather protect bad teachers and the union than young and impressionable students.”
The claim appears to be based on Castor Dentel’s opposition to a measure passed in 2011 by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature that eliminated tenure for public-school teachers. The measure was fiercely opposed by the Florida Education Association, of which Castor Dentel is a member.
Castor Dentel called the attack “disgusting.”
“I’ve never seen anything so despicable,” she said.
Plakon, R-Longwood, said he had nothing to do with the attack and that he had not seen the piece himself. But he acknowledged, “It sounds indefensible.”
The mailer was paid for by a committee known only as the “Committee to Protect Florida.” But records show the group is being financed in large part by Republican leaders in the Florida House – chiefly by incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.
Two fundraising groups organized by Weatherford have given $208,000 to the Committee to Protect Florida since Oct. 24. That accounts for the vast majority of the money the committee has raised over that period.
Weatherford has raised his money from an array of business interests. One of his largest contributors is health-insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Another group controlled by Republican Rep. Richard Corcoran of New Port Richey, who is line to become House speaker in 2016, gave $10,000 to the Committee to Protect Florida on Oct. 24.
Castor Dentel said she has heard from several parents outraged by the ad.
“People are upset. They are horrified, especially when their kids see them,” Castor Dentel.
She predicted the aggressive attack would backfire on Plakon.
“I think he just lost the race,” she said.