In a Gaggle Yesterday, Putnam Refused to Explain Why He Kept Scandal Hidden from the Public for a Year
Today, the Florida Democratic Party released a new digital ad, “Sellout” targeting “proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam’s failure to enforce Florida’s gun laws and his record of endangering Floridians’ safety. Putnam’s agriculture department failed to conduct background checks on 365 concealed carry applications — and then kept it hidden for more than a year.
During a gaggle yesterday, Putnam refused to say why he kept his department’s mismanagement and negligence hidden from the public for more than a year. He also said there were “no flags” on the 291 individuals who had received permits — and then seemed to backtrack by saying that regulators may not know if the individuals had committed a crime.
“Adam Putnam created a disturbing culture of incompetence, mismanagement, and secretiveness at the Department of Agriculture — and Floridians paid the price. The Florida Democratic Party is committed to exposing Putnam’s record of mismanagement and holding him accountable for endangering our safety,” said FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo.
Putnam’s Department of Agriculture has drawn criticism from both parties. Senators Kevin Rader and Linda Stewart said this week that the scandal had “deeply shaken our trust in the agency’s ability to safeguard the people of Florida” and called for an independent investigation into the Department of Agriculture. Representative Jared Moskowitz — a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumnus — also wrote a letter to House Speaker Richard Richard Corcoran calling for the House Government Accountability Committee to investigate the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. But it’s not just Democrats. Republicans — including Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz — have slammed Putnam’s handling of the scandal. And the Sun Sentinel and St. Augustine Record editorial boards said that Putnam’s Agriculture Department should no longer be allowed to regulate the state’s concealed carry system.