The scandal around DeSantis scheme to relocate migrants widens. Follow the money and operatives.
More interesting characters, donors and political operatives emerge with connections to the scheme. How many of them are donors to the Republican party and Conservative Political Action Committees? What do they get in return for their donations and services? How many have been indicted in the past? What are the investigations and class action lawsuits now underway?
This map is marked with a data as the scandal keeps expanding.
DeSantis Migrant Relocation Scandal map (Sep 23, 2022)
Transport firm has high level political connections
"Company hired to arrange DeSantis’ migrant flights is tied to high-level state official. When Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration needed a company it could trust to carry out a controversial program to transport migrants to other states, it chose an unusual option. Although Destin-based Vertol Systems Company is in aviation, its primary business is training pilots for the military and providing helicopters across the globe. But the company was familiar to a key member of the DeSantis administration: Larry Keefe, the state’s “public safety czar” responsible for carrying out the governor’s anti-immigration programs. The company also has a private jet that flew from Florida to San Antonio a week before charter flights took 48 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard." - Miami Herald
DeSantis' Florida political donation swamp
- Donors to Richard Corcoran include a $15,000 check from the “Friends of Matt Gaetz” political committee, $15,000 from helicopter training group Vertol Systems Company Inc. - Florida Politics
- Odom, who at one time was a major Republican fundraiser and a supporter of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, also played a prominent role in an airplane-hangar controversy that led to the exodus of former House Speaker Ray Sansom from the Legislature in 2009. - Gainesveille Sun
- DeSantis’ administration last week paid an aviation company $615,000 as part of a new Florida program to relocate immigrants lacking permanent legal status out of the state, according to state records. Records show the company, Vertol Systems Company Inc." - Tampa Bay
Lawsuits and investigations underway
"The suit was filed in federal court in Massachusetts. It takes aim at DeSantis, Florida Secretary of Transportation Jared Perdue and the state of Florida. The core of the case is the allegation that the migrants were coaxed onto the flights by false promises — “fraudulent inducement” in legal terms — and that this means DeSantis and his allies infringed those migrants’ rights and committed fraud."
The class-action lawsuit, brought in conjunction with Alianza Americas, a network of migrant-led organizations, outlines 12 different “causes for action,” including violations of the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. One of the lawyers representing the migrants, Oren Sellstrom, told The Hill, “Our complaint alleges a number of violations of both the U.S. Constitution and federal laws. A state governor just cannot fraudulently induce vulnerable individuals to board a plane and cross state lines.” - The Hill
“"Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar (San Antonio) opens criminal investigation into DeSantis/Martha’s Vineyard flights. He says he’s working with the lawyers representing the migrants who were shipped to Martha’s Vineyard.. I believe there is some criminal activity involved here, but at present, we are trying to keep an open mind and we are going to investigate to find out and to determine what laws were broken if that does turn out to be the case,” said Sheriff Jesus Salazar. - Josh Marshall - Talking Points Memo
Use Network Maps to follow the money
Scandals involving politicians using tax-payer money to further their own political ambitions is wrong. Exploiting vulnerable migrants is wrong. Rewarding your political donors with contracts is wrong. That's why this story is important. This is the third version of this scandal, but fortunately the free Kumu app I use can easily handle more data. See how the scandal had expanded.
TakeAway: Follow the money, operatives and business contracts behind DeSantis' questionable migrant relocation scheme. Vote Democrat to clean out the Florida swamp.
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