There is strong unease among Florida Democrats over the rise of conservative Spanish-language media. Evelyn Pérez-Verdía—who serves as a senior advisor on Latino matters to the Nikki Fried campaign for Florida governor—for instance, showed her dislike of those who oppose her political views.
A sample of this is the clip released by MRC Latino, where Perez-Verdia is concerned about the rumor “that a media outlet is being created, that it will be in Miami, that they are already looking for a place, that it will be like Fox News or OAN in Spanish.”
Pérez-Verdía, who claims to be a fighter against disinformation, proceeded to attack journalists from El American because they began to follow her on Twitter. In a tweet, the Fried campaign advisor also tagged the FBI, apparently calling for an investigation.
“In the last days, after posting the above, I am also getting followed by retired police [sic] who follow Breitbart, people who work for the alt-right publication in Spanish The American [sic], and other alt-right people” the advisor wrote and proceeded to tag the FBI, FBI Miami field office, and (probably mistakenly) the Department of Justice of the Philippines.
The tweet was quickly condemned by conservatives
“Top Florida Democrat operative and advisor to @NikkiFried is having a totally normal Monday morning demanding the FBI and Department of Justice of the Philippines investigate journalists from @BreitbartNews and @ElAmerican_ for following her on Twitter,” Giancarlo Sopo, a Hispanic communications strategist, said on Twitter.
DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, also criticized Pérez-Verdía, tweeting: “Nikki Fried campaign consultant is literally asking the FBI to investigate a media outlet that she disagrees with, because some of its reporters criticized her stances on politics. If I went crazy & asked the FBI to investigate Daily Beast, which I’d never do, uproar would ensue.”
Jorge Bonilla, director of MRC Latino, also posted a tweet saying “Good morning to everyone including Evelyn Pérez-Verdía, now siccing the feds on those who disagree with her censorious discourse.”
Dozens of users questioned the Fried campaign advisor’s tweet, including Alfonso Aguilar, the president of the Latino Association for Conservative Principles: “To say that El American is Alt-Right is in itself disinformation. Quite ironic! But, your effort is an attempt at silencing views you don’t agree with, to stifle free speech. Nothing more. It’s the usual strategy of the extreme left. Why are you so afraid of the battle of ideas?”
Pérez-Verdía responds to the accusations
After the controversy broke out, Nikki Fried’s advisor published a tweet where she admits that she is asking for an FBI investigation.
In the posted message, Pérez-Verdía states that the investigation is to address “the premeditated disinformation they put out to manipulate our communities that resulted in an insurrection where police officers were killed.”
Likewise, in her tweet, Pérez-Verdía claims that there are former police officers readers of the conservative media Breitbart who are following her on Twitter as if it heightened any potential risks. It is not clear from her post how that poses a risk to the campaign advisor.