In response to a RISE NEWS story titled, “Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma“, Florida State Senator Daphne Campbell issued a statement on social media that made several accusations about our news organization.
None of them are true, and we wish to set the record straight.
Obviously Campbell did not like the facts that were reported in our article.
That’s too bad for her.
We stand 100% behind our reporting and find it distasteful that she would choose to attack the press instead of taking responsibility for her actions.
Her actions show that she tried to use her position as an elected official for personal gain.
It is a clear case of public corruption and she should be held to account.
Here’s her statement in full.
Below, RISE NEWS editor and the reporter who interviewed Campbell, Rich Robinson will go point by point in debunking her claims:
“It is a shame for someone to be so cruel by victimizing someone like me during such a difficult post disastrous time like this. Imagine we are all struggling together fighting for the needs of the vulnerable within our district and for someone to use delicate circumstances surrounding this situation for the purpose of their own ploy is a disgrace.
Ever since before the hurricane, I was instrumental by working hard and helping to prepare many of my elderly and most vulnerable constituents to ensure that they will be safe to face the potential catastrophe that we were all anticipating. Luckily for my district we escaped what could have been the deadliest “monster” that our district would have ever faced.”
We don’t really understand what she is talking about here.
“Although our district was not hit by a category 5 but its effect has caused my constituents enough pain and suffering. My constituents include 15 cities with a population of approximately 500,000 individuals. This includes two of my younger children and my medically compromised mother who lives on oxygen. Hundreds of thousands including my two children, my mother and my sister were without electricity. Up to today Sunday, September 17, 2017 my children are still without power and my mother just got hers last Friday, September 15.”
We said in our story that “RISE NEWS is not able to independently verify at which point the power came back on at the houses of Campbell’s family members.” However, she is the one who said that “as soon as I text him [FPL lobbyist John Holley] an address, you got the light.” That means that she lied to us when she said that lights were turned on as soon as addresses were sent to Holley. She’s lying.
“I fought hard day and night, around the clock going above and beyond and doing everything within my power to help counteract the ill effect of the storm by responding to numerous calls and text messages regarding the power outage. As many are already aware, I communicate endlessly with my constituents via phone calls, emails, and text messages; then there’s no doubt that my responding to my constituents will include numerous text messages. After the storm, among the many text messages was a text concerning my two younger children and my sick mother [living in two separate addresses]. Most of my calls and texts to a FPL Representative pertaining to rectifying my constituents’ power outage.”
This is mostly true. Most of the texts Campbell told us to take pictures of were ones from constituents. But the first group of texts she sent to Holley were about her own family and not her constituents. Sure she tried to get FPL relief for her constituents, but only after she made sure her family was given relief. That’s called political corruption and its illegal.
“I managed to organize a “feed the community” event. While there, I noticed someone came and sat right next to me. I didn’t know who that person was but I always welcome everyone around me. ”
This is a lie. I covered the event for RISE NEWS. I wore a press badge as I always do around my neck. I walked up to Campbell and introduced myself as a reporter, gave my name and affiliation and asked her for an interview. She was sitting down and I was standing up next to her. We talked for a few minutes before I crouched down to better hear an answer to a question I asked. At that point, she pulled up a chair for me to sit down on and I sat next to her. But I did not just walk up and sit “right” next to her. My momma raised me better than that. She’s lying.
“My phone mysteriously disappeared. After about fifteen minutes of searching for my phone to no avail it suddenly reappeared where I last saw it. I did not expect that anyone would come to a “feeding the community” event, in order to sneak away my phone to steal information from the text messages I use to help my people.”
This is a lie. I never took Campbell’s phone. She pulled her phone out on her own and asked me to look at texts from happy constituents that she had been serving that week. During that process of her showing me texts, she said that I should take pictures of the texts so I could write about them later. I did what she asked. I took 56 pictures of Campbell’s texts. This process took probably 20 minutes in total due to the amount of messages that she wanted me to document. She held her phone and scrolled between messages the whole time. She did this because she thought I was going to write a puff piece about how amazing she was. She was wrong. She’s lying.
Of the 56 pictures I took of her texts, you can visibly see part of Campbell’s body in 54 of them.
“Unfortunately, one of the text messages taken from my phone was the one concerning my two children and sick mother.”
This is factually wrong. It was not just one text message regarding her family- it was four text messages spread out over the course of an entire day. She’s lying.
“Today I felt numbed and my heart pained after discovering that the person who had taken my phone along with the text messages is the owner of a news media publication.”
She knew I was a reporter. I told her so. I was wearing a badge labeled “Press” and even gave her my business card with the RISE NEWS logo on it. She was very pleased that I was there until she read the story. And oh yeah, I then interviewed her on camera, for around 10 minutes. She’s lying.
“I gave no consent to anyone to use my phone.”
I didn’t use her phone. She told me to take pictures of texts on her phone that she showed me. She’s lying.
“I have apparently found out that this media is located within my very district. It would be an understatement just to say how disappointed I am in this despicable, atrocious and malicious behavior. I am aware there are hundreds or thousands of competing news media out there and I know it is rough for them because if they do not have false news they won’t make it.”
The ole “fake news” attack. Original. She’s lying.
“But, why chose NOW? My constituents have been suffering, still suffering and few will continue to suffer without electricity for a short period of time but by the grace of God with my due diligence, the suffering will end soon. Yes I am a state senator, but first I am human. I am also a mother, someone’s child, and someone’s sister. God knows I do not deserve this kind of bad treatment.”
Ok then. She’s lying.
“All I want to do is continue to work hard and help my constituents including my family. I want the best for my people. I am not perfect but is it fair or right for anyone to go through such extreme measure just to hurt someone? I know that God is on my side, and He will take this situation under his control.
Senator Daphne Campbell”
Amen. She’s lying.
Daphne Campbell got caught red handed. She obviously still doesn’t believe that she did anything wrong and refuses to take any accountability for her actions.
Hopefully, someone will hold her to account.
Have no idea what any of this is about?
And watch this: