Rise News

Senator Lied About Her Mother Being Dead During Irma To Skip Power Outage Line

What’s News In This Story?

–State Senator Daphne Campbell lied about her mother being ill in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Her mother had been dead for at least a year by that time. 

RISE NEWS was the first to expose text messages Campbell sent to a FPL lobbyist one day after Hurricane Irma impacted South Florida. 

–The messages revealed that Campbell tried to use her status as a State Senator to get FPL to turn on electricity at her home.

–Her reasoning for the abuse of power? She had a sick mother at home who needed electricity to run an oxygen machine. 

–Campbell texted: “Can someone helps [sic] me with the power. I do have a sick person in my house and she’s using oxygen. The address is… [address redacted]. Same than my children’s house…[address redacted]. Thanks Senator Campbell.”

–The problem (one of many with that rationale) is that Campbell’s mother was dead at the time, according to Campbell’s own words. 

–Campbell was caught by the Miami New Times in the latest lie after reporter Jerry Iannelli came across a Youtube video from 2016, where Campbell talked about her dead mother. 

“My father and my mother died,” she says around the 2:20 mark of a video posted to Youtube in 2016

-A Campbell staffer tried to defend his boss to the New Times by saying that she wasn’t actually talking about her biological mother. “Instead, Campbell was referring to a long-standing family friend whom she allegedly refers to as ‘mom.'” The staffer did confirm that Campbell’s biological mother was dead. 

–Campbell called the original RISE NEWS report “fake news”. About that… 


Read More: State Senator Claimed She Had a “Sick Mom” During Irma Despite Her Mom Being Dead (Miami New Times

Original RISE NEWS story from 9/17/17: EXCLUSIVE: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

There’s A Secret Buddhist Temple In This El Portal House

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news network. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to [email protected]

Sen. Daphne Campbell Is Lying

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. 

In this photo and in dozens more, you can actually see Campbell physically holding the phone while I take photos of texts she wants to show me.

“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. 

Here’s the press pass I was wearing during the event.

“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?

Read this:

EXCLUSIVE: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma

And watch this:


Calling Young South African Writers, Journalists And Leaders: Tell Your Story And Make A Difference

We are looking for young writers, journalists, leaders and storytellers in South Africa to join in our effort to change the way news and information is told all around the world.

RISE NEWS is a fast growing and highly impactful millennial focused news organization that has brought together over 1,000 of the most talented young people from all around the world. And we are just getting started.

Our next big push is going to be in South Africa, where our message is resonating and helping us grow into something truly special.

Our mission is a simple but revolutionary one: we want to create an outlet which tells the stories that mainstream media too often miss, while building a platform that can serve as a place for debate and discussion.

We believe in storytelling and that the pursuit of truth should be the foremost goal for those in public life.

Photo Credit: South African Tourism/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: South African Tourism/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

We also deeply believe in the power of our generation (no matter where we physically are on this planet) and that we need a vibrant free press in all corners of the Earth.

You can have real impact here.

In the process, you will learn more about the power of story-telling while gaining valuable work experience in a fun team atmosphere.

As one of the most diverse and vibrant countries on Earth, South Africa is perfectly positioned to be a leading force for our mission of a more democratized news industry.

While we lean towards news and originally reported journalism pieces, we also publish opinion pieces, policy proposals, first person narratives and fiction short stories as well.

You don’t need any prior journalism experience to participate. We encourage any ambitious and talented young person (and those young at heart) to reach out to us.

You will work with our in country editor and our team back in the United States as well.

If you are interested then please fill out this form: https://risenews.net/join-the-team/

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]

Cover Photo Credit: Celso FLORES/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Announcing The Launch Of The RISE NEWS Show With Rich Robinson

RISE NEWS GROUP LLC is excited to announce the launch of our latest digital project, an online radio program geared towards the interests of the global millennial.

The RISE NEWS Show With Rich Robinson will be a weekly news magazine program that features the best that RISE NEWS has to offer.

It will also feature thought provoking interviews with newsmakers and interesting people from around the world.

Of course, it will also be presented in an irreverent and funny way that helps young people connect to the news.

The show will launch on Monday May 16, 2016.


Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of RISE NEWS, a millennial focused news and information brand.

Robinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a native of Miami.

While in Tuscaloosa, Robinson hosted a daily radio program geared towards young people and did sports broadcasting on television and radio. He also has a background in politics and community organizing.


Rich Robinson.

Be sure to like RISE NEWS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with information about the show.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Announcing the RISE NEWS Fellowship Program

Ever wanted to improve your writing and reporting skills while learning more about how new media works?

Ever wanted the chance to be treated like a professional reporter and have the opportunity to work on stories that can make a change?

We have something cool to tell you then.

RISE NEWS, a fast growing and highly impactful millennial focused news organization is seeking intelligent, hard-working young people to join our team as editorial fellows.

We are based in Miami, FL but you don’t have to be in order to be a fellow.

Here’s what you need to know:

Our fellows will be treated like professional reporters and will be expected to:

– produce at least three stories per week 

– commit to at least 15 hours of RISE related work per week (You can do more of course)

– participate in a weekly team Skype call

– follow news and build relationships in your coverage beat areas.

promote your stories on social media.

A quick bit on pay:

Our fellows will earn 70% of whatever their stories make from advertising or other means. Don’t do this fellowship for the pay as you probably won’t be making a whole lot. Think of the pay as a plus. And if some of your pieces go really viral, then we want to be able to properly compensate you.

The program will be starting on March 28, but we will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until June. You can start at any time and the fellowship can run for as long as you want it to. (End dates will be discussed during interview process)

What will you be doing?: 

You will act as a beat reporter focusing on either a geographical area (South Florida or Alabama if you are from either one of them) or a specific thematic topic if you don’t live in one of our local focus markets (including Culture, American Politics, International Affairs, Tech, Human Interest, etc).

How to apply:

Send an email to [email protected] to the attention of our publisher Rich Robinson with the following:

1) updated resume

2) three writing samples (academic papers accepted, but published journalistic work preferred)

If you have any questions about the process, shoot an email to [email protected] as well.

Cover Photo Credit: www.miamism.com/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Rise News Announces New Editor-In-Chief

Setareh Baig, a journalist from Weston, Florida has been named Rise News’s editor-in-chief.

Baig graduated from Florida State University last month, where she led the school newspaper the FSView and Florida Flambeau to impressive growth and increased journalistic excellence.

A rising star in the field, Baig boasts a diverse work background that has provided her great insight in how to organize young writers into producing great pieces of  journalism.

Baig was lauded for her leadership during a campus shooting last November. In a tough judgement call, Baig and her team decided to not print the name of the shooter because of the potential impact on the still shocked campus community. It was a decision widely applauded on campus and in the greater Tallahassee area.

Rise News is a globally-focused grassroots journalism outlet that launched on August 31. It is owned by Rise News Group LLC, a Miami based company.

Over 100 of the best young journalists from around the world (including places like the United Kingdom, Canada and Egypt) are involved with the project. The company aims to increase that number to around 1,000 by the end of the year.

Baig said that she was excited about the opportunity to lead a globally focused organization.

“I’m excited to lead Rise News because we get to cover stories from everywhere,” Baig said. “On the Internet, you get all these perspectives, but sometimes you have to sift through the fluff to get to the stuff you really want to see. You have to seek it out yourself.”

Baig’s addition is a major development in the growth of the nascent media company.

“Our goal is to totally change the game and become the greatest source of news in the world for our generation,” Rise News CEO and Publisher Rich Robinson said. “Setareh is the missing piece that we needed to make this ambitious dream into a reality. With her, we can build something really special and important.”

Baig’s task is a immense one. She will be in charge of Rise News’ editorial content and in helping turn it into a global news organization – one with high standards.

“We are not building another clickbait site or something exploitive here,” Robinson said. “Setareh has a very traditional sense of journalistic values and some really innovative ideas on how to quickly build an audience of smart and urbane millennials.”

Baig said that she was excited about introducing the Rise News audience to new issues and places that aren’t covered by traditional news organizations.

“If we could find voices from the depths of a place we’ve never head of, then I would love that,” Baig said.

For press requests, please email [email protected]

Scroll to top