The clandestine group that mailed a flier morphing Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos into Hillary Clinton has moved on to spookier personalities: serial killer Ted Bundy.
Pairing the killer’s pic with the West-Dade senator’s, the latest attack mailer from Citizens for Conservative Values flogs Villalobos for being soft on crime in light of his failed bill to require unanimous jury recommendations for death sentence. Bundy was executed after a 10-2 jury vote.
Villalobos, who has helped craft tough laws like the Jimmy Ryce Act, said the mailer misleads because Bundy would likely have been executed even if his Florida jury used the unanimous-approval standard – in place in the 37 other death-penalty states, such as Texas. Rather than deliberate until they reach a unanimous decision, Florida juries stop as soon as they reach a majority vote to recommend death.
Fighting off claims by challenger Frank Bolaños that he's not conservative enough, Villalobos also notes that Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, a conservative Jeb Bush appointee, had called for the legislation. The conservative attack group’s chairman couldn’t be reached.
Meantime, the Frank Bolaños camp is complaining about another secretive group, Tell the Public the Facts, which produced an earlier, rattlesnake-adorned flier linking Bolaños to the federal probe into campaign backer Sergio Pino. Bolaños supporters say they’ve received automated telephone calls from the group urging them to call Bolaños and demand he give up the "dirty money'' - even though there's no evidence of wrongdoing on Bolaños' part nor allegations that his campaign money is tainted.
What’s more: the phone number people are told to call is the cell of Bolaños' wife and, his supporters say, the number that popped up on their caller IDs made it appear that the call came from Bolaños’ own cell. Villalobos said he opposes the calls and the snakes mailer. Tell the Public’s chairman couldn’t be reached.
Voters can expect more robo-calls from yet another third-party group, Teachers United for Better Schools, which plans to echo its recent campaign mailer suggesting that Villalobos supports higher taxes because he voted with the teachers’ union to keep the expensive voter-approved class-size amendment that Gov. Jeb Bush has sought to derail since 2002, when he first made his doom-and-gloom predictions about its price tag only to get caught on tape saying he had “devious plans” to scuttle the law.
The class-cap mailer advocates the so-called “65 percent solution” that seeks to steer more money to class rooms – a measure that polls almost as well as the class-size amendment, according to some surveys. The proposal has been traced to Arizona, where one Republican political consultant noted it had the added benefit of splitting teacher’s unions.
The chairman of Teachers United, Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High teacher Ira Paul, says the teachers unions are “socialist.” Paul, a close ally of Bolaños backer Rep. Ralph Arza, said “Ralph’s not involved with this” mailer or the planned calls.