« Weatherford digs in to oppose Scott, Obamacare | Main | 'It's working,' Rick Scott says in State of the State address »

Feud between Miami-Dade commissioner, Christian Family Coalition plays out from dais

@PatriciaMazzei

The conservative Christian Family Coalition turned up the heat Tuesday on a long-simmering feud against Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss.

Anthony Verdugo, the Coalition's executive director, took the microphone in a "citizen's presentation" at a county commission meeting to demand a retraction and an apology from Moss. In December, Moss spoke against the group's successful efforts to reinstate prayer at the beginning of commission meetings.

Moss recalled how the Christian Coalition attacked him during the bitter 1998s campaign for Miami-Dade's human rights bill, which gave gays equal rights. He linked the Christian Family Coalition to the Christian Coalition, which fought the human-rights ordinance and, according to Moss, openly discriminated against blacks and immigrants.

"Conduct of this kind is simply unbecoming of an elected official," Verdugo said Tuesday. "Commissioner Moss, we have earned your respect."

As soon as he uttered "Commissioner Moss," Verdugo was cut off by Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa -- as Moss retorted, "Don't address me."

"We ask that the hateful and slanderous statements be retracted," Verdugo continued.

"I said what I meant and I meant what I said," Moss said. He cited the Christian Family Coalition's website, which calls U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican, "an arrogant, anti-family, homosexualist extremist."  Moss, who represents a portion of South Miami-Dade, is a Democrat in a nonpartisan post.

Chairwoman Sosa tried to keep the peace.

"This is a democracy, so everyone spoke," she said. To Verdugo, who was surrounded by his children, she added: "I am glad that you came. That's a beautiful family." 

Verdugo and Moss exchanged words one more time before Sosa flagged the commission chambers' sergeant-at-arms. And she again pointed to Verdugo's children.

"We have to set examples in life for them," she said. "Forget about us. Sometimes emotions carry us very far away. They deserve better."

Verdugo and a crowd of supporters, several wearing lapel stickers that read "Commissioner Moss: Respect Us" filed out of the room.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Maria Jose

Anthony Verdugo is an Anti-Christ Pig who claims to be Christian but is nothing but a bigot and hater.

Lonnie

Christian Family Coalition are clearly mentally ill extremists who want to force their polluted values down everyone's throats.

Pedro

Antonio Verdugo and his organization are very backward, intolerant, and anti-gay. I don't vote for any candidates that his organization, the so-called "Christian Family Coalition", endorses. This organization really gives Christ a bad name. Christ was about peace and love, not about prejudice and intolerance.

CJ Ortuno

SAVE Dade Official Statement:

SAVE Dade expresses deep concern over the recent actions taken at the Miami-Dade Commission meeting by the Christian Family Coalition. It is truly unfortunate and highly offensive that Mr. Verdugo continues to target Commissioner Moss for his leadership on ensuring every Miami-Dade resident is treated with the same rights and respect. We also commend Chairwoman Rebecca Sosa for her efforts to maintain decorum and ensure that respect is shown by all when addressing the Commission. We look forward to the work ahead as SAVE Dade continues the fight to safeguard the values and rights of every resident of Miami-Dade County.


Terence

Bravo, Commissioner Moss. Candidates and elected officials should take note of the wisdom and strength of character demonstrated by Commissioner Moss.

Verdugo and his fringe group of zealots occupy a far greater space in the political arena than is warranted. The day will come when the weirdness of Verdugo is laid out in a scandal sheet. My advice to candidates and elected officials is to steer clear of this guy.

The comments to this entry are closed.