When anonymous accusers were quoted in an online news outlet alleging sexual harassment by a prominent Senate Republican, Senate President Joe Negron joined the #MeToo craze and took the unprecedented step of calling for an investigation, even before a complaint was filed or any credible evidence was presented.
When a Hispanic legislator called several white Senators “niggas,” in the presence of two black Senators, the name caller was run out of the Senate with Negron leading the charge – but only after Negron learned that the Senator called Negron a “pussy.”
However, when two of the most prominent and powerful members of the Senate from opposing parties were outed for having an extramarital affair, one the Democratic leader and the other, the Senate President Pro Tempore and a top Republican ally of Negron, he accepted them at their word that the affair had no policy or political implications and considered the matter closed. How nice of him.
Senate President Joe Negron is either the naivest and most politically incompetent man in Tallahassee, intellectually challenged, or he is lying. Since Negron was able to beat political whiz Jack Latvala for the Presidency and since he passed the Florida Bar exam, we can rule out suggestions one and two. The only question left is whether Negron is lying to us or to just to himself.
What did Joe know and when did he know it?
We have previously written about the unsavory affair between the Senate’s GOP President Pro-Tempore and its Democratic Leader and their lack of faithfulness to their respective political parties and constituents. The personal aspects of the affair are not our business, but the secondary political and policy affects most certainly are. For Negron to pretend there were none is insulting and clearly shows a man who does not want to seek the truth because it most likely lands at his own two feet. The truth of who benefited and how is the most important question here, not who slept with whom.
Simply put, was Joe Negron complicit in this affair? By complicit, we do not mean Negron was taking part in some kinky ritual, but instead benefiting, knowingly, as much as he could from this relationship and thereby endorsing it by receiving benefits from it. Thinking through the benefits to Flores and Braynon may be easy but thinking through how Negron may have benefited is even more perverse, deceitful, and frankly, nauseating.
It is nearly impossible to believe Negron was not aware of this affair since rumors of the tryst have circulated Tallahassee for several years. In fact, Negron may have directly facilitated the relationship and used taxpayer dollars to pay for it. When Negron took his statewide bus tour of the state’s 11 universities, passengers included Negron, Senators Lizbeth Benacquisto, Braynon and Flores. Based on this, was Joe Negron an enabler of the affair? Has anyone asked any questions about this? Taxpayers deserve answers.
The speculative benefits to Joe Negron from the perks of this relationshop are perhaps more valuable, politically, than the view of any benefit the direct participants could have derived. What Joe Negron must answer is simple: Was he aware that Flores had Braynon’s, well, let’s say ear? Did he use Flores’ power over Braynon to keep the Democrats in check when difficult policy items were in play? Did he use Flores to thwart Latvala’s quest to be President by making sure the Democrats did not side with Latvala’s GOP votes to defeat Negron? These questions represent the tip of the iceberg of deceit this affair may represent. How else did Joe Negron benefit from this affair? Negron must be held accountable to his Republican Party, to his constituents and to his Senate colleagues who elected him their leader.
After running three Senators out of the Chamber already this year and giving his ally Flores and opposing leader a complete and total pass, the difference in approach by Negron must be questioned. It is likely that how Negron’s dealt with Flores and Braynon had more to do with Negron’s complicity and personal benefit from the affair than anything else.
It is indeed quite possible that Joe Negron benefited far too much from this affair to ever criticize it and he very well wants the attention to go away, quickly. If this is the case, Negron might get props for his lack of hypocrisy, but his newfound affection for forgiveness does not excuse him from being held accountable.
If these suppositions are true, then Joe Negron represents not leadership, but political corruption and deceit at its finest. Unlike how he treated his less beneficial colleagues when they were accused of wrongdoing, we believe Joe Negron deserves the ability to defend himself here and to be viewed as innocent until or unless proven guilty. However, if the answers to these questions are in the affirmative, then Joe must go!