In a stunning display of defiance, Frank Artiles, the Florida Republican State Representative who caused national outrage last March when he introduced the infamous “potty police” bill that would make it a crime for transgender people to use the “wrong” public bathrooms, has chosen to double down on his unprecedented bigotry by releasing a new public relations campaign that cleverly associates the transgender community with a ghastly, devil-like molester ready to pounce on a terrified young girl inside a girls’ bathroom.
Here is the ad:
During a time when Miami’s middle class and families are being squeezed by low wages, lack of upward mobility, and poor economic prospects, it is indefensible that State Representative Frank Artiles has chosen to court favor with extremist bigots at the expense of our transgender brothers and sisters. Our community is outraged – and rightfully so. I know, because I have lived in his district for over 20 years, and I was his Democratic opponent in the 2014 election.
Apparently, bigotry is big business, as he was able to out-raise me $375,000 to $15,000 and beat me with 57 percent of the vote in the midterm losses that Democrats took across the country. Nonetheless, getting 43% of the vote with a 30-1 money disadvantage in a Republican wipeout year shows that Artiles is a sign that I can defeat him in 2014, considering the fact that it looks to be a promising year for Democrats and Artiles is soiling his already poor public image with his unapologetic discrimination.
REPUBLICAN STATE REP. FRANK ARTILES
Maybe he’s trying to distract attention from the fact that he voted to gut funding for education, blocked the much-needed expansion of Miami Dade College while taking money from private, for-profit colleges, and was caught living outside of his district in violation of the Florida Constitution.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.