A state senator from South Florida admits to sending text messages to a lobbyist from Florida Power and Light seeking help in restoring power to her home, as well as to the homes of relatives and friends.
Sen. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, spoke of the text messages to Rich Robinson, a reporter with Rise News, during a Hurricane Irma relief event that was held Saturday.
The event, a “Massage and Pizza Party Post Irma, was held in her Miami Shores district. It was sponsored by Campbell and the Church of Scientology Youth Task Force.
“As soon as I sent it, the guy (FPL lobbyist) got it done,” Campbell told Robinson in a video interview. “This man is phenomenal. He is awesome. He’s great. As soon as I text him an address, you got the light.”
Rise News says Campbell was so proud of her accomplishments that she allowed the online news service to take photos of the texts between her and FPL lobbyist John Holley.
“John good afternoon. 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.”
Holley responded: “Let me see what we can do. It’s ugly out there. How are you doing?”
Campbell followed up with a new request: “[Address redacted]. This one is my sister.”
Holley and Campbell exchanged a series of texts dealing with the conditions in Miami-Dade and discussing a need for more FPL outreach in Creole. Campbell then brought up the power outages again relating to her family.
“Thank you very much but my sister one [sic] still not on yet. Million thanks. My sick mom thanked you too.”
Holley responded: “Working on it.”
A few hours later, Campbell sent another text to Holley: “The power for my mom off again. Can you please ask someone to take care of that ASAP.”
Holley responded: “I will def [sic] let them know.”
Officials for FPL confirm the exchange of text messages took place between Holley and Sen. Campbell. But they are adamant that no one received special treatment as a result of the communications.
Now, Campbell claims in a Facebook post to being victimized by the Rise News reporter, who she claims walked off with her phone “to steal information from the text messages that I use to help my people.”
“It is a shame for someone to be so cruel by victimizing someone like me during such a difficult post-disastrous time as this,” Campbell posted. “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.”
She went on to say, “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?”
Robinson stands by his story that Campbell volunteered to show him the text messages and insists he did not take Campbell’s phone.