Lopez-Cantera says ‘no basis’ for claim Scott staffers used Mexican accentsby George Bennett | March 24th, 2014
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said today there is “no basis” for a Miami Herald report that staffers for Gov. Rick Scott‘s re-election campaign joked in a “cartoon-style Mexican accent” while heading to an event at a Mexican restaurant in Coral Gables.
The incident was cited as one of the frustrations expressed by health care executive Mike Fernandez before resigning as Scott’s finance chairman last week. With Scott and Republicans trying to improve upon the GOP’s dismal standing with Hispanic voters, Democrats pounced on the report over the weekend.
Lopez-Cantera participated in a conference call with reporters this morning to tout a new $2 million statewide TV ad purchase by the pro-Scott “Let’s Get To Work” committee that hits likely Democratic rival Charlie Crist for supporting the Affordable Care Act. But the call ended after three reporters asked about Fernandez’ departure and the Mexican-accent controversy.
“Mr. Fernandez left to spend more time with his family,” Lopez-Cantera said in response to a query from PostOnPolitcs.com. “This is a diverse organization that we have here and I am confident that there’s no basis for any of that…This is a diverse organization and we don’t tolerate inappropriate comments and I don’t believe they even happened.”
When a second reporter raised the issue, Lopez-Cantera said: “There is no validity that we can find to any of those comments or what was written.”
When a third reporter asked, Lopez-Cantera said he was there to talk about the new ad and “I have already answered the questions on the other Herald thing.”
A moderator then announced the call was over.