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Bobby DuBose challenges Richard Corcoran’s ‘terrorists’ comments

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With all but an OMG! reference, House Democratic Leader Pro-Tempore Bobby DuBose has challenged House Speaker Richard Corcoran to share anything he has to back up claims that terrorists have likely infiltrated Muslim refugees in Florida.

DuBose sent a letter Tuesday to Corcoran and copied several key Republican lawmakers urging the speaker to “share with me any information you have received from FDLE or other law enforcement agencies that lend credence to your assertion.”

DuBose, of Fort Lauderdale, is responding to an interview Corcoran gave over the weekend in which DuBose said Corcoran stated there is a “tremendous potential likelihood … based on facts” that terrorists have infiltrated the 1,200 refugees from Muslim-majority nations who were resettled in Florida in 2016.

DuBose also is reacting to state Rep. David Santiago‘s House Bill 427, which would withdraw Florida from the federal refugee resettlement program.

“I owe it to our constituents, the members of our caucus, and my fellow committee members to inform them of any credible information that shows the people of Florida may be at risk,” DeBose wrote. “The timely release of this information is vitally important as it could influence how members vote on HB 427, a piece of legislation scheduled to be heard this week in a subcommittee.”

DuBose is ranking member on the House Health and Human Services Committee. That committee’s chairman, state Rep. Travis Cummings, was copied on the letter; as were Santiago; state Rep. Gayle Harrell, chair of the Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; and state Rep. Jason Brodeur, chair of the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

Updated noon Wednesday: DuBose said he had “yet to receive a response from Speaker Corcoran detailing the facts behind his allegations.”

“I am disappointed that Speaker Corcoran has so far refused to respond to my request for more information on the ‘facts’ behind his statement,” DuBose said in a statement. “If it is truly the case that there is hard evidence that terrorists have infiltrated Florida’s refugee resettlement program, this is information that should be shared with the public immediately.

“Nothing is more important than protecting the safety and well-being of our fellow Floridians, and with HB 427 pending before the House right now, it is vital members have a clear view of the security situation facing our state before they vote,” he added. “I look forward to reviewing the data Speaker Corcoran has compiled as soon as possible.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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