Pablo Pantoja made news this week by publicly leaving the Republican party to become a Democrat. "In a letter released by The Florida Nation on Monday, RNC State Director Of Florida Outreach Pablo Pantoja announced that he is changing his political affiliation to the Democratic Party," the Huffington Post reported.
"It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today," he wrote. "I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them."
The weird thing is, Pantoja is said to have been seeking employment by the Republican National Committee only months earlier. And only when those efforts failed did Pantoja apparently decide that the Republican party was too intolerant for him to call himself a member.
Reached by the phone this afternoon, Pantoja confirmed that he did recently seek a job with the Republican National Committee. But, citing complications with his current employer, Pantoja said he was unable to discuss the matter on the record.
He worked for the Republican party in Florida for about 12 weeks, ending employment there almost a year ago, back in July. He is said to have quit when his portfolio wasn't expanded, and tried almost immediately to get his job back. That effort was not successful.
Pantoja is currently employed by the LIBRE Initiative, a group devoted to economic freedom. A spokesman for LIBRE called the matter "personal."
Last week, a Planned Parenthood official testified before the Florida legislature in opposition to a bill that would require an abortion doctor to provide medical care to any infant who survives an attempted abortion.
Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor in Virginia, recently traveled down to Florida for a political fundraiser. And in an interview yesterday, the host of that Florida fundraiser, John Morgan, mocked Virginia as "a state that some of us have never heard of, it’s off the coast of D.C."
The White House confirms today that President Barack Obama will be vacationing in Florida this weekend. His wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, will be in Colorado. The two daughters will be with Michelle.
From the White House press gaggle aboard Air Force One:
President Barack Obama will vacation this weekend in Palm Beach.
"On Friday, February 15, the President will travel to the West Palm Beach area. There are no public events scheduled. Details on the departure of Air Force One will be released when available," the White House announced.
Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican senator elected in 2010, will give the Republican response to Barack Obama's state of the union address next week. From a joint statement from House speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell:
The FBI has raided the West Palm Beach office of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a local doctor with close ties to New Jersey Democratic senator Bob Menendez. The Miami Heraldfirst reported the story Tuesday night:
At Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon rightly note that “[Mitt] Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan cheered fiscal and social conservatives within the Republican Party and provided a much needed shot in the arm for Romney’s campaign.”