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  • John Grant

Attacked for Supporting the Governor?

I recently wrote an opinion editorial that was published by several media outlets titled “Gov. DeSantis is starting the new year off right” and Gov. DeSantis is taking January by Storm.” I wrote the article because I am impressed with the number of important items the governor has tackled since January 2023 began. He’s getting things done and as a retired State Senator, I know how difficult that can be.

Shortly after the op-ed was published, someone named Jason Garcia, who claimed to be a “reporter”, reached out to me. He was demanding to know about my nonprofit organization Seniors Across America and our tax status. He was very intimidating saying, “by law, you must give this information to me.”

Well, I’m an octogenarian, so I’ve been around a block or two, his deceptive and intimidating tactics didn’t seem right to me, so I called my lawyer to verify. And as I expected, I legally do not have to turn this information over despite what Mr. Garcia said. But to be clear, that information is readily available through the IRS anytime to anyone who would like to see it.

I immediately wondered if this “reporter” was involved in one of those pay-per-play publications that go after anyone who supports someone it deems unworthy. Well, I learned Mr. Garcia writes for something called Seeking Rents and he recently wrote an article titled “DeSantis Helps Billionaires Dodge Their Taxes.” And guess where that article was published? Hmmm. So, that raises a few red flags and suggests he could be funded by a pay-to-play dark money group with an agenda.

My organization Seniors Across America is a non-partisan, nonprofit that looks out for senior citizens. I’ve been fighting for seniors my entire working life. First, as a lawyer practicing in Tampa since 1968, then when I served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. I’ve been appointed to the Florida Commission on Ethics three times. Governor Jeb Bush appointed me to serve as Executive Director of the Office of Statewide Public Guardianship.

Seniors are important to me. I’m one of them and that’s why I started SAA because I’m committed to bettering the quality of life for the more than 54 million Americans 65 years and older. It seems my positive article about the governor upset Mr. Garcia because I’d never heard of him before my op-ed was published.

I support anyone who supports senior citizens and Gov. DeSantis has proven he and his wife believe in taking care of our seniors. No one should be attacked for their beliefs in our country and boy did I feel attacked when Mr. Garcia reached out to me.

It’s a good lesson for seniors who are constantly the target of scammers trying to take advantage of them. Learn from me, folks, and get the facts before you give away any information about yourself. Believe me, I will continue to fight for seniors and be on the lookout for “rogue reporters” who might be using deceitful tactics to force their dark money agenda.


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