A small group from an activist organization called the Dream Defenders is targeting Republican attorney general candidate Ashley Moody over campaign contributions from private prison corporation The Geo Group.
About 10 individuals came to a Republican Party meeting in Clearwater Sunday where Moody was appearing.
After one person had a brief conversation with Moody asking her to sign a pledge not to accept money from the company, and she declined, the group disrupted the meeting, shouting, "Stop accepting money, sign the pledge."
"A bunch of us went over there and asked them to leave, and they shouted a little more and then left," said party chairman Nick DiCeglie.
The Boca Raton-based company, which operates six prisons in Florida, has given Moody's campaign $3,000. It gives heavily, mostly to Republicans – more than $1.1 million just so far in this election cycle, including $335,000 to the state Republican Party.
The Dream Defenders is an organization that opposes what it considers excessive incarceration and police violence, particularly against minorities.
The organization singled out Moody because, "As the potential highest law officer in the state, she should not be accepting money from private corporations," which creates a conflict of interest by making a profit from incarceration, said Dream Defenders organizer Char Singleton.
She said the group would continue to confront Moody and other candidates when and where it can.
Moody campaign manager Nick Catroppo spokesman said via email the "ambush … orchestrated by a liberal attack group, is yet another example of the constant barrage recently against conservative women running for office," citing incidents or contentions of such confrontations involving Attorney General Pam Bondi, Sen. Dana Young and Rep. Jackie Toledo, all of Tampa.
RELATED COVERAGE: Pam Bondi confronted by protesters outside Mister Rogers movie