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This Florida Republican did the right thing on Winner/Loser of the week in Florida politics: July 21 edition

The Department of Corrections, however, continues a losing streak.

Winner of the Week

Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater.

Chris Latvala. Florida Republicans have mostly refused to criticize the crowd that chanted “Send her back!” at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump last week. What a shame. But there were notable exceptions, from Florida Senate President Bill Galvano to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Yet only Latvala, a Clearwater state House representative, called the chant what it was (yes, it’s racist) while also taking Trump to task for not putting a stop to it.

That took guts in today’s GOP, which continues to stray from its founding principles as the party of Lincoln.

Loser of the Week

Snap shot of video that shows multiple guards at Lake Correctional Institution beating an inmate. [YouTube]

Florida Department of Corrections. The only reason the public knows anything about the July 8 beating by guards of an inmate at a Clermont state prison is because someone smuggled in a phone that caught the assault on video. Forced to comment, department officials called the video “deeply disturbing.” Harder to answer for, however, were chat messages leaked first to the Florida Times-Union that show corrections officers joked about the episode. For an agency with a long history of poor conditions -- for both prisoners and guards -- a thorough investigation is needed.


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