Political Party/527

Florida Safety and Justice

Organization Type:

527 Political Action Committee

Director:

Whitney Tymas

Florida Safety and Justice is a left-of-center PAC that was created in 2016 to fund the successful campaign of Aramis Ayala, a progressive Democratic candidate for Orange County State Attorney in Florida. The organization is the Florida branch of the vast “Safety and Justice” network, a project of left-leaning billionaire George Soros that used a network of similarly named state-level PACs to finance the campaigns of progressive Democratic candidates for district attorney in more than a dozen of America’s cities.

Funding

In 2016, Florida Safety and Justice received $1.3 million in contributions directly from George Soros, as well as $75,000 from Safety and Justice, a federal branch of the “Safety and Justice” network.[1]

Political Activities

According to campaign finance records with the Florida Department of State, Florida Safety and Justice spent roughly $1.2 million on advertising, polling, and mailings in support of Aramis Ayala’s campaign in August of 2016.[2]

Controversies

Florida Safety and Justice as an organization has largely avoided public attention, but Aramis Ayala, the organization’s candidate of choice, has been the center of several controversies as Orange County State Attorney.

In 2017, the Republican Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, issued an executive order reassigning a high-profile murder case on the shooting of two police officers from Ayala to another prosecutor on the grounds that Ayala would not do her full duty as prosecutor because she had repeatedly stated that she would not pursue the death penalty in any cases she handled.[3] Governor Scott state that her refusal to pursue the death penalty as part of her job raised “grave concerns regarding her willingness to abide by and to uphold the uniform application of the laws of the state of Florida”.[4] At the time of Governor Scott’s executive order Ayala had already been removed from 27 other cases for similar reasons tied to her radically progressive views of the law.[5]

In 2020, Ayala was again removed from a high-profile murder trial by a second Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, due to a public feud between Ayala and Osceola County sheriff Russ Gibson, over her handling of the prosecution, and her views on the death penalty.[6]

In 2021, Ayala stepped down as Orange County prosecutor, and announced her plans to run for Florida’s 10th Congressional District seat in 2022.[7]

Leadership

Florida Safety and Justice is led by its treasurer, Whitney Tymas, who serves as the head of the widely dispersed “Safety and Justice” network. Tymas also served on the board of the Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF).

References

  1. Campaign Finance Activity – Division of Elections – Florida Department of State. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/cgi-bin/TreSel.exe. ^

  2. Campaign Finance Activity – Division of Elections – Florida Department of State. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/cgi-bin/TreSel.exe. ^
  3. Cordeiro, Monivette. “Rick Scott Removes Aramis Ayala from Case of Slain Kissimmee Police Officers.” Orlando Weekly. Orlando Weekly, November 15, 2018. https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/08/20/rick-scott-removes-aramis-ayala-from-case-of-slain-kissimmee-police-officers. ^
  4. Cordeiro, Monivette. “Rick Scott Removes Aramis Ayala from Case of Slain Kissimmee Police Officers.” Orlando Weekly. Orlando Weekly, November 15, 2018. https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/08/20/rick-scott-removes-aramis-ayala-from-case-of-slain-kissimmee-police-officers. ^
  5. Cordeiro, Monivette. “Rick Scott Removes Aramis Ayala from Case of Slain Kissimmee Police Officers.” Orlando Weekly. Orlando Weekly, November 15, 2018. https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/08/20/rick-scott-removes-aramis-ayala-from-case-of-slain-kissimmee-police-officers. ^
  6. “DeSantis Removes Ayala From Montalvo Case; Ayala Alleges Deception.” DeSantis Removes State Attorney Ayala From Montalvo Case. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2020/01/31/desantis-reassigns-nicole-montalvo-case-to-another-state-attorney. ^
  7. “Aramis Ayala.” Ballotpedia. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Aramis_Ayala. ^
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