Florida GOP invites felon who mocked teen shooting survivors to conference


Florida Republicans think they are 'incredibly lucky' to have convicted felon Dinesh D'Souza on their side.

Florida Republicans may have just blown their chances in the midterms by inviting some repugnant speakers to an upcoming conference.

On Monday, the Republican Party of Florida sent an email announcing three of the speakers for June's "Sunshine Summit" in Orlando.

"Today, the Republican Party of Florida announced Dinesh D’Souza, Dan Bongino and Kayleigh McEnany as the first three speakers confirmed for the 2018 Sunshine Summit, June 28 and June 29 in Orlando," the announcement said.

The party's press release said that the trio "have become household names, and we are incredibly lucky to have them kick off our powerful lineup of speakers for the Sunshine Summit."

Dinesh D'Souza is a convicted felon who mocked the survivors of the gun massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When a bill to ban assault weapons was blocked by Republicans in the Florida legislature, D'Souza tweeted, "Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs." He apologized only after an intense backlash.

In 2014, he pleaded guilty to a felony involving illegal campaign donations. Before gaining attention for attacking teenagers, D'Souza was known for his despicable racist attacks on President Barack Obama.

Attacking Parkland kids has become a sick pastime for many conservatives. It even cost Fox host Laura Ingraham two dozen sponsors. But Republicans in Florida, where Governor Rick Scott is trying to unseat Senator Bill Nelson, haven't seemed to learn anything from that.

D'Souza's fellow conference guest Dan Bongino is a frequent Fox News guest and NRA TV host. His organization has attacked and taunted the Parkland kids as well, while trying to paint itself as the real victim.

The Florida Democratic Party immediately called for the invitation to be rescinded. "Dinesh D'Souza is a bully who represents everything that is wrong with our politics," the statement declared. By inviting him to the summit, "Florida Republicans are endorsing [his] behavior."

Indeed, inviting speakers like D'Souza and Bongino so soon after the tragedy is a cold decision by the Florida Republican Party. But given the heat Scott has already taken in the wake of the massacre, it could also be a politically disastrous one.