By Jim Bleyer
Ross Spano’s tenure as a member of the Florida House was more than undistinguished. In Tallahassee he is known as “The Invisible Man.”
East Hillsborough County voters feel shortchanged after three election cycles featuring a parade of uninspiring candidates running in House District 59.
Now Spano, a Republican, aspires to sit in Congress, a much heavier lift with weighty national and international impactful issues affecting a wider constituency. His wafer-thin resumé has been an embarrassment.
He faces a formidable foe in Polk County resident Kristen Carlson, a former prosecutor and General Counsel for the Florida Department of Citrus. She has a long list of accomplishments: successfully lobbying the FDA to prosecute out-of-state “orange juice adulterators” who were mislabeling inferior juice and prosecuting predators who targeted women, children, and seniors.
CD15 combines moderate Tampa suburbs with the highly agricultural, citrus-growing portions of Polk.
Spano has served six years in the Florida House. He is best known for being the sponsor of a resolution declaring pornography a “public health risk.” A resolution, not a law. Six years and that’s his sole association, not accomplishment.
After Spano first submitted his pornography bill in 2017, Orlando Weekly discovered just two days after the filing that Spano’s Twitter account “favorited” a tweet from the “Goddess Lesbian” account, which features a video clip from adult entertainment company Reality Kings.
Spano’s lame response: “this is not my doing.” He has not favorited a Tweet since. Very revealing.
To make matters even worse for Spano, David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, a well-known conservative think tank, declared that labeling pornography a “public health risk” invites unnecessary interference by government.
“Bureaucracies notoriously want to expand,” Boaz explained. So, true to form, the public health authorities have broadened their mandate and kept on going. They launched informational and regulatory crusades against such health problems as smoking, venereal disease, AIDS, and obesity.”
Pornogtaphy regulation is more government overreach, Boaz continued, exploding Spano’s claim to conservative credentials.
Spano’s woeful legislative performance and fake claim to conservatism aren’t his only problems. He angered Polk County’s most powerful politician, Sheriff Grady Judd, during the primary by claiming his support.
Judd came out fighting in an audio that went viral.
“Hello. I’m Sheriff Grady Judd, and I’m angry,” the audio starts. “Ross Spano is trying to trick you.
“He used my picture and a quote from a press conference, then mailed it to thousands of people, giving the false impression I’m supporting him. I’m not supporting Ross Spano.”
Judd also noted that Spano voted against the 2018 school safety bill.
“He [Spano] voted against protecting our children this year, and he is misleading you,” Judd says in the audio. “I have not endorsed anyone—yet. Now you know the truth.”
Spano has no credibility, no record of accomplishment, no conservative credentials. He is frequently pictured and seen with his arms folded. Psychologists say this posture is defensive and indicates a desire not to communicate.