6/15/18: Political Contributions And Protest, Dealing With PTSD After Pulse Massacre

Jun 15, 2018

Disney may be the next company facing public pressure over its political contributions in Florida.

Just a couple of weeks ago Publix said it would stop making political contributions after students staged a “die-in” over its support for gubernatorial hopeful and self-confessed NRA sellout Republican Adam Putnam.

Now they may go after Disney, which has donated thousands of dollars to Putnam’s political committee.

Three weeks ago students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and their supporters laid down in the aisles of a Publix in Coral Springs - near where the school shooting happened.

It was a “die-in” protest for 12 minutes over the grocery store’s financial support of Adam Putnam, who is running for governor. Putnam has called himself a proud NRA sellout.

But just before the students laid down, Publix announced it would stop making political contributions.

Another massive corporate presence in Florida may find itself the target of a similar protest.

A group co-founded by survivors of the Parkland shooting is planning to stage a die-in at Disney.

The company has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Adam Putnam’s political action committee, including donations since the February school shooting.

Disney could be the latest company to face pressure over its political contributions to Putnam and his position on guns.

Gray Rohrer of the Orlando Sentinel joined in on the discussion from WFSU.

PTSD A Part Of The Pulse Massacre

It was two years ago this week Omar Marteen walked into Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando and shot and killed 49 people.

Gerry Realin was on vacation that night, but he was called in for a 16-hour-shift with the Orlando Police Department.

He was inside the nightclub for several hours after the shooting ended, but with the victims’ bodies remaining.

He is among the first responders who were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Realin’s battle with PTSD and his battle to secure a paycheck from his police department after Pulse are part of the lasting damage of the massacre.

WMFE’s Abe Aboraya chronicled the stories in a special report “Five First Responders to the Pulse Massacre. One Diagnosis: PTSD” and joined us along with Alison Clarke. She is an Orlando Police Officer who responded to the Pulse shooting and who had worked as an off-duty security officer at Pulse.

The Week In Politics

The top Republican running for governor found himself defending the agency he currently runs. Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam says public safety was not put at risk even though his department did not review background checks for concealed weapons permits for more than a year.

An employee in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn’t have access to an FBI crime database because she couldn’t log on.

Also this week, a billionaire who just entered the race to become governor says he’ll spend whatever it takes to get elected. Jeff Greene filed paperwork to run as a Democrat in the governor’s race, but he didn’t hold a news conference or tour the state campaign-style.

He told the Associated Press he’ll spend whatever it takes - $100 million, $200 million – “to make sure that our message is heard.”

Patricia Mazzei, the Miami Bureau Chief for the New York Times joined us for the political discussion.