Yesterday, outgoing State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) published a self-written letter to the Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, Senator Joe Gruters. True to form, in the letter, Representative Fine is yet again accusing another fellow Republican of anti-Semetism during election time. Also consistent with his previous race-baiting tactics, his letter is full of easily verified, false and misleading information.
A few weeks ago, we broke the story that Indialantic Mayor David Berkman was arrested for battery of his political opponent Mel Chang, when he hit him in the face with a rake. The incident was captured on cell phone video. Mayor Berkman (Republican) and Fine are longtime, good friends. Last week, we also broke another story of one of Fine’s supporters being arrested and convicted of battery against his own opponent, Anthony Yantz’s wife. We are noticing a pattern of those politically affiliated with Representative Fine being arrested for violent charges against his opponents.
Fine opens his letter to the RPOF with accusations that candidate Mel Chang used the phrases, “Mayor Jew Berkman” repeatedly. He has called Deputy Mayor Stu Glass “Jew Glass.” He has called a third member of the City Council “Jew Kemp.” The problem is that Chang did not make those anti-Semetic statements; Mayor David Berkman did. Berkman made the statements in an email from himself to Chang. Berkman actually suggested to Chang to use those terms in his email, and Representative Randy Fine falsely asserted that Chang actually did use them. He did not. Berkman then goes on to end his official email with the signature “Mayor Jew Berkman.” The email is below.
These events all occurred in 2020, however Representative Fine was silent on the alleged anit-Semetism back then. It wasn’t until Berkman was just now arrested, painting him in a negative light for the assault of his former opponent Chang that Fine is now invested in ensuring Chang get negative press in return. Fine’s go-to strategy to do so is race-baiting. Fine has accused every opponent of his of being an anti-Semite at one point or another simply for opposing him, and he happens to be Jewish.
The Brevard County Commission just asked that Governor DeSantis remove Mayor Berkman from office.
Fine goes on in his letter to be sure to attack another political opponent of his, Brevard Republican Executive Committee Chair (BREC) Rick Lacey, who he has also accused of anti-Semetism. Lacey has repeatedly, overwhelmingly defeated Fine in his quest to take over BREC.
Fine expresses he is upset that BREC included a photo of Chang (who is a Republican running against a Democrat in Indialantic) on their official “slate card” which identifies Republicans running for office in the current election to voters. He goes on to state that he’s upset that Chang (a Republican) was allowed to speak at the Republican meeting BREC held last Wednesday. It should be noted that the only time in recent history that Fine himself has shown up to a BREC meeting was to call his opponent at the time an anti-Semite, live stream the speech, and then promptly scurry away from the building. The entire purpose of the existence of BREC is to help Republicans get elected.
Fine’s letter goes on to say: “The Republican Party – and myself and our team of Republican candidates – cannot have our names used to back someone who uses the language and imagery of Nazis. All of us must speak unequivocally that there is no quarter, no home, and no tolerance for a rank bigot like Mr. Chang in our Party.”
Again, the person who actually used this language was Mayor Berkman himself, who Fine supports, and who, when this actually happened in 2020, appeared on the same style slate card alongside the same people.
Fine closes his letter with “I was proud to work alongside you in 2019 to pass the strongest anti-Semitism bill in the history of the United States.” His self-proclaimed strongest bill in the history of the United States has no relevance whatsoever to his ill-informed concerns. The bill requires a public K-20 educational institution to treat discrimination by students or employees or resulting from institutional policies motivated by anti-Semitism in an identical manner to discrimination motivated by race.
The bill also adds a definition of anti-Semitism similar to the definition adopted by the U.S. Department of State’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. In essence, it catches Florida up to the Federal Government on the issue.
It would be prudent to note another email by Mayor Berkman related to being Jewish. As seen below in an email from his Town Clerk, Mayor Berkman was invited in his official capacity to an Islamic event. His response was “Do they realize I’m a Jew? Tell them I can’t make it.” The Town Clerk responded with “I don’t think they care what you are, except Mayor.”
Imagine if it had been the other way around, and Berkman was a Muslim invited to speak at a Jewish event, and he responded with “Don’t they know I’m Muslim? No.” He would be rightly called out for his blatant racism and prejudice. It is a prime example of how those like Representative Randy Fine and Mayor Dave Berkman use false accusations of racism and anti-Semtism to gas light and hide their own personal bigotry. Neither is shy about proclaiming their hate for others, with perhaps the most rank example is Randy Fine, when shown a photo of a dead Palestinian baby, killed from a rocket attack Tweeted: “Thanks for the pic!”
We will end this article with a quote from Fine’s letter himself.
“All of us must speak unequivocally that there is no quarter, no home, and no tolerance for a rank bigot…”