Color us stunned that the cofounder of a major Trump campaign support group, who is now running for office herself, has a questionable background and a history of arrests. In the leadup to last November's election, Miami's Denise Galvez Turros was all over cable television after she founded the support group Latinas for Trump. How, many reporters asked, could she stomach supporting a man who'd been so transparently mean to Latin American immigrants?
Perhaps because she's not all that morally upstanding herself. Today local blogger Elaine Del Valle noted that Galvez Turros has been arrested twice — in 1994 for credit card theft and in 2010 for driving under the influence.
Normally, this wouldn't be all that important a full year after the presidential election, but Galvez Turros is now trying to parlay her brief bout of TV fame into a political position. She's running for Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez's District 4 seat. Suarez, son of longtime Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez, is resigning to run for mayor of Miami and will almost certainly win. Though polling in the race is slim, she appears to trail her competitors, Ralph Rosado and Manolo Reyes. Her pet issues include decreasing housing costs, "creating jobs," reducing crime, and supporting cops.
State court records show that in 1994, Galvez Turros (then known as Denise Victoria Galvez) was arrested on one felony county of credit card theft of more than $300, along with one misdemeanor count of illegal card signing. The charges were later downgraded to misdemeanors and eventually dismissed. The county database says the criminal records have been destroyed.
Del Valle also turned up a mug shot from 2010 — this time, Galvez Turros was listed as
Galvez Turros did not immediately respond to a phone call from New Times.
The arrests will likely have more of a disqualifying impact than the litany of mean-spirited, awful comments she spewed in public and on television during the last election cycle. In June 2016, New Times attended a Latinas for Trump event, and Galvez Turros said then that her group was something of a support group for people who were apparently being persecuted for endorsing a man who was well known for calling Mexicans "rapists" and threatening to ban Muslims from entering the country.
“The usual reaction that people have towards us is that we’re either racist or crazy,” Galvez said at the time. “But we’re a group that is giving people the courage to speak out against the hate and censorship that comes with being a Trump supporter. We are being placed under the same attacks as Trump himself, but we are growing by 400 percent each week.” She also said Barack Obama "speaks like Martin Luther King but delivers nothing," a comment that certainly had some dark racial undertones.
As did this "birther" meme the group shared in June 2016:
New Times reported that the event mostly consisted of elderly Cuban women sipping wine and cocktails and complaining about immigrants. One attendee, Lizz Wiegant, ultrapatriotically identified herself as an "American-Cuban" and opined that Trump's hard-line immigration stance was awesome.
"I am a Cuban who defends the American dream and think it's time we start playing by the books," she said. "We are a country of rules, where there should be no such thing as political correctness. This is my country, and I can say what I want to say."
In September 2016, Galvez Turros appeared on CNBC to discuss the "economic plan" Trump infamously pitched September 15 in which he pledged to stop defending countries such as South Korea, cut taxes for real-estate brokers, and somehow bring back the coal-mining industry. In an analysis the next morning, she mentioned she still
Less than a year into his presidency, Trump has already bailed on making Mexico pay for the wall — because that idea was always bullshit.
Galvez Turros also wrote an accompanying op-ed, which is total nonsense and has already been contradicted by Trump's actual actions as president. Here's a snippet:
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The fact is, the No. 1 priority for established Latinos like myself is NOT immigration but our family and our country's safety. I personally believe that Trump's plan can finally establish a system for those who truly want to be here, for those who agree with our democracy, and for those who will not be a drain on our economy. If, in fact, the remaining illegal immigrants believe in our system of Democracy then they, too, should take no issue with Mr. Trump's plan. Putting Mr. Trump's plan in place can finally give millions of hard working and resilient immigrants the chance to get in line like the rest. I believe that Trump's plan is not rooted in racism or hate, but instead in a deep love and appreciation for this country. Yes, it is the path less chosen because it takes a hard line on criminal illegals regardless of their individual circumstances. But common sense tells us it is the only path to finally securing our borders, safeguarding our families, and restoring law and order. More importantly, it is a way to put low-skilled Americans to work and end their perpetual state of welfare. Mr. Donald J. Trump and Latinas and Latinos such as myself have chosen to put America first during this election. If that makes me a racist or a bigot, then this Latina is guilty as charged.
The op-ed mentioned something curious: Though Galvez Turros wasn't getting paid by the Trump campaign, her partner was. Latinas for Trump cofounder Ileana Garcia had been hired to work as the Trump campaign's Hispanic outreach director.
Galvez Turros hasn't let up since Trump took office. In August, she was happy to blame "both sides" when a straight-up Nazi murdered a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia: