Weird Daphne Campbell Campaign Event Nearly Gets Florida Food Charity in Trouble

Former Miami state Sen. Daphne Campbell
Former Miami state Sen. Daphne Campbell Florida House of Representatives
click to enlarge Former Miami state Sen. Daphne Campbell - FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Former Miami state Sen. Daphne Campbell
Florida House of Representatives
If you're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you're not allowed to endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns of any kind. So it sure was bizarre to see Farm Share — a charitable organization that gives food to the needy — allegedly holding a campaign event with former state Sen. Daphne Campbell, a cartoonishly habitual liar who lost her 2018 reelection campaign after being accused for years of ethical lapses. Campbell is now running to rejoin the Florida Senate in 2020.

But, as things tend to go in Daphne-land, she couldn't just hold a simple food-sharing event without some controversy erupting. After Campbell posted a flyer on her Facebook page linking the May 23 gathering to her campaign, Farm Share stated on its website it had canceled its participation in the event. (Florida Politics first reported the news yesterday evening.)

Campbell did not return a request for comment. But Stephen Shelley, Farm Share’s chief operating officer, tells New Times the organization pulled its support in direct response to Campbell’s flyer.

”It’s a complete violation of our rules,” he says. “We wouldn’t let anyone use our food for campaigning.”

Farm Share refuses to work with campaigns to protect its nonprofit status; provided Farm Share's account of what happened is true, Campbell's flyers could have caused the nonprofit trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.

As Florida Politics noted, Campbell also boasted on her flyer that she was cooperating with Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Children and Families — but DCF says it in no way endorses Campbell's campaign.

"The department did not create this flyer," a DCF spokesperson told Florida Politics. "The department does not participate in political campaigns or activities nor endorse candidates. Any attempt to construe this announcement as such is inaccurate."

Of course, a screwup like this isn't exactly out of the ordinary for Campbell. She's been accused of living outside her own district, holding bizarre events with Scientologists, and calling the cops on reporters just asking basic questions. She was filmed accepting a Kate Spade bag with cash inside, and tried to duck out of a phone call with New Times by claiming her name was "Rose." Once, she even lied about her mother being alive.

After losing her District 38 state Senate race in 2018 to former prosecutor Jason Pizzo, Campbell is now running for state Senate District 35, which includes portions of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. State Rep. Shevrin Jones appears to be the frontrunner in the contest.

"I don’t do nothing wrong," Campbell told New Times last January. "I don’t steal. I do work. I’m a nurse. I don’t do anything bad. Anything. You always try to picture me in a negative way. It’s not fair."

After that phone call, she invited this reporter to a party at her home. New Times happily agreed to attend — but Campbell never called back.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.