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Seminole Republican mailer includes ad from anti-Islamic group The United West

By MARTIN E. COMAS, For Orlando Sentinel, On 07 October 2020, Read Original
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Prominent members of Seminole County’s Republican Party raised concerns Tuesday after a 16-page mailer paid for by the party arrived at thousands of homes this week, featuring an ad for The United West, designated a far-right, anti-Islamic group.

The ad on page 4 of the publication directly under an endorsement for Florida Senate candidate Jason Brodeur features The United West’s logo and reads, “My faith votes. United. We Stand,” and gives the non-profit organization’s web address.

The mailer, designed to appear as a newspaper called the “Seminole County Gazette,” features endorsements of 12 Republicans running for the Florida Legislature, Seminole Commission, and sheriff. It was paid for by the Seminole County Republican Executive Committee and lists its “publisher” as Linda Trocine, chairwoman of the county party.

Trocine said in a text message that the committee “used its own creativity and ingenuity to produce a compelling piece that voters may find both novel and useful" regarding the mailer. She did not respond to questions about the United West ad.

Based in Lake Worth, United West is led by Tom Trento and warns of the “clear and present danger of violent, coercive Islam,” according to its web site. On its Facebook page, the organization says it is “dedicated to defending and advancing Western Civilization against the kinetic and cultural onslaught of Shariah Islam.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center and CAIR Florida — or the Council on American-Islamic Relations — have designated The United West as an anti-Muslim hate group along with 67 other organizations in Florida.

Trento would not agree to answer questions about his organization unless the interview was part of a daily show he broadcasts on the Internet. ...
 
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