Ana Rivas Logan: A Political Turncoat Who Would Make Even Charlie Crist Blush

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: March 26, 2014 3:55 AM
Ana Rivas Logan

Ana Rivas Logan

The Florida Democrats put Ana Rivas Logan on center stage on Tuesday as she insisted the GOP “has been radicalized and held hostage by a group of extremists.” There’s only one problem: the new Democrat was in the conservative vanguard during her time in the Florida House.

After a decade as a Republican, Rivas Logan joined the Democrats last month and even got some national attention. The Democrats pushed Rivas Logan forward this week to hit Rick Scott on Hispanic issues, featuring her on a call with the media Tuesday. Rivas Logan also threw a few punches at her old party in the announcement of the call.

“The GOP of today is not the party I joined,” Rivas Logan said. “It’s a party that has been radicalized and held hostage by a group of extremists.”

Rivas Logan has changed her political positions at a speed that would make fellow Republican-to-Democrat-turncoat Charlie Crist blush. After four years on the Miami-Dade School Board, Rivas Logan came to Tallahassee as a freshman representative after winning a seat in 2010.

While she has claimed that Republican views on immigration and women’s issues made her join the Democrats, Rivas Logan was actually a pretty solid conservative during her time in Tallahassee. In 2012, she receieved a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union. The Florida chapter of National Federation for Independent Business -- the same group that fought Obamacare tooth and nail and backs conservatives like Mike Hill -- also gave Rivas Logan a 100 percent grade for her votes in 2012. The same year, she won the Florida Retail Federation’s “legislator of the year” award. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Florida gave her high marks. So did tea party darlings Americans for Prosperity which gave her a 93 grade in 2012. The NRA loved her so much they gave Rivas Logan an “A” grade.

Besides economic and fiscal issues, Rivas Logan was on board with the Republicans on other fronts in Tallahassee. She was a strong supporter of school choice programs, including vouchers; she backed school prayer and ensuring sharia law would never take root in Florida. Despite her talk now about how Republicans are against women, Rivas Logan voted to prohibit abortions in the final trimester and against public funding of abortions. Rivas Logan may be griping about Republican positions now, but in 2012 she received a 100 percent grade from the conservative Christian Family Coalition.

Rivas Logan ended up as one of the chief victims of the Fair District Amendments. She was thrown into the same House district as fellow Miami Republican Jose Felix Diaz. This rare primary battle between two House incumbents was nasty -- at one point, the Miami Herald reported that Rivas Logan left a tearful message on a reporter’s voice mail -- but Diaz had the advantage, outspending her more than 2:1. He also beat her by the same margin, taking 66 percent while she could only muster 34 percent.

Rivas Logan joined the Democrats last month and was promptly welcomed with open arms by Crist. She even got a little national notice from it all, even as Miami Republicans said her party switch was the result of her own frustrated ambitions.

During the call on Tuesday, Rivas Logan focused on a report that Scott’s campaign team chased fundraiser Mike Fernandez away by speaking in fake Mexican accents.

"Rick Scott’s campaign staff mocked Florida Hispanics like schoolchildren,” Rivas Logan said. “That’s unacceptable from the people trying to elect a governor in one of the most diverse states in the nation. These anti-Hispanic comments are exactly the kind of comments that made up my mind to leave the Republican Party.

"What is unbelievable to me is that instead of apologizing about these remarks and moving on, Rick Scott hasn’t said a word!" Rivas Logan said. “That’s not leadership."

Rivas Logan’s sudden prominence with Florida Democrats isn’t exactly a good sign for the party. Bad enough that a former Republican like Crist is their only viable candidate to take on Scott. During his time with the GOP, Crist was far closer to the political middle than Rivas Logan was. Crist’s political transformation was also a bit more extended than Rivas Logan’s -- who went from a staunch conservative, before getting clobbered by Diaz in August 2012, to a partisan Democrat.

Crist is leading Scott in the polls, to be sure, but the Florida Democrats aren’t exactly in the best of shape otherwise for November. Nobody expects them to seriously compete for either chamber of the Legislature and only one serious Democratic candidate has emerged to run against a Republican senator and only a handful are challenging GOP incumbents in the House. Allison Tant and her team failed to vet Allie Braswell -- despite endorsing him -- and still haven’t found a replacement candidate to challenge Jeff Atwater. No major Democrat has stepped up to run against Adam Putnam. Alex Sink went down to defeat against David Jolly earlier in the month.

Rivas Logan, who went from conservative Republican to a Democrat in the blink of an eye, is now elbowing aside other Hispanics like Darren Soto and Janet Cruz in her new party. Not exactly a sign of a deep bench.

Tallahassee based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (9)

Denise Sala-Gore
4:57PM MAR 27TH 2014
Anna Rivas Logan is a fraud, wanting to capitalize on running for office for her personal gain. I have an email invite from her wanting to run for governor. I also have personal, saved emails from her stating that she is a proud conservative. When I questioned her credentials/viability she became irrational and could not even express her platform let alone her writing skills. I couldn't figure out why someone who was planning to run for such a high office would have time to personally email me- strange.
H.E. "Pete" Ashley
8:51PM MAR 26TH 2014
What ever floats her boat and to hell with those who put her in a political position. She came in thru the side door and did it on purpose.
11:53AM MAR 26TH 2014
Just another political opportunist who has no principles. Does she believe, as Alex Sink articulated, that Hispanics need to be allowed in this country to clean her house or tend to her lawn?
3:41PM MAR 26TH 2014
So you're going to continue that previously shown to be politics of the "Big Lie" GOP tactic . . . . and now you throwing that racist charge at a Hispanic legislator just because she no longer believes like you . . . . . maybe I should just provide the FULL Alex Sink quote (embarrassing you far right types AGAIN) . . . what don't you get about being racist . . . . . . your pitiful partisan spin is just so . .

Pathetic . . . . .
3:47PM MAR 26TH 2014
Here's the quote:

"Immigration reform is important in our country. It's one of the main agenda items of the beaches' chamber of commerce, for obvious reasons, because we have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers, and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? And we don't need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.

I believe that the Senate came together in a bipartisan way to forge a solution. It was a very tough negotiation, and Sen. Marco Rubio was a participant in that, and one of the leaders, and members of his own party has even come against him. For every example that you hear, I think about the high school valedictorian —- I believe he lives in this district now. High school valedictorian.

He was brought here when he was a young man, 9 or 10 years old. He didn't choose to come here. His parents brought him. He was undocumented. And what does he do? How does he get an education? He did everything right. He became an incredible student. He even eventually ended up going to law school and becoming a lawyer. But right now he can't practice law because of his undocumented status. That's not right. We need to bring these people out the shadows so that they're paying into Social Security, paying into Medicare, paying federal income taxes, so that they're not security issues. But they have to earn their way. So we need immigration reform and I would definitely join with Democrats and Republicans in the House and pass immigration reform as soon as possible.''

So praising a young immigrant who has succeeded is considered to be making fun of Hispanics (re Curry) and being a racist by partisan conservatives (re Jolly), right . . . . and anti-immigrant, somehow . . . . . incredible . . . . and just plain . . .

Pathetic . . . .
10:14AM MAR 26TH 2014
I guess she got tired of being another of the little brown one's in the Republican fold.
9:49AM MAR 26TH 2014
Yes, yes, it not like other Republicans such as Jeb Bush have commented how even Ronald Reagan and his father wouldn't fit in with today's GOP, now is it . . . . just another sign how far right today's GOP has become when even conservatives are finding themselves shut out . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
7:46AM MAR 26TH 2014
She was more conservative even than Oliva and Trujillo. That's why this is so comical.
Denise Sala-Gore
5:00PM MAR 27TH 2014
Harold, you are spot on! One doesn't turn a leaf in a few months. She's an opportunist that will only hurt the Democratic Party and I'm shocked they would embrace her without looking at her prior right wing rhetoric!

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