Hill calls state party leaders “Fake Republicans”

Posted on June 16, 2019 by Romi White

Florida House District 1 Representative Mike Hill has bashed state Republican leaders in a pro-life Facebook group in which members also made homophobic remarks.

Spence Rogers, creator of the “Florida Pro Life Group” and president at Go Right Strategies, Inc., added Hill to the group.

“I will run both the heartbeat detection bill and the malpractice bill,” Hill posted, thanking group members for support. “I’m doing fine and will get through this.”

Hill at the time was under fire after audio emerged from a May 23 “Women for Responsible Legislation” forum during which an attendee suggested Hill propose legislation to execute gay Floridians. Hill is heard on the recording exchanging Biblical scriptures and joking in response to it.

Florida Speaker of the House Jose Oliva and Rules Chairman Representative Chris Sprowls called for Hill to issue an apology, which he did June 4 after Governor Ron DeSantis also weighed in.

“Oliva and Sprowls at least owed me the courtesy of calling me first and hearing my side of the story. Fake Republicans always join the left and eat their own,” Hill stated in the group.

Rogers then started a series of posts in which he suggested the two state party leaders might be gay.

“I wonder if Sprowls and Oliva are boyfriends,” Rogers said, adding, “Most of these guys who defend LGBTQ are…They have parties in Tallahassee who knows what happens.”

In screenshots provided to South Santa Rosa News it appears Hill neither replied to nor reprimanded the discussion about their sexuality.

Also, Rogers wasn’t the only group member to make such comments about the gay community.

“DeSantis & Gatez [sic] pro-sodomy,” posted group member Maria Russo Vail.

Others who participated in the group discussions include Sam T. Mullins of Allentown, husband of JoAnne Mullins, who is employed by the Florida House, working in Hill’s office.

James Calkins, the husband of another Hill staffer, Maria Calkins, on Thursday attracted attention when he made allegations against state Republican leaders, accusing them of excluding Hill from the signing of Florida’s SB 168, a bill banning sanctuary cities.

“You can’t deny anybody a right in that room, especially a black man,” Calkins following the signing, which took place at the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners’ Chamber.

But U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz via Twitter explained that legislators representing Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties had been invited. Hill solely represents Escambia County. “Nobody told Mike he couldn’t come,” Gaetz said.

DeSantis at a press conference immediately following the signing stated he did not know whether or not Hill was invited but reiterated support for action Oliva might take against Hill in the aftermath of the May 23 incident.

Rogers in the Facebook group asked Hill what Republican leaders can legally do about it.

Hill replied, “Remove me from committees and censure me. Nothing more beyond that. I dare them!”

South Santa Rosa News on Saturday evening reached out to Hill for a comment on his participation in the Facebook group.

“You need to mind your own business,” Hill said. “You just enjoy stirring up strife.”

The Facebook group on Sunday morning was no longer publicly visible on the website.

Screenshots of the group discussions follow: