Sarahnell Murphy wants to replace Michael Satz as the next Broward State Attorney. When she kicked off her campaign last month, her husband Richard Merlino was quick to tell voters she was a longtime Democrat. Merlino’s social media post was more than moment of partisan pride. For weeks, Democrat insiders discussed Merlino’s numerous Facebook posts supporting President Donald Trump.
REDBROWARD obtained a copy of the flyer circulated among Broward Democrats which highlighted anti-Democrat posts by Richard Merlino. The flyer asked, “Did Richard forget that what happens on the internet stays on the internet?” Several of the Merlino posts address political topics from 2018 such as the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, the Andrew Gillum campaign and illegal immigration. A cartoon posted by Merlino claims liberals hate Donald Trump because, “my TV told me too.”
On Monday, Buddy Nevins of Broward Beat addressed the controversy. Sarahnell Murphy refused to respond to Nevins’ questions about her husband’s pro-Trump posts. Nevins wrote, “Murphy and Merlino didn’t return calls and e-mails sent to discuss the posts. He has sealed off his Facebook page. That makes me wonder. Murphy and Merlino could have denied the posts were Merlino’s. Maybe even talked me out of writing this. Perhaps they realize that if the posts are his, or even if they are not, any attention to them could be a problem for Murphy.”
The disappearance of these pro-Trump posts is not the first time Merlino scrubbed his Facebook page.
MURPHY CAMPAIGN DELETES PICS OF LOBBYIST AT KICKOFF EVENT
On July 11th, Richard Merlino posted nearly forty photographs taken at a Sarahnell Murphy fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale. It was the standard campaign Facebook post: smiling supporters enjoying drinks and conversation at Timpano restaurant on Las Olas. Just one problem. Several photographs featured lobbyist Judy Stern.
Perhaps the naive Richard Merlino did not realize the political baggage Judy Stern can bring to a political campaign. Days earlier, Merlino posted a thank you message to Sarahnell Murphy’s campaign team which included Judy Stern.
One day later, REDBROWARD shared Merlino’s photograph of Judy Stern chatting with former Broward Health Chairman David Di Pietro at Murphy’s event. Minutes later, the photograph was removed from Merlino’s original post.
According to Facebook, Richard Merlino deleted 35 photographs from his Murphy campaign post. All photographs of Stern and Di Pietro vanished. He also removed numerous tags he made of friends and supporters. The Judy Stern thank you message has disappeared as well.
Did someone tell Merlino to remove the pictures?
Will Democrat voters support a candidate who would rather delete information instead of answering questions?
Does Broward want a new State Attorney who hides from voters when the questions get tough?