PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – While Donald Trump's insult-filled campaign remains at the top of the Republican polls, one of Trump's top political advisers who calls South Florida home is sparking controversy of his own.
Notorious dirty trickster and GOP political hit man Roger Stone, who began his career with Richard Nixon and served as Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein's political director, has been touting Trump at every turn. Stone, who is also a top campaigner for Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, has been working with Trump on and off for more than three decades and is one of his paid consultants.
But he recently made controversy of his own on the campaign trail when he called Miami-based Ana Navarro, a Republican political pundit, and commentator Roland Martin "quota hires" based on their minority status.
The smear, which was first reported by Media Matters, has some political observers alleging that it's just another example of racism from the Trump campaign, beginning when the candidate called Mexican immigrants "rapists" during his kickoff speech.
"To see someone demean those people and call them quota hires based on the fact that they're minorities is just shameful," political consultant Evan Ross, a former president of the Miami-Dade Young Democrats, said.
Ross isn't the only one upset. Martin, a nationally syndicated columnist, called for Trump to fire Stone, and upset fellow Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera who called Stone a "thug" and then, after a Twitter fight, threatened physical violence against him.
"When I see you around Fox News I'm going to kick your racist ass punk," Rivera wrote to Stone Wednesday.
"It's par for the course for the Trump campaign," Ross said.
Just last week, the Trump campaign fired a close Stone associate, Sam Nunberg, after racial Facebook posts were discovered, including in which he called the Rev. Al Sharpton's daughter the N-word. Nunberg, who works for Stone's consulting firm, has since apologized to Sharpton.
Ross said the racial messages coming from Trump's advisers won't serve the candidate well.
"These kinds of comments clearly demonstrate a bigotry that the people of South Florida are not going to respond well to," Ross said.
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