PLANTATION, Fla. – Adriana Alcalde told Local 10 News she was already disgusted with the vitriolic, and what she considers bigoted, rhetoric coming from the White House on immigration. So when it cropped up in Plantation, the city where she lives, she decided to do something about it.
Alcalde, a Plantation resident and daughter of immigrants, saw that Jesse Walaschek, a candidate for City Council, had shared a post to a community Facebook group called Plantation Nation that was, as she put it "fake and racist."
The post was purported to have been written by an unnamed Florida emergency room physician about an apparently illegal immigrant.
"Today I had a 25-year-old with eight kids -- that's right eight, all illegal Anchor Babies and she had the nicest nails, cellphone, hand bag, clothing, etc," the post stated. "She makes about $1,500 monthly for each; you do the math."
That would mean the unnamed woman would be making $12,000 a month on her children.
"We need a revolution," the supposed doctor writes.
Alcalde said she immediately knew the outlandish post was false because illegal immigrants don't receive Social Security benefits. But there were also other telltale signs that the post was phony.
It claims, for instance, that illegal immigrants and refugees make more money than "pensioners," a term that isn't common in the U.S. A look at Snopes.com and Factcheck.com shows that virtually everything in the post is false and that it is based on something that appeared in a publication in Canada back in 2004, which was also false at the time.
For Alcalde she didn't know what was worse -- that a political candidate would post something so racist or that was so obviously false.
"It's outrageous, and I think it's shameful that someone like him is running for City Council," Alcalde said. "Bigoted and gullible is not something we should elect to City Council."
Denise Horland, one of Walaschek's opponents in Plantation's Group 2 race, agreed.
"Facts matter," she said. "It makes me sad that this type of discourse has permeated the city and the nation for far too long."
But when confronted by Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman about the Facebook post, which had since been deleted by the Plantation Nation moderator, Walaschek denied posting it.
"I've never seen this in my life," he said.
"There's a screenshot that clearly shows that you put it up there," Norman said.
"No, I don't know," he said. "It wasn't me."
"You understand that doesn't sound believable?" Norman asked.
"I don't know, whatever," Walaschek said. "You take it how you want it."
Walaschek said he might have been hacked.
"Hopefully we can prosecute the guy that did this," he said, prompting Norman to laugh.
"You didn't post this hateful, false material?" Norman persisted.
"That's right," Walaschek said.
Alcalde said she was highly skeptical of Walaschek's shaky explanation.
"I'm voting in Plantation," she said. "But I'm not voting for him."