Did State Rep Demi ‘Do Nada’ Busatta Cabrera buy her job with public funds?

The incumbent is also the darling of Tallahassee political committees

State Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera — wife of political consultant and election denier Kevin Marino Cabrera — got elected two years ago after nobody noticed until too late that there was no real Democrat running in District 114 against her.

Then she got a job with an organization that got $250,000 in state funds.

This year, Democrat Adam Benna, an attorney and construction executive running against Busatta Cabrera, has tagged the incumbent “Demi Do-Nothing” because she really has no track record.

But she did do at least one thing. In her first session ending in the Spring of 2021, Busatta Cabrera pushed to get a $250,000 appropriation to the WOW Center, a training and education agency for about 200 adults with developmental disabilities. Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez sponsored the Senate side bill, which, let’s face it, is why it happened. But Busatta is the only one of the two who got hired afterwards as a director of external affairs, which sounds like a no-show “lobbyist” job.

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Calls and emails to the state rep were answered by political spokesguru Sarah Bascom in Tallahassee, who told Ladra that Busatta started working at the WOW Center in September of 2021. That’s also reflected in Busatta Cabrera’s financial disclosures. The 2020 one does not have it listed. This June, she listed it as Community Habilitation Center, which is another name for the WOW Center Miami, which got a $550K last year.

So, did Busatta basically buy her job? And does she want to be re-elected so she can allocate more salaries for herself and her friends?

This blatant conflict of interests could be why Busatta Cabrera has refused to face Benna publicly. Busatta didn’t even respond to an invitation from the League of Women Voters. And she declined an invitation to be on WPLG Local 10’s This Week in South Florida, where Benna made his case Oct. 9 — and even recommended some places for wicked chicken wings.

Benna used the time to hit Busatta on her failure to do anything about affordable housing or insurance. Now we know she was too busy securing her salary. Ironically, she has tried to tie him to his work for insurance companies in the past when she is the one who voted for their $2 million statewide bailout, he said.

“They actually took the rights away from the consumer to seek litigation through reassignment of benefits,” Benna said on the must-watch Sunday morning political show, indicating that he knows what he’s talking about. Benna no longer represents insurance companies and has actually represented a few clients against Big Insurance. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to find solutions to our insurance issues, he argues.

“If I’ve represented both sides, I have knowledge of the inner workings on both sides,” Benna told Ladra. “I have the background and experience to actually move the ball forward.

“I’m not trying to demonize or overpoliticize different people or organizations. I just want to work,” Benna said.

What he doesn’t have is the funding to get that message across.

Busatta Cabrera has raised more than four times as much, almost $647,000 between her campaign account and her political action committee, as of the last financial reports through Oct. 7. Many of the campaign account checks — a whopping 115 out of 282 contributions — come from political action committees. Same for her PAC, People Above Politics, where 50 of the 106 checks listed come from other political committees.

Benna, on the other hand, is not getting the same kind of PAC love. He has raised just under $150,000 between both his campaign account and his PAC, Sunshine Priorities, which is paying for an ad that reminds voters that Busatta is the wife of an election-denying, former Donald Trump staffer and friend of the Proud Boys.

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The 30-second video shows the “power hungry” couple together and then Marino Cabrera — who is in a heated race of his own against Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge Fors (more on that later) — violently banging on the door of a Democrat congresswoman, basically trying to break into her office a la estilo Jan. 6.

Many voters may not realize that the two candidates — who share a ballot because their districts overlap in South Miami and Coral Gables — are husband and wife. Once they do, Marino Cabrera might become a liability with the no-party-affiliation voters, which make up a third of this purple district and which both camps should be desperately seeking at this point.