Good or bad, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has been a hot topic in Florida’s political scene as of late.
The lone Democrat in Florida’s cabinet has been the focal point for many Republicans around the state, as the marijuana advocate continues to prove that she’s more concerned with her image than her record helping Floridians.
Fried has faced a growing amount of criticism as of late, in part for her starring role in “Stickergate.” Last year, Fried drew the ire of many Republicans when she plastered her face on stickers applied to gas pumps in what Republicans say was a move to use taxpayer dollars to promote herself and not the office she holds. The move caused GOP leaders to pass a budget implementing bill (SB 2502) last session to limit stickers affixed to gas pumps to only “a combination of lettering, numbering, words, or the department logo.
Fried’s department, however, failed to remove the stickers in time, prompting House Republicans to put forth a budget proposal this legislative session that would’ve withheld $19.7 million from Agriculture Department programs and into reserves if she failed to put together a plan to remove the stickers.
This week, “Stickergate” reached its climax, with some new, legally compliant stickers starting to replace the ones that featured Fried.
If that’s not enough, Fried still has looming questions on her net worth and increase of cash in her checking account that somehow ballooned by more than $166,000 while she was campaigning in 2018, and only earned half that from her lobbying business. The stories were first reported by The Capitolist after Fried made numerous errors and omissions on her legally required annual financial disclosure.
Fried has consistently refused to explain the source of the cash, though numerous attempts