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State asks businesses ‘are you controlled by Communists?’

The State of Florida sent letters to 100,000 businesses asking if they’re controlled by the Communist Party of China.

Dr. Todd Johnson has welcomed patients in Fort Myers for three decades, yet he received one of those letters in the mail.

“Thought it was unusual. After 30 years of practice, I was surprised someone wanted to know if I was owned by the communists,” he said.

It turns out that the state’s chief financial officer sent surveys to companies, asking those who do business with the state whether they’re “owned or controlled by the Communist Party of China.”

“I don’t know; it seems really… odd,” Johnson said.

“Did you expect them to say, ‘Yeah, actually 50% of our company is owned and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party?'” WINK News asked CFO Jimmy Patronis over Zoom on Tuesday.

“Well, again, as we’re sorting through the details, we’re getting a variety of answers,” he replied.

Patronis wouldn’t say whether anyone directly admitted to having ties to Communist China. He said his goal is to make sure he can track where Florida taxpayers’ dollars are going.

“Are they going to Georgia? Are they going to China? Are they going to Tennessee? Especially if you’ve got an opportunity to keep those dollars in Florida, we should do every effort we can to keep those taxpayer dollars in Florida.”

The state even sent a letter to the Lee County Solid Waste Department. The county responded with a letter stating “Lee County is a political subdivision of the State of Florida.”

Patronis defended his decision, saying the state never got the country of origin for companies it does business with on the record before. Now, it does.

What prompted this? State leaders believing China is to blame for the damage done to our economy because of the coronavirus, and the state plans to go after the Communist Party of China for payment.

See the state’s letter and Lee County Solid Waste’s response

Click to access 20201001112745722.pdf

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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