Today is proof positive Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank is the biggest idiot in Florida politics

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In case there was any doubt…

In case, for a moment, you thought former landscaper-turned videographer Javier Manjarres was anything more than a pay-for-play hack who has brought shame on Florida’s blogosphere, just look at what he has done today.

I am coming late to this because, well, you know, we’re in the middle of legislative session and unlike Javier I write about process and policy, so let me clip what  of the Conservative Intelligence Briefing (Please do us all a favor and click on the C.I.B. so it receives the appropriate traffic for dismantling Javier) has written about Manjarres latest deep-plunge into stupidity.

Senator Marco Rubio went on Laura Ingraham’s show today to discuss his 844-page immigration bill, only to be hit by questions about “Marco phones.”

The  Shark Tank, run by Javier Manjarres, ran first with this odd story, which illustrates the problem of non-lawyers attempting to read and interpret legislation without the help of experts:

According to the newly filed bill, immigrants who are allowed to enter the United States under a work visa, will be ‘granted’ a taxpayer funded cellular phone. Move over “Obama phone,” we present the new ‘Hola, Como Estas?!’ MarcoPhone.

Manjarres was referring to Section 1107, which contains this passage:

ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.—An individual  is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she— (A) regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region;  is at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border. (3) USE OF GRANTS.—Grants awarded under  this subsection may be used to purchase satellite  telephone communications systems and service  that— (A) can provide access to 9–1–1 service; and  (B) are equipped with global positioning picked up the story as well.

But it’s not true.

The provision in question, Rubio explained later in the day in an interview with Laura Ingraham, is designed so that ranchers and farmers along rural areas of the border (say, in Arizona) can report illegal crossings and violence, which are a big problem there. Many of the areas are very remote and lack cell phone coverage. A rancher in his pickup who noticed, say, 50 heavily armed cartel goons running across his land would probably have no way to phone it in to authorities. Hence the grants for purchasing satellite phones — which are not cheap.

Based on a quick search of the legislative database, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) appear to have first proposed the language in May 2010, when Rubio was still just a primary candidate for U.S. Senate. Their bill, S. 3332 (“Border Security Enforcement Act of 2010″), contained no immigration provisions at all — just border security measures, including the phones, grants to towns along the border and deployment of 3,000 additional National Guardsmen at the border.

In order to please immigration hawks, the old border security bill was folded into the comprehensive immigration bill this year, so that senators could show they were doing something to crack down on illegal border crossings.

Rubio explained what the provision was about in the interview with Ingram, which he also posted on his website.

How many more times will Manjarres embarrass himself before he hangs up his video camera and returns to landscaping? 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.