Michelle Obama campaign stop at Fla. school riles local GOP
(CBS News) Some Republican members of a Miami school board are fighting a scheduled visit Tuesday by first lady Michelle Obama to recruit volunteers for the president's reelection campaign, the Miami Herald reports.
In her first official campaign swing through Florida, Mrs. Obama will meet with supporters at the Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes before addressing an arena at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows President Obama with an edge in the critical battleground state over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, 45 percent to 41 percent.
But at least two members of the Miami-Dade School Board have pushed back against the first lady's earlier stop, suggest holding a political event at a high school constitutes a conflict of interest.
Carlos Curbelo asked the board attorney to reexamine the event's legality, opining that Mrs. Obama's use of the school "explicitly to benefit the president's reelection campaign is inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers."
Another member, Renier Diaz de la Portilla, said the venue choice is "downright wrong," and called for the event to be cancelled.
"Don't these liberals have boundaries?" Diaz de la Portilla said in a statement. Although school board seats are nonpartisan, Diaz de la Portilla is running as a Republican for a Florida congressional seat, and Curbelo has worked before as a GOP operative.Watch an excerpt from the first lady's Miami speech in the video to the left.
School Board attorney Walter Harvey defended the event as being entirely legal since the district doesn't spend money on it, and employees are not allowed to attend if they are on the clock. The campaign is "essentially renting the facility," Harvey said.
Meanwhile, across the country Tuesday, Romney will also be holding a campaign event at a high school in Colorado, another swing state.
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