As it stands right now, the death toll from the June 24th Surfside, Florida condominium building collapse is at 78 and is expected to climb, as the search and rescue mission for the remaining 62 missing at the Champlain Towers South site has now sadly moved to the search and recovery phase. Please keep the surviving victims and families of those lost in your thoughts and prayers.
While crews continue to search, the investigations into what caused the collapse have started. Along with those investigations has come the digging from mainstream media outlets looking for answers to give to readers who want to learn more about what happened and why and, perhaps most importantly, if this could have been prevented.
NBC News filed a report Thursday that points to a 2008 Florida law that was repealed in 2010 as something that may have sped up repairs on the Champlain Towers condo building had the law been left in place:
“If the owners would have had a reserve study, if the board was proactive and had funded its reserves, this never would have happened,” said Julio Robaina, a former Republican state legislator.
Robaina sponsored a 2008 law requiring condo associations to hire engineers or architects to submit reports every five years about how much it would cost to keep up with repairs.
The law lasted just two years before it was repealed in 2010, after Robaina left office. Robaina blamed pushback from real estate lawyers and property managers, who he said claimed that the law was too burdensome for condo owners. The legislator who sponsored the repeal, former state Rep. Gary Aubuchon, a Republican real estate broker and homebuilder, did not reply to messages seeking comment.
What was fascinating about the article beyond learning about the repealed law was the fact that the governor at the time – Charlie Crist – was not mentioned a single time. Not in the NBC News national piece nor the local piece that appeared on the NBC Miami website.
What's the big deal? some may ask. I mean, after all, everybody knows DeSantis wasn't governor in 2010. For starters, just going off the tweets about this story, the year the law was repealed isn't even mentioned:
Collapsed Surfside Condo Could Have Been Repaired Faster Under Repealed Fla. Law, Experts Say https://t.co/C3oLmiMHrw
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) July 8, 2021
Special Report: Repealed Florida law would have required faster repairs at collapsed tower, experts say.https://t.co/5VN6ykBgHg
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 8, 2021
In other words, if one doesn't read the story and instead simply sees the tweets, they might assume current Gov. Ron DeSantis repealed the law.
Also, the fact that Crist isn't mentioned one time in the piece is highly suspect. Does anyone think that if DeSantis had been the one to repeal it that he, too, wouldn't have been mentioned?
Plus, note in the part of the story I quoted how NBC News noted they reached out to the former Republican state legislator who sponsored the repeal for comment but they never note in the piece whether or not they reached out to Crist.
In fact, the only way one would know they reached out to Crist was by watching the video report done by one of the reporters on the story:
— Joanna Rodriguez (@joannamrod) July 9, 2021
Was Crist, who – again – is a candidate for governor – purposely left out of NBC News' original reporting? Bet on it. Considering there is a mountain of evidence – even as recently as last week – indicating a clear media bias against DeSantis, I'm pretty much done with giving these guys the benefit of the doubt anymore. This wasn't just sloppy reporting or a mere oversight. This was intentional.