Huffpost Miami

Michelle Obama's Scheduled Visit Contested By GOP School Board Member, Renier Diaz De La Portilla

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MICHELLE OBAMA MIAMI ORLANDO CAMPAIGN
AP

First Lady Michelle Obama will be making a stop at a Miami high school Tuesday for a grassroots campaign event for her husband, and a school board member running for office wants it canceled.

Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla said in a press release that President Barack Obama's "liberal political machine" planned the event at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes even though the district has a "very specific policy banning political activity in tax funded Miami-Dade public schools."

"The use of public schools whose only focus should be to educate our children for political gain is downright wrong. Don’t these liberals have boundaries? Our schools are places for learning, not places for politicking," wrote Diaz de la Portilla, who is currently running as a Republican for State House District 103 and served two terms as a state rep for District 115.

However, according to the district's "Use of District Facilities" bylaws, government groups are categorized as approved users of school property, subject to rental fees.

"The district is leasing the gymnasium to the organization. This is not a school event. Students and staff will not be participating," John Schuster, the district's chief communications officer, wrote to HuffPost Miami in an email.

School Board attorney Walter Harvey told the Miami Herald that under the School Board policy, all groups -- including political and religious -- can apply to lease schools facilities.

The First Lady will be making her speech at Goleman Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Although the event is free, guests will have to reserve a spot online. Later in the afternoon, Obama will be traveling to Orlando for a second event at the University of Central Florida.

Her husband was recently in Miami Beach, attending a $40,000-per-person fundraiser in June with entertainment by Marc Anthony.

The First Lady has been busy this year, campaigning around the country for her husband's second run at the US presidency. She has said that she actually likes campaigning, and when asked what advice she would give counterpart Ann Romney, suggested "enjoy it."

"I've learned to let go and enjoy that process," she added. "I think people are surprised when I say that I do love campaigning. Because I do. Number one, I love people and I love this country and you get to see that when you're out there in ways that you normally wouldn't."

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