Ron DeSantis should have invited more women to his rubber stamping sausage party

bavarian white sausages
Snubbing women on the task force sends the wrong message.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the membership of the Reopen Florida Task Force Monday with a notable omission. Of the group’s 22 members, none of the private sector representatives are women. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and Attorney General Ashley Moody, both elected officials, are the only women in the group.

I can look the other way on the seemingly intentional absence of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. If Republicans want to continue to make her a martyr heading into 2022, fine. If they want her pissing on the tent rather than out of it, whatever.

Still, not a single woman from the private sector sends a glaring message that isn’t likely to resonate well with half of the Florida electorate, arguably a more important bloc than the historic white male demographic.

Elections have consequences, and the continued optics failures are troubling, to say the least.

It became crystal clear Monday that DeSantis’ Reopen Florida Task Force was assembled to basically be a rubber stamp for the Governor’s pre-determined plan to open the state May 1. He didn’t really want to close the state in the first place so he’s going to do what he’s going to do and no amount of letter writing or national TV cajoling will stop him.

But newsflash Governor, women can be rubber stamps, too.

It would be nice if DeSantis genuinely wanted a diverse group representative of the whole state, but, at the very least, he should understand the message a task force sausage party sends.

Remember your wife, Governor? The intelligent, lovely, career-oriented Casey DeSantis? You, of all people, know how this works.

To be honest, I don’t even really disagree with the Governor on reopening the state now. The curve is flattening … hospital beds aren’t overridden.

I, for one, would love to go out to dinner, even if my server can’t get within 6 feet of me. I’m guessing said servers would also like to have a paycheck again.

I also don’t have a problem with who IS on the task force. You won’t see me complaining about the inclusion of Disney, Publix, and Universal, three companies that are synonymous with Florida.

Hold the task force meetings in Cinderella’s Castle for all I care but invite some Cinderellas. Or Mulans. Maybe a Merida or two. Just include some women.

For all of the worries over the Me Too movement, the ongoing arguments over the gender pay gap, the lack of women in the C-suite, it takes leadership to send the message that women in business are not only capable, they’re welcomed.

By shutting them out, Governor, you send the opposite message.

DeSantis could be criticized for some other notable omissions. There aren’t enough health care professionals on the committee. The two who are didn’t even get to speak at the first meeting Monday until the very end, as if health was somehow an afterthought. We’d love to see more folks with a bunch of acronyms at the end of their names.

The restaurant and retail industries are also notably missing from the task force, but I suspect that has more to do with the power politics of the Florida Chamber of Commerce versus Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

But seriously, no women?

Aren’t there binders full of them somewhere or something like that? Ask Mitt Romney if his are updated.

I get it. I do. The task force was assembled quickly and in order to guarantee cover for a Friday proclamation flipping the closed signs to open.

But here’s the thing: Women know how to go along to get along as good as the fellas. They might even know it better after decades, nay centuries, of having to pander to men.

Update: Three women — Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young, Walmart Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Monesia Brown, and restaurant owner Amy Schwartz — have been named to the task force’s working group although they are not on the executive committee.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was 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.


11 comments

  • Bonnie Hayflick

    April 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Thanks Peter. Good story. Brilliant double entendre. As in, put the toilet seats down boys.

  • NotSoFast

    April 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Here we go again, the usual Democrat “sexist” and “racist” rants are back in style folks. There is an election coming up soon, and Democrats never miss a chance of using defamatory terms against Republicans.

    If you read the headline, it talks about “women,” but when you read the article, it is pretty much asking why Nikki fried (D) was not invited. And, then after defaming Gov. DeSantis as a sexist, goes on the big target Pres. Trump, for his failure to appoint Mitt Romney to a task force.

    Easy to see that this article is nothing but a political hit piece for the Democrats and for Nikki Fried, who will become a “martyr” for not being appointed to a group that the Governor feels will be helpful to him in solving problems.

    The last thing anyone needs on a committee that one is forming, is a known enemy, who on every occasion possible, tries to destroy you.

    The writer makes no common sense, but uses this blog to cause political harm to DeSantis and Trump.

  • NoMoTrump

    April 21, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Amen Peter! But no surprise from the party of misogyny
    and, apparently, anti-semites.

  • Mz Info

    April 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Hi!!!

  • D-U-M-P T-R-U-M-P 2020 !!!

    April 21, 2020 at 11:40 am

    What would anyone expect from DeSantis – God created him from the same pile of dung from which he created Trump.

    (Man, is there any slower and lousier-loading website around than this one? Must have been created by Moscow Mitch and his do-nothing crew of Donnie Dimwit Republican senators!)

  • Mz Info

    April 21, 2020 at 11:51 am

    He who is free from sin cast the first stone…

    Passionate article, which really had my heart racing. And hungry for keilbasa.

    But, as a media producer, have you always given women aspiring in your field a leg up?

    Even on this website, all of the opinions that are regularly promoted are from men.

    Personally, I am unoffended by Ron’s choice. Perhaps the women had better things to do….

    • Get outta here

      April 21, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Perhaps the women had better things to do than be on an influential committee? Like what, sew masks? Lol

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    April 22, 2020 at 9:11 am

    We’re fighting a pandemic and this far left rant is about attacking the Governor instead. Which of course brings out the far left trolls to reinforce the rant.

    Well we see where your priorities are. Pandering to the worst

  • Joe S

    April 22, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Gender politics aside, let’s start reopening the state. People need work

  • Eleanor

    April 23, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Who cares about gender politics. Choose the best ppl and get moving to reopen. You should find another job, because you are not a reporter, but a feelings kinda guy.

  • Harold Finch

    April 23, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Really!!! That’s all you have to complain about. Get a grip Jackass!!!

Comments are closed.


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