Winner and Loser of the Week in Florida politics — Week of 4.3.22

The pride of Florida won confirmation to the Supreme Court.

It’s always a busy week in Florida Politics, and this one brought plenty of fundraising boasts, personal honors and bills, bills, bills signed by the dozen.

Joe Henderson is off this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we missed the stories of inspiration and the self-lampooning that keep Florida’s reputation as America’s greatest paradise and reason for facepalms intact.


Honorable mention: Benjamin Ferencz. The last living prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials received a visit from Gov. Ron DeSantis this week and accepted the Governor’s Medal of Freedom. The 102-year-old used the platform to continue pushing for justice on the international stage.

He demanded the nation not become complacent and cited images coming out of Ukraine today as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his invasion. “People see the pictures on television, people running with their infant children, hospitals being bombed. And we have not yet learned the lesson from Nuremberg.”

Florida is blessed that we still have Ferencz to teach it to us.

Almost (but not quite) biggest winner: Rick Scott. Say what you will on that 11-point plan — Democrats sure like to talk about it more than Mitch McConnell does — but after the introduction of the midterm platform, the National Republican Senate Committee under the Senator’s leadership enjoyed its best fundraising quarter ever at the start of 2022.

“Senate Republicans have the war chest and the enthusiasm to oust radical Senate Democrats in November,” Scott said.

While that remains to be seen, it’s a mission made a lot easier with another $43 million in the bank. More than $13 million of that came in March alone.

Biggest winner: Ketanji Brown Jackson. It’s hard to argue a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land isn’t the biggest trophy to land on a Florida mantel this week.

The student body president for the Miami Palmetto Senior High Class of 1988 may not have convinced either of Florida’s U.S. Senators to support her confirmation as the first Black woman — and first Floridian — to the U.S. Supreme Court. And yes, Jackson technically was born in Washington, but all of Florida can bask in her ascension on the bench.

Parents Johnny and Ellery Brown both hail from South Florida, and raised their daughter here most of her life. Her father served for years as School Board Attorney for the Miami-Dade School District while her mother was a principal at New World School of the Arts. Another person sharing the win? Rep. Frederica Wilson, who early lobbied President Joe Biden to pick one of Miami’s favorite daughters as his first choice for SCOTUS.

But the 51-year-old Jackson enjoys the greatest spoils as the 116th jurist ever to don the robes, succeeding mentor Stephen Breyer in the Summer. At that point, she holds one of nine voices on the most legally contentious issues of the day, and will keep it until she retires or expires.


Dishonorable mention: Manatees. State-sanctioned feeding is over, but the pollution in Florida’s waters remains. While more than 202,000 pounds of lettuce flowed into waters at an east coast power plant during the winter, that experimental state-sanctioned program stopped with the change of season.

But the sea cows still suffer from malnutrition. After a record 1,101 manatee deaths last year shattered records (824 died in 2018, for comparison), there’s real fear for Florida’s official marine mammal. There have been 479 deaths in 2022 to date, which is off last year’s awful pace but way up from the five-year average of 287 manatee deaths in the time period.

Almost (but not quite) biggest loser: Orlando Gudes. Things continue to look bad for the Tampa City Councilman, who this week stepped down from his role as Council Chair. More details continue to emerge about alleged sexual harassment, including revelations that an initial complaint was leveled more than a year ago. He has issued a statement accepting some responsibility for lewd comments but still won’t resign.

He may be able to run out the clock on the last weeks of his term in office, but legal trouble only seems to be escalating. While he continues to argue the city has no authority to discipline him in any way for his conduct, the best he can hope for this time is to fade into obscurity.

The biggest loser: Matt Gaetz. It’s one thing to vote against lowering the price of insulin. It’s another entirely to blame obese people for the rise in need for the drug.

Between a nonsensical feud with Jimmy Kimmel, national scrutiny around any Joel Greenberg deal-cutting and an insistence on keeping Marjorie Taylor Greene’s number handy when he needs a podcast guest, there’s plenty of reason to slam Gaetz this week.

He accused America’s military of teaching soldiers to “embrace socialism,” called Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “woke” (very original) and said he felt “embarrassed” by him. Not the best look for the Representative of a military community. Veteran groups responded by labeling Gaetz as a “total clown.”

Then he decided, in concert, with Greene to mock the push for “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song penned in Jacksonville by James Weldon Johnson, to become the nation’s national hymn.

But nothing takes the cake like his justification for letting pharma continue to bilk patients for medicine.

“Arbitrary price controls are no substitute for individual weight control,” he wrote in a newsletter on purpose.

Let’s just say this isn’t who anyone needs to give a lecture on impulse control.

Staff Reports


  • Tom

    April 10, 2022 at 5:40 am

    Bureau of Labor stats recently pointed to the state of Florida, 8.7% avg wage increase, the third highest in the country between Sept 20 and fall of 21.

    This all due to America’s Governor, the best one in the country. Florida’s economy is thriving, growing thanks to great leadership and accomplishments.

    Education, seniors inoculated from Covid, public school scholarships, best environmental Gov in 50 yrs, jobs-employment opportunity for all.

    DeSantis makes a difference for all Floridians Americans. The best!

    • Helen

      April 10, 2022 at 6:14 am

      Spare me the “Ron is great” speech. He’s anything but environmentally friendly. Look at the manatee story for one, what Nestle is doing in Ginnie Springs, oil drilling platform in Apalachicola river floodplain.
      Also, wages are going up because we voted for higher wages and workers are demanding them.
      He brought in a surgeon general who doesn’t believe in immunizing children against COVID.
      He’s friends with Joel Greenberg and Matt Gaetz. His staff interfered in a public records request related to Halsey Beshears, who is reportedly connected to a sex trafficking operation.
      He’s wrong for Florida and wrong for our country.

      • Lana Banana

        April 10, 2022 at 12:09 pm

        Amen, Helen. And thank you for having the patience to explain the truth to “Tom,” because I don’t have patience for adults who think that the real issues facing Florida are fake and that it’s all about my team versus your team, truth be damned. He’s a cheerleader, not an intellect.

      • Joanne

        April 10, 2022 at 3:09 pm

        Get a grip! Focus on real problems immigration crisis and dependence on Foreign oil. We should e taking care of ourselves for our energy Policy is what’s important not Personality! Perfect for Florida and Perfect to wake up our country!

    • Lana Banana

      April 10, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      And what the hell does all of this have to do with the column above?
      Did you miss the cut for the cheerleading squad in high school?

  • Bob

    April 10, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Tom, I beg to differ with you on the wage increases. First, because of covid and whatever reason folks could think of, people quit going to work. Employers raised wages to attract new employees while those in the Legislature were trying to figure out how to nullify the minimum wage increase.

  • Sandra Trimble

    April 10, 2022 at 8:15 am

    DeSantis is the worst Governor ever! He shows his hateful, revengeful, and despicable personality and beliefs in every law he creates through his GQP legislature! He rules as an Facist authoritarian! Yes, how clever of him to raise teachers salaries so he can get re-elected another term! He support Russia with trump! We will lose our Democracy and rule of law if this Devil DeSantis gets re-elected! Vote Blue💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

    • Dheri

      April 11, 2022 at 4:08 pm

      Ron DeSantis is one of the best florida governors I can remember. And I’ve been here all my life!! Sounds like you should go live in California they embrace they are the best environment friendly states. How is that working for them??id rather be here with the best go e or for the people!! Thank you Ron DeSantis!!!!

  • Tom

    April 10, 2022 at 9:58 am

    It’s Palm Sunday, repent snd start anew.
    Be thankful and blessed by this wonderful whiz kid Governor, the very best!

    You 5% Manchurian haters, you know not what you speak.

    America’s Gov, DeSantis scorecard:

    Jobs, economy A.
    Education, educators, 3 raises A.
    Schools opened A.
    Expansion school vouched, lifting thousands out of poverty! A
    Environment, actuaries, waterways Lake O. A.
    Best Gov in 50 yrs.
    Infrastructure A.
    First Lady/Gov Mental health children, teenagers per bad Dems policy on Covid! A
    Gov/First Lady, cancer imitative research initiative! A
    And on and on.

    You 5% haters have no candidate, n fraud, Camillion crispy, tarantula. Get A life!

    America’s Gov, do for America what you’ve done, doing for Florida! Tallahassee to WH oval.

    The best!

    • Lana Banana

      April 10, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      You calling other people “haters” is so ironic. Ironic, Tom? Look it up.

      • Tom

        April 10, 2022 at 1:57 pm

        Nothing like extremist AOC, Nikki Fraud under garments.

        You are all dealing with a legend, I am.

        You hell bent leftists are getting old fashioned whipping In November.

        Alzie Joe, Giggles Harris are 34% in approval in Florida. 20% Dems support America’s Gov, minorities support him on education choice!
        Which elected him over the addict.

        Nikki Fraud want a be AOC can’t sell her dog food! Camillion two faced crappy critters, you don’t have a candidate.

        America’s Gov #1, re-elect from Tallahassee to WH Oval. Marco over Dum Dum Demings.

        Florida never been better served in All capacities.

        In H S Lana Banana you were quite the banana girl, you know what I mean. LMAO.

        America’s Gov will crush you leftists extremists, 5% Manchurian haters!
        Get ready! Just saying

  • Tom

    April 10, 2022 at 10:20 am


    You Manchurian haters are off the deep end.
    DeSantis saved Florida, most seniors innoucateted per HHS.
    BLS stats says Florida is #3 in USA with 8.7%
    wage increase. Florida has reclaimed all jobs pre pandemic. People are happy and working not like you haters.

    Florida offers hope, serves as beacon of economic liberty, hope, education, opportunity for all, as are greater days ahead just like for America, with America’s Governor leading way.

    DeSantis the best!

  • tom palmer

    April 10, 2022 at 10:49 am

    Environment A? GOP propaganda, not reality in the state of voluntary pollution regulations, no growth management laws etc. etc. etc.

  • Ocean Joe

    April 10, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Florida has been ranked No. 1 in polluted waterways:
    The governor has opposed Big Sugar a bit, but I suspect it is primarily because they supported Putnam and paybacks are his specialty, as he is demonstrating now with Disney, and in the past with various school districts and local govts.
    In fact, vindictiveness is his stock in trade, much like Donald. The guy who berated those high school kids the other day can’t possibly be the same whiz kid governor, can he?

  • Charles

    April 10, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Hopefully Henderson doesn’t return. He is not a real journalist, but a former sportswriter and current political hack

  • Tom

    April 11, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Ocean just like you to latch onto some left wing extremism to defend yourself.
    Where were they? With legislature. Did they help on anything?

    They admit Lake O. efforts by America’s Gov are working. Major effort to correct the problem.
    DeSantis is the best environmental Gov in Florida fifty years. I know you and peter s. and Joe h. love Lawton walking with picture taken.

    DeSantis is all accomplishments not cheap leftists media, btw those kids will always remember being challenged for the better.

    Your refusal to acknowledge the better Florida is a joke. Jobs, schools, environment, seniors etc.
    Florida rocks with Desantis.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    April 11, 2022 at 11:13 am

    The far left ignore facts and continue to froth at the mouth in panic. Circling the drains.

Comments are closed.


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