Will a Special Session make Florida’s insurance woes go away or generate political hay? And will another culture war crowd the agenda anyway? Florida Politics asked a sample of political influencers and insiders to predict the immediate future on political consequences that lay ahead.
The Legislature reconvenes later this month to address the homeowners’ insurance market. How will anything done translate to the ballot box? For our latest Florida Influencer Poll, we asked if the Session will fix an electoral problem for the GOP or make highlighting it worse.
About 14% of respondents believe it will fix the problem for the Republican majority, while 17% say the Session will make it worse. But the bulk of Influencers, about 69%, say the Session will have no impact whatsoever on the Midterms.
“The availability and affordability of property insurance is an issue that won’t be solved overnight,” said one cynic. “Sen. (Jeff) Brandes has been sounding the alarm on this for years and it’s unfortunate that legislative leaders (and the CFO) haven’t addressed it, now giving false hope to Floridians that it will be solved in a five-day Special Session.”
But will that be the only item up for discussion this month? The last Special Session had the agenda expand to cover some other hot-button issues.
FP asked if “constitutional carry” would suddenly appear during the late-May meeting. On this, our Influencers split down the middle.
A total of 50% said “yes,” the open carry idea will be taken up during the Special Session. Meanwhile, 49% don’t think it will happen.
Of note, most Democrats think the issue will come up, while most Republicans do not.
As for the ramifications, there is skepticism about whether parties can make the most of any decision.
“If I hear one more Democrat call it ‘constitutional carry’ instead of ‘untrained carry’ or ‘kill-at-will,’ I will vomit,” said one Democratic Influencer.
Another wondered if politicians and the public alike will tire of coming under fire.
“The problem with all of these cultural war issues we are witnessing is that they begin to show cracks,” the Influencer said. “People get tired of the constant ‘war on’ everything, especially at the expense of not addressing the daily issues affecting everyday people. Not everyone is an extremist. There will be a huge backlash to all of this sooner rather than later.”
With a bunch of Influencers on the line, we also asked about the level of business influence itself. We posed a query on which business association group has the most positive impact currently in Florida.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce came out on top with 42% of the vote. Associated Industries of Florida came in second with 25%, followed by the Florida Retail Federation with 9% and the National Federation of Independent Businesses with 8%.
Some stray votes also arrived in the inbox for the Florida Solar Energy Installers Association (on the heels of a net metering veto), Florida TaxWatch, Florida Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the Republican Jewish Coalition. Others suggested no business lobby holds much influence, at least positive, on the business of Tallahassee. “They all have lost their glory to independent lobbying outfits,” one Influencer suggested.
The Influencers who took part in this survey:
Lester Abberger, Phil Ammann, Mario J. Bailey, Tim Baker, Albert Balido, Ashley Bauman, Robert Beck, Geoffrey Becker, Amanda Bevis, Alexandria Bickley, Taylor Biehl, Barney Bishop III, Katie Bohnett, Wilbur Brewton, Reggie Cardozo, Kevin Cate, James Chan, Jim Cherry, Brad Coker, Jordan Connors, Gus Corbella, Karen Cyphers, Jim Daughton, Pablo Diaz, Victor Rudy DiMaio, Andrew Dolberg, Ryan Duffy, Barry Edwards, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Anna Alexopoulos Farrar, Damien Filer, Matt Florell, Towson Fraser, Jennifer Green, Abel Harding, Jeff Hartley, Cynthia Henderson, Tasi Hogan, Jim Horne, Tanya Jackson, Yolanda Jackson, Christina Johnson, David Johnson, Eric Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Fred Karlinsky, Micah Ketchel, Russ Klenet, Jeff Kottkamp, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Jackie Lee, John Lux, Jesse Manzano, Roly Marante, Beth Matuga, Darrick D. McGhee Sr., Kathy Mears, Sal Nuzzo, Meredith O’Rourke, Rick Oppenheim, Edie Ousley, Alex Pantinakis, Alex Patton, Darryl Paulson, Anthony Pedicini, Sean Phillippi, Gretchen Picotte, Ron Pierce, Evan Power, Noah Pransky, Bert Ralston, Foyt Ralston, Marc Reichelderfer, Darren Richards, Jim Rimes, Jason Roth, Preston Rudie, Elnatan Rudolph, Steve Simeonidis, Patrick Slevin, Mac Stipanovich, Chris Stranburg, Phillip Suderman, Alan Suskey, Allison Tant, Herbie Thiele, Christian Ulvert, Steve Vancore, Claire VanSusteren, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Christian Weiss, Andrew Wiggins, Gregory Wilson, Rick Wilson, and Dr. Peter A Wish.