Ron DeSantis kicks off first Moms for Liberty summit

It’s four days of some of the biggest hitters in Florida Republican politics.

It’s four days of some of the biggest hitters in Florida Republican politics, kicked off by none other than Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Moms for Liberty “Joyful Warriors” National Summit had a welcome reception at the J.W. Marriott Tampa Water Street on Thursday evening, but the opening fireworks are reserved for the “Florida Leads” breakfast that starts at 9 a.m. today with a security check that begins much earlier.

“Listen as the Gladiator Governor shares his vision for Florida and the future of a free America,” according to the event description. “Strong on Liberty with no time for woke nonsense!” 

DeSantis will be joined by Reps. Erin Grall and Joe Harding, who will discuss potential Parents’ Bill of Rights legislation.

First Lady Casey DeSantis and mathematician James Lindsay will speak later at the “Education Not Indoctrination” lunch.

Casey DeSantis will discuss the inspiration for “moms on a mission,” while Lindsay, “takes us on a deep dive into the Marxification of education courtesy of Paulo Freire, Brazilian Marxist and Liberation Theologian. Freire remade literacy education according to his ideological programs and thereby ruined it. 

“Now, his work has been so influential on the ‘Critical Pedagogy’ (or, ‘Critical Education Theory’) movement that virtually all teachers are trained in his ideas and implement them in classrooms across the nation.” 

Breakout strategy sessions are scheduled between speakers, with titles like “A Look Behind the Education Curtain” and “Gender Identity in Our Schools.” The sessions are closed to reporters.

Tampa Bay’s Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the Tampa Bay Coalition for Women’s Rights organized a protest and are set to march to the Marriott while DeSantis speaks. 

“Moms for Liberty is a fascist organization that organizes nationally for book banning,” PSL said in an Instagram post, “not teaching Black history in schools, not requiring vaccines or masks in schools, and any mention of LGBTQ people in schools.”

The prospect of various protests led to increased security at the venue. Of course, the Florida Democratic Party is having its Leadership Blue events at the same hotel, albeit in the Marriott’s facility literally on the other side of the street.

There’s no slowing down on Saturday as Sen. Rick Scott leads the “Keep Kids Safe: Secure Our Schools” panel at breakfast that centers on the response to the Parkland school shooting. The panel also includes State Board of Education member Ryan Petty, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler and the co-founders of Moms for Liberty, Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice.

Saturday’s lunch topic, “Hostages No More,” includes speeches by former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and state Attorney General Ashley Moody. The awards dinner, set for Saturday night, will have appearances from commentator Allie Beth Stuckey and activist Alveda King.

King will also speak at Sunday’s breakfast, where she’ll be joined by former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who will “discuss the four founding principles which are cornerstones of our country: faith, liberty, community, and life as well as pursue common sense solutions that challenge conventional groupthink.”

A livestream of the speakers is available on the Summit website.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Andrew Nappi

    July 15, 2022 at 5:17 am

    If conservatives were concerned about indoctrination in government schools, they would have take their kids out of them. There are many affordable alternatives in education now. Parents can have 100% control. What this is using the force of government while the RED regime is in power to impose their standards and beliefs in the very lucrative cultural battleground of public education. It’s a fund raising raiser and get out the vote favorite. When the BLUE regime assumes power one day, they will impose their beliefs. And so it will go. Sorry moms, but real liberty means no government schools or taxation to support them. Withdraw from the system and you don’t need to concern yourself with school boards and offensive libraries as you see them. This is more about control than liberty. Liberty is unschooling, homeschooling, private schooling. Liberty is NOT government schooling.

    • Candice M Marquette

      July 15, 2022 at 3:45 pm

      Excellent response.

  • David in Shoreline

    July 15, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    The Governor and First Lady are doing amazing work!

  • marylou

    July 15, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    These book burners need to send their kids to private school. Taxpayers fund public schools so that students are exposed to a wide range of information and ideas, and can develop critical thinking skills, that prepare them to benefit from, and contribute to, society.

    Taxpayers will be sharing the world with these kids, so, of course, they have the right to demand this from public schools. ALL parents have the right to demand this. Parents’ Rights doesn’t mean just Liberty Moms’ rights.

    Taxpayers don’t provide schools to indoctrinate students in close minded, religious theories. These nuts should not have any control over public schools.

  • YYep

    July 25, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    Once upon a time ago in the ancient worlds homosexual used to be the admiration among men with younger men. Then the church looked and called it wrong and today the culture is still fighting for it’s Rights
    The end

Comments are closed.


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