It seems as if a week doesn’t pass without some new media outlet or website springing up to cover Florida politics.
I remember when I was the new guy in town and the traditional media did not exactly roll out the welcome mat.
Nowadays, and inexplicably, I am the traditional media, or as my friend Gary Fineout describes, one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance.
I genuinely don’t mind when there is a new player in the game. That’s because I remember what a friend of mine who owned a restaurant explained to me.
He owned a successful Italian restaurant located in some prime real estate with not a lot of competition around him. But then a brasserie was slated to open across the street, so I asked if he was worried.
“Not at all,” he said. With a second restaurant on the block, he explained, he was now part of a restaurant district. Customers would get a drink at his place, then dine at the French spot and vice versa. Other bars and restaurants would spring up.
He was right, and that’s why I like to see new media outposts in Florida, whether from a conservative perspective or from the left.
Of course, there is a difference between welcoming the competition and losing to it. And I refuse to lose to any of Florida Politics’ competitors.
So, yeah, there are a lot of new sites and there are a lot of new lists.
But there is only one site that covers all of Florida politics. And there’s only one definitive list of the most influential people in Florida politics.
The INFLUENCE 150 doesn’t waste your time acknowledging that Gov. Ron DeSantis is the most powerful individual in the state. Nor do we operate in a world where the Attorney General is less powerful than the Secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity or where an incoming House Democratic leader has more juice than Wilton Simpson.
To me, the INFLUENCE 150 is sacrosanct. I spend months going over the list, discussing it with some of the most important and serious operators in Florida politics. You can’t buy your way on. And you’re only as good as your last campaign cycle or Legislative Session.
There are no legacies on this list.
As for this specific edition of INFLUENCE, it is our boldest design yet. That’s saying something, considering we took the runner-up spot for the best-designed magazine in the state.
The edition is imbued throughout in Yves Klein blue as an homage to the landmark Michael Mann film, “Heat.” I busted the budget to deploy photographers throughout the state to capture original shots of those featured.
Simply put, I believe this is the best edition of INFLUENCE Magazine we’ve published in our six years of existence.
Because that’s how you answer the competition.
To read INFLUENCE, click on the image below:
The INFLUENCE 150:
Brice and Houston Barnes
Tracy and Frank Mayernick
Steve Vancore and Drew Jones
Drew Piers and Herbie Thiele
Bill Rubin and Heather Turnbull
Kris Money & Trey McCarley
Rick Wilson and Ryan Wiggins
Jackie Schutz Zeckman
INFLUENCE 150 — Honorable Mention:
Alia Faraj Johnson
Yolanda Cash Jackson
Carol Marbin Miller