Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 9.29.22

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Your morning review of the issues and players behind Florida politics.

Good Thursday morning.

The only thing we can say for sure about Hurricane Ian is that it was as terrifying as forecasters said it would be.

A chance to live and frolic on the water is central to Florida’s attraction but watching Ian’s wrath Wednesday also reminds everyone about the danger in that.

It likely will be months before we know the final dollar cost for this catastrophe, and the human toll in places like Naples and Fort Myers could be even greater. When Mother Nature flexes this kind of muscle, no one escapes untouched.

The video of Naples underwater was heartbreaking. The shots of weather reporters battling to remain upright against ferocious winds and sideways rain made you want to shout at the TV for them to get out of harm’s way.

Downtown Naples takes the brunt of Hurricane Ian. Image via Naples Fire Department.

But no, that’s part of their job. Seeing those live shots should have given them a moment of pause if anyone had any delusion about heading outside for a stroll.

Hurricanes are part of the cost of living in Florida, and there’s a danger that we’ve been through this so many times that we can get blasé. Ian is a reminder, though, of what these storms can do.

It certainly was up there with Andrew 30 years ago and Michael, which landed a haymaker on Mexico Beach and the Panhandle in 2018.

What sets Ian apart is its size.

It followed a similar track that Hurricane Charley took in 2004, but with a much wider impact. Charley was a fairly compact storm; its eye was just 5 miles wide compared to 40 miles for Ian.

Weather experts estimated that three Charley-size hurricanes could fit inside the eye of Ian. There’s no place to run or hide when something like that happens.

When Ian exits the state Friday, the damage assessments and slow cleanup begin for business owners and shellshocked residents. But Floridians will do what they’ve always done when something like this happens.

They’ll pull themselves up and help their neighbors and politics won’t matter for a while. The angels we know as aid workers will be on the scene to provide food, comfort, and hope.

Power will get restored for those who need that, and the sound of chainsaws will reverberate through many neighborhoods as repairs begin.

It’s what Florida does.

To see Ian in action, please click the image below:


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@SContorno: As (Ron) DeSantis prepares Floridians for Ian, he is urging residents to heed advice from the same local leaders he suggested they ignore during COVID and praising a federal agency he previously alleged withheld aid to the state bc (Joe) Biden was playing politics.

@JaredEMoskowitz: Congress needs to create a national catastrophic fund for the insurance industry.

@DanRather: When the hurricane hits Florida, federal aid will flow into help — paid for by tax dollars from Americans across the country. Airplanes will be full of supplies, not stunts. There will be no “us” and “them.” Because this is how America should act and most Americans know it.

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@EveSamples: The site of landfall, Cayo Costa, is surrounded by beloved Florida spots: — Cabbage Key (purportedly inspiration for @jimmybuffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise) — Captiva Island — Boca Grande, which suffered dearly during the 2018 red tide We’re here for them all on the other side.

@CynthiaBarrett: #Sanibel and #Captiva were one barrier island before great #Florida #hurricane of 1921 sliced Sanibel in two. The Oct. storm wiped out the farms that girded the economy. Survivors reinvented the islands as tourist meccas. #Ian sure to reinvent some of this lovely, fragile region.

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Supervisors of Elections vote-by-mail mailing deadline for General Election — 7; 22-23 NHL season begins — 8; WPEC televised debate in Florida Governor’s race — 13; deadline to register for General Election — 15; ‘Before You Vote’ TV debates (Senate) — 19; NBA season tips off — 19; Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ release — 22; Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 25; Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Passenger’ releases — 26; Jon Meacham’s ‘And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle’ releases — 26; City & State Florida Digital Summit — 28; Early voting begins for General Election — 30; 2022 General Election — 40; ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ premieres — 43; ‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 43; FITCon 2022 begins — 49; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 49; The World Cup kicks off in Qatar — 53; The U.S. World Cup Soccer Team begins play — 56; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 65; ‘Willow’ premieres on Disney+ — 65; McCarthy’s ‘Stella Maris’ releases — 68; ‘Avatar 2’ premieres — 78; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 94; Bruce Springsteen launches his 2023 tour in Tampa — 125; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 141; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 159; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 176; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 201; 2023 Session Sine Die — 218; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 218; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 246; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 295; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 400; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 414; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 547; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 666; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 666; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 771; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 949.


Hurricane Ian makes landfall near Cayo Costa as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds” via Cheryl McCloud of the Fort Myers News-Press — Hurricane Ian made landfall at 3:05 p.m. as a powerful Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 150 mph. Ian came ashore near Cayo Costa. an island off the coast of Fort Myers, according to the National Hurricane Center. According to the National Hurricane Center, landfall is the intersection of the surface center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline. Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a cyclone’s strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, it is possible for a tropical cyclone to make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water.

Ian was a certified monster.

Hurricane Ian brings tornadoes, tropical storm force winds, flooding to South Florida” via Bill Kearney of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Hurricane Ian’s power has been lashing South Florida with bands of intense weather since late Tuesday. The storm spawned at least two tornadoes in Broward County on Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said. The tornadoes followed similar paths over Weston, Sunrise, Davie, Cooper City, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines. At Kings Point west of Delray Beach, a tornado touchdown left two hospitalized and another 35 people displaced, said Capt. Tom Reyes, a spokesperson for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Across the canal from King’s Point, Lesley and Jerry Silverman were at their neighbors’ house in Floral Lakes, playing cards.

‘Stay inside’; Indian River County emergency officials say heavy wind, rain still to come” via Thomas Weber of Treasure Coast Newspapers — Hurricane Ian has so far dropped 6-8 inches of rain on the county, but there’s more to come. Emergency officials have one message: Stay inside if you can. The county, which is on the edge of Ian’s path, was under both a tropical storm warning and a flood watch through Friday, and a tornado watch through 5 p.m. Wednesday, said Emergency Management Coordinator Ryan Lloyd. “We could also have some potential hurricane-force winds, depending on Ian’s post-landfall track,” Lloyd said at a news conference. The heaviest winds are expected to last from 2 p.m. Wednesday through 9 p.m. Thursday, he said.

Hurricane Ian to weaken but strike Atlantic coast as strong tropical storm” via Florida Politics — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified and made landfall on Florida’s Southwest coast. Wind speeds dropped to 140 miles per hour, with the storm’s earlier sustained 155 mph winds falling just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. The National Hurricane Center at noon reported the eyewall moved onshore on Captiva Island. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.


Ron DeSantis: Long recovery awaits SW Florida as Hurricane Ian hits hard” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — Florida’s emergency management teams, including search and rescue and power restoration workers, are poised to help save lives and get the power back on once Hurricane Ian leaves, but parts of Southwest Florida will take weeks and months to recover, DeSantis said. “Yes, there’ll be an immediate response … but eventually there won’t be much media attention on this as the weeks and months go on. But we understand a storm of this magnitude is going to require an effort over an extended period of time,” DeSantis told reporters at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

Ron DeSantis says it will be a long road to recovery.

—”Gov. DeSantis lauds Joe Biden during interview with Sean Hannity” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Gov. DeSantis ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Biden hurricane help” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — For the second straight evening, DeSantis gave Biden a vote of confidence on Fox News, showing that hurricanes can briefly stop politics as usual. Tucker Carlson probed DeSantis about whether the Biden administration would come through for Florida. The Governor affirmed that he is “cautiously optimistic” that it would, in fact, happen: “So, I actually spoke with the President, and he said he wants to be helpful. We did submit a request for reimbursement for the next 60 days at 100%. That’s significant support, but it’s a significant storm.” “We haven’t heard back from him,” DeSantis continued. “But I’m actually cautiously optimistic that we do. As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time.”

Casey DeSantis activates Florida Disaster Fund as Ian wreaks havoc” via Caden DeLisa of The Capitolist — DeSantis announced on Wednesday the activation of the Florida Disaster Fund to support Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. The Florida Disaster Fund is a private fund created by the state to help regions in responding to and recovering from times of catastrophe or disaster. The Florida Disaster Fund supports emergency and recovery efforts in collaboration with public, corporate, and non-governmental groups. “I am pleased to announce that Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund so that people can donate directly to those affected by Hurricane Ian,” said First Lady DeSantis.

Metropolitan Ministries mobilizes Hurricane Ian relief efforts” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics — Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries is ready to mobilize hurricane relief efforts as Hurricane Ian pummels Southwest Florida. After Hurricane Irma in 2017, the nonprofit installed a $500,000 generator to sustain power for its family support services and hunger relief programs. The generator allows the organization to be operational in case of power outages and serve the community’s needs. Metropolitan Ministries has prepared its family support centers and gymnasium to be open for emergency services following the storm, should it be needed.

Hurricane Ian dwarfs devastating Hurricane Charley” via Tony Marrero of the Tampa Bay Times — As Hurricane Ian grew into a monster storm on Wednesday, it drew troubling comparisons to Hurricane Charley, which devastated Charlotte County in 2004, and one disturbing difference. While the storms’ tracks were shaping up to be similar, experts noted how Ian dwarfed Charley. By 3 a.m., Wednesday, the diameter of Ian’s eye had grown to about 35 miles. That’s large enough to fit the entire extent of Charley’s hurricane-force wind field, Rick Knabb, a hurricane expert for The Weather Channel, noted in a tweet.

U.S. Coast Guard searches for 23 migrants missing near Florida Keys amid Hurricane Ian” via David Goodhue of the Miami Herald — The U.S. Coast Guard launched a search Wednesday for 23 people who, among a group of Cuban migrants, attempted to cross the Florida Straits as Hurricane Ian made its way past the Florida Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol said four migrants swam to shore on Stock Island in the Lower Keys around 7 a.m. The group told agents they were with 23 other people on a boat, which sank in the storm, Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Nicole Groll told the Miami Herald. Among those searching for the missing is a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater temporarily assigned to the Keys because of Ian, Groll said.

Two dozen migrants are missing in the stormwater off the Florida Keys. Image via Nuevo Herald.

Floridians are livestreaming Hurricane Ian on TikTok” via Kat Tenbarge of NBC News — As the Category 4 storm approached the coast, authorities urged residents in low-lying counties to leave before floodwaters hit. But many people have stayed, with some livestreaming their circumstances to provide people with a sense of what’s happening on the ground. “I feel safe and just want to give everyone a view of what’s going on in this area,” one man said in a livestream while water poured into his backyard pool. The user, “derek_sheen,” said he was in Lee County, near the Gulf of Mexico.

Ybor City’s historic chickens are being kept safe from Hurricane Ian” via Paul Guzzo of the Tampa Bay Times — A 25-foot section of gutters ripped off the J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s Ybor City factory as winds from Hurricane Ian blew through Tampa. But Drew Newman is confident that his family’s 112-year-old brick structure adorned with a clock tower can survive the strongest of winds. That’s good news for the temporary residents of Tampa’s last operational cigar factory. Newman agreed to take in eight chickens until the hurricane blows through. Each was being cared for at the neighboring Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary, a nonprofit run by Dylan Breese that nurses Ybor’s injured and sick feral chickens and takes in and rehomes domesticated ones abandoned in the Latin District.


FPL begins power restoration, prepares for further impacts from Hurricane Ian” via Florida Politics — Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has begun work restoring power to those affected by Hurricane Ian in South Florida, as the Category 4 storm begins to make landfall on the west coast. In a release spotlighting their response plan, FPL acknowledged the “challenging road ahead” as the state’s largest power company deals with the storm’s fallout. “Hurricane Ian intensified overnight and is now stronger and significantly larger than 2004’s Hurricane Charley, which decimated communities along Florida’s west coast. We urge our customers to not let their guard down and to continue to make safety their highest priority as Hurricane Ian makes landfall,” said Eric Silagy, chair and CEO of FPL.

Thousands of utility workers stand by — it’s going to get very busy.

Gov. DeSantis acknowledges flood claim concern as Ian cuts path across Florida” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — Some Florida residents in Hurricane Ian’s path could face a total loss of their home without insurance coverage to replace it if they don’t have flood insurance. It’s too early to say how many, DeSantis said, but he admitted it could be an issue after the storm clears. DeSantis said that while FEMA has some programs that can help people who didn’t have flood insurance, it won’t be the same as having a full flood policy. “Just because you’re not in a ‘flood zone’ does not mean that you’re not at risk of a catastrophic event like this,” DeSantis said. “This is an issue we’re going to have to deal with.”

Jared Moskowitz calls for federal insurance catastrophe fund, supplemental spending for Hurricane Ian” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — As Hurricane Ian nears Florida, the state’s former “master of disaster” is calling on Congress to create a post-catastrophe reserve fund for insurance companies and set aside more recovery dollars for the storm now on its way. Moskowitz, who led the Division of Emergency Management through hurricanes and a pandemic, said Wednesday that the time is now for federal lawmakers to act. Ian is on a collision course with more than 1 million homes with a replacement value of nearly $260 billion. That level of damage could prove ruinous for Florida’s insurance market, which has seen five insurance companies fail in the first eight months of 2022.

Hurricane Ian: How to donate to Florida Disaster Fund” via Nikki Ross of the Naples Daily News — The Florida Disaster Fund has been activated by nonprofit Volunteer Florida in response to Hurricane Ian, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to Florida communities as they respond to and recover from disasters like Hurricane Ian. The Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery efforts in partnership with public, private and other non-governmental organizations. Donations to the Florida Disaster are tax-deductible.

World Central Kitchen standing by to feed communities devastated by Hurricane Ian” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — For the last week and a half, international nonprofit World Central Kitchen has provided hundreds of thousands of meals to the residents of islands battered by Hurricane Fiona. Now, chefs and volunteers are positioned to scale up production in response to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall and caused widespread flooding Wednesday afternoon in Southwest Florida. “WCK’s relief (teams have) spread out across the coast, ready to respond as soon as it is safe. We’ve secured a kitchen and have made hundreds of sandwiches to serve immediately after the storm,” the group said.

World Central Kitchen springs into action. Image via World Central Kitchen.

— 2022 —

Hurricane Ian plays havoc with election campaign season in Florida” via John Kennedy of the USA Today Network-Florida — Hurricane Ian is playing havoc with the political season in Florida, prompting at least a temporary pause in the state’s high-stakes Governor’s race, U.S. Senate campaign and scores of other contests. But campaigns getting knocked off course by major storms are becoming a familiar disruption in the Sunshine State. Four years ago, Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle a month before Election Day. And its impact may have played a role in the outcome of some contests when voters finally went to the polls. DeSantis, though, has his election-year storm moment now. And how a state handles a hurricane and its aftermath can not only affect election results but can also set a chief executive’s image for months, maybe years to come.

No time for campaigning, for now. Image via Tallahassee Democrat.

See how the latest voter registration data is likely to tilt Florida’s midterm elections” via Ana Claudia Chacin and Bianca Padró Ocasio of the Miami Herald — For years, Republicans have been making gains with registered voters in Florida, catching up to Democrats last year for the first time, an accomplishment DeSantis has often touted. This month, they reached a new milestone: officially surpassing Democrats by more than one percentage point, or 177,529 registered voters. The new numbers, released just weeks before the midterm elections, could bring a continuation of a trend seen in the 2020 election, when Republicans made gains at every level of government and among Hispanic voters, especially in South Florida.

Democrats increasingly believe Biden should run in 2024 — but if he doesn’t, Kamala Harris remains the slight favorite” via Eli Yokley of Morning Consult — Democratic voters have become increasingly likely to say Biden should run for re-election in 2024 after his string of summer wins, but a new survey suggests if he doesn’t run, Vice President Harris is in the strongest early position for the party’s nomination, though there’s plenty of room for other candidates. 28% of Democratic voters said they would vote for Harris in a hypothetical Democratic Presidential Primary without Biden on the ballot, down from 33% in a December survey. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has backing from 13% of Democratic voters for a 2024 bid.

‘Rules of the game have changed’: Key Florida campaigns keep running ads during hurricane” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO — Hurricane Ian has forced airports to suspend operations. Roads and bridges are closed. Hotels and resorts are turning tourists away. But the prospect of this life-threatening hurricane wasn’t enough to stop campaigns from both parties from airing ads both on television or digitally even as Ian spawned tornadoes and brought torrential rain and storm surges to Florida. DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Val Demings are all continuing to run ads during the storm, though Demings, who is challenging Rubio, pulled advertisements from the Tampa and Fort Myers markets where the storm is expected to cause the most damage.

Gadsden County Republicans pick replacement for Jeffery Moore ahead of November election” via Christopher Cann of the Tallahassee Democrat — Gadsden County Republicans have selected a replacement to run for the District 2 Commission seat, vacated by Jeffery Moore, in the November General Election. Moore resigned from the seat and withdrew from the upcoming election last Friday after an alleged photo of him wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit began circulating in the community. Larry J. Clayton, a retired Army Reserve colonel and Quincy resident, was selected in a silent vote by the Gadsden County Republican Executive Committee Tuesday evening, according to Douglas Croley, the chair of the committee. The group’s deadline to find a new candidate was Friday, a week after Moore resigned, according to the Gadsden County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Jeffery Moore is sworn in after his appointment to the Gadsden County Commission. It didn’t last long.


Rick Scott concerned about ‘failing’ Florida property insurers” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Scott spoke Wednesday night about solvency issues with the property insurance market, which has driven unprecedented growth of the Citizens Insurance customer base. “Citizens has grown quite a bit recently. We’ve got to figure out why these companies are failing. There’s a lot of property insurance companies that have failed recently. We’ve got to figure out why Citizens is the size it is. And how do we make sure that when you have insurance, you actually have real coverage? And so, I think it’s something the state’s going to have to put a lot of effort into, We’ve got to have a robust property insurance market in the state, and we’ve got to have insurance companies that are fully funded, so that they can provide the resources if something like this happens.”

Rick Scott raises the alarm about the state’s property insurance crisis.


DeSantis’ team plans to resist hauling Governor in for depositions in Andrew Warren suspension case” via Michael Moline of Florida Phoenix — DeSantis will resist testifying in Warren’s legal challenge to the Governor’s order suspending him as the elected state attorney for Hillsborough County. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle released the report, a summary of where the case stands, on Tuesday. It sets deadlines for filing motions and completing depositions in the lawsuit, but Hinkle hasn’t yet set a trial date. Warren wants the trial to begin on Oct. 24; lawyers in Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, representing DeSantis, want a Dec. 5 trial date.


Congressional delegation calls on Biden to declare Ian a major disaster for all of Florida” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The entire Florida congressional delegation called upon Biden to declare a major disaster for all Florida counties. U.S. Sens. Rubio and Scott led a letter signed by all 26 sitting House members representing Florida. It supports a request from DeSantis for the President to issue a declaration that covers all of Florida. “We write in support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration due to Hurricane Ian, which is currently causing catastrophic conditions as a Category 4 major hurricane,” the letter reads.

Don’t ‘gouge the American people,’ Biden warns oil industry as Ian nears” via Ben Lefebre of POLITICO — Biden on Wednesday warned oil companies against increasing gasoline prices as Hurricane Ian nears the Florida coastline, vowing to conduct investigations if fuel prices rise. Biden, speaking at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, issued what he called “a warning to oil and gas industry executives: Do not — let me, repeat, do not — do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people.” The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees offshore oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, said companies have suspended about 190,000 barrels a day of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Joe Biden puts oil companies on notice against price gouging.

Biden’s delicate midterm dance” via Christopher Cadelago and Jonathan Lemire of POLITICO — The storm bearing down on Florida forced Biden to scrap plans to deliver a politically-charged speech in the state. But he campaigned anyway, from behind a podium in the Rose Garden. Biden criticized Sen. Scott for wanting to endanger Medicare and Social Security; he laid into House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for offering an election year blueprint with “little or no detail.” Biden is aware — and increasingly comfortable — with the reality that he isn’t wanted everywhere. Biden himself has, to this point, been comfortable with the lighter public footprint.

Biden maintains current cap on refugee entries” via Michael D. Shear of The New York Times — Biden said a maximum of 125,000 people could be admitted into the United States as refugees during the next 12 months, continuing to pursue his campaign pledge to open the country to more displaced people from around the world. In a message to Congress, Biden said the cap on the number of refugees would remain the same as in the past year. That follows four years in which Trump significantly reduced the number of refugees who could be admitted.

Feds: No immigration status scrutiny for those seeking Hurricane Ian relief” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Disaster relief is for everyone, even if you are not in the country legally, the feds said as Hurricane Ian slammed into the state. Those fleeing Ian’s wrath or coping with the storm’s fallout should seek help without worrying that officials will be scrutinizing their immigration status. It’s a shift from the last administration’s policy that treated unauthorized border crossing as a crime. Trump’s administration endured criticism for not ending Border Patrol checkpoints in an emergency. Advocates said that put migrants in the position of having to choose between staying in a life-threatening situation or being exposed to immigration enforcement.

U.S. issues ‘temporary and targeted’ Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona” via Alex Roarty and Syra Ortiz-Blanes of the Miami Herald — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday granted a “temporary and targeted” Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico, allowing the island to immediately receive fuel shipments the island’s government says are needed as it attempts to recover from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Fiona. The decision ends days of pressure from island leaders and U.S. lawmakers to grant an exemption to the act, which prohibits foreign ships from delivering supplies from one American port to another. It disproportionately affects Puerto Rico because it is an island and heavily relies on shipping imports to meet basic needs, including food.

Puerto Rico gets a temporary reprieve from Hurricane Fiona.

Massachusetts lawmakers urge Pete Buttigieg to investigate DeSantis migrant flights” via Michael Wilner and Bianca Padró Ocasio of the Miami Herald — A group of Democratic lawmakers from Massachusetts sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Buttigieg urging him to investigate whether charter flights for migrants organized by Gov. DeSantis violated department rules. Florida’s Republican Governor used state dollars to fly nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this month. Several of the migrants are now suing DeSantis, claiming they were lured onto the charter flights under false pretenses, such as promises of employment, housing and educational opportunities. DeSantis has denied that any of the migrants were misled.


Donald Trump saw staffers of color at White House, assumed they were waiters, Book says” via Asawin Suebsaeng and Patrick Reis of Rolling Stone — It was January 2017, and a newly inaugurated Trump held a reception at the White House to meet with top congressional leaders. Hors d’oeuvres were on the menu. And the new President turned to a row of racially diverse Democratic staffers and asked them to retrieve the canapes. “Why don’t you get” the food, Trump told staffers for Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, Confidence Man. Then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus rushed to correct Trump’s remark, telling the then-President that he’d just addressed top congressional aides before going to find the actual White House waitstaff.

New book: Trump nearly fired Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump via tweet” via Jeremy Herb of CNN — Trump nearly fired his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Kushner from the White House via tweet, according to a new book from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Trump raised the prospect of firing Ivanka Trump and Kushner, who were both senior White House aides, during meetings with then-chief of staff John Kelly and then-White House counsel Don McGahn, Haberman writes. At one point, he was about to tweet that his daughter and son-in-law were leaving the White House, but he was stopped by Kelly, who told Trump he had to speak with them directly first. Trump never had such a conversation.

Donald Trump is not above firing his own family — by tweet. Image via AP.

How Trump and DeSantis are already splitting the conservative movement” via Gabby Orr of CNN — For months now, conservatives have been quietly debating the merits of Trump versus DeSantis, asking themselves if Trump, who remains caught in a web of legal troubles, is too damaged or polarizing to return the White House to Republicans and effectively implement the changes many conservatives seek. Or if DeSantis, with his “anti-woke” crusade and surging popularity, is a superior alternative to the 45th President or a political chameleon — someone who might creep toward the center in a general election. “I’ve heard people say that Trump was John the Baptist paving the way for Jesus,” said a senior official at another prominent conservative organization.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

NWS: Ian to bring tropical storm winds to Treasure Coast; threats diminish Thursday afternoon” via Corey Arwood of Treasure Coast Newspapers — Heavy rain, isolated tornadoes and strong gusty winds are the greatest threats to the Treasure Coast as Hurricane Ian was projected to linger over Central Florida for 24 to 30 hours on its northeast path across the state. Following a morning with reports of flash flooding from up to 5 inches of rain in some areas, meteorologists said Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties would likely see tropical-storm-force winds Wednesday afternoon that would peak overnight or early Thursday. “We’ll see an extended period of strong tropical-storm-force winds with frequent gusts in excess of 50 mph,” said Will Ulrich, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Melbourne.

Southwest Airlines suspends flights to all three South Florida airports” via David Lyons of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Southwest Airlines, a major air carrier serving all three South Florida airports, suspended its flights to the entire tri-county region Wednesday after curtailing service to other Florida airports in the path of Hurricane Ian. The suspensions came even though Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Miami International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport remained open to commercial flying. “Operations are suspended through at least Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022,” according to a note referencing the three airports on the airline’s website. The note said suspensions also apply through Thursday for service to Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Orlando, whose airports have closed. International flights to Havana, Cuba, are also suspended with no time listed for resumption.

Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on South Florida airports; some are still operating, however.


A Miami area cosmetic surgery center lists a doctor with a revoked license as a surgeon” via David J. Neal of the Miami Herald — As of Wednesday afternoon, the website for Coral Gables’ Seduction Cosmetic Center lists Dr. Jeffrey D. Morgan as one of its surgeons available for cosmetic work. But the only Dr. Jeffrey D. Morgan licensed to practice medicine in the state of Florida had his license revoked by the State Board of Medicine on Aug. 26. The official cause for Morgan’s license revocation was overprescribing pain pills to five patients. But an administrative complaint by the Florida Department of Health also alleged Morgan performed an improper Brazilian butt lift (BBL) surgery, a form of liposuction popular with Seduction customers, in 2020.

Miami-area woman charged in $4.6M Ponzi scheme plans to plead guilty to fraud” via Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald — A Biscayne Park woman has been charged with running a $4.6 million Ponzi scheme and swindling hundreds of Haitian-American investors in South Florida, but she is expected to plead guilty to resolve the case, according to federal court records and her attorney. Judith Dianne Paris-Pinder, 49, is accused of pocketing about half that amount for herself, including using the money for a wedding, vacations and other entertainment, and of using the rest of it to keep her investors at bay until the scheme unraveled, authorities said. Paris-Pinder was able to lure investors by promising them up to 50% returns, federal prosecutors said.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

In Orlando, expect ‘Charley-esque’ storm but less intense” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel — The impacts of Hurricane Ian will be much like Charley in 2004 in Central Florida but maybe with less wind damage and more rain and flooding, state emergency management chief Kevin Guthrie predicted Wednesday. “It does have a Charley-esque feel,” Guthrie said during a morning news briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “One of the things that’s a little different with Charley [is that forecasts show] it may go through Central Florida at a less intensity than Charley.”

Is Orlando ready for Charley 2.0? Image via

Uber offers free rides to storm shelters in Central Florida — Uber is offering Central Florida residents free round-trip rides to and from state-approved evacuation shelters. Rides may be up to $30 each way and must be made to approved shelters found in Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia or Osceola counties. Riders may take advantage of the program by using the promotional code “IANRELIEF” in the “Wallet” section of the app, which is accessed through the “Account” menu at the bottom right of the screen. A list of state-approved shelters in the area is available through the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Hillsborough Co. extends school closures through Friday” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics — The Hillsborough County School District has extended closures through Friday in response to Hurricane Ian, Superintendent Addison Davis announced Wednesday. Davis said the added day will allow staff time to clean and prepare classrooms for students to return on Monday. “Please stay vigilant and take care of yourselves and your families as we get through this storm together,” Davis wrote in a tweet announcing the decision. At the start of the week, Davis announced that schools would be closed from Monday through Thursday. The closures allowed school bus drivers to transport residents to shelters.

Ken Welch asks residents to shelter in place tonight, set to assess damage in morning” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics — Welch is urging residents to shelter in place through the night, with the worst of Hurricane Ian expected to hit Tampa Bay throughout the evening. Welch told reporters Wednesday afternoon that the area will experience tropical storm force winds and rainfall, as well as widespread power outages. “We want to ask you to shelter in place, as the worst parts of Hurricane Ian are still yet before us,” Welch said. “We ask you to stay at home, and to stay safe tonight.” Welch said that at first daybreak Thursday, St. Pete first responders will assess the damage, including fallen trees and downed power lines. They will work to clear roads and restore power.

Ken Welch tells St. Petersburg that Hurricane Ian is not quite finished with his city.

Tampa General fortifies for Ian with ‘aqua fence,’ watertight doors” via Christopher O’Donnell and Sam Ogozalek of the Tampa Bay Times — While some of the region’s hospitals located in evacuation zones closed ahead of Hurricane Ian, that’s not an option for Tampa General Hospital. The hospital is the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, a designation that means it provides a specialized and expensive level of care for serious injuries like severe burns, gunshot wounds and cuts. It’s also the main destination for Hillsborough County first responders ferrying patients who may be injured in the storm.

HCA Healthcare’s Florida hospitals prepare for Hurricane Ian” via Ryan Lynch and Devonta Davis of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Tampa Bay hospital systems have spent the past few days preparing for Hurricane Ian, including HCA Healthcare Inc. The Tennessee-based for-profit system, whose presence in Tampa Bay includes 12 hospitals and 10 free-standing emergency rooms throughout Tampa and St. Petersburg, is making preparations across its West Florida Division. HCA Healthcare West Florida Division preparations include ensuring the hospitals have enough caregivers, medications, supplies, food, water and generator power to care for patients during the storm.

Tampa International Airport braces for impact — and hopes for a speedy reopening” via Olivia George of the Tampa Bay Times — The morning after DeSantis announced Tampa International Airport will cease commercial flights at 5 p.m. Tuesday due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ian, the airport’s CEO, Joe Lopano, addressed reporters from the soon-to-be-shuttered main terminal. “As a critical infrastructure for the state, we are doing our best to stay open as long as possible to support the citizens of the Tampa Bay region,” he said. Lopano said he would be spending the storm at the airport, along with a team of volunteer storm riders, approximately 120 employees with specialized expertise who have trained for such an event.

Filming shut down in Tampa Bay as Hurricane Ian nears Florida” via David Robb of Deadline — Filming in Tampa Bay has shut down as Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida’s Gulf Coast. “All permitted production is shut down now,” Tampa Bay Film Commissioner Tyler Martinolich told Deadline. “We have several feature films in various stages of production, as well as a bunch of commercials, that are affected by the storm,” he said. “We suspended all film permits as of Saturday the 24th, and we will continue to have those suspended through Friday the 30th, at which point we will reassess as far as damage and local resources and the aftermath of the storm.” Netflix’s Pain Hustlers, starring Emily Blunt and Chris Evans, is one of the films shut down there.

Tampa Hard Rock closed until further notice for Hurricane Ian” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics — Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be closed to all non-registered hotel guests starting Wednesday morning in response to Hurricane Ian. The hotel and casino will remain closed until conditions allow it to reopen. The Tampa Hard Rock joins several other Tampa Bay entertainment centers closing for the hurricane. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced closures for Wednesday and Thursday, and ZooTampa closed down Tuesday and will remain closed through Thursday. The theme parks said they must take into consideration both guests and animals.

New emergency restoration, renovation company opens branch in Tampa as Hurricane Ian slams into state” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Venturi Restoration had been weighing the merits of opening a Tampa branch office for months before finally deciding to officially take the plunge and open a property restoration business in Florida. After making the commitment, Venturi Restoration CEO Mark San Fratello said the company agreed weeks ago that Sept. 24 would be the grand opening of the Tampa branch office. It’s just coincidental that Venturi Restoration’s grand opening in Tampa came just before Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida as a Category 4 hurricane.

Hurricane Ian could cost Disney millions” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — Hurricane Ian could cost Disney World up to $75 million, one theme park consultant warned. Disney World has announced the theme parks are closed for at least Wednesday and Thursday as the storm approaches Central Florida. “We are continuing to closely monitor Hurricane Ian and are making necessary operational adjustments to maintain the safety of our Guests and Cast Members,” the company said on its website as it also canceled Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel stays and Thursday’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Hurricane Ian slams Disney, but there may be a silver lining. Image via Twitter/@HippyDisneyGuy.

This effing guy — “Company asked employees to bring family, pets to office to work through Hurricane Ian” via Paul Blest of Vice — The CEO of a Florida-based company downplayed the Category 4 hurricane headed directly for the area in a meeting with employees, and even told them to bring their kids and pets to the office so they could bunker down together and keep working. Postcardmania, a postcard marketing company, has a 69,000-plus-square-foot main campus in Clearwater. Clearwater declared a state of emergency Tuesday, and Pinellas County began issuing evacuation orders Monday. Hurricane Ian could be the strongest hurricane to hit the Tampa area in more than 100 years.


Hurricane Ian versus Hurricane Charley: Ian potentially ‘catastrophic’ for Florida, forecasters say” via C.A. Bridges of the Fort Myers News-Press — The powerful hurricane swept over Cuba, strengthened into a monster in the Gulf and roared ashore Florida near Sanibel Island before tearing across the state and causing billions of dollars in damage, finally emerging above the East Coast and curving back to hit South Carolina. No, not Hurricane Ian. That was Hurricane Charley, in August 2004, the strongest hurricane to hit Southwest Florida as far back as we have records. But Ian’s path looks eerily similar, and it may be more powerful. But there are some important differences between the two storms.

To watch a time-lapse video of Ian’s storm surge on Sanibel Island, please click on the image below:

Lee Co., Charlotte Co., Naples under curfew following widespread flooding, looting” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Lee County, where Hurricane Ian made landfall at 3:05 p.m., was the latest Southwest Florida community to announce a curfew. One will go into effect at 6 p.m., today, Wednesday, Sept. 28. The decision in part came because of looting already reported in Fort Myers. Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said reports are coming in that verify the Lee County community has been “decimated” by the storm. “This will be a difficult and trying time the next several months,” he said. He also stressed criminal activity exploiting the natural disaster will not be tolerated.

Calling 911? Nobody is likely to come to you” via Sun Newspapers — Most of the fire and police departments in Sarasota County are now sheltering and can no longer respond to 911 calls. The sustained winds have reached 45 mph, the point at which first responders can no longer safely drive their vehicles on the road. An alert was just released stating that emergency services south of Center Road are on pause. So, what happens if you’re having a medical emergency? Here is what a Facebook post on the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office says: “Please bear with us and understand why some agencies may not be able to respond in coming hours.”

Government workers assisting residents during Hurricane Ian” via Sun Newspapers — An 84-year-old North Port woman asked a call center worker Wednesday morning a serious question. She wanted to know if she “should stay or go?” The worker explained there’s still “plenty of space” available at designated North Port schools that have turned into shelters including Heron Creek and Woodland Middle schools, North Port High School and Atwater Elementary School. However, with wind gusts of more than 50 mph, emergency managers are telling people to shelter in place. First responders, fire, police, EMTs, cannot respond to any emergency in winds of 45 mph or more. Residents can still call 911, however, they will be put on a waiting list until the end of the high winds.

Ian no biggie to some on Florida coast: ‘I walk in faith and not in fear. That’s how I roll’” via Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald — The beachfront town of Venice was deserted Wednesday morning as Ian stalked the Gulf Coast and 60 mph gusts blowing sheets of rain raked streets strewn with tree branches. A lone cyclist who said his name is Adam pedaled through the downpour to the beach to take a look at the whitecaps, then to a parking garage where he had stowed his car. He wasn’t worried and he wasn’t the only one. But lots of people were. They had already boarded up or evacuated, some to hotels in safer inland locations. “I’ve seen worse in 40 years here,” he said, tightening the hood of his jacket hours before Ian was expected to make landfall with 155 mph winds.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Jacksonville eyes flooding risk as Hurricane Ian collides with local nor’easter” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Despite qualified local optimism that Jacksonville would dodge the worst, augmented by increasingly favorable forecasts throughout the day, Duval County is still under a state of emergency and a tropical storm warning as well as a coastal hurricane watch, but confidence that the storm will track well to the east of Duval prevails currently. Mayor Lenny Curry said a nor’easter was influencing weather and could raise the risk of storm surge and flooding, invoking Matthew and Irma as cautionary examples. “If you know your home or property are at risk,” Curry said, “please consider leaving for higher ground.” Tropical storm gusts will likely begin Wednesday night into Thursday morning across Duval County and points south, with stronger winds at the beaches.

When two storms collide, Jacksonville gets wet. Image via News4Jax.

Nassau County orders evacuations for Fernandina Beach, opens shelters” via Wes Wolfe of Florida Politics — When it comes to storm surges, few places in Nassau County are as susceptible as Fernandina Beach along the Amelia River, and those mainland areas on the west side of the Amelia. With 3-5 feet of storm surge predicted for Northeast Florida with Hurricane Ian, Nassau County officials are going with an abundance of caution and ordering the evacuation of those areas. Nassau County Emergency Management Director Tim Cooper met with County Manager Taco Pope “and provided a verbal justification and request to issue an evacuation order,” leading Pope to do exactly that.

Okaloosa County keeps eye on Hurricane Ian: Bridge tolls suspended, high surf expected” via Devon Ravine of Northwest Florida Daily News — Officials in Okaloosa County were keeping a close eye on Hurricane Ian, which was a Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon with winds of 80 to 85 miles per hour and moving northwest at 13 miles per hour. The storm was near the mouth of Cuba, with a predicted trajectory that includes part of the Panhandle and much of the state’s west coast. Okaloosa County Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox said the swell sent north from Hurricane Ian will result in elevated surf heights of 6 to 9 feet Wednesday morning, creating dangerous rip current conditions that may persist through the rest of the week. Maddox said significant rain and storm surge threats will remain “well to our East in the current scenario unless significant changes to the track occur.”

JEA readies for Hurricane Ian as storm slams into coast” via Wes Wolfe of Florida Politics — Many Northeast Florida residents get their electricity from JEA, and the utility laid out ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival its process for handling the storm as crews prepare on standby to get power flowing again through lines to area homes and businesses. “We’ve got crews — really good crews, 2,000 people,” JEA Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe said at a Wednesday morning news conference. Workers in Northeast Florida and those set to arrive are stocking up their trucks with the necessary gear but call center workers are also on the job to help customers.

Hurricane Ian halts Jacksonville buses, some flights and transportation services” via Dan Scanlan of The Florida Times-Union — The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is shutting down its mass transit and specialty services due to the approach of Hurricane Ian. The JTA’s bus routes, ReadiRide, First Coast Flyer, and Express Select Services will continue to operate on a regular schedule if — weather permitting — until 8 p.m. Wednesday when they will be suspended. The authority expects service to return by midday Friday, following a Sunday schedule if weather permits. Skyway service in downtown Jacksonville and San Marco will close at 8 p.m. Wednesday and reopen Monday.


Pensacola Mayor-elect D.C. Reeves sells Perfect Plain Brewing Co. to NOLA-based brewery” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal — Perfect Plain Brewing Co. was sold to New Orleans-based Urban South Brewery, the two companies announced Tuesday. The sale comes after Perfect Plain co-founder D.C. Reeves was elected Mayor of Pensacola on Aug. 23. Under the sale agreement, Urban South will assume operations of the four brands under the Perfect Plain roof. The sale officially closes on Oct. 1. Reeves told the News Journal the sale came about after he and Jacob Landry, founder of Urban South Brewery, became friends. Reeves said he had a lot of emotions about selling the business he and co-founder Reed Odeneal built after getting the idea in a living room in North Carolina.

D.C. Reeves makes an emotional sale. Image via the Pensacola News-Journal.

23 Santa Rosa residents dead in 2022 so far from fentanyl overdoses. What can be done?” via Alex Miller of the Pensacola News Journal — Dan Schebler, director of operations for the District 1 Medical Examiner, said so far in 2022, they have already seen about 500 cases in which drugs were in the body during the autopsy, and in roughly 300 of those the drug was the cause of death. “The primary drug that we see is fentanyl. And just in Santa Rosa County this year, there have been 23 cases of overdose deaths of fentanyl … that was the cause of their death. So, it certainly is a problem,” Schebler said. “It’s something that’s growing year over year.” District 1 is the only district in Florida without a facility dedicated to the medical examiner. Staff said all these factors are things that affect their ability to complete their duty.

J.T. Burnette lawyer raises conduct of FBI agent as issue before federal appeals court” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat — The alleged conduct of an undercover FBI agent in the public corruption investigation of Burnette and his co-defendants — and a decision by a judge to keep some details out of evidence — became a key point of contention during oral arguments in the wealthy businessman’s appeal. The fight over the evidence has been under seal for years, though it burst into public view Wednesday when a three-judge panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal convened to hear arguments in the high-profile case. Amy Mason Saharia, a prominent Washington lawyer representing Burnette, argued that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle mistakenly instructed the jury on what constitutes bribery and improperly allowed one of the undercover FBI agents, “Mike Sweet,” to testify about Burnette’s lack of truthfulness during secretly recorded conversations.

ACLU sues Baker County Sheriff’s Office as fight over ICE detention contract grows” via Steve Patterson of The Florida Times-Union — Civil rights lawyers are seeking a court order requiring staff at Baker County’s detention center to allow meetings between immigrants and lawyers who say they’ve been illegally denied access. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida sued in Jacksonville’s federal court ahead of attorney visits scheduled for Friday that the rights group said might be canceled like others at the start of this month. The Baker lockup is one of four centers in Florida where ICE holds immigrants in return for fees based on the number of people being held.


Cuba goes dark after Hurricane Ian strikes. Can it end the great ‘apagón?’” via the Miami Herald editorial board — The poor Cuban people. Ian exposed the depths of the weakness of Cuba’s grid infrastructure, leaving 11 million people without power when the storm crossed the western end of the country. And we’re not talking about pockets of power outages; we’re talking about no electricity from end to end of the Caribbean island.

Unfortunately, Cuba’s communist government likely will piece it back together with its usual spit and glue. By noon Wednesday, pockets of electricity had returned, but the government said that returning power to more densely populated areas would be more complicated, a rare admission of its inability to take care of its people. For now, Havana remains in the dark.

The last thing Cuban people needed was a hurricane.

Electricity is a political commodity in Cuba. To conserve energy, the communist government schedules power outages to certain neighborhoods. The practice is called apagónes, when millions of Cubans do without electricity in the name of the Cuban revolution.

What’s more basic to the quality of life than power?

For the Cuban government, it will become imperative to blame Ian and not its antiquated grid system for the hurricane blackout. Cubans don’t own generators; their only power source is the government. They are trapped with a sole provider. If this blackout extends for days, it could lead to protests and complaints from the already desperate Cuban people who already do so much with so little.


Right-wing populism may rise in the U.S.” via William A. Galston of The Wall Street Journal — Analysts who believed that the surge of right-wing populism had crested in Europe have suffered a series of shocks during the past six months. Democrats, take notice, because the U.S. could be next. In France, Marine Le Pen received 41.5% of the popular vote in her April presidential runoff with Emmanuel Macron, up from 33.9% in 2017. This past weekend, the Brothers of Italy, whose origins trace back to the Italian Social Movement, founded by ex-Fascists after World War II, won 26.3% of the vote, according to provisional results, to become Italy’s largest party, a startling gain from 4.4% only four years ago. The party’s leader, Giorgia Meloni, will likely become prime minister.

Attention, fools! What not to do in Hurricane Ian.” via Stephanie Hayes of the Tampa Bay Times — Don’t go outside. If you can follow this basic golden rule, the rest of the list will come a lot easier. Shelter in place does not mean “Pull on my Target rain boots and give the town a little lookie-loo.” Don’t force your dogs to pee outside if it’s not coming easily. Don’t go swimming in open waters! I can’t … do we need to say this? Don’t climb fences meant to keep you out of deadly seas.


— ALOE —

Have a hurricane crisis and can’t talk to loved ones? How to register for Florida list” via Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald — If you are in an emergency in Florida and can’t talk, there’s still a way for your family and friends to be notified quickly. An emergency can be a car crash or a hurricane like Ian. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department has created an emergency online registry so you can input your emergency contact information. Officials are issued reminders as Ian started affecting the state this week. Once you register, law enforcement, using the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles system, can quickly contact the people on your list, even across state lines.

‘Barney’ docuseries ‘I Love You, You Hate Me’ uncovers dark side of kids shows” via EJ Panaligan of Variety — The core message of the immensely popular “Barney and Friends” kids show was to spread love and kindness to one another, but the trailer for a new Peacock docuseries highlights the idea that America was not so eager to accept that message. In the trailer for the upcoming two-part docuseries “I Love You, You Hate Me,” multiple talking heads, from Bill Nye the Science Guy to NBC’s Al Roker, share stories of how quickly the world turned against the friendly dinosaur, rejecting its values of inclusion and respect. Bob West, a Barney performer who stepped into costume for the happy purple dinosaur, shared that death threats were made against his entire family.


Happy birthday to our friend, Steve Schale, as well as former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, David Bishop, Brian Graham, Rebecca Matthews, and Zach Thorn.


Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as 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. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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