Winner and Loser of the Week in Florida politics — Week of 10.2.22

President Joe Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis proved it is possible for them to work together.

As the cleanup from Hurricane Ian continues, there are the standard vows to rebuild what Mother Nature destroyed. We hear that every time one of these monster storms tosses the coastal areas like a whiffle ball in a wind tunnel.

But maybe it’s time to rethink the wisdom of setting the buildings up just to be knocked down again. I’m not talking about the wind, because improved building codes can somewhat mitigate that.

Flooding is a different animal, and it’s a hard truth that merits a serious discussion.

Look, I get it — Florida’s water is a major drawing card. Sunrises over the Atlantic and sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico are as much a part of this state as orange juice. But a hurricane like Ian brings a storm surge that can overwhelm even the sturdiest waterfront buildings.

If Floridians want to keep living on the coast — and I’m sure they do — it’s time to acknowledge that we can’t stop these storms. Homeowners and businesses need to find a better flood defense than sandbags.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Floridians already pay about three times the national average for property coverage. That number certainly will increase.

We’re going to get more of these unimaginable storms too.

Two words: Climate. Change.

As the storms get larger and draw fuel from wider parts of the Atlantic or Gulf, they suck in massively more water. Florida’s low-lying coastline might as well have a bullseye target.

At present, there is no defense against that. As Gov. Ron DeSantis correctly noted, it was a storm of biblical proportions.

There’s a lot of work to be done and hard choices to make.

Now, it’s on to our weekly game of winners and losers.


Honorable mention: DeSantis. Sure, he made a ridiculous statement that the national regime media — whatever that is — wanted Ian to hit Tampa directly. That would cause more damage and make him look bad.

Never mind that the Governor believes woke indoctrinators who hate Republicans run the media, and Tampa is a blue city. But let’s move on.

The Governor ended up in the good column this week because he shook President Joe Biden’s hand and said, “Mr. President, welcome to Florida” as the two men met to assess Ian’s damage.

People were watching to see if DeSantis could put aside politics and work with a man he has mocked since Biden took office.

Remember also that DeSantis railed against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but is contrite now.


“Ironically, while DeSantis has attacked Biden, he’s benefited from his administration,” Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani said in POLITICO. “The constant demonization of President Joe Biden by Gov. Ron DeSantis has always been politically motivated.”

Major disasters have a way of putting things into perspective.

Almost (but not quite) biggest winner: The power grid. Yes, power was slow to come back on in many places, but it could have been much worse.

The Wall Street Journal reported that multibillion-dollar investments by TECO, Florida Power & Light, and Duke to strengthen their power grids helped them withstand Ian’s 150 mph winds.

They improved transmission lines and upgraded or buried distribution lines. TECO Chief Executive Archie Collins said that enabled his utility to reduce downtime from possibly weeks to days.

“It’s becoming abundantly clear to us that we’re not dealing with a lot of infrastructure damage,” he said. “Now, it is just a matter of clearing the debris and the branches and the trees that have come down.”

The biggest winner: Florida volunteers. While we understandably focus on state and national relief efforts after a disaster, we should tip our caps to work performed by volunteers from private relief organizations.

“Private partners in Florida and across the nation are providing exceptional assistance for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian. Updates provided by the private sector are critical to helping Floridians respond and recover,” the Department of Economic Opportunity said in a news release.

It’s a truly impressive list, available to see by following this link.

Churches throughout the state donated money and recovery teams, coordinating with organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Washed-out roads and bridges complicated the logistics, but the volunteers worked to provide food and shelter for those in need.

Also, let’s shout out to the TV reporters who ventured into the storm to show what was happening in real time. It might seem silly to have someone reporting a story while winds above 100 mph threaten to knock them over, but it’s the best way to show the storm’s force.

No, they weren’t volunteers; it’s their job.

But if your job doesn’t require you to work in the face of hurricane-force winds, don’t judge them. Just thank them.


Dishonorable mention: Matt Gaetz. We know he is prone to foot-in-mouth disease by now, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he says something stupid. Topping himself is a high bar, but darned if he didn’t clear it with what sounded like a promise to impeach President Biden if Republicans win control of the House.

Yeah, you say, GOP firebrands have said that all along. And they’ll proceed as soon as they find something they can twist into a high crime and misdemeanor.

But Gaetz took it a step further, saying Republicans must immediately begin impeachment of Biden and Cabinet officials or “our voters will feel betrayed.”

Cabinet officials? Why not just round up all registered Democrats while you’re at it?

And Gaetz added this nugget, “and that’s why it should be investigations first, and policy as a far, far diminished priority.”

Yeah, because who wants lawmakers to actually advance policy?

Impeachment for the hell of it is a dereliction of duty, but we know it would be more about revenge than about anything Biden did wrong. When Donald Trump was impeached (twice), it was for A) trying to bribe the President of Ukraine into finding dirt on Hunter Biden, and B) inciting the Jan. 6 riot.

Gaetz appears to endorse impeaching Biden just because. And he added Cabinet members to the hit list. This is government at its worst.

Almost (but not quite) biggest loser: Loranne Ausley. An ad supporting the Democrat running for District 3 in the state Senate crossed a line no one should breach.

A mailer on Ausley’s behalf attempted to link Corey Simon, her Republican opponent, to the shooting deaths of school children.

The mailer contains cutouts of children backed by targets with bullet holes.

“Don’t let extremists like Corey Simon turn our schools into shooting ranges,” the ad reads.

Turn the ad over, and we find a picture of Simon, a Black man, displayed on a target stand.

No. No. No!!!!

The ad had racist overtones and imagery that could incite violence.

Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo pounced.

“The hypocrisy of these Florida Democrats who claim to support Black lives, yet yield to their worst instincts simply because they don’t agree with him politically, says a lot more about their character than it ever could about Corey Simon,” she said.

And as Florida Politics Publisher Peter Schorsch noted, Ausley has tried to argue she didn’t approve the ad.

“That’s either not true, or the ad violated election law, which requires candidate approval for third-party advertisements supporting them,” he wrote. “The committee behind the mailer says it was approved, contradicting Ausley’s own assertion.”

The biggest loser: Charlie Crist. He’s down in the polls, hurting for money, and whenever DeSantis does something we could say is wrong, it doesn’t stick.

But while polls can be wrong, and there’s still time for an October surprise, the Democratic candidate for Governor just took a haymaker to the jaw.

It didn’t come directly from DeSantis, either.

The potential knockout punch came from President Biden, the leader of Crist’s Democratic party.

During his visit to see the hurricane devastation and meet with DeSantis, reporters asked Biden how he felt about the Governor’s response to the storm.

What the Governor’s done is pretty remarkable so far,” Biden said.

He heaped praise on DeSantis’ handling of environmental issues.

“First of all, the biggest thing that the Governor’s done, and so many others have done, they’ve recognized this thing called global warming,” Biden said. “The world is changing. It’s changing, and we have to change the way with the zoning codes.”

And if that wasn’t enough, there was this line: “We have very different political philosophies, but we’ve worked hand in glove.”


Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Tom

    October 9, 2022 at 7:27 am

    Winner: Biden
    Loser: Trump terrorists

  • Tom

    October 9, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Legend Tom here, Joey Corsin’s continued alias lies have no boundaries. I own you, you pathetic dog. Your psyche is tormented by me. Get a life.
    Because of Dummycrats like you, I am the FP legend! Thank you!

    • Charlie Crist

      October 9, 2022 at 9:32 am

      👆 Losers… this delusional narcissist and bar room drunk. Needs a spinning high kick to the face. Outta there buddy..

      • Hope

        October 9, 2022 at 4:14 pm

        You have been declared the biggest loser! You deserve it!

    • George Raft

      October 9, 2022 at 10:31 am

      Legendary idiot, for sure.

      • Tom

        October 9, 2022 at 11:50 am

        The only drunk you know is your mama! She kicks her legs out for all, you cheap degenerate. You are a menace to society.

        Another pathetic and meaningless alias for corsin. You disparage a great actor.

        So, if you advocate tax cuts, you are for Putin ? Where do you and a soros Dummycrat nation come up with this garbage! JFK, Reagan and Trump advocate tax cuts, GOP has always advocated in modern political history.
        It’s apple pie!

        Spare us they don’t pay, they do. U S Treasury affirmed they paid.

        Your whole purpose is to take away from topic. It don’t work with me.

        You clown!

        • Charlie Crist

          October 9, 2022 at 12:42 pm

          👆 Victim of far right propaganda, failed education system, failed healthcare system… mental health care. He never went and got the goddamn treatment!!!

  • Tom

    October 9, 2022 at 9:11 am


    Flippant nuclear Armageddon remarks at a paid fundraiser, apparently at the home of James Murdoch, Fox family.

    POTUS actually references of possible nuclear war is despicable. No effort to communicate with American people. Just a typical ignorant remark from this incoherent. It was brought up last, in closing after same partisan bashing.

    More and more polls identify his insensitivity towards middle class, working class Americans.

    This loser and his party have destroyed America’s middle class, period! Don’t “F” with a Biden, he mutters. Yeah right. Wait til election night, the American people will.

    Wait til the new majority in House of Reps conducts its investigations. Enjoy!

    Winners: America’s Governor and Sen Rubio.
    Win bigly!

    • Charlie Crist

      October 9, 2022 at 9:34 am

      Tax breaks for the top and reduced taxes overall have destroyed the middle class. You need to examine tax rates in the 1950’s which created a robust middle class. You don’t know what in the hell you are talking about you imbecile. You need a beating in the head.

      • Tom

        October 9, 2022 at 10:10 am

        Yeah right!
        When you and your alias idiot Elliot espouse 90% tax rates. You are communists. It’s not your money.

        Reagan supply side, initially pursued by JFK and most recently by Trump clearly help those from the bottom up

        More middle class, blue collar and working class benefited with Repub. tax cuts in 2017. It’s a fact, Treasury department validated middle class growth.

        Reagan cut taxes from the 70%, to 35% initiated a Renaissance.

        JFK’s tax cuts brought strong economic growth to the economy as did Reagan’s, with 6% growth.

        Corsin you are clueless. You don’t understand macro or micro economics, nor electoral politics.

        Words of Biden, Don’t mess with a “legend”pal.

    • George Raft

      October 9, 2022 at 10:28 am

      Sounds like you are a PutinSucker now. We all knew you were a TrumpSucker…but I guess you can’t have one without the other, Sucker.

      • Tom

        October 9, 2022 at 10:53 am

        Ignoramus, just more retarded meaningless aliases, with no coherence.

        You can’t deal with facts. So incoherent, incompetent corsin.

        • Charlie Crist

          October 9, 2022 at 12:38 pm

          Trickle down economics is a hoax. Rich people just hoard the money, put it in the stock market, or at best create low wage service jobs where people can barely survive unless dual income. You don’t know what in the hell you are talking about idiot. Just pulling nonsense out of your asshole 🍩

          • Tom

            October 9, 2022 at 6:31 pm

            Supply side tax cuts allow earners to
            to reinvest in business, economy at large and or help others.

            If you earn $50 k, $75 k, or over $100,000 dollars you have a right to keep as much as you can.

            JFK, Reagan and Trump agreed, we are not returning to 70%, 90% tax rates.

            Regardless, you nor any other Marxist get to decide.

            Your Castro appeal falls short.
            Go earn some money so you see benefit of earnings.

  • tom palmer

    October 9, 2022 at 9:15 am

    It was nice to see Gov. DeSantis act like a governor for a change.

    • Tom

      October 9, 2022 at 10:48 am

      Palmer, your cheap shots are notorious and similar to ocean Joe.
      This Gov. has been outstanding on multiple fronts.


      100 yr Covid pandemic, the successful contrary example of the anti tyrannical blue state advocates.
      Most seniors inoculated per Biden’s HHS.

      Surfside, incredible effort to help families suffering great loss.

      Education, schools. Expanded scholarships for poor, minorities.
      Kept schools open, Hernandez Matz, Dems sued Gov and lost.

      Economy, 2.7% unemployment. Do to his Covid policies, Florida’s job growth 24 consecutive months of growth. 8% wage growth led country.

      Monoclonal centers, the first and only Gov who initiated life saving centers.

      DeSantis is America’s Governor and last week with the podium, presidential seal proved it.

      The inept Biden W H, and staff built DeSantis up. Thank you!

      • Charlie Crist

        October 9, 2022 at 12:46 pm

        One of these days buddy you gonna get a boot in the ass, spinning round house kick to the face, reverse hammer fist to the mouth, flying knee to the balls…

  • Tom

    October 9, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    LMAO, you PUD.

Comments are closed.


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