Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 11.3.22

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Coffee is for closers. So is Sunburn, your morning rundown of Florida politics.

Good Thursday morning.

I’ll be joining my work wife, Matt Dixon of POLITICO, at the Fall Conference of the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers. If you’re in Sandestin, come to say hi.


Here’s some good news about a great person — Lobbying firm Corcoran Partners is adding Samantha Greer to its advocacy team as a partner in the firm’s Tampa office.

“Samantha embodies everything our firm values and aims to provide to our clients. She is a respected professional who holds herself to the highest levels of integrity and excellence,” said Mike Corcoran, founding partner and CEO. “We are beyond blessed and honored to have her joining our team. Samantha brings extensive governmental relations experience, knowledge, and passion that will elevate our strategies and solutions for all those we work with.”

Congratulations to Samantha Greer, the newest partner at Corcoran Partners.

Greer joins the firm from the University of Florida, where she served as Director of Government Relations as the institution achieved a Top 5 ranking among public universities. She previously worked as the lead lobbyist at the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida representing many of the state’s top auto and homeowners insurance companies.

Greer is a familiar face in Florida politics. She started her career campaigning and has been recognized as a ‘30 under 30 Rising Star’ of Florida Politics, a ‘Rising Star’ in the lobbying industry by INFLUENCE Magazine, and with a 2016 Golden A.C.E. (Government Relations & Law) from the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals.

Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield said Greer “has distinguished herself as a trusted leader and solutions-oriented advocate who thinks beyond what’s just in front of her and uniquely understands how all the pieces work together. I look forward to seeing her continue to grow professionally in her new role.”

Gainesville Republican Rep. Chuck Clemons added, “She has been a loyal advocate for the University of Florida, helping to achieve its legislative goals year after year, and as she enters this next chapter, I have no doubt she will continue to find great success at Corcoran Partners.”


The Southern Group is expanding its Miami-based team with the addition of local government and legislative expert Oneca Lowery.

Lowery, a fixture in South Florida politics, worked as Chief of Staff to former Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon II. Her policy experience includes land use and development, economic development and infrastructure, as well as legislative policymaking and appropriations.

“Oneca is a uniquely talented person who thoroughly understands Florida’s government machinery at both the local and state levels,” said firm founder and chair Paul Bradshaw. “For years she has counseled some of Florida’s most powerful political players over the course of her career, and she’s cultivated relationships across the political spectrum. I am confident our clients are going to benefit from this stellar addition to The Southern Group team.”

Congrats also to Oneca Lowery, who is taking her extensive knowledge and experience to The Southern Group.

Over the course of her career, Lowery has served in multiple government administrations including Miami Dade County and the City of Miami Gardens, where she was instrumental in setting up the city’s comprehensive plan and building out its planning and zoning departments.

In her new role, she will harness her passion for community engagement and her knowledge of state and local government to the benefit of The Southern Group’s clients across South Florida.


U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is hosting a fundraiser to help the National Republican Congressional Committee close strong in the Midterm Elections.

According to an event invitation, the fundraiser will be held Saturday in Longboat Key, where the longtime Republican Congressman resides.

The host committee includes two other well-known Republicans: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The invitation lists suggested contributions starting at $500 per person, with larger contributions granting access to a VIP reception and VIP roundtable.

Buchanan is teed up for an easy victory in his re-election campaign for Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

However, if Republicans retake the majority in the U.S. House, as expected, Buchanan is considered the top candidate to lead the powerful Ways & Means Committee, though fellow GOP U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith of Nebraska and Jason Smith of Missouri are also gunning for the job.

Buchanan has been outraising them, however. Not including the upcoming event, Buchanan has held fundraisers for the NRCC at his home in Longboat Key, a property he owns in Michigan, and locations during a recent Pacific Coast trip.

Through mid-October, Buchanan had raised $3.1 million for the NRCC this cycle, more than any member of Congress outside sitting leadership. He has also deployed $439,000 from his own campaign and committee funds to support other Republicans’ U.S. House campaigns.


Vote with your feet: Post-pandemic new Floridians twice as likely to be Rs as Ds” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — Since March 16, 2020, an estimated 394,000 active voters have flocked to Florida. They are twice as likely to be Republicans as they are to be Democrats. Since that day in mid-March — the day President Donald Trump announced the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” of the COVID-19 pandemic — 193,300 Republicans and 96,900 Democrats have moved to Florida, according to L2 data. The data reveals 393,800 Florida voters who chose the pandemic-era Sunshine State as their new home state and registered to vote here. As percentages, 46% are Republicans, 23% are Democrats and 29% are independents. In total, about 3% of Florida’s active voters are voters who moved to the state after the start of the pandemic.


A few other items that caught my interest:

📞 — Why does the AP call U.S. elections: Since 1848, when they declared the election for Zachary Taylor as President, The Associated Press has tallied millions of ballots nationwide to figure out which candidates won elections. But why? In an explainer, the outlet notes that the Founding Fathers didn’t establish a centralized entity to count votes and, since no one wanted to wait for weeks to learn who won what, the AP started counting votes themselves, gathering totals from individual states. The process has been refined since the early days, when gathering data was akin to using the “pony express,” to now using technology to not only count but analyze voting data. Now there’s some news you can use … at least on trivia night.

🧑‍🔧 — A small change for a big fix? In part eight of his 10-part series, New York Times Chief Political Analyst Nate Cohn notes yet another way pollsters can improve on previous survey failures that underestimated Trump’s popularity in both 2016 and 2020. His previous installment noted how Trump supporters were less likely to respond to surveys than those who supported Joe Biden. But wait, there’s more: Weighting. While traditionally a useful way to capture voting sentiments on poll-wary voters, in the modern political landscape that relies on assumptions about voting patterns — such as sticking to the party line — that may no longer be accurate. Instead, he suggests “weighting by recalled vote choice,” a complicated way of saying what may seem a no-brainer, to weight based on who a voter previously supported, rather than other demographics.

💁‍♀️ — White suburban women abandon Dems: A Wall Street Journal poll shows White suburban women now favor Republicans for Congress by 15 percentage points, a stunning 27-point shift away from Democrats since just August. The results suggest abortion, a key campaign point for Democrats this cycle, has faded from importance and given way to concerns about the economy and inflation. It’s bad news for Democrats, who relied heavily on support from the key voting bloc two years ago as they sought to remove Trump from office. The Journal’s August poll found that 43% of White suburban women believed the economy had entered a recession. In the most recent poll, 59% said the economy was headed in the wrong direction and, from August to now, sentiment dropped from just shy of 50% believing Democrats had a better economic plan to about 36%. Meanwhile, about 35% of the bloc believed in August that Republicans had a better plan, while now slightly more than half side with Republicans on the economy.

🌞 — Early sun = more fun: Sort of. Early morning sunlight is important to maintaining circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles, and overall health, according to health experts quoted in a Washington Post feature. That means daylight saving should go. Yet the Senate has voted to do the opposite, maintaining daylight saving time year-round. By doing so, experts warn individuals would be “misaligned” on their bodies’ synchronization with the sun. WaPo illustrates, literally, with a little blue dude complete with an internal clock. That clock regulates important timing, including cardiac function, metabolism, and hormone fluctuations. In a nutshell, most people’s internal clock runs slightly longer than 24 hours. The sun resets that clock and puts the body back in sync with the 24-hour day. Daylight saving alters that process, at least temporarily making our bodies think we are going to bed and waking up too early, losing sleep at both ends of the cycle. Check it out here.


@ElonMusk: you get what you pay for

@AOC: Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually an $8/mo subscription plan

@Will_da_beast630: This claim that — because homicide/serious violent crime increased ~40%, and then declined 1-2% — “Crime is down” may be the most stupidly dishonest use of stats I have ever seen.

@DouthatNYT: This point is especially crucial — the system we have doesn’t ask “Whites” to bear some kind of extra burden to redress past wrongs, it asks middle-class White people without connections to bear that burden while professional-class Whites work the system and do fine

@NGrossman81: More Americans today say we’re in a recession than did two months ago, and in that time the economy grew at a rate of over 2% and created over 650k new jobs. Heck, even gas prices decreased. I don’t know how to explain that except that campaigns and media influence perceptions.

@AmyEWalter: The way that many folks cover the final few days of an election is like covering a baseball game in just the 9th inning. You can’t appreciate the final score unless you appreciate the events of the entire game

@KevinCate: If Republicans take Miami-Dade, it isn’t a bellwether event; it’s a nail.

@DaveTrotter101: In the FDP post-mortem, we also need to look at what Republicans are doing right. First thing I can think of … paying people. For a political party that claims to be for higher wages, it’s amazing how many Democrats want to be cheap or not pay people for their work.

@AGlorios: It’s another gorgeous day in Tallahassee. This is the most underrated city in Florida. It has four seasons, beautiful rolling hills and giant oak trees with hanging Spanish moss. It’s affordable. It’s a government and university town. Life is loving what you’ve got.


2022 General Election — 5; ‘The Crown’ Season 5 returns — 6; ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ premieres — 8; FITCon 2022 begins — 14; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 14; The World Cup kicks off in Qatar — 18; The U.S. World Cup Soccer Team begins play — 21; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 30; ‘Willow’ premieres on Disney+ — 30; 2022 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 32; Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Stella Maris’ releases — 33; ‘Avatar 2’ premieres — 43; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 59; Bruce Springsteen launches his 2023 tour in Tampa — 90; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 106; final performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on Broadway — 107; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 124; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 142; Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ Tour in Tampa — 163; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 166; 2023 Session Sine Die — 183; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 183; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 211; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 260; ‘‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 267; Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 365; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 512; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 568; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 631; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 631; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 673; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 736; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 834; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 911. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,100.


Florida GOP takes lead in early voting in traditionally blue Miami-Dade” via Jiselle Lee of Fresh Take Florida — The most populous county in Florida, Miami-Dade — with more than 1.5 million registered voters — has been a Democratic stronghold along the state’s Gold Coast with largely blue Broward and Palm Beach counties for a generation. They had provided a bulwark of reliably Democratic votes against less-populated Republican counties across Florida, including most of the Panhandle and southwest coast.

Less than one week before the election, Miami-Dade was looking more red than blue.

“This is not what we expected,” said Christine Alexandria Olivio, the Democratic House candidate in Florida’s 26th Congressional District in South Florida. “This is worse than what we expected. We’re getting our butts kicked right now.”

Is Miami-Dade slipping away from Democrats?

Registered Democrats still outnumbered Republicans in Miami-Dade, but the latest figures indicate Democrats — at least so far — were voting in far fewer numbers than their GOP counterparts.

The swing toward higher Republican turnout in the county — with just one week before the election — was widely interpreted as a sign of support among the area’s Hispanic voters for incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — and a lack of enthusiasm for his Democratic challenger, Rep. Charlie Crist. The county is nearly 72% Hispanic.

Large numbers of voters in Miami-Dade — more than 487,000 — are not affiliated with either party, but turnout among those voters so far has been lower than for Democrats. Nearly 27% of GOP voters in Miami-Dade had voted by Wednesday, compared to 21% of Democrats and 14% of unaffiliated and third-party voters.

There were also signs of trouble for Democrats elsewhere: Republican turnout also had surpassed Democrats in the counties of Duval, home to Jacksonville, and Seminole, northeast of Orlando. GOP turnout was also unexpectedly high — but still behind Democratic voting — in Hillsborough County, home to Tampa.

— 2022 —

Joe Biden: ‘In our bones, we know democracy is at risk’” via Olivia Olander of POLITICO — Biden warned that the country’s democracy was dangerously close to crumbling in a speech Wednesday, painting the closing stretch of the midterm elections in stark terms. “In our bones,” the President declared at one point, “we know democracy is at risk.” “We’re often not faced with questions of whether the vote we cast will preserve democracy,” he said at another point. “But this year we are.” Biden’s speech was a closing argument for Democrats, who face an uphill battle in the election next week.

Joe Biden warns of the stakes in this election.

Ron DeSantis to hold ‘Don’t Tread on Florida Tour’ ahead of General Election” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — DeSantis will spend the last weekend before Election Day on a “Don’t Tread on Florida Tour.” He’ll share the stage with country stars and Cabinet members but won’t come near a rally hosted by Trump. All events will be free to the public, but space may be limited. Doors open hours in advance of DeSantis’ appearance in many locales. He announced a number of stops over four days before he faces Democratic challenger Crist on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, CFO Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner nominee Wilton Simpson and First Lady Casey DeSantis will appear at various stops.

Ron DeSantis takes his act on the road … one more time.

Another poll shows DeSantis with a double-digit lead over Charlie Crist” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Victory Insights found 54% of likely Florida voters plan to vote for DeSantis’ re-election. More than 41% plan to support Crist. That leaves close to 5% of voters undecided but not enough to offer Crist a chance even if all were to swing his way. The lead importantly puts DeSantis’ lead outside the poll’s 4.8-percentage-point margin of error and nearly puts that much distance between the incumbent and the 50% mark ensuring victory. That’s consistent with other recent polling, which as the Nov. 8 General Election drew closer showed DeSantis’ lead in the race widening. The polling firm ran simulations, and the survey predicts the Republican will ultimately win by a nearly 13-point margin once all votes are counted.

DeSantis looks to shore up Utah Sen. Mike Lee in new TV ad” via Marc Caputo of NBC News — As he eyes a possible White House bid, DeSantis has stepped up his national endorsements and just cut a new TV advertisement for an out-of-state Republican, Lee. Polling in Utah is scarce because it’s a Republican state and few expect Lee to lose to his independent challenger, Evan McMullin. But the conservative Club for Growth Action political committee has spent as much as $8 million on the race just in case, and it’s financing this DeSantis ad that begins airing Wednesday in Utah.

GOP insiders are starting to doubt DeSantis would actually take on Trump” via Gabriel Sherman of The Hollywood Reporter — According to four prominent Republicans, DeSantis appears to be reconsidering his plans to run. Sources said DeSantis recently indicated to donors that he would not challenge Trump for the Republican nomination. “He’s led them to believe he will not run if Trump does,” a Republican briefed on the donor conversations told me. Another source told me DeSantis’ calculus is that, at age 44, he can easily wait until the next presidential cycle, so why risk a brutal primary fight against a pugilist like Trump? “He can walk into the presidency in 2028 without pissing off Trump or Florida,” the source said. “What would you rather do? Be the Governor of Florida for certain or go run for President?”

Crist rallies support at ‘Choose Freedom’ tour stop in Wilton Manors” via CBS Miami — With less than a week to go until Election Day, Crist is crisscrossing the state to rally support and votes. On Wednesday morning, Crist brought his “Choose Freedom Bus Tour” to the LGBT Victory Center Wilton Manors where he was joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Linda Thompson Gonzalez, a candidate for House District 93. Crist was met by dozens of voters out on the street waving signs of support.

FDP puts $155K into Crist ads The Florida Democratic Party has put $154,398 into broadcast and cable ads supporting Crist for Governor. The buys include $89,220 in broadcast ads that will air through Election Day in the Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach media markets. The other $65,178 was spent on a cable flight that will also run through Election Day in the Tampa and Orlando markets. It will place ads on Bravo, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Food Network, Fox News, Hallmark, HGTV, History, Investigation Discovery, MSNBC, Oxygen, TBS, TLC and TNT.

New Crist ad highlights the support of women ‘across the aisle’ — Crist released a new ad featuring Florida women from across the aisle who are backing Charlie in the race for Governor over DeSantis. “Across the Aisle,” will run in media markets across the state today as part of a seven-figure buy. The 30-second spot features three different Florida women — registered Democrat, Independent, and Republican — blasting DeSantis for the “extremist abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest” while lauding Crist for his commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose.

To watch the ad, please click on the image below:

Demings books $78K broadcast flight Demings’ U.S. Senate campaign has booked another round of broadcast ads. According to AdImpact, the $78,485 flight starts today and runs through Election Day in the Tampa, West Palm Beach and Miami media markets. Demings has now spent about $31.8 million on advertising this cycle compared to about $25 million spent by incumbent Republican U.S. Sen Marco Rubio and the political committees supporting his re-election bid.

Assignment editors — Demings, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, Sen. Chris Murphy, gun violence prevention advocate Fred Guttenberg, Giffords Florida State Director Samantha Barrios, State Rep. and former Parkland Mayor Christine Hunchofsky will host a gun violence prevention event: 1 p.m., Coral Springs. Location upon RSVP at [email protected].


Republicans, eyeing majority, float changes to Social Security and Medicare” via Jim Tankersley of The New York Times — Biden and other Democrats have criticized a plan from Sen. Rick Scott, the Chair of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, who has proposed subjecting nearly all federal spending programs to a renewal vote every five years. That would make Medicare and Social Security more vulnerable to budget cuts. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said this year that a bill to sunset those programs every five years “will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda.” Still, the fact that key Republicans are openly broaching spending cuts to Social Security and Medicare — or declining to rule them out — is a break from Trump, who campaigned on a promise to leave the programs intact.

Rick Scott and Mitch McConnell are at odds at every turn.

Out-of-state money is flooding Midterm races — and drowning out local issues” via Bill Allison and Mark Niquette of Bloomberg — Nearly two-thirds of donations to U.S. Senate candidates in this election cycle have come from Senate candidates got 64.8% of their donations from givers outside their home states from January 2021 through Sept. 30, up from 53.6% over the same period in the run-up to the 2018 midterms, a Bloomberg News analysis of Federal Election Commission data shows. House campaigns saw outside money increase to 43.5% of their hauls, up from 36.8%. Far-flung donors play an especially outsize role in some of the closest Senate races on next week’s ballot. Partisan polarization has intensified since the ascendancies of Trump and national news media have displaced local outlets in voters’ information diets, leading many donors to deploy cash outside their home states to help their team put up more wins.

Marco Rubio drops $100K on cable ads — The Republican Party of Florida has booked a $99,608 cable flight supporting Rubio’s re-election campaign. According to AdImpact, the ads will run Friday through Monday in four media markets across the state. The spending directs $37,080 to the Miami market, $25,700 to the Tampa market, $22,940 to the Orlando market and $13,888 to the Jacksonville market. Specific networks were not listed in the buy alert.

An MTG ally takes on a moderate Jewish Democrat in CD 13” via Gabby Deutch of Jewish Insider — In the final days before Florida’s August primary election, Anna Paulina Luna hosted a free, open-to-the-public event with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who flew to Pinellas County to meet and energize voters. The firebrand first-term Congresswoman has faced condemnation from across the political spectrum for a series of remarks viewed as offensive by a wide swath of Jewish community leaders. Luna stood by Greene and argued that her past comments may have been taken out of context, and that her support for Israel suggests she is not antisemitic. Luna argued that she would not associate with someone who is antisemitic. Luna’s embrace of Greene and of conspiracy theories about 2020 election fraud set up a sharp contrast with her Democratic opponent, who is Jewish.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifts CD 23 from safe to likely Dem — Election prognosticator Sabato’s Crystal Ball has inched Florida’s 23rd Congressional District to the right, from “Safe Democratic” to “Likely Democratic.” CD 23 covers parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties and is the successor to the seat held by exiting Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch. Despite shifting its rating, Sabato called it “the most marginal of the seats left for Democrats following the state’s GOP gerrymander, and it still went for Joe Biden by 13 points, so it’s not really a swing seat.” It also referred to Democratic hopeful Jared Moskowitz as “a strong nominee,” adding that “this change really has little to do with the race itself; it’s just about wave potential, particularly in Florida.”

Nothing personal, Jared Moskowitz. It’s just the red wave talking.


Senate GOP hits ‘B.S. Express’ arrival in Tampa with ads targeting Janet Cruz, Eunic Ortiz” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics — The campaign arm of Senate Republicans is out with two new ads counterprogramming the arrival of Senate Democrats’ “Florida Freedom Tour” in the Tampa Bay area. The Florida Senate Victory bus tour, dubbed the “B.S. Express” by its Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee counterpart, hits Sen. Cruz and Democratic candidate Ortiz for their background or purported policy preferences. Cruz faces a challenge from Republican Jay Collins in Senate District 14 and Ortiz is competing against Rep. Nick DiCeglie for Senate District 18 to replace moderate Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes.

To watch one of the ads, please click the image below:

Senate District 10: Ad falsely claims Democrat seeks to ‘criminalize parents’” via Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel — A recent mailer from Florida Republicans falsely claims Democratic Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil, who is challenging Sen. Jason Brodeur, seeks to “criminalize parents opposed to gender transitions.” The ad, which was sent to households in Orange and Seminole counties, describes Goff-Marcil as a “scary radical” and includes an edited image of the lawmaker with a white mask covering her face. The ads were paid for by the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which runs campaigns for Republicans in the Florida Senate. Goff-Marcil’s Campaign Manager Isabelle Pierson said Tuesday the ad does not accurately describe the current Florida House member’s views.


Before DeSantis could say he kicked migrants out of Florida, he had to pay to fly them in” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times — Documents released this week by the aviation company that helped manage Florida’s $12 million migrant relocation program shed new light on behind-the-scenes dealings as the DeSantis administration, working with the politically connected vendor, wriggled around a requirement that Florida use the money to export Florida migrants — not those living in some other state. The records obtained by the Florida Center for Government Accountability show, among other revelations, that the president of Destin-based Vertol Systems Company, was not only on the plane when his company flew migrants out of Texas to Massachusetts on Sept. 14, but he and the Governor’s “public safety czar,” Larry Keefe, were intimately involved in the plan to justify using Florida funds for the Texas covert op.

DeSantis and the state attorney he ousted: Where the case stands now” via Sue Carlton and Dan Sullivan — As ousted Hillsborough prosecutor Andrew Warren and DeSantis prepare to square off in a Tallahassee courtroom court filings and judicial rulings are coming at a rapid pace. In the blizzard of legal pleadings questions loom: Will the Governor testify about why he removed the State Attorney? Has the judge signaled what he’s thinking? And if Warren gets reinstated, what happens next? A central issue is the Governor’s motivation. DeSantis said he suspended the twice-elected state attorney because Warren signed pledges against prosecuting abortion and transgender health care cases and because of his policies against pursuing certain misdemeanors.

Ron DeSantis versus Andrew Warren; where do they stand?

Ashley Moody wants higher state salaries for ‘top legal talent’” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — Moody’s Office is requesting $11.2 million next year to boost the salaries and benefits of lawyers representing the state to help “recruit and retain high-quality legal talent.” The issue was raised in the Department of Legal Affairs’ legislative budget request, which was released last month and amended Tuesday. The request says the office competes with local and federal offices as well as the private sector, and areas of law requiring highly specialized expertise make it more difficult to recruit and retain talented lawyers in those fields.

Florida’s seniors lead nation in COVID-19 deaths since April 2021; population can’t explain it” via Chris Persaud of The Palm Beach Post — As far as Joanne Tinsley is concerned, her 87-year-old father, Raymond Barber, did not have to die of COVID-19. A retired engineer, he regularly wrote code on his computer at a nursing home where he lived in Poinciana, about halfway between Orlando and Lakeland, Tinsley said. Then in December 2021 he fell ill and had to be hospitalized. After he left the hospital, she said, he was put in a crowded rehabilitation facility to recover in St. Cloud, where he developed a cough and tested positive for respiratory disease. He was triple vaccinated but didn’t make it.


Debris removal pushes ahead toward ‘substantial completion’ by Thanksgiving in Collier County” via Laura Layden of the Fort Myers News-Press — The approach to removing the mountains of debris from Hurricane Ian will soon change in Naples — and elsewhere in Collier County. While the county-hired contractor initially zeroed in on heavily flooded areas, such as Gulf Shore Boulevard in the city, it will shortly shift to a routes and grid pattern for curbside collection. Construction and demolition debris has been the primary target, but with headway made on that front, piles of landscaping along the streets will start to get more attention and disappear. The collection of so-called “white goods,” or appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators, or water heaters, could take a bit longer.

Causeway repairs, utilities and more; Sanibel officials update public on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts” via Samantha Neely of the Fort Myers News-Press — As of Nov. 1, more than 1,000 Sanibel residents now have power restored in their homes since Hurricane Ian slammed the island on Sept. 28. This and other key information were shared Tuesday by Sanibel officials at a packed conference room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fort Myers. Referring to the past 34 days as a “paradigm shift,” City of Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza said Sanibel has experienced catastrophic damage and officials have been working around the clock to return it somewhat to normalcy. Throughout the efforts, he praised the efforts of the different departments working together. He reminded residents that this recovery will take a while.

Sanibel is making progress, slowly but surely.

CenturyLink, Comcast internet in SW Florida expected to be mostly restored in time for the holidays” via Luis Zambrano of the Fort Myers News-Press — CenturyLink and Comcast are looking to have internet predominantly restored in Southwest Florida in time for the holidays, according to company representatives. Other customers might still be without internet until early 2023. “By Christmas holidays, we are substantially restored,” said Martin Valence, vice president of Lumen Technologies. “If there’s something that goes beyond the holidays, it’s likely customers aren’t calling in and telling us their services were not restored.” Lumen Technologies, of which CenturyLink is a part, is 99% recovered but the company only sees up to 75% of the usual customers using their services based on usage data.

Hurricane Charley wrecked Punta Gorda. What the city did after may have saved it from the wrath of Ian.” via Dave Levitan of GRID — On the patio of the Celtic Ray, an Irish pub in the center of town, co-owner Kevin Doyle bounded out a door to say hello. The pub looked fine, all in one piece — despite Hurricane Ian and its 150-mile-per-hour winds barreling through three weeks before. Notably, it looked far better than the last time such a storm laid waste to this part of the Florida Gulf Coast, in 2004. “Hurricane Charley saved us from Hurricane Ian,” Doyle said, grinning.


Fed approves fourth 0.75-point rate rise, hints at smaller hikes” via Nick Timiraos of The Wall Street Journal — The Federal Reserve lifted interest rates by 0.75 percentage points to combat inflation and signaled plans to keep raising them, though possibly in smaller increments. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would consider slowing the pace of rate rises to a smaller half-point increment at its next meeting in December, but he said the Fed hadn’t decided to do that. At the same time, he cautioned that the central bank was likely to ultimately raise interest rates to higher levels than policymakers had anticipated in September. “The question of when to moderate the pace of increases is now much less important than the question of how high to raise rates and how long to keep monetary policy restrictive,” Powell said at a news conference.

Biden officials admit there’s still a problem getting baby formula to shelves” via Meredith Lee Hill of POLITICO — Biden administration officials are still grappling with baby formula supply challenges across the country, eight months after a key formula plant shuttered and sparked widespread shortages. Stores are still unevenly stocked as the amount of formula on the market overall has rebounded. The officials in charge of the response blame hoarding, supply chain bottlenecks, and manufacturers making fewer varieties. “I know that there’s obviously still a problem,” said Stacy Dean, who oversees the Agriculture Department’s federal nutrition program for low-income moms and babies that pays for more than half of the formula consumed in the U.S.

Baby formula shortages are still a problem in the U.S.

Biden ponders marijuana moves as states forge ahead” via Lauren Clason and Sandhya Raman of Roll Call — Five states will vote next week on whether to join the 21 states and territories that have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. But the federal government is still stuck on whether to remove the plant from Schedule I of the federal drug code — a category reserved for highly addictive substances with no medical benefit. The Biden administration’s Oct. 6 announcement that it would revisit that classification comes after previous, years-long reviews of marijuana’s categorization fell flat, and experts are split on whether things might be different this time. The U.S. policy debate is largely centered on the question of whether more research is needed on potential benefits and harms — particularly around potency — since the market is awash in so many different products.

White House deletes tweet giving Biden credit for Social Security increases” via Brett Samuels of The Hill — The White House deleted a tweet touting an increase in Social Security checks for seniors after numerous observers pointed out the raise was a result of high inflation. “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” the White House tweeted. Twitter later added context below the tweet noting that the increase was due to the annual cost of living adjustment as part of a 1972 law that tied automatic benefit adjustments to the consumer price index, a key marker of inflation. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the tweet was incomplete. “Usually when we put out a tweet we post it with context, and it did not have that context,” Jean-Pierre said.

Top Democrat grills Capitol Police about lawmaker protection after Pelosi attack” via Luke Broadwater of The New York Times — In a lengthy letter that included a litany of concerns about how the Capitol Police manage threats to lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and chair of the Administration Committee, questioned several of the department’s policies and practices, including an apparent decision to turn down an invitation from the FBI for some of its officers to join terrorism task forces that investigate threats against members of Congress. “The department has previously reported to the committee that the Speaker receives the most threats of any member of Congress,” Lofgren wrote to Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, asking why his department had not extended “coverage to the spouses and/or other family members of the congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession.”

Zoe Lofgren wants answers on how the Paul Pelosi attack could happen.

Florida Republicans prod FDA on Canadian drug imports — Rubio and three other Republicans representing Florida in Congress sent a letter to FDA asking for an update on the state’s application to import Canadian prescription drugs, Arek Sarkissian of POLITICO Florida reports. The prescription drug import plan is a DeSantis priority, and the state finalized its application in late 2020, but no action has been taken since. “This situation is particularly frustrating as information has come to light that the FDA is actively working with other states on developing their (Section 804 Importation Program) proposals while Florida’s program remains stalled,” said the letter, which was addressed to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.

An unusual argument for affirmative action: national security” via Mark Satter of Roll Call — The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling whether to toss a 19-year-old precedent that has allowed schools to consider race as one of the multiple factors in admissions, and justices are expected to issue a ruling before the end of the term in June that could upend admissions policies nationwide. But the federal government, represented by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, argued that so-called affirmative action policies have an impact on military readiness and that ending them could have downstream effects on the cohesion of the nation’s armed forces. Should the court curtail affirmative action policies, the government is concerned that diversity in service academies and university-based officer training programs will decline as fewer minorities enter universities and the officer corps.


Trump 2024 campaign prepares for post-midterms launch” via The Associated Press — As he played to a crowd of supporters in Robstown, Texas, Trump drew cheers as he talked up his first two runs for the White House and teased a third. “In order to make our country successful, safe and glorious again, I will probably have to do it again,” he said last month. That carefully placed “probably” may soon be gone from Trump’s stump speech. Aides to Trump are making quiet preparations for a 2024 Presidential campaign that could be launched soon after next week’s midterm elections as Trump tries to capitalize on expected Republican wins to propel himself toward becoming the front-runner for his party’s nomination.

Trump aims to seize credit for GOP Midterm rout” via Brett Samuels of The Hill — Trump is setting himself up to take credit for Republican Midterm victories next week as he eyes the announcement of a possible 2024 re-election bid before the end of the year. Trump is holding rallies over the next week in Iowa, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The effort is designed to put him in the public eye in the final stretches of the Midterms and preserve the ability for him to take the credit if candidates he’s backed come out strong. There is a risk to the approach, as many of Trump’s favorites are not guaranteed success. Losses in various races could put a blemish on the Trump record, and if Republicans fail to win the Senate, many will blame Trump.

Donald Trump is ready to crow. But first, he needs something to crow about.

Trump lawyers saw Justice Clarence Thomas as ‘only chance’ to stop 2020 Election certification” via Kyle Cheney, Josh Gerstein, and Nicholas Wu of POLITICO — Trump’s attorneys saw a direct appeal to Justice Thomas as their best hope of derailing Biden’s win in the 2020 Presidential Election. “We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit justice opinion saying Georgia is in legitimate doubt,” Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a Dec. 31, 2020, email to Trump’s legal team. Chesebro contended that Thomas would be “our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress.”

Trump lawyer expressed worry over false claims of election fraud” via Luke Broadwater of The New York Times — John Eastman, who was an architect of a plan to keep Trump in office, warned in late December 2020 that if Trump falsely swore to the courts that he had specific evidence of voter fraud in Georgia, both the President and his lawyers could face prosecution. The warning came at a time when some members of Trump’s legal team were pushing for him to sign a verification document swearing under oath that information in a Georgia lawsuit he filed challenging the results of the 2020 election was true, even though his lawyers were aware the specific allegations were false. But Trump ultimately did sign a new verification, which a federal judge in California has said could be evidence of a crime.

Make Trump pay $1M-plus in sanctions over lawsuit, Hillary Clinton, other Democrats ask judge” via Jane Musgrave of the Palm Beach Post — Clinton and other Democrats are seeking more than $1 million in sanctions against Trump for filing a racketeering lawsuit against them that a federal judge blasted as a “200-page political manifesto” that lacked any legal foundation. In a 32-page motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, attorneys for Clinton said Trump should be forced to pay the legal expenses she and others incurred after he accused them of conspiring to spur the investigation into whether he colluded with Russia. Quoting U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrook’s blistering September decision to dismiss the suit, Clinton’s attorneys said Trump pursued the legal action, knowing it was riddled with factual misrepresentations and flawed legal theories.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

Parkland school shooter sentenced to life in prison” via Rafael Olmeda and Shira Moolten of the Orlando Sentinel — For the 17 who lost their lives, the gunman was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. For the 17 whose flesh was torn by powerful bullets fired from an AR-15-style rifle but somehow managed to survive, the gunman was sentenced to life in prison under the state’s 10-20-life statute. The sentences are to be served consecutively, a symbolic gesture. The defendant, Nikolas Cruz will never see the light of day as a free man again.

Done and done: Nikolas Cruz gets life — 17 times over.

Miami-Dade Mayor scraps monorail plan. Now pushing for Metromover extension to beach” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald — Miami-Dade County will scrap the proposed $1.3 billion plan for a monorail line to Miami Beach and invite companies to bid on a Metromover extension over Biscayne Bay, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Wednesday. A Metromover extension was estimated to cost roughly the same as a monorail in a county-funded 2019 study, so it’s not clear why the new transit plan over the MacArthur Causeway is more feasible than the one Levine Cava inherited when she took office in 2020. The previous Mayor, Carlos Giménez, negotiated a preliminary deal with casino company Genting for a privately operated monorail line between the firm’s waterfront Miami property and South Beach.

Miami-Dade Commission OKs project that critics say threatens Everglades restoration” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald — Developers secured enough votes Tuesday to expand Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary to turn farmland into a new commercial complex near Homestead, setting up a potential veto by Levine Cava. The 8-4 vote came after Commissioner Raquel Regalado dropped her opposition to the South Dade Logistics and Technology District, a proposed 380-acre mix of warehouses, call centers and other commercial uses south of Florida’s Turnpike and north of Moody Drive (Southwest 268th Street). The project drew opposition from environmental groups, farming advocates, environmental regulators, and Rubio, a Republican from West Miami, for its potential to interfere with a federal Everglades restoration project.

Police officers and young men of color come together at this Miami Gardens event” via C. Isaiah Smalls II of the Miami Herald — Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is delighted. More than 600 students of color, all dressed in starched, white-collared shirts and red ties, are sitting among 200 police officers at Hard Rock Stadium. The students are from everywhere — North Miami Senior High, William H. Turner Technical Arts High, Booker T. Washington Senior High — and are there to learn one thing: how to safely interact with police. “We have saved so many young men because they don’t know,” Wilson said. She referenced the pamphlet that was handed out to the students. Inside were explanations of suspicious behavior, rights and a step-by-step list of what should be done after being pulled over.

‘A great year’: Sea turtle nesting season was among most active on record for Palm Beach County” via Julius Whigham II of the Palm Beach Post — 2022 was one of the most active sea turtle nesting seasons on record for northern and southern Palm Beach County, local marine wildlife observers reported as the nesting season came to a close Monday. Observers added that the number of eggs hatching this year was lower than a year ago due largely to a hot, dry summer that saw numerous consecutive days in the 90s. But overall, scientists were upbeat about the year’s big jump in the number of sea turtles nesting. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach reported the third-highest total on record for the 9.5 miles of beach it monitors in northern Palm Beach County.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Joel Greenberg associate’s Bahamas cruise violated release terms, judge rules” via Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — A federal magistrate ordered that Keith Ingersoll, an associate of former Seminole County Tax Collector Greenberg, be detained for violating the conditions of his pre-sentencing release by boarding a cruise ship to the Bahamas last month, just days after he pleaded guilty to taking part in a real estate scheme that bilked an investor of millions of dollars. Ingersoll was arrested early Monday and he is currently being held at the Orange County Jail. Ingersoll pleaded guilty in federal court Oct. 19 to two charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one charge of wire fraud, one charge of attempted fraud and a charge of aggravated identity theft.

Appeal court stands by ruling against Orange rent-cap vote, won’t rehear arguments” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — An appeals court in Daytona Beach on Wednesday decided against rehearing arguments from lawyers for Orange County government who hoped to persuade the three-judge panel to let voters decide a proposed rent-cap ordinance on the Nov. 8 ballot. In a 2-1 decision last week, the panel reversed a lower court’s ruling keeping the disputed measure on the ballot. The county didn’t say whether it would appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. The case now heads back to Orlando where Circuit Judge Jeff Ashton has scheduled a conference Thursday with county lawyers and lawyers from Shutts & Bowen, who argued against the rent cap on behalf of landlord groups the Florida Realtors and Florida Apartment Association.

A move toward rent control in Orange County is having a tough time.

Florida Realtors supported a plan to spend less money building rental housing. Now they’re fighting rent control.” via Jason Garcia of Seeking Rents — One of the elections in Florida is in Orange County on whether to impose one year of rent control. The Florida Apartment Association spent more than $200,000 opposing the referendum. Florida Realtors spent even more. The Realtors’ opposition is especially disingenuous. In some of its advertising, the group has blasted rent control as a poor alternative to “real solutions” — like fully funding the state’s affordable housing programs and building more affordable housing units. This is the same organization that, just a few months ago, lobbied to take money away from one of those same housing programs — a program that helps build more affordable apartments around the state.

Altamonte Springs candidates: Smart growth, easing traffic congestion among top issues” via Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — Voters in Altamonte Springs — a city with roughly 44,000 residents and one of the busiest commercial districts in Seminole County — will elect two new City Commissioners on Nov. 8. The five candidates include Michael Brunscheen, Guerdy Remy and Jeffrey Rhodes who are vying for the District 2 seat. Bob O’Malley and Dominique Brown Douglas are competing for the District 4 seat. Commissioners Lucius Cushman of District 2 and Jon Batman of District 4 are not seeking new terms. The city’s four Commissioners are nonpartisan and elected citywide for two-year terms. They must, however, live within their districts. Nestled in south Seminole and only 9 square miles, Altamonte Springs has a total property tax value of nearly $4 billion.

Hillsborough balks at honorary pitch from ‘unelected, temporary’ state attorney” via C.T. Bowen of the Tampa Bay Times — The dispute over removing Hillsborough County prosecutor Warren from office spilled into the County Commission chambers Wednesday when the board unanimously delayed a request from Warren’s successor to honor a former colleague. Hillsborough County State Attorney Susan Lopez had sought Commission permission to rename a conference room in a county courthouse after former Chief Assistant State Attorney Michael Sinacore. But Commissioner Mariella Smith, a Democrat, as is Warren, said the item shouldn’t be considered until there is an “elected, permanent” state attorney holding office.

Inverness officials criticized over ‘Cooterween’ contest winner depicting a Mexican jumping a wall” via Mike Wright of Florida Politics — Residents reacting to the Inverness “Cooterween” costume contest were not amused to learn one winner depicted a Mexican climbing over a wall while being detained by a border agent. “Can y’all explain why that costume was first place?” one Facebook comment states. “Some of us are not seeing the originality, effort or humor in it.” Cooterween is the city’s annual Halloween celebration. For years it was on a Sunday, the wrap to the three-day Great American Cooter Festival, named for the hand-size turtles that are found in area lakes.


Civil rights groups urge better access to polls for Lee County communities of color” via Bill Smith of the Fort Myers News-Press — A coalition of voter rights groups is asking for more access to the ballot box for residents in Lee County communities of color to cast their votes. The number of polling places in the county was reduced from nearly 90 to a dozen, the result of destruction brought by Hurricane Ian’s sweep across Lee County. In a letter to Lee County Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle, the voting rights groups said Tuesday that an analysis of voter residency and the location of the dozen polling places planned for Election Day balloting across the county would likely deny residents of minority neighborhoods “equitable access to vote.”

Voting gets a major stress test in areas ravaged by Hurricane Ian.

‘Dirty pool’: Collier School Board candidate says she’s the victim of a smear campaign” via Kate Cimini of the Naples Daily News — Who is that masked man? Collier County School Board member Jen Mitchell has been asking herself that for days. She says she’s been the subject of a smear campaign while running for re-election, one designed to make people think she’s a progressive liberal. Mitchell, a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool conservative, has been photographed with Gov. DeSantis in recent weeks after Hurricane Ian slammed into Southwest Florida. She, however, was not endorsed by the Collier County Republican Executive Committee or by DeSantis. DeSantis did not endorse anyone running for School Board in Collier County but the Collier County Republican Executive Committee did.

Alexandra Coe, Nancy M.H. Simpson in Charter Review Board District 1 race; Jack Miller, Ray Porter vie for District 4” via Anne Sanbes of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Sarasota County residents will choose three members of the county’s Charter Review Board in the Nov. 8 General Election. The 10-person board reviews and suggests changes to the Sarasota County Charter, which is akin to a constitution for local government. The board only meets a few times a year. Typically, a low-profile elected body, the Charter Review Board attracted attention last fall when it was slated to discuss the county’s single-member district system of electing County Commissioners. After hearing feedback from numerous residents, the board decided not to challenge the system. Six seats on the board are up for election this year, but only three of those involved competing candidates.

Sarasota man tried to fraudulently donate $3M to ESPN’s Dick Vitale for cancer research” via Melissa Pérez-Carrillo of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has charged a suspect after he attempted to fraudulently buy two pieces of property and a Rolls-Royce for $23 million in two days, detectives say. Robert Schnepf, 48, posed as Robert Banagino to a Realtor while trying to fraudulently purchase two homes and a Rolls-Royce between Oct. 27-28, Sheriff’s officials said. He claimed he had $127 million in his bank account and even tried to fraudulently donate $3 million to a cancer research foundation through ESPN analyst Vitale. On Oct. 26, a woman received communication from a man who identified himself as Robert Banagino requesting to hire her as a Realtor.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Jacksonville’s City Council won’t try to comply with the Voting Rights Act in court-ordered redistricting” via Andrew Pantazi of The Tributary — The Jacksonville City Council will not try to follow the Voting Rights Act in its proposed district maps, a city lawyer and council members announced. For nearly a year, citizens, plaintiffs and experts have urged the council to conduct voting-rights analyses to determine if the city needed to take race into account to comply with federal law. On Tuesday, General Counsel Jason Teal told the council’s redistricting committee there was not enough time to do so. Council members advanced two maps that will likely further Republican gains on the council, even as council members said they wanted to avoid partisan or racial gerrymandering.

Griff Griffitts says goodbye to the Bay County Commission” via Jake Holter of My Panhandle — After serving over six years on the Bay County Commission, Griffitts attended his last meeting Tuesday. In August, Griffitts was elected to represent District 6 in the state Legislature. He said when he was first elected, he never could have imagined dealing with a Category 5 hurricane, a pandemic, and a major wildfire. Griffitts said one of his toughest decisions was voting to close the beach during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I really wish I could have got universal trash on the beach,” Griffitts said.

Griff Griffitts bids the Bay County Commission farewell.

Pensacola named No. 3 best place to retire in the U.S. What makes us stand out?” via the Pensacola News Journal — U.S. News & World Report named Pensacola the third best place in the nation to retire. The list, released Tuesday, was created after analyzing 150 metro areas in the U.S. to find the best places to live based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there. Pensacola was No. 44 on the Best Place to Live list, No. 6 on Best Places to Live in Florida and No. 17 on Safest Places to Live.


I’m Marco Rubio: This is why I want Florida’s vote in the midterm election” via Fox News — Every crisis we face right now as a country — every single problem hurting working-class families nationwide — is driven by a dangerous agenda pushed by a far-left party that is completely detached from the lives of most Americans.

Laptop liberals and Marxist misfits run this party. These privileged Democrats in blue enclaves like Manhattan or Los Angeles never went back to the office after the pandemic; they work from home in their pajamas binge-watching MSNBC. They care more about your children learning the proper use of pronouns than they do that you cannot pay your bills because everything costs more.

That’s exactly who my opponent Demings has been representing in Washington.

If Demings wins, Chuck Schumer knows he’ll get a 51st Senator to rubber stamp the rest of the Democrats’ radical agenda, no questions asked.

When we win, there are three things Republicans need to do.

We need to stop the Democrats in their tracks. We do that by flipping the House and the Senate so that the radical left doesn’t have the votes they need to get their legislation to Biden’s desk.

After that, we need to deliver results for the American people. Floridians can trust that I will get things done for them in this next Congress because they’ve seen the positive impacts of my work in their lives and in their communities.

Finally, we need to hold people accountable for using sacred American institutions to achieve political ends.

But we can’t do all of that if we don’t show up on Nov. 8 and make the choice to turn our country around. The choice to embrace normal over crazy. And the choice in favor of a record of results over a record of failure.

My parents lost their country to radicals. I’m not going to let us lose ours.


For the good of the country, Biden and Kamala Harris should bow out of the 2024 election” via George F. Will of The Washington Post — During this autumn’s avalanche of political news, an enormous boulder bounced by, barely noticed. It demonstrated why Biden should not seek another term. Democrats should promptly face that fact, and this one: An Everest of evidence shows that Harris is starkly unqualified to be considered as his successor. Biden is not just past his prime; even adequacy is in his past. And this is Harris’s prime. In 2024, the Republican Party might present the nation with a presidential nominee whose unfitness has been demonstrated. After next Tuesday’s sobering election results, Democrats should resolve not to insult and imperil the nation by doing likewise.

DeSantis causes political stir at Luke Bryan’s Florida concert. So what?” via the Miami Herald editorial board — Music and politics, at times, have collided or complemented each other. They did so again over the weekend, and DeSantis was in the middle of it as the country music played in Jacksonville. It was another example of how popular he is — and isn’t. It was over DeSantis appearing onstage at Bryan’s concert in Jacksonville. The singer is one of country music’s biggest stars and a current “American Idol” judge. Bryan is defending his decision to invite DeSantis onstage during his Friday night concert. DeSantis was there to raise money for victims of Hurricane Ian, which decimated parts of Southwest Florida in late September.


— ALOE —

Carl Hiaasen, Florida crime satirist and retired columnist, will speak at Tiger Bay event” via Mark Harper of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — In books and newspaper columns for decades, Hiaasen has offered up his unvarnished opinions about the state he loves and the characters who make Florida. Hiaasen, the bestselling author and retired Miami Herald columnist, will be speaking at an event in Daytona Beach on Nov. 9, the day after — it’s worth noting — the Midterm Election. He will be the featured speaker at the Tiger Bay Club of Volusia County annual meeting. The event starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Jim W. Henderson Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 Clyde Morris Blvd. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and Hiaasen’s remarks will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Carl Hiaasen brings his brand of sharp wit to post-election Daytona Beach.

Disney’s live-action ‘Hercules’ will be ‘more experimental’ and inspired by TikTok” via Adam B. Vary of Variety — Whereas many of Disney’s recent live-action remakes have been faulted for sticking too closely to the source material, producer Joe Russo says “Hercules” will be “a little bit more experimental in tone, a little bit more experimental in execution.” As was the case for all of Disney’s animated films in the 1990s, Hercules was also a musical, largely sung by a quintet of Black women serving as a Greek chorus. The live-action “Hercules” will also be a musical — and share the original’s unconventional approach. “Audiences today have been trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks like and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit on how you execute a modern musical,” Russo says.


Happy birthday to Rep. Susan Valdes, former Rep. Delores Hogan Johnson, Clay Barker, outgoing UF President Ken Fuchs, Nicole Kelly of The Southern Group, Capital City Consulting’s Kenny Granger, and former Sen. Jack Latvala.


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, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

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