Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.11.23

Sunburn Orange Tally (4)
Your morning review of the issues and players behind Florida politics.

Good Thursday morning.

Happy top o’ the ‘burn birthday wishes to Sarah Suskey’s lesser half, Alan.

Happy birthday to Alan Suskey, celebrating another trip around the sun.


I also want to congratulate the many new moms who will be celebrating their first Mother’s Day this weekend. Happy first Mother’s Day to, among others, our dear friend Samantha Sexton Greer and one of my favorites, Kelsey Deasy of Bascom Communications, who recently welcomed her first daughter, Quinn Evelyn Deasy.

Welcome to the world Quinn Evelyn Deasy, who has not yet had a trip around the sun.


The Florida Chamber’s Leadership Conference on Safety, Health and Sustainability kicks off this morning in Orlando.

The event focuses on business strategies to improve occupational safety and health throughout the state.

Keynote speakers slotted for the event include RSE Ventures CEO Matt Higgins, communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, U.S. Special Operations Command Cdr. Richard Clarke (Ret.), Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin, GuideWell & Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty, and Chris and Nik Nikic of Team Nikic and Sales Optimizer, respectively.

Florida Chamber’s Leadership Conference on Safety, Health and Sustainability will provide business strategies to improve occupational safety and health.

The conference will also feature more than 20 breakout sessions across four tracks — Safety, Health, Sustainability and Leadership. Topics include the intersection of health, safety and criminal law; how to build a “safety culture;” and how to create connectivity in a divided world.

The conference comes days after the Chamber announced it had hired Robert ‘Navy Bob’ Roncska as the senior vice president of the Florida Chamber Health Council and tasked him with leading a coordinated, business-led health initiative to develop local behavioral health systems, help funders of care implement best practices and create a model of business-led mental well-being outcomes that can be replicated nationally.

During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet Roncska and discuss the Chamber’s initiative.


Government relations and public affairs firm Converge Public Strategies is launching a new transportation-focused practice.

Converge: Transport will be co-chaired by Ron Bilbao and Mike Daley, both of whom are seasoned leaders in government relations, technology and transportation.

The practice will focus on helping clients navigate government to solve complex problems in the mobility, transportation and logistics sectors.

Converge said Bilbao, a 15-year government relations veteran and former tech executive, and Daley, a former Barack Obama administration official at the U.S. Department of Transportation, bring “valuable perspective and experience that is critical for success in today’s tech-business-government environment.”

Ron Bilbao and Mike Daley are tasked with chairing Converge: Transport.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of Converge: Transport,” said Jonathan Kilman, the founder and CEO of Converge Public Strategies. “This practice is the result of our firm’s continued growth in the transportation and mobility innovation sectors and our commitment to providing clients with the best public-private leadership experience.”

Converge Public Strategies has represented several major companies in the transportation and mobility industries, such as Cruise, Lyft, Spin, Lime, Helbiz, Revel, REEF, CoCo, Replica, Alto, Starsky Robotics, and Firefly.

Converge announced the new venture at the premier national mobility conference, CoMotion MIAMI.

CoMotion founder and CEO John Rossant said, “Converge: Transport is really the culmination of the firm’s consistent role as a top player at the intersection of government, transportation and mobility. I look forward to working with them as they champion innovative solutions.”


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@BrookeBarnesNYT: In side eye to Florida, (Bob) Iger says that Disney is “evaluating where it makes the most sense to direct future investments” for theme park expansion

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@BryanDGriffin: After Hurricane Ian, @GovRonDeSantis restored damaged bridges in record time. “I said: no red tape, no bureaucracy, no excuses. I want those bridges back up.” Today he offered this same team and attitude to help the feds complete the border wall.

@EddieSpier: I just found out that the full Florida Senate did not confirm me as a Trustee of New College of Florida. While the reasoning given to me was that I ruffled some feathers in the Senate, I don’t believe that for one second. I am sure that I did ruffle some feathers, but not enough to overcome a supermajority in the Senate. I am confident it was @richardcorcoran working with his political allies to block me. It is easy to see why. I was resistant to being “handled and managed.” I pushed to operate as an independent board. I was also very involved on campus, meeting with as many students, faculty, and staff on a daily basis. This meddling proved too much, even though most of our political and educational views align.

@EC_Leninger: Right now, the @NewCollegeofFL faculty are trying to reconcile between (Christopher) Rufo’s “all non-mission-aligned people please self-select out and you don’t deserve a raise for your failures” tweets and Corcoran’s “please don’t leave, give us another year, raises are coming” emails

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Special Election in House District 24 — 5; Florida TaxWatch’s Spring Meeting — 6; ‘Fast X’ premieres — 8; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres at Cannes — 9; Florida Chamber 2023 Florida Prosperity & Economic Opportunity Solution Summit — 14; NBA Finals begin — 21; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 21; DeSantis to speak at 2023 NCGOP State Convention — 29; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 36; DeSantis to headline Nevada PAC’s annual basque fry — 37; ‘Secret Invasion’ premieres on Disney+ — 41; ‘The Bear’ returns to Hulu — 42; Florida Chamber 2023 Florida Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit — 47; ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ premieres — 50; ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One’ premieres — 64; Florida Chamber 37th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School — 70; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 75; ’Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 82; Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ tour in Tampa — 96; Florida House Fall 2023 Interim Committee Meetings begin — 130; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 165; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 179; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 194; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 243; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 260; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 274; Georgia Democratic Primary — 279; Michigan Democratic Primary — 291; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 302; 2024 Oscars — 304; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 324; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 379; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 442; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 442; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 475; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 488; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 549; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 695; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 722; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 911.


Bob Iger says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fight with Disney is about ‘one thing’: Retaliation” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — “This is about one thing and one thing only, and that’s retaliating against us for taking a position about pending legislation,” Iger said when asked about the fight against Florida lawmakers during the company’s earnings call. “This is not about special privileges or a level playing field or Disney in any way using its leverage around the state of Florida.”

Bob Iger says the feud with Ron DeSantis can be summed up in a single word.

But Disney’s feud with DeSantis doesn’t appear to have hurt Disney theme parks’ popularity, which are bright spots for the company’s finances. The second quarter operating income increased 23% to $2.2 billion in the company’s parks, products and experiences division compared to last year.

Iger argued the state targeted the Reedy Creek Improvement District and ignored the other 2,000 special districts, like The Villages and the Daytona Speedway, that are set up around the state after Disney spoke out last year against the Parental Rights in Education law, known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Today, Walt Disney World Resort employs more than 75,000 people, is one of the biggest tourism attractions in the world and paid more than $1.1 billion in state and local taxes last year. Disney is planning to invest $17 billion in Florida over the next decade, Iger said, which led him to ask one question: “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes or not?”


Florida will reject Medicaid coverage for immigrants” via Christine Sexton of Florida Politics — The Joe Biden administration is making Medicaid available for nearly 580,000 people who came to the United States as children but can’t otherwise qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status. But Florida won’t be taking advantage of the option that was announced in April. In fact, DeSantis’ administration is doubling down on its opposition. DeSantis made clear at a Jacksonville news conference Wednesday that he has no intention of tapping into the program. He made the comments after he signed SB 1718, a sweeping immigration bill that essentially bans Florida counties from issuing identification cards or other documents to individuals who do not provide proof of lawful presence in the United States.

Ron DeSantis doubles down on denying Medicaid coverage for immigrants.

DeSantis accuses Joe Biden of bowing to border cartels while ‘sitting around doing nothing’” via Anders Hagstrom of Fox News — DeSantis blasted Biden for his handling of the U.S. border crisis Wednesday, declaring that drug cartels have more say on the border than the U.S. government while Biden “sits around doing nothing.” He accused Biden of dereliction of duty regarding both illegal immigration and the smuggling of drugs like fentanyl across the U.S. border. “The U.S. is supposed to be the world’s leading superpower, and yet we can’t even maintain control of our own Southern border?” DeSantis said. “The Mexican drug cartels have more to say about what goes on at the Southern border than our own U.S. government does.”

DeSantis set to relaunch migrant flight program with 3 new vendors” via Ana Ceballos and Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald — DeSantis’ administration has selected three companies to carry out its expanded, multimillion-dollar program to relocate migrants anywhere in the country, less than a year after the Governor sent 49 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The program, which could start as soon as contracts are finalized, will involve an undetermined number of migrants and could last until June 30, 2025, unless a contract is terminated, state records show.

DeSantis gives update on 2024: ‘I may have something to say…’” via Eric Daugherty of Florida’s Voice — DeSantis was asked about the 2024 presidential landscape at an anti-illegal immigration bill signing Wednesday. Responding to a reporter’s question, the Governor said he’s been “pretty busy” with bill signings, before and after the conclusion of the Florida Legislature’s Session. “I know there’s different stuff in the news, but we’ve been busy,” he said. “On Monday, sticking it to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] so they’re not buying land in Florida.” “Yesterday we did the biggest increase in pay for teachers, but we also protected them against mandatory deduction from school unions, more money in their paycheck,” he said.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: DeSantis invited me to breakfast, said he wanted to burn the NIH ‘to the ground’” via David Weigel and Shelby Talcott of Semafor — DeSantis told vaccine skeptic Kennedy that he wanted to “burn” the National Institutes of Health “to the ground.“ In a May 9 conversation with actor Russell Brand, Kennedy said that DeSantis invited him to breakfast during the COVID-19 pandemic, to discuss what Kennedy described as his “science-based response” to the crisis. “We talked about him possibly running for the presidency, and I said, how will you handle the NIH?” Kennedy told Brand, whose talk show has more than 1.1 million subscribers on the YouTube alternative Rumble. “And he said: ‘I’ll burn it to the ground.’ You know, I understand the impulse. But I think I can have a more surgical impact on these agencies.”

Steve Schwarzman holds off giving money to DeSantis after meeting him” via Nancy Cook of Bloomberg — Schwarzman, a Republican megadonor, went to Tallahassee in the last few weeks to visit the Governor and assess his national standing, according to people briefed on the matter. The billionaire co-founder of Blackstone Inc. is currently withholding support for anyone within the GOP field, said the people. The decision highlights the challenges DeSantis faces as big-name donors grow increasingly concerned about whether he has the skills to supplant Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. DeSantis’s standing in most polls has nose-dived just as he inches closer to a long-expected presidential announcement.


DeSantis signs immigration crackdown as Biden prepares to end Title 42” via Matt Dixon of NBC News — DeSantis signed a sweeping immigration overhaul bill Wednesday, a move that comes weeks ahead of an anticipated run for President and just a day before Biden’s administration plans to end Title 42, a pandemic-era immigration policy that makes it easier to expel migrants. DeSantis has long used immigration to attack Biden, with whom he has openly sparred for nearly two years as his national ambitions have risen. “We are bracing for some turbulent times ahead,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “When you have a President that has turned a blind eye to the border … when you have that, you are likely to see it get a lot worse.”

The nation braces for the end of Title 42. Image via AP.

National free-market Hispanic advocacy group slams new immigration law” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — The Governor’s Latino support pushed Miami-Dade County into the red column for the first time in 20 years, but one national Hispanic advocacy group warns that the newly minted immigration law is no way to keep winning. The Hispanic Leadership Fund champions free-market economic policies, agreeing with DeSantis on school choice, the need for fossil fuel production and business freedoms, but their president and CEO, felt compelled to speak out when the Governor signed the immigration bill (SB 1718) into law Wednesday. The law, Mario Lopez said, “has a very serious potential to promote racial profiling and infringe on the rights of not just immigrants, but American citizens and their families.”

Senate refuses to confirm one of DeSantis’ New College trustees” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The Senate refused to confirm one of DeSantis’ appointees at New College of Florida. That leaves any future for Eddie Speir on the board of trustees in doubt. Speir has courted controversy since his arrival, calling early for the firing of New College President Patricia Okker and all sitting faculty at the Sarasota university. The Senate closed the Legislative Session without taking up Speir’s confirmation, even as lawmakers confirmed six other recent appointments to New College’s board. Speir remains listed by the university as a member of the board of trustees.


Teachers unions are suing over DeSantis-championed legislation” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Just like Disney did last month; teacher and faculty unions have filed suit against the state for attacking their First Amendment rights. They are calling the legislation that limits unions’ ability to sign up members and collect dues an attempt to retaliate against them for speaking out. The suit asks the courts to stop the law from being enforced. DeSantis signed the legislation (SB 256) that spawned the lawsuit Tuesday, saying it would mean more take-home pay for public schoolteachers since it eliminates automatic payroll deductions for union dues. Union officials, however, noted that the bill does not touch other unions, those representing law enforcement, corrections and firefighters, which have supported the Governor.

Fred Hawkins, lone finalist for South Florida State College president, will leave Florida House” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — State Rep. Hawkins will leave the Florida House to lead South Florida State College. The St. Cloud Republican announced he had landed the job on social media. “Pages turn and new chapters begin. I am looking forward to becoming the next president of South Florida State College,” he said. “My time as an elected official has been a highlight of my life, especially serving in the Florida House.” Hawkins was named a sole finalist for the job a week after the start of a presidential search. That has become a bit of a trend since a new law kicked in that shields lists of college president applicants until finalists are named.

Fred Hawkins is exiting the House to lead South Florida State College.

Nick Primrose adds $45K in race for HD 18” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Former Florida Elections Commission Chair Primrose raised more than $45,000 for his House District 18 campaign last month, new campaign finance reports show. A former attorney for DeSantis, Primrose launched a campaign for state House in March, raising nearly $120,000 in his first month running for the seat currently held by Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, who terms out in 2024. He followed up with $17,720 in hard money fundraising last month, as well as $27,500 through his affiliated political committee, Friends of Nick Primrose.

Advertisement— STATEWIDE —

Here are the 34 social studies textbooks that Florida just rejected” via Thomas C. Tobin of the Tampa Bay Times — As it did last year with math textbooks, the Florida Department of Education on Tuesday announced that dozens of social studies textbooks landed on its “not recommended” list, while providing few details about why. The state “caught” and “fixed” dozens of other books to prevent “political indoctrination of children,” a representative for DeSantis said in a tweet. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said in a statement that the state seeks to approve books “that focus on historical facts and are free from inaccuracies or ideological rhetoric.”

The Class of COVID-19: This year’s seniors fell behind, missed traditions but are moving on” via Colleen Wixon of Treasure Coast Newspapers — They learned algebra while staring at a computer screen, then waited months before they could take the final state exam. They sometimes spent days in mandated quarantine, away from a teacher’s attention, because a classmate became sick. They made friends from behind masks, watched virtual pep rallies from their living rooms and tried to stay connected beyond their phones while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. Meet the Class of COVID-19. This year’s senior class has the unique distinction of spending its entire high school experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet the Class of COVID.

— SKED —

Happening today — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets: 8:30 a.m., Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami.

Happening today — The Board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., will meet: 10:30 a.m., Central time, Walton County Commission Chambers, 571 U.S. Highway 90 East, DeFuniak Springs.

— 2024 —

An outlier poll on Donald Trump vs. Biden that still informs” via Nate Cohn of The New York Times — The most recent ABC/Washington Post poll found Trump and DeSantis each leading Biden by seven percentage points, with Biden trailing among young people and struggling badly among nonwhite voters. Make no mistake: This survey is an outlier. But of all the cases over the last few years when an outlier has dominated the political discourse, this may be one of the more useful ones. For one, it may not be quite as much of an outlier as you might assume. Even if it is, it may nonetheless help readers internalize something that might have been hard to believe without such a stark survey result: Trump is quite competitive at the outset of the race.

An outlier poll on Donald Trump and Joe Biden can still give insight.

Trump is now a legally defined sexual predator — will it affect his 2024 bid?” via David Smith of The Guardian — A mystery of Trump’s U.S. presidency was the absence of a major sex scandal. The thrice-married billionaire who boasted on Access Hollywood that women let him “grab ’em by the pussy’” seemed to commit every abuse of power except the kind that nearly brought down Bill Clinton. Trump’s effort to regain the White House, however, must confront a different reality: he is now legally defined as a sexual predator. On Tuesday, a jury in New York found that the former President sexually abused magazine writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar, awarding about $5M in compensatory and punitive damages.

Poll shows Biden still leads Trump for 2024” via Andrew Romano of Yahoo News — As Democrats coalesce around him as their inevitable nominee, Biden still narrowly leads Trump in a 2024 General Election matchup. Yet the results also expose significant vulnerabilities for Biden, including his advanced age and the widespread perception that his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, would not be “ready to assume the presidency” if necessary. The survey showed him trailing Trump by 6 percentage points and suffering the lowest approval rating of his presidency, much to the consternation of Democrats from the White House on down.

Tim Scott was given a chance to attack Biden as too old. He didn’t.” via Maya King of The New York Times — During a town hall on Monday at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Sen. Scott of South Carolina received a question about Biden’s fitness for office, putting his stated desire to run a positive campaign to the test. Scott, who is expected to formally begin his presidential campaign at the end of the month, offered an answer that criticized Biden on the merits of his leadership, rather than his age or mental fitness. Paul Hardy, a Republican voter, first read Scott an excerpt from a message that President Lyndon B. Johnson sent to Congress about invoking the 25th Amendment. Hardy, asked for his thoughts after the event, was less than satisfied with Scott’s answer: “He sidestepped it.”

Trump’s top 2024 rivals tread lightly on sexual abuse verdict” via Jon Jackson of Newsweek — The leading contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination behind Trump have thus far refrained from using his sexual abuse verdict against him. On Tuesday, a Manhattan jury found the former President liable in a lawsuit from writer E. Jean Carroll that accused him of battery and defamation. He was found liable for sexual abuse but not rape, and Carroll was awarded $5 million in total damages. Currently, national opinion polls place DeSantis as the second most favored GOP candidate for the 2024 ticket, though he lags significantly behind Trump.


New Biden rule will crack down on border arrivals as pandemic-era Title 42 comes to an end” via Jacqueline Charles and Michael Wilner of the Miami Herald — When the pandemic-era immigration rule known as Title 42 comes to an end, a new regulation will make it harder for migrants who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek political asylum in the United States, the Biden administration said. Asylum-seekers showing up at the border without prior authorization will have to show proof they requested asylum in any of the countries they traveled through on their way to the border, and that the request was denied. The controversial rule, which immigration advocates say mirrors a similar travel ban by the Trump administration, is among several new changes the Department of Homeland Security is rolling out as it prepares for the end of Title 42 at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Are Democrats finally winning the war on coal?” via Josh Seigel of POLITICO — The political calculations facing Biden’s newest big climate rule come down to one question: How much have voters changed since 2010? That year, Republican charges that Obama was waging a “war on coal” helped yield an electoral beatdown for Democrats in the Midterm Elections, wiping out their House majority just months after the collapse of legislation aimed at slashing greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuels. Biden’s regulators are expected to return to that fight with a major regulation aimed at coal- and gas-burning power plants.

Is the ‘war on coal’ coming to an end? Image via AP.

GOP members of Congress take aim at Disney no-fly zones” via Skyler Swisher of the Orlando Sentinel — A group of congressional Republicans wants to end no-fly zones over Disney World and Disneyland, calling them a special perk that no other theme park gets in the United States. U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls reintroduced legislation on Wednesday that would open the skies over the attractions. The no-fly zones were created in 2003 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Without a request from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Congress bent its own rules to help Disney secure the no-fly zones at the urging of at least one well-connected company lobbyist. Critics argued that Disney used terrorism fears to gain commercial advantage and ban aerial advertising and sightseeing helicopters near its parks.

Jared Moskowitz proposes federal law to set minimum age of 25 to buy semi-automatic firearms, including AR-15-style rifles” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Citing evidence that the “overwhelming majority” of gun violence and mass shootings are committed by shooters under the age of 25, U.S. Rep. Moskowitz has introduced federal legislation raising the minimum age to buy semi-automatic firearms. Under the legislation, someone under the age of 25 can’t buy a range of weapons. The prohibition would encompass semi-automatic rifles — including “all AK types,” such as the AK47, and “all AR types,” such as the AR-15 — and semi-automatic pistols and shotguns. AR-15-style rifles have been used in many mass shootings, including by the 19-year-old who committed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Florida lawmakers propose naming post office after the late Congressman Alcee Hastings” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — A large Postal Service building in Oakland Park would be renamed the “Alcee Lamar Hastings Post Office” under legislation supported by Florida Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Hastings, a civil rights crusader who repeatedly broke barriers and made history — not always positively — died in 2021. “Congressman Hastings was a tireless fighter for South Florida families, and it’s only fitting that a post office named, in his honor, be at the heart and center of our district,” said U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Broward-Palm Beach County Democrat who succeeded Hastings. “I hope that this recognition will leave a lasting legacy in a part of our community that was deeply close to him.”

— LOCAL: S. FL —

Disdain, anger from Little Havana businessmen suing Joe Carollo: ‘The plan was to break us’” via Charles Rabin of the Miami Herald — Finally able to take the stand this week, it only took a few moments for two Little Havana businessmen accusing Carollo of trying to submarine their business ventures as a political vendetta, to vent their disdain for the Miami Commissioner. “It’s not right what this man has done. He should be abolished from the earth,” Martin Pinilla said — a statement that prompted an immediate call from Carollo’s attorneys for a mistrial, the second request since the trial began in early April. “He has punished us for five years. You see us walk in here every day. We look good, but we’re barely making it,” said Pinilla’s partner William “Bill” Fuller.

Joe Carollo has caused much angst in Miami, says some business owners.

Miami’s love affair with crypto is souring as Bitcoin faithful flock to the city ” via Deborah Acosta of The Wall Street Journal — A year ago, when the annual Bitcoin conference opened in Miami, the city was arguably the country’s biggest booster of digital currencies. MiamiCoin is traded on a global crypto exchange. The Miami Heat basketball team played at FTX Arena, and cryptocurrency exchange was preparing to move its headquarters to a splashy office in the city’s Wynwood neighborhood. Today, as Miami prepares to host Bitcoin 2023 on May 18, none of those things are true anymore.

As power players eye Nikki Beach site, city officials attend their pricy event for free” via Aaron Leibowitz of the Miami Herald — The stars were out this past weekend at Carbone Beach, a four-night, pop-up restaurant event in South Beach to celebrate the Miami Grand Prix that featured a caviar bar, a four-course meal curated by chef Mario Carbone and surprise musical performances by Diana Ross, Diddy and Lauryn Hill. Among the notable guests were Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Butler, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Also in attendance: several Miami Beach elected officials. The officials’ receipt of complimentary tickets, valued at $3,000 apiece, is now raising eyebrows among city residents concerned about potential conflicts of interest regarding the future of the Nikki Beach site, as well as experts who say the gifts could run afoul of state ethics laws.

Judge in Parkland school murder case resigns. Her oversight had drawn criticism” via Rafael Olmeda of the Miami Herald — Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, whose handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting trial drew praise from colleagues and the victims’ families as well as unsparing scrutiny from defense lawyers and legal observers, is resigning from the bench. Scherer submitted her letter of resignation to DeSantis on Wednesday, offering no explanation about why she’s stepping down or what she plans to do next. Her resignation takes effect on June 30. The resignation was widely expected, with the judge making multiple veiled comments from the bench hinting that she won’t be around much longer. She was re-elected without opposition in 2020 to a six-year term. DeSantis will select her replacement.

‘Justice’ reformer, ex-BSO deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss avoids prison but must submit to sex-offender treatment” via Noreen Marcus of the Florida Bulldog — Self-appointed justice reformer Bleiweiss, credibly accused of molesting 25 men when he was a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy, has shut down an attempt to send him back to prison for a long stretch. Prosecutors wanted substantial prison time to punish Bleiweiss for violating his probation. Under the terms of a generous 2015 plea deal, he served less than four years of a five-year sentence for multiple counts of battery, stalking and armed false imprisonment, at the same time ducking a possible life sentence for multiple sex crimes. But what they settled for was Broward Circuit Judge Peter Holden’s order that Bleiweiss must have a psychosexual evaluation and complete a 20-week sex offender program, plus any other recommended therapy.

Jonathan Bleiweiss dodges a prison term.

Appeals court ruling could pave way for release of Jeffrey Epstein grand jury records” via Ben Wieder and Camellia Burris of the Miami Herald — Epstein’s victims might finally learn why the former Palm Beach state attorney pursued only minor charges against the now-deceased financier. The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that a Palm Beach judge was mistaken in ruling that he didn’t have the authority to determine whether grand jury records should be released from the 2006 inquiry into Epstein’s sex crimes. The court sent the case back to Circuit Judge Donald W. Hafele, with the instruction that he determine which of the grand jury records could be released. In the grand jury investigation, then-State Attorney Barry Krischer only asked one of Epstein’s accusers to testify, leading to a single charge of solicitation.

‘Finding my home’: Mural features Beach High student’s poem about her move to Miami” via Sommer Brugal of the Miami Herald and Kate Payne of WLRN — What does it mean to call a place a home, to grow roots in two countries and two languages? What are the feelings, smells or sights one has to experience before they feel like they belong, whether in a place they’ve been their whole life or somewhere they’ve just arrived? The questions and emotions are central to the poem written by Miami Beach Senior High School student Valentina Mena — one that details the 16-year-old sophomore’s experience of moving from Villa María, Argentina, to Miami last year and whose line is featured on a new mural outside the school.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

DeSantis board hires new administrator for Disney district” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — DeSantis’ tourism oversight board hired a new administrator Wednesday to run the district that oversees Walt Disney World, giving him a pay bump to $400,000 in part because of the federal lawsuit the company has filed in the escalating feud. In addition, the board also created a code enforcement system that could issue fines to Walt Disney World, which is known for meticulous care of its grounds. The lawsuit by Disney was only mentioned at the meeting by Chair Martin Garcia, who said it was one of the reasons the district’s new administrator, Glen Gilzean, should be paid $45,000 more yearly than outgoing administrator John Classe. “Our new administrator can plan on being a defendant in a lawsuit,” Garcia said.

To compensate for lawsuits to come, Glen Gilzean should get a bump in pay.

Disney World could face code enforcement fines from its new governing board” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — Walt Disney World could potentially be fined by its new state-run governing board for code violations. The DeSantis-appointed governing board approved a resolution to start setting up the structure for a code enforcement department that could levy fines ranging from $75 to $500 per day for code violations. It takes effect Aug. 1. The resolution was passed unanimously by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board that took over in March and has since made numerous changes, including hiring a new district administrator on Wednesday.

Baseball, convention center, arts seek big chunks of tourist tax money” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — As Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond announced a one-month record haul of just under $39 million in tourist taxes, more than 50 groups are awaiting a chance to explain why they should help spend it. Among hopeful applicants seeking a cut of a possible tourist-tax largesse are a group trying to lure Major League Baseball to Orlando and Orange County Convention Center executives who want about $587 million to restart an expansion halted in 2020 when the revenues collapsed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida Citrus Sports wants $800 million to put a roof over Camping World Stadium.

George Santos indictment says Brevard County companies involved in fraud scheme” via Eric Rogers of Florida Today — New York Congressman Santos is facing federal charges related to an alleged wire fraud and money laundering scheme investigators say he ran through a trio of companies headquartered in Brevard County, according to an indictment. Federal investigators say Santos defrauded campaign donors, spending tens of thousands in political contributions funneled through the companies on personal expenses like credit card bills and “luxury designer clothing,” according to the federal indictment. Only one of the companies was named in the filing: the Devolder Organization LLC, which Santos (whose middle name is Devolder) had previously described as a firm that managed his family assets.

Public comment changes pass with caveats at Brevard County meetings” via Tyler Vazquez of Florida Today — A proposed change to public comment at Brevard County government meetings passed partially after a split Commission of only four members settled on a compromise solution. The policy change would have seen the general public comment period at Brevard County Commission meetings moved to the very end and the live broadcast on Space Coast Government TV digital channels cut off before that segment of the meeting. The movement of general public comments to the end will still take place but the video broadcast will include those comments as well, contrary to the originally proposed idea. Public comment policy on individual agenda items is not impacted.

Brevard School Board approves new Superintendent contract; annual salary set at $250K” via Finch Walker of Florida Today — Despite conflict over the choice of a new district head, Mark Rendell’s contract solidifying his position as Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools was approved unanimously at a School Board meeting. The move came just one week after Rendell was chosen as Superintendent following a two-month national search. “We negotiated within 48 hours, we had a deal and everything that he was saying was to consciously be able to give opportunities to people, and he was excited to get moving,” said Board Chair Matt Susin. Rendell’s annual salary was set at $250,000 a year. The contract allows Rendell to use the district’s car, according to Board Attorney Paul Gibbs, and is similar to the contract for former Superintendent Mark Mullins.

Ethics Commission hears complaints about Deltona, Lake Helen Commissioners. What they found” via Katie Kustura of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — The Florida Commission on Ethics in recent months received and reviewed complaints about elected officials, including two Deltona City Commissioners and a Lake Helen Commissioner. The Ethics Commission reviewed each complaint for legal sufficiency before filing a report and deciding whether to act. In each case, the Ethics Commission wrote in the reports: “It is not enough that a detriment to a complainant or another is alleged.” Their reviews are limited to questions of jurisdiction and adequacy of the details of the complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees.

Deltona hires former Daytona Airport Director Rick Karl as Deputy City Manager” via Katie Kustura of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — A face and name familiar to many across Volusia County recently joined the City of Deltona as Deputy City Manager. Karl, the former Director of Daytona Beach International Airport and a recent political candidate, joins a staff led by Jim Chisholm, former longtime Daytona Beach City Manager. Karl began working for the county’s largest city last Friday, Catherine Barker, a city spokesperson, said via email. His salary is $165,000. Last November, Karl, a DeLand resident, ran against Webster Barnaby to represent House District 29, which covers much of West Volusia, including Deltona and DeLand. Barnaby won with 59% of the vote.

Former Daytona Airport Director Rick Karl has a new gig as Deltona’s Deputy City Manager. Image via Rick Karl.

Florida League of Cities to expand downtown Orlando headquarters campus” via Ryan Lynch of the Orlando Business Journal — The Florida League of Cities plans to build a bigger headquarters campus in downtown Orlando. The Orlando-based advocacy group for Florida’s cities, towns and villages has proposed a four-story, 47,000-square-foot office building and a three-story, 220-car parking structure at 125 E. Colonial Drive. The office building would replace an existing 10,500-square-foot facility on the 1.93-acre site, while the garage will replace an existing surface parking lot on the north side of the property. A three-story, 31,620-square-foot building on the southwest corner of the property where the organization currently has its offices will remain, while the southeast corner will be used for the new office building.


Amid Tampa skepticism, regional transportation plan advances” via C.T. Bowen of the Tampa Bay Times — The Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization, elected and appointed officials overseeing transportation planning in the county, on Wednesday agreed to participate in a state-mandated study of combining the panel with its counterparts in Pasco and Pinellas counties. The push for regionalism comes amid the dismantling of a separate multicounty agency, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, which is shutting down after losing state funding and failing to reach an agreement on a transit system to serve the area.

The Hillsborough TPO agrees to look into merging with its neighbors. Image via Facebook.

Hillsborough plan to change boundaries, close more schools is back on track” via Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times — Hours after an emotional decision to close Just Elementary School this summer, the Hillsborough County School Board moved ahead on a plan to change hundreds of school attendance boundaries and close five more schools in 2024. A second and final vote will be scheduled in June. The plan, which has been discussed and debated for much of the last year, is expected to save the district about $13 million annually in operating costs. It is also intended to ease crowding and fill more seats at under-enrolled schools, making it easier to allocate resources evenly across the district.

It’s Hillsborough’s money, not the state’s” via the Tampa Bay Times editorial board — The Legislature utterly failed Hillsborough County this Session by leaving a half-billion dollars in county revenue still frozen and untouchable in Tallahassee. Lawmakers had plenty of time to go after trans students and university professors — but not enough time to return the $570 million that Hillsborough taxpayers raised through an ill-fated transportation tax. It’s been five years, already. Give us back our money. The House wanted to refund the money through a Hillsborough-only sales tax holiday. The Senate, meanwhile, called for a plan mirroring the one pitched by DeSantis, under which individuals could file refund requests, with the balance of the unclaimed money returning to Hillsborough for transportation projects.

Property flipper sold Tampa a historic Black cemetery for twice its value” via Paul Guzzo of the Tampa Bay Times — Last week, the Tampa City Council agreed to purchase a historic Black cemetery from a property flipper. Nicole Travis, the city’s administrator of development and economic opportunity, told the City Council that the city negotiated the price following an appraisal from a third-party land valuation company. The appraisal report, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times through a public information request, stated that East Tampa’s 18.79-acre Memorial Park Cemetery is worth $49,300. The city paid $100,000, more than double that assessed value. “The appraisal is one tool in the negotiating process for the city to buy or sell property,” said Michelle VanLoan, the city’s real estate director.

Climate First Bank says it will comply with DeSantis’ corporate activism ban” via Christina Georgacopoulos of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Climate First Bank says it will comply with a sweeping law passed by Florida lawmakers last week that sets legal penalties for financial institutions that discriminate against customers and particular industries, including oil and gas. St. Petersburg-based Climate First, the youngest and fastest-growing community bank in the region and the first climate-focused commercial bank in the U.S., expressed disappointment with the new law, HB3. The values-based bank will do away with its exclusionary policy that shunned clients in industries known to contribute to anthropogenic climate change, like coal and fracking, as well as the tobacco, firearm and pornography industries, according to the statement.

Climate First Bank acquiesces to Ron DeSantis’ anti-ESG law. Image via Climate First.

650 concrete trucks will descend on downtown St. Petersburg. Here’s why.” via Rebecca Liebson of the Tampa Bay Times — Starting Friday night around 9 p.m., 650 concrete trucks will drive into downtown St. Petersburg to begin pouring the foundation for the Residences at 400 Central. The 46-story condominium and office tower from Red Apple Real Estate is set to be the tallest building on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Crews will pour more than 2 million pounds of concrete. The foundation will be reinforced by more than 5 million pounds of steel. The process will take between 20 and 24 hours. According to the release, it will be one of the largest concrete pours in the city’s history, second only to the construction of the St. Pete Pier.

St. Petersburg Uhuru members speak for first time since indictment” via Natalie Weber of the Tampa Bay Times — It’s a matter of free speech, says Omali Yeshitela, the longtime leader of the St. Petersburg-based Uhuru Movement and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party. Yeshitela was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tampa last month and accused of working with Russian nationals to sow discord in the United States, spread pro-Russian propaganda and influence elections, along with two other members of the Uhuru Movement, Penny Joanne Hess and Jesse Nevel. On Wednesday, the three Uhuru members spoke to the press for the first time since their indictment.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

‘I will not stand by silently’: Community sticks up for superintendent amid state threat” via Ana Goñi-Lessan of the Tallahassee Democrat — A wicker basket of more than 300 folded pieces of paper brought tears to Superintendent Rocky Hanna’s eyes on Tuesday evening. Each piece of paper was a letter written in support of Hanna, who is under investigation by the state Department of Education for allegedly infusing his “personal beliefs” into the management of Leon County Schools. “Read them, enjoy them, and I’ll close by saying you are valued, you are supported, and the people who elected you have got your back,” said Sarah Sprayberry, a parent of two Tallahassee students, at a School Board meeting.

The Leon community stands behind Rocky Hanna.

An entire Florida school district has banned a kids’ book on segregation” via Tori Otten of The New Republic — A Florida school district has banned a book about segregation after one parent complained. The Wakulla County school district decided in October to remove the graphic novel Little Rock Nine from its libraries after reviewing a complaint from a parent. The school that initially banned the book did not give more details on why the parent complained but said it had decided that even though the book is historically accurate, its subject matter is “difficult for elementary students to comprehend.” Florida schools begin teaching about segregation in fourth grade, but the book — which is written at a third grade level — has been deemed “above the understanding” of all elementary students.

Were Medical Examiner’s complaints politically motivated? Not so, funeral directors say.” via Mollye Barrows of the Pensacola News Journal — Letters recently sent to Escambia County Commissioners complaining about the Medical Examiner’s Office treatment of bodies were never meant to be made public, said two of the three funeral directors who wrote them. They also said they wrote the letters after meeting with Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry, who encouraged the funeral directors to write them. Their issues included the condition of bodies after autopsy being “butchered,” unclean and placed in bags that leak, as well as delays with filing paperwork or listing misleading or inaccurate causes of death. Accusations the Medical Examiner’s Office said were largely “not substantiated.”

This magenta-colored ship holds the key to Jacksonville’s port capitalizing on deep water” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — Anyone on or near the St. Johns River between the Atlantic Ocean and the Dames Point bridge on Tuesday might have seen a magenta-painted megaship sailing to the Blount Island Terminal. It won’t be the last time that sight appears on the river. The One Stork is the largest cargo ship to ever call on Jacksonville. Once a week, ships at or near its size will arrive at the Blount Island terminal as part of a nine-vessel rotation operated by the shipping line Ocean Network Express.


Sarasota County has a new Attorney” via Barb Richardson of the Englewood Sun — With a contract in hand, Josh Moye is set to begin as the next Sarasota County Attorney on June 12. County Commissioners unanimously approved a contract negotiated with Moye by Commission Chair Ron Cutsinger. Commissioners selected Moye, currently a Deputy County Attorney, two weeks ago to succeed current County Attorney Rick Elbrecht. Moye came to the County Attorney’s Office in January 2018 as a Deputy County Attorney after six years as an assistant county attorney in Charlotte County. There were two other applicants for the job. In late February, Elbrecht announced to Commissioners his intention to retire this coming June. His last day with Sarasota County will be June 9.

Josh Moye prepares to serve as the new Sarasota County Attorney.

Collier School Board disagrees on Superintendent contract length, salary” via Nikki Ross of the Fort Myers News-Press — Disagreements over the length of Lesile Ricciardelli’s Superintendent contract became the focus of the discussion during the Collier School Board meeting. During the meeting, Board members shared their thoughts on certain aspects of the impending contract with their chosen Superintendent. While all Board members agreed the district should not pay for an excessive number of memberships and travel, they were not in agreement on the length of the contract. Last week, the School Board voted, 3-2, in favor of Ricciardelli, choosing her over finalist Charles Van Zant Jr. Board Chair Kelly Litcher along with Board members Stephanie Lucarelli and Erick Carter voted for Ricciardelli. Tim Moshier and Jerry Rutherford were opposed.

Venice Council puts dispute over land development rules to rest” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The Venice City Council unanimously approved the second reading of changes to its development rules that officially put to rest concerns raised by the citizens’ group Venice Unites, which at one point was poised to launch a bid to repeal the new regulations unless city officials made several changes, mainly about density and building heights, especially downtown. The vote was 7-0 with little fanfare, though Mayor Nick Pachota noted how the sides had worked in the spirit of compromise then added, “Don’t feel that you need to start a group or join a group in order for us to listen.”


This is not what you think — “DeSantis 2024 presidential bid would be a ‘waste of energy’” via Bruce Anderson for The Ledger — “DeSantis is very likely the most effective Governor in recent Florida history. He’s young, smart, politically savvy, and an effective reader of political tea leaves. Why throw himself into a bloody woodchipper Primary run that will likely only determine who goes home a grim loser in the General Election of 2024?

… Why not delay? Or, better yet, improve his record, grab a Senate seat, and run when the tides turn in 2028?

DeSantis has that definite possibility: continue as Governor for the balance of the 2023-2024 season and run for the Senate in 2024. Yes, unseat fellow Republican Rick Scott. Scott’s problems in the Senate are too numerous and obnoxious to go into here. His leadership of 2022’s Senatorial Campaign Committee was a paragon of failure and the problems DeSantis faced in cleaning up Scott’s gubernatorial mess left no love lost between them. Floridians would happily replace Scott with DeSantis in a heartbeat. He’d crush him in the Primary and toast whatever potato the Democrats tossed up to run in the general. DeSantis could then do what he does: create a record of further experience and gravitas in the Senate, cozy up to the real powers there, and run like a madman in the open election of 2028.

There’s no doubt that the Governor would give Trump a battle — but why waste the energy? Let Trump lose in 2024, which he almost certainly shall, and recreate the Republican Party in his own image a few years later.


Why is DeSantis battling Mickey Mouse, instead of fighting to keep us safe from hurricanes?” via Dan Gelber for the Miami Herald — In nearly a century, Florida has not suffered a hurricane disaster like last year’s Hurricane Ian. Within hours of the hurricane ravaging our state, and before any real analysis or review, DeSantis fully defended government evacuation decisions by simply repeating the mantra that local and state emergency managers ‘followed the data.’” DeSantis promised an after-action review of Hurricane Ian’s response. Yet, here we are, eight months later, and the state of Florida has yet to issue the after-action report promised by the Governor or suggested reforms that might help us better identify shortfalls and implement corrections to help navigate a similar peril in the upcoming hurricane season.

DeSantis won the first round against Disney: He should have walked away” via Philip Levine for The Hill — When Elsa, the Disney princess from “Frozen,” sang her 2013 smash hit, “Let It Go,” she didn’t know that she was offering excellent advice to the future Governor of Florida. For a while, the Disney vs. DeSantis feud appeared to be over. DeSantis had made his point. He taught Disney a lesson about the cost of wading too deep into culture wars. It was inevitable, of course, that Disney would push back, as it did last month with a maneuver to regain control of a key development board. But this should have been little more than a 24-hour news story. If DeSantis had let it go, he would have walked away a winner. Instead, the Governor turned his battle against Disney into a war, one that will cost him, and the state, in untold ways.

As they distracted voters with ‘woke,’ Florida lawmakers usurped their local control” via the Miami Herald editorial board — While Florida got attention for its obsession with fighting “woke,” lawmakers were busy during the 2023 Legislative Session passing bills with lesser known, but even greater, impacts on the quality of life of Floridians. These so-called preemption bills curtail how the government closest to the people, County Commissions, City and Village Councils, and local voters can shape their communities. As usual, that’s done to benefit big political donors, political players, developers and businesses at odds with local communities. And it happens every year, no matter who’s in the Governor’s Mansion. The 2023 Session that ended Friday was no exception, but it was notable because many of those preemption bills impact Miami-Dade County directly.

Brent McNeal: Discover the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities in Florida” via Florida Politics — Florida needs policies that support and promote workforce education, not only to sustain our state’s anticipated robust growth but also because Florida businesses need workers today. If you and your organization need to hire, let me tell you about an under-tapped source of promising talent: individuals with disabilities. At the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at the Florida Department of Education, our mission is to help people with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. Each year, we support more than 5,000 Floridians in finding gainful employment leading to better outcomes for families, communities and the Florida economy. When employers visit, they can connect with the DVR’s business services unit and receive support customized to meet specific business needs.


— ALOE —

Disney earnings: Streaming losses shrink and ARPU rises, Disney+ subscribers fall to 157.8M” via Alex Weprin of The Hollywood Reporter — The Walt Disney Co. reported its fiscal second quarter earnings Wednesday, with the company largely beating Wall Street expectations on most key metrics, including revenue. As with every major entertainment company, streaming profitability (or the lack thereof) is among the most closely watched metrics. Losses in Disney’s direct-to-consumer business continued to decline, falling to $659 million in the quarter, down from $1.1 billion the quarter prior, and from the peak of $1.5 billion from what would be Bob Chapek’s final earnings report as CEO.

Disney World: New restaurant coming to Epcot’s Japan pavilion” via DeWayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel — Walt Disney World has revealed a few details about a new table-service restaurant, complete with sushi bar, coming to Epcot’s Japan pavilion in 2023. World Showcase visitors will eventually be able to dine at Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya, located on the upper level of the Japan pavilion. It will open sometime this summer, according to the official Disney Parks Blog. The space had been home to Tokyo Dining, which is listed on Disney World’s website as “closed for refurbishment” through Summer 2023.

Epcot will soon offer a new Japanese dining experience. Image via Theme Park Hipster.

Jaguars could play 2 seasons away from TIAA Bank Field during stadium renovations” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — The wholesale renovation of the stadium where the Jaguars play would require the team to play its home games somewhere else for two seasons, Mayor Lenny Curry said Wednesday. Curry said he understands the Jaguars are scouting potential locations in Jacksonville for those home games, which Curry suggested could be in the 2025 and 2026 football seasons. He said during those two seasons, the annual Florida-Georgia game could be played outside Jacksonville with each school taking a turn hosting the game at its campus stadium.

New protect Florida panthers specialty license plate coming” via Richard Tribou of the Orlando Sentinel — One of Florida’s original specialty license plates is getting a makeover this year as the “Protect the Panther” tag is getting its third design since its inception in 1991. The new plate will feature a photo taken by Carlton Ward Jr. in 2018 showing a female panther and her kitten. Florida panthers are listed as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act with only an estimated 120-230 adult panthers left in the wild, mostly in Southwest Florida. The new plate design’s photographed female was the first female panther documented north of Southwest Florida’s Caloosahatchee River since 1973. She was also the first known to have had kittens north of the river in more than 40 years.

Protect the panther plates gets a refresh. Image via FWC.


Best wishes to state Rep. John Paul Temple, Ashley Ligas and Alison Morano.


Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Ryan Nicol, 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.

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