Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.18.23

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Florida politics and Sunburn — perfect together.

Good Thursday morning.

Forget congressional endorsements. A show of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ influence within the Capitol came into crisp view with 99 state lawmakers backing his bid.

NBC News’ Matt Dixon released a list of lawmakers casting their lot with DeSantis over former President Donald Trump. Here’s what we noticed about the roster.

The endorsement wars heat up.

Leadership on down

The Republicans leading both the House and Senate endorsed DeSantis uniformly. That included Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, who endorsed a day prior, and the next two Republicans in line to likely preside over each chamber.

But beyond that, almost everyone on Passidomo’s and Renner’s leadership teams was on the list.

Endorsements came before a budget

It’s hard to ignore that all the lawmakers jumping on the DeSantis bandwagon did so before the state budget made its way to DeSantis’ Office. Florida’s Governor has line-item veto power. That means every lawmaker in Florida has some reason to play nice with the Governor for the sake of their own appropriations priorities.

Gruters on an island

To date, state Sen. Joe Gruters, a former Republican Party of Florida Chair, remains the only state lawmaker to formally endorse Trump. But with DeSantis now securing a significant majority of Republican colleagues in the Legislature, Gruters’ endorsement seems more exceptional each day.

Odd lawmakers out?

It’s much easier to list the 13 GOP lawmakers who aren’t endorsing DeSantis at this point.

That includes Sens. Ileana Garcia, Erin Grall, Ed Hooper, Ana Maria Rodriguez and Tom Wright. Some come as no surprise. Garcia, for example, founded Latinas for Trump and has a built-in association with the former President, like Gruters.

In the House, the uncommitted list includes Reps. Carolina Amesty, Mike Beltran, Dean Black, David Borrero, Demi Busatta Cabrera, Susan Plasencia, Juan Carlos Porras and Rick Roth.

Reasons for staying quiet for now may vary. Black, for example, chairs the Duval County Republican Party and has vowed to stay neutral. Borrero, the only member of House leadership not endorsing DeSantis, represents Doral, where Trump lives.

Buchanan break

State Rep. James Buchanan, a close ally of likely future Speaker Daniel Perez, is on the DeSantis list. That isn’t too surprising, except that his father, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, came out strongly for Trump.

Sarasota County Republicans will root for different squads in the Primary. State Rep. Fiona McFarland’s mother, K.T. McFarland, served as Deputy National Security Advisor under Trump, but the younger McFarland is lining up behind DeSantis.


‘Fast X’ premieres — 1; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres at Cannes — 2; Florida Chamber 2023 Florida Prosperity & Economic Opportunity Solution Summit — 7; NBA Finals begin — 14; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 14; DeSantis to speak at 2023 NCGOP State Convention — 22; The 2023 Tonys — 24; Disney and Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ premieres — 29; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 29; DeSantis to headline Nevada PAC’s annual basque fry — 30; ‘Secret Invasion’ premieres on Disney+ — 34; ‘The Bear’ returns to Hulu — 35; Florida Chamber 2023 Florida Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit — 40; ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ premieres — 43; ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One’ premieres — 57; Florida Chamber 37th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School — 63; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 68; ’Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 75; Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ tour in Tampa — 89; Florida House Fall 2023 Interim Committee Meetings begin — 123; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 158; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 172; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 187; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 236; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 253; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 267; Georgia Democratic Primary — 272; Michigan Democratic Primary — 284; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 295; 2024 Oscars — 297; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 317; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 372; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 435; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 435; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 468; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 481; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 542; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 688; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 715; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 904.


Donald Trump is attacking Ron DeSantis hard on policy, amid the flurry of insults” via Tim Reid and Nathan Layne of Reuters — Forty percent of Trump’s attacks on the Florida Governor have targeted issues such as Social Security, the government-run Medicare health program for older Americans, foreign policy and DeSantis’ record in office.

Five political analysts said the strategy marks a sharp contrast with Trump’s first run for President in 2016 when he won the Republican nomination with chaotic tactics based largely on personal insults leveled at his opponents.

Most of Donald Trump’s 2024 insults and taunts are aimed at Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

“This time it’s clear that Trump is changing the way he does this by hitting harder on the policy stuff,” said David Gergen, a nonpartisan analyst who has advised one Democratic and three Republican Presidents.

Since Trump announced his White House run on Nov. 15, he has launched at least 242 attacks against declared and potential rivals for the party’s nomination, according to a Reuters analysis of his statements on his Truth Social platform, his emails, major speeches, media interviews and campaign news releases.

The vast majority of those attacks — 216 — have been aimed at DeSantis, who has yet to declare his candidacy but is expected to announce by June, according to a source familiar with his thinking.

A main focus of Trump’s attacks has been Social Security — the federal pension system — and Medicare. Trump has repeatedly accused DeSantis of wanting to “destroy” those benefits and has criticized the Florida Governor 43 times on those issues since November, with the attacks intensifying since March, according to the analysis.


‘Fools!’: Trump blames DeSantis for Democrat winning Jax mayoral race” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Trump is weighing in on the Jacksonville mayoral race, which saw a Democrat win just months after Republicans carried the state handily. On Truth Social, Trump said Republican Daniel Davis’ “shocker” loss to Democrat Donna Deegan came down to Team Davis courting DeSantis’ endorsement instead of that of the former President. “In a big upset, the DeSanctimonious backed Republican candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, LOST. This is a shocker. If they would have asked me to Endorse, he would have won, easily. Too proud to do so,” Trump said. “Fools! This is a BIG LOSS for the Republican Party,” Trump added. “Remember, ‘Rob’ only won because of me!!!”

Trump puts Donna Deegan’s win squarely on DeSantis’ shoulders.

—“Trump claims DeSantis ‘losing women’ with hard-line abortion position” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Trump hits DeSantis after Governor’s 2 endorsed candidates lose” via Kierra Frazier of POLITICO — Trump is going after DeSantis after the Governor’s two endorsed candidates lost in Tuesday’s GOP Primary. “[Daniel Cameron] had my Complete and Total Endorsement. The DeSanctimonious backed candidate came in a DISTANT third. Ron’s magic is GONE! He also lost, shockingly, in Jacksonville last night (Mayor),” Trump said in a Truth Social post on Wednesday. Cameron, who earned Trump’s endorsement early on, won the Republican nomination for Kentucky Governor Tuesday night. DeSantis endorsed Kelly Craft, who looked likely to finish third in the GOP Primary.

DeSantis-endorsed Kelly Craft suffered a major loss. Image via AP.

Team DeSantis throws shade at Trump following endorsements from 99 Florida lawmakers: ‘Almost universal’” via Brandon Gillespie of Fox News — DeSantis’ political team threw some subtle shade at Trump on Wednesday following the rising Republican star and likely presidential candidate receiving the endorsement of 99 lawmakers in the state Legislature. “Ron DeSantis’ support among Republicans in the Florida legislature is almost universal because these lawmakers have partnered with the Governor to pass the most robust conservative agenda in the history of the state, putting Florida at the top of the rankings on every key metric,” a top DeSantis political operation official told Fox News Digital. The official’s use of the phrase “almost universal” was a clear reference to Trump’s statement in April that his “support is almost universal in Florida” after he received endorsements from nearly half Florida’s Republican congressional delegation.

Ben Albritton, Daniel Perez line up behind DeSantis’ presidential ambition” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The lawmakers currently leading the Florida Legislature already endorsed DeSantis’ presidential ambitions. Now, the next legislative leaders in line have done the same. Sen. Albritton and Rep. Perez jointly announced their support for DeSantis 2024. The lawmakers, respectively, are in line to serve as Senate President and House Speaker so long as Republicans control the chambers after the 2024 Election cycle.

Nation’s largest publisher files federal suit to block Florida county’s book ban” via Douglas Soule of USA Today Network — A free speech organization and the largest publisher in the nation are trying to block book bans in a Florida Panhandle county. PEN America and publisher Penguin Random House, joined by parents and authors, filed suit in federal court Wednesday morning, alleging the book bans in Escambia County public schools are unconstitutional. “Censorship, in the form of book bans like those enacted by Escambia County, are a direct threat to democracy and our constitutional rights.”

Book publishers and authors push back against Escambia County’s book bans. Image via AP.

DeSantis’ book banners face a tough new foe: Angry moms with lawyers” via Greg Sargent of The Washington Post — This liberal counter-mobilization is substantially less organized than the right’s culture-warring, but it has great untapped potential for Democrats. These efforts just took an important turn, with a lawsuit filed by Florida parents in federal court Wednesday to try to stop book bans in school libraries in Escambia County, red-leaning terrain in the state’s panhandle. The suit could become a model to challenge bans across Florida and elsewhere. What’s striking is that this lawsuit is being brought by mothers who want their kids exposed to ideas that the censors have decreed are unsuitable. PEN America spearheads the suit and is joined by several writers whose books have been banned, along with Penguin Random House, which published them.


DeSantis signs tall stack of right-wing bills as 2024 entrance nears” via Nicholas Nehamas and Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times — DeSantis, an all-but-declared presidential candidate, has stepped up his headline-hunting travel and events ahead of an official announcement, traversing the state and trying to hoover up national attention as he signs the sharply conservative legislation he believes can propel him to the Republican Party’s nomination. It was his third consecutive day of holding public bill-signing ceremonies across the state. The ceremonies, which he hosts in his official capacity as Governor, allow DeSantis to promote his political message in settings that he carefully stage-manages as a veritable M.C., calling up additional speakers and then thanking them for their contributions. These events sometimes take on the feel of political rallies.

DeSantis signs bills on pronouns, gender care, drag shows and more” via Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times — One by one, DeSantis on Wednesday signed bills that will govern conversations about student pronouns in public schools, limit access to gender-affirming care and allow group prayer before sporting events. The newly minted legislation also holds businesses accountable when children attend adult entertainment events and mandates sex-separate locker rooms for student-athletes and state workers. Taken together, the bills were part of what DeSantis called his “Let Kids Be Kids” package. A placard with that phrase was placed in the camera frame as the Governor took the stage at Tampa’s Cambridge Christian School.

Ahead of 2024, DeSantis signs a stack of culture-war bills. Image via @RonDeSantisFL/Twitter.

DeSantis signs new law governing bathroom use by birth gender” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — DeSantis signed legislation (HB 1521) that will require restrooms to be segregated by gender in public buildings. The new law also will make it a crime to use the restroom not matching a person’s sex at birth. The Republican Governor said the bill would ensure “women’s safety” in the state of Florida. He noted the bill will apply in corrections institutes, including juvenile ones, and at public schools. “A woman should not be in a locker room having to worry about someone from the opposite sex being in their locker room, and it’s happening with athletics, with our girl athletes and women athletes,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis signs trans-care bill; medical boards decide future for minors currently in treatment” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — DeSantis signed the bill, along with three others that advocates say target the LGBTQ+ community, at a bill signing ceremony at a Tampa Christian school on Wednesday morning standing before a podium fashioned with the sign “Let Kids be Kids.” SB 254 is a sweeping law that bans physicians from providing people under the age of 18 access to any “sex reassignment prescriptions or procedures,” but contains exemptions for minors born with a “medically verifiable genetic disorder of sexual development.” The law also limits who can provide the care to only medical doctors and osteopathic physicians and limits the use of telehealth by requiring patients to attest that they are voluntarily receiving the care. The attestation must be made on a state-approved form and while in the same room as a physician.

Stronger reporting requirements for African American history lessons signed into law” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — The measure (HB 551) by Miami Gardens Democratic Rep. Christopher Benjamin and Palm Bay Republican Rep. Randy Fine mandates that districts must report yearly to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) with proof the lessons are being taught and how. They’ll also be asked to suggest ways for the curriculum to be improved. Each school district will have to submit an implementation plan to Education Commissioner Manny Díaz Jr., complete with details about its instruction methods and the qualifications of teachers. The district must also post those details on its website. Noncompliant districts will have 45 days to course-correct and submit their revisions for approval.

Loosened School Board residency requirements signed into law” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — DeSantis signed legislation (HB 411) that Republican Rep. Kevin Steele of Dade City filed that brings School Board races more in line with other elected offices. Instead of requiring aspiring School Board members to be residents of the district they wish to represent at the time of qualifying, they need to be residents at the time they take office, starting July 1. Democrats largely opposed the measure, saying that School Board positions are unique among elected officials. They were concerned that it would open the door to political opportunists looking to score an easy election rather than candidates concerned with local issues that are particularly micro matters, such as school bus routes and school districting. But Republican sponsors argued for consistency in local elected offices.

Gov. DeSantis signs measures by Shevrin Jones enhancing student planning, guidance” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Two bills meant to improve career guidance services and progression plans for Public School students in Florida will soon become state policy. One measure (SB 196) will allow students who are awarded high school certificates of completion to enroll in programs at district career centers and other such schools. The other (SB 290) requires public schools — with the consent of parents — to establish comprehensive progression plans for students with disabilities, beginning in prekindergarten. DeSantis quietly signed the bills Wednesday. An educator in private life, Sen. Jones included both measures among the priority bills he highlighted with Florida Politics ahead of the 2023 Legislative Session.

Shev Jones enjoys a win for a longtime priority.

DeSantis signs measure revamping high school sports” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — A measure that revamps high school sports touched down and has been signed by DeSantis. The legislation (HB 225) will change the makeup of the board that governs the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), which sets the ground rules for student athletics. It also expands where students can choose to play sports. Most apropos to the place of the law’s signing, Cambridge Christian School, the law will also permit opening remarks from each school before events. The school is currently in litigation over a pregame prayer over a stadium loudspeaker in 2015. The FHSAA had rejected that request for prayer and the school sued.

DeSantis signs bill requiring lactation spaces in courthouses” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — By New Year’s Day, courthouses across the Sunshine State are going to be more hospitable to breastfeeding mothers, thanks to legislation DeSantis just approved. The measure (SB 144) will mandate courthouses throughout Florida to provide clean and private lactation spaces, complete with at least one electrical outlet, beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Boynton Beach Democratic Sen. Lori Berman, a lawyer, sponsored the bill, which cleared both chambers of the Legislature in March with unanimous, bipartisan support. Freshman Miami Democratic Rep. Ashley Gantt, a lawyer too, sponsored its twin in the House. Gantt said she’d heard from new mothers for years about the “horrible experience” they had at court.

Lobbying compensation: Capital City Consulting tops $6.2M in Q1” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Capital City Consulting earned more than $6.2 million in the first quarter, putting it on track to smash last year’s $20 million haul. Founded by Nick Iarossi and Ron LaFace, the firm represented more than 250 clients during the first three months of the year, collecting an estimated $3.16 million in legislative lobbying fees and an additional $3.07 million in executive branch lobbying fees. The combined total is 36% higher than Q1 2022, when the firm earned $4.56 million and 53% higher than Q1 2021, when it reported $4.08 million in earnings.

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DeSantis’ immigration law is already leading to worker shortages” via Christian Paz of Vox — The videos from Florida aren’t hard to find: Dozens of clips of empty fields, abandoned construction sites, and scores of truck drivers calling for boycotts of the state have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok and Twitter over the last month. The common thread? Fear and frustration over the state’s newest anti-immigrant law, signed a week ago by DeSantis, which mandates that businesses with 25 or more employees verify the citizenship status of workers through the federal online portal E-Verify or face stronger penalties, among other new restrictions. The law, one of the most stringent state immigration measures in the U.S., seems intended to contrast Joe Biden’s handling of immigration policy as the controversial pandemic-era health rule Title 42 expired last week.

DeSantis’ immigration law is already being felt at farms across Florida. Image via AP.

250,000 Florida residents kicked off Medicaid; more expected” via Christopher O’Donnell of the Tampa Bay Times — Health advocate groups are calling on Florida to halt a review of the eligibility of Medicaid recipients after close to 250,000 residents were terminated from the program during the past four weeks. The Florida Department of Children and Families began a purge of the more than 5 million people from the state’s Medicaid rolls on April 18 as part of the winding down of the public health emergency that took effect May 11. Since then, state workers have reviewed more than 461,000 people, taking Medicaid benefits away from more than half.

New law doles out $158 million to school districts to up math, reading scores” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Florida lawmakers wanted to take aim at students’ poor math and reading skills and passed sweeping legislation that puts new requirements on schools. Also included in the bill (HB 7039) is $158 million to help make it happen. DeSantis quietly signed the bill, sponsored by Rep. Dana Trabulsy, into law Wednesday. The new law requires schools to identify any student in kindergarten through 4th grade who exhibits a substantial deficiency in mathematics or the characteristics of dyscalculia and to provide an individual education plan or an individualized progress monitor plan to address the issue. The bill follows the release of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures showing scores for students in 4th and 8th grade declined in 2022.

DeSantis’ ban of school diversity programs is coming to these states next” via Bianca Quilantan of POLITICO — While DeSantis made headlines on Monday for signing a law that bars colleges from using state or federal funding on most diversity, equity and inclusion programs, conservatives are pursuing similar tactics in other GOP-led states. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in Texas are shepherding legislation through Austin requiring public universities to shutter their DEI offices and ban diversity training and hiring statements but, unlike Florida, avoid interfering with course instruction. In Tennessee and North Dakota, Republican-controlled legislatures have passed new restrictions on DEI training or are pressing to pass them before their Legislative Sessions end.

Florida a ‘dangerous and hostile environment,’ Hispanic organization says in travel warning” via Douglas Soule of USA Today Network — The League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic organization, has issued a Florida travel advisory and is threatening litigation against the state. “We believe that Florida has committed several very cruel, immoral and unjust uses of immigrants as political piñatas for the purposes of basically just getting votes,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national President, at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “Florida is a dangerous, hostile environment for law-abiding Americans and immigrants.” At issue is Senate Bill 1718, a sweeping, strict anti-illegal immigration measure DeSantis signed into law last week.

— SKED —

Happening today — The Florida Defense Support Task Force meets, 9 a.m., Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown, 316 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee.

Happening today — The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet meets: 1 p.m., The Florida Department of Education, Turlington Building, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee.

— 2024 —

Trump already claiming interference in 2024 election” via Nick Mordowanec of Newsweek — Trump raged in a Wednesday morning Truth Social post following new conservative dismay with the FBI, which special counsel John Durham concluded had no evidence of collusion when launching its probe of relations between Trump and Russia ahead of the 2016 Election. Trump made open comments seemingly requesting Russian aid for his campaign about seven years ago. “I WAS BEING FRAMED BY THE FBI AND THE DOJ,” Trump wrote in an all-caps post. “NOW IT CONTINUES WITH THE BOXES HOAX, THE ‘PERFECT’ PHONE CALL IN ATLANTA, THE MANHATTAN D.A., AND THE NEW YORK STATE A.G. SCAM. WHAT A GROUP, BUT ALL REPORT TO THE DOJ IN WASHINGTON. IT’S JAMES COMEY AND THE SLEAZEBAGS ALL OVER AGAIN.”

New Joe Biden super PAC ad echoes campaign’s ‘freedom’ theme” via Mike Memoli of NBC News — A pro-Biden super PAC is taking to the national cable airwaves with a new minutelong advertisement casting the President as a defender of key rights it says are at stake in the next election. Unite the Country’s new spot is narrated by actor Emmy Rossum, who says the President will guarantee that same-sex marriage and abortion rights are protected, as well as “the freedom to feel safe in your community” and the ability to escape “crippling debt” from higher education or health care costs. “The American dream is built on freedom. It’s everything Joe Biden is fighting to protect. And it’s why he’s not done yet,” Rossum says in the ad.

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

DeSantis seizes opening against Trump in Iowa” via Ed Kilgore of Intelligencer — Evidence of DeSantis’ superior electability isn’t that easy to come by, so presumably his team has been looking for something a bit more immediate to help him get a leg up on his rival. It may have arrived in a sudden dispute between the candidates over the red-hot issue of abortion. Trump started the brouhaha on Monday with a strange comment in an interview with the Messenger about the six-week abortion ban DeSantis recently signed into law. Coincidentally or not, DeSantis, who often ignores Trump’s sniping at him, responded quickly, criticizing Trump for not saying whether he would sign a similar bill. It sounds like he’s now ready to lean into his base-pleasing record on abortion even though many swing voters (including Floridians) are horrified by it.

Republicans see narrow path for DeSantis through early Primary states: ‘Iowa is crucial’” via Michael Wilner and Alex Roarty of the Miami Herald — Defeating Trump in a Republican Presidential Primary won’t be an easy challenge for DeSantis. But it becomes exponentially harder, maybe even insurmountable if he stumbles out of the gate. As DeSantis prepares to formally declare his bid for President, Republican lawmakers, former candidates and strategists are predicting a difficult path through the first four nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, where DeSantis will have to clinch at least one victory to maintain party support, donor funding and popular momentum to proceed to Super Tuesday.

New Hampshire Governor’s path to the presidency: Iowa” via Trent Spiner of The Messenger — Gov. Chris Sununu said of all the Republican presidential candidates who have announced so far, most have a chance of winning the General Election, except for Trump. If Sununu doesn’t run for President, he plans to endorse early and campaign for his preferred candidate often. He has ruled out supporting Trump. “They’d better be a leader that can get stuff done,” he said. “That’s my metric.”

Key Trump attorney says he’s departing legal team as Mar-a-Lago probe intensifies” via The Associated Press — A key lawyer for Trump said Wednesday that he was leaving the legal team, a move that comes as a special counsel investigation into the retention of classified documents shows signs of being in its final stages. Timothy Parlatore said his departure had nothing to do with Trump and was not a reflection on his view of the Justice Department’s investigation, which he has long called misguided and overly aggressive, or on the strength of the government’s evidence. He said he believed he had served Trump well.


Biden ‘confident’ on reaching debt deal as GOP bashes Japan trip” via Akayla Gardner of Bloomberg — Biden expressed confidence that negotiators would reach an agreement to avoid a catastrophic default, even as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized his decision to travel to Japan for an international summit. “I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget and that America will not default,” Biden said Wednesday at the White House, shortly before departing to Hiroshima, Japan for a Group of Seven leaders’ summit. On Capitol Hill, McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers criticized Biden for his decision to travel, with the House Speaker labeling the President “a big obstacle” to an agreement.

Joe Biden leaves for Japan confident a debt deal is at hand. Image via AP.

Biden gives clearest indication to date he’s willing to make a critical debt ceiling compromise” via Adam Cancryn and Eugene Daniels of POLITICO — Biden on Wednesday left the door open to expanding some work requirements as part of a debt ceiling deal, committing only to opposing new restrictions that affect health care programs. “I’m not going to accept any work requirements that’s going to impact on medical health needs of people,” he said, before adding that “it’s possible” a deal could expand work rules for other federal programs. Biden’s willingness to speak openly about support for modest measures that Democrats traditionally oppose signals that negotiations are narrowing in on specific policies.

Senate Democrats ask Biden to ready 14th Amendment, bypass GOP on debt limit” via John Wagner, Marianna Sotomayor and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post — Top aides to Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continued negotiating directly over the debt ceiling and the federal budget Wednesday, but Democrats in both chambers of Congress started pushing for unilateral options that could head off a catastrophic default without the need for talks with Republicans, a sign of growing anxiety among liberal lawmakers over the contours of a possible deal. Even as Biden and McCarthy expressed some optimism about resolving the debt ceiling standoff before the deadline efforts were underway on Capitol Hill to put together alternative plans.

Democrats launch discharge petition, aiming to force debt-ceiling vote” via Lindsay Wise and Natalie Andrews of The Wall Street Journal — House Democrats started collecting signatures for a discharge petition to raise the debt ceiling, a long-shot parliamentary maneuver designed to circumvent House Republican leadership and force a vote. Rep. Brendan Boyle, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, initiated the petition and became the first to sign it in the well of the House when the chamber gaveled into Session at 10 a.m. He was followed by a steady stream of fellow Democrats. “We only have two weeks to go until we may hit the x-date,” Boyle said, referring to possible default. “We must raise the debt ceiling now and avoid economic catastrophe.”

Appeals court appears likely to restrict access to key abortion pill” via Ann E. Marimow, Caroline Kitchener and Perry Stein of The Washington Post — A federal appeals court seemed prepared to limit access to a key abortion medication first approved more than two decades ago, expressing deep skepticism that the government followed the proper process when it loosened regulations to make the pill more readily available. A panel of three judges, all of whom have previously supported other types of abortion restrictions, peppered lawyers for the government and the drug manufacturer with questions about why the FDA has allowed mifepristone to be prescribed by a medical professional other than a doctor and sent directly to patients by mail.

Rick Scott introducing legislation to require parental consent for kids’ AI use” via Olafimihan Oshin of The Hill — Sen. Scott introduced legislation Tuesday that will require children to get parental consent to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The AI Shield for Kids (ASK) Act will prevent children from accessing AI features on social media sites without the consent of a parent or guardian. Scott’s bill will also require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue rules barring social media platforms from charging a fee or mandating a paid subscription before allowing either parents or children to remove AI features from products minors use.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

DeSantis announces 4 judicial appointments in Broward, Palm Beach” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Four lawyers serving in government posts, including Palm Beach County’s chief homicide prosecutor, have been tapped to fill in gaps in South Florida’s judiciary, DeSantis’ Office announced. Reid Scott II of Wellington has prosecuted some of the area’s most high-profile murders and will be serving as a judge in the 15th Judicial Circuit in West Palm Beach. Scott has been an Assistant State Attorney since 2006. A graduate of Stetson University College of Law, Scott fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Paige Kilbane to the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Judge in Joe Carollo trial livid over photo taken in court, threatens defense with prison” via Charles Rabin of the Miami Herald — The lawsuit involving Miami Commissioner Carollo was thrown into disarray when the federal judge overseeing the case briefly threatened to send the Commissioner’s attorneys to prison over a photo that was taken inside the courtroom. Taking pictures inside federal courtrooms is strictly prohibited and U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith was livid when one showed up in a filing from Carollo’s attorneys, Ben Kuehne, Mason Pertnoy and Marc Sarnoff. The picture, which the judge said was included in a sealed document and never shown in court, apparently showed an attorney for the Little Havana business owners suing Carollo talking to a media member in Smith’s courtroom.

Joe Carollo’s attorney gets in hot water. Image via Facebook.

Nikki Beach site is going out to bid. Why do its owners still say the process is unfair?” via Aaron Leibowitz of the Miami Herald — The Miami Beach City Commission voted to invite bidders to operate one of the most valuable pieces of land in South Beach, reversing their previous decision but still failing to satisfy the owners of the Nikki Beach day club that has leased the site from the city for decades. In response to backlash from residents who called for a competitive process before the club’s lease expires in May 2026, Commissioners rescinded their April decision to negotiate a possible deal with the beach concession company Boucher Brothers to manage the city-owned property. “This is exactly the right time,” said Mayor Dan Gelber.

FPL to start 4th Martin County solar center this month; 5th one is on the way” via Lina Ruiz of Treasure Coast Newspapers — Florida Power & Light Co.’s (FPL) construction of solar facilities in western Martin continues to gain momentum: Its fourth facility here has received final approval and its fifth is on the drawing board. The Monarch Solar Energy Center, to be built 507 acres southwest of FPL’s former Indiantown Cogeneration coal plant near Indiantown, is to be a 74.5-megawatt solar facility powering about 15,000 homes, according to Scott Scovill, project director. It received unanimous approval on May 9 from the County Commission. Construction is to begin this month; the facility is to go online in January. Commissioner Stacey Hetherington noted that the company’s Sweetbay Solar Energy Center, which was completed in 2020, was built next to her childhood home.

FP&L solar farms are springing up like weeds. Image via FP&L.

Brightline kicks off ticket sales for high-speed train rides from South Florida to Orlando” via David Lyons of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Brightline’s rollout to Orlando took another step forward as the South Florida-based higher-speed rail line started to sell tickets for travel as early as September along a 170-mile extension between West Palm Beach and Central Florida. Customers, however, will not immediately know when the trains will start operating on the new route that runs north along the Florida East Coast Railway to Cocoa, then hooks west on a newly constructed rail bed to a station at Orlando International Airport. It’s along that 35-mile segment that Brightline’s test trains in March reached 130 mph. The current top in-service speed has been limited to 79 mph.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Digital traffic sign in Orlando displays anti-gay hate message, police say” via Christopher Cann of the Orlando Sentinel — The Orlando Police Department is investigating an anti-gay hate message that was displayed on a digital traffic sign early Wednesday morning near Lake Nona, authorities say. The sign altered to say “KILL ALL GAYS” at Lake Nona Boulevard and Nemours Parkway was reported to the agency just before 4 a.m., according to an email from an OPD representative. OPD said the sign “appeared to be tampered with” and that there’s an active investigation into the incident.

Orlando gets a rude surprise. Image via Twitter.

Apopka group faces Friday deadline in quest to oust Mayor Bryan Nelson” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — A citizen initiative to oust Apopka Mayor Nelson from office is nearing a critical deadline. A group identified in Florida Secretary of State records as Apopka Citizens for Honest Government must submit petitions with valid signatures of at least 1,762 registered voters who are Apopka residents and want a recall election of Nelson. The petitions must be handed over to City Clerk Susan Bone by Friday. Her office closes at 5 p.m. Recalls are rare and can be complicated. Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, who has worked in the office since 1989 and has led it since 1996, said no recall effort has resulted in a Special Election in the county during his tenure.

Volusia corrections director says about 1/3 or more of inmates have mental health issues” via Sheldon Gardner of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Close to a third or more of Volusia County’s jail inmates have mental health issues and would probably be better served in a setting devoted to treating their illnesses, according to Acting Corrections Director Steven Smith. Smith was asked about the issue at a County Council meeting during a presentation on the Corrections Division’s budget. It came up when Council member Don Dempsey said he has heard estimates that about 30-40% of people at the county jail are “basically mental health patients.” “Would you agree with that number?” Dempsey asked. “Do you think there’s that many people there that are basically mental health patients and they’re just kind of being warehoused there because there’s nowhere else to put them?”

Disney CFO addresses rising ticket prices and future ride expansion” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — The Walt Disney Co.’s CFO Christine McCarthy is defending rising theme park ticket prices, saying the increases “are pretty much around inflation.” McCarthy made the comments in a sweeping talk where the executive highlighted Disney’s popular cruises and gave insight on how Disney+ helps the company plan ride expansions. McCarthy spoke during a question-and-answer session at SVB MoffettNathanson Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.


Pasco school board splits on charter school deal with Patels” via Jeffrey S. Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times — The Patel Foundation for Global Understanding wants to extend its charter school operations into Pasco County. The plan for the foundation — which is funded by Tampa Bay entrepreneur and philanthropist Kiran Patel — to open a 1,000-student high school by 2025 nearly fell apart Tuesday, though. Two Pasco school board members questioned the proposal to give the group 20 acres of district-owned land for $10. When the board purchased the site in the Trinity area of west Pasco, at a former county government spray field just north of State Road 54 and east of Gunn Highway, officials touted it as strategically placed where the district eventually would want another high school. Since buying the property for $750,000 in 2017, the district has not been able to justify building a school there, but some officials said they still anticipate the need.

Kiran Patel’s charter school deal with Pasco County almost fell apart.

DeSantis hates ESG programs. Here’s why Tampa Bay companies have them” via Jay Cridlin of the Tampa Bay Times — With a few swoops of a blue pen, DeSantis on May 2 signed into law a bill targeting “government and corporate activism” — or, as a statement from his office later put it, “a worldwide effort to inject ‘woke’ political ideology across the financial sector.” “And with that,” he said to applause, “ESG is officially DOA in the state of Florida.” ESG stands for environmental, social and governance, three words corporations use to describe conscientious approaches to issues like sustainability, diversity and worker welfare. It’s the corporate shorthand that pulls similar programs under one holistic umbrella — even if the programs themselves aren’t new — and it’s widespread across the Fortune 500. House Bill 3 prohibits the state from factoring ESG into pension investments, blocks local municipalities from weighing ESG criteria when writing bonds, and enables the state to penalize lenders who use ESG ratings in loan decisions. The problem, proponents say, is that ESG programs are often good for public companies. Really good. And investors know it.

USF football on-campus stadium finally has a budget and debt plan” via Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times — More than 20 months after USF renewed its push to build an on-campus football stadium, the project finally has a proposed budget. The Bulls expect it to cost $340 million, with $200 million being financed over 20 years. The rest will come from the university, with no help from state funds or tax dollars. These details come from Tuesday’s agenda for the virtual meeting of the Board of Trustees’ finance committee. Though the figures remain tentative and are subject to Board approval, they provide the clearest look yet at how the Bulls intend to move from Raymond James Stadium to a 35,000-seat stadium north of the practice facilities for the 2026 season. The agenda item calls for $140 million from the university.

USF St. Pete professor heads effort for new statewide human trafficking database” via Dalia Dangerfield of Bay News 9 — DeSantis signed a law that creates a statewide data repository for human trafficking. Florida is the third in the nation for reported cases. This initiative will be the first database of its kind in Florida, requiring state agencies to provide certain anonymous information about human trafficking victims. University of South Florida professor Joan Reid is spearheading the project. She has been researching the issue for 13 years. “It’s my passion,” Reid said. Reid gets a lot of her statistics about victims from a national hotline. In 2021, records showed there were 3,000 calls regarding human trafficking. “It’s a number,” Reid said. “It’s helpful.” Reid said the statistics would be more accurate if she could get information from statewide agencies, including law enforcement and the courts. But she said it’s challenging to get those agencies to release the information. The new law will require agencies to provide anonymous information for the statewide database.

A Manatee County plantation had 190 slaves at its peak — and still stands today” via Emerald Morrow of 10 Tampa Bay — Tucked away on the side of a busy Manatee County road stands the vestige of a defining era in American history. Celebrated by some as a state Confederate shrine, in recent years, there has been a push to bring into focus the lives of the enslaved who toiled at the Gamble Plantation. “To be sort of in line with how contemporary historians, contemporary museums [and] anthropologists try to interpret these public heritage sites, there needs to be a significant push to foreground the stories of the enslaved laborers here,” Dr. Diane Wallman said, associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida. At its peak, the Gamble Plantation enslaved 190 men, women and children. According to documents from the National Park Service, slaves ranged in age from two months to 105 years old.

Gamble Plantation once held nearly 200 slaves. Image via Florida State Parks.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

How Democrats pulled off a big upset in Florida” via Li Zhou of Vox — This week, Democrats got a rare bit of good news in Florida: For the first time in years, they flipped the mayoral seat in Jacksonville, the most populous Republican-led city in the country. Deegan’s win is a significant victory for Democrats but may not be a sign of a sea change in Florida politics. She won fairly narrowly, bringing in 52% of the vote to Republican Chamber of Commerce leader Daniel Davis’s 48%.

—”10 things to know about new Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan” via C.A. Bridges of The Daytona Beach News Journal

Nikki Fried claims Jax voters rejected DeSantis’ ‘radicalization’ of GOP” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Specifically, Fried said, because voters in the Jacksonville mayoral race, the race for Duval County Property Appraiser, and City Council were consciously rejecting the “radicalization” he has brought to the Republican Party. “It’s happening here in Florida that people are starting to reject the radicalization of the Republican Party. And certainly, the Republican Party under Ron DeSantis who has taken our state in such a dangerous direction,” Fried said on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out” Wednesday. Chair Fried noted that the Republican in the race for Mayor, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce CEO Davis, “went even further right” in his unsuccessful campaign against Democrat Deegan, a former newscaster who will be the city’s first female Mayor.

Donna Deegan’s win was a backlash against a ‘radical’ GOP. Image via AP.

What does Deegan’s win in Jacksonville mayoral race mean for Florida Democrats?” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — Deegan’s victory Tuesday in the Jacksonville Mayor’s race reinforces that Duval County is a purple county in electoral politics, even as recent elections have swung back and forth between red waves for Republicans and blue rallies for Republicans. Deegan, a Democrat, became Mayor-elect Tuesday by defeating Davis who ran with an $8 million campaign war chest and the Republican Party establishment behind him. Deegan is only the second Democratic Mayor elected in Jacksonville in 30 years.

Discussions begin to find interim Duval County Superintendent” via First Coast News — The Duval County School Board began discussions Tuesday as to who will succeed Dr. Diana Greene as Superintendent. Earlier this month, the Duval County School Board voted to allow Greene to retire from her position in a special board meeting. Greene was under increasing political pressure since a scandal at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts — where longtime music teacher Jeffrey Clayton was arrested in March, and three teachers were later removed from their positions.

LaShakia Moore appointed as Flagler Schools Interim Superintendent after Cathy Mittelstadt ousting” via Brenno Carillo of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — After voting 3-2 not to renew Superintendent Mittelstadt’s contract last month, the Flagler School Board decided on a temporary replacement. Moore, the current assistant Superintendent for academic services, will begin as Interim Superintendent on June 1. “I am humbled by our School Board’s confidence in me to lead this district for the next six months,” Moore said in a news release. “There is a line of leaders who have guided this district through my career here, and I hope to steer this ship forward, just as they had done. Flagler Schools is a great place to learn and grow, and I look forward to sharing those great things every chance I get.”


North Port now crafting resolution to fix FEMA trailer problem” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — North Port city staff have crafted a resolution for an Emergency Housing Declaration that would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to place larger mobile homes on single-family lots. The declaration would allow for the mobile homes to be placed providing that the existing home on the lot has been declared substantially damaged. The City Commission must still approve the resolution when it meets on May 23. The move comes after the board first refused a direct plea from FEMA officials at an April meeting to allow for larger units on single-family lots.

North Port seeks bigger FEMA trailers for Hurricane Ian recovery. Image via AP.

Investigator hired by Cape Coral found claims by fired City Manager unsubstantiated” via Luis Zambarno of the Fort Myers News-Press — An investigator hired by the City of Cape Coral found claims of racism and anti-gay actions claimed by the recently-fired City Manager against Council members are unsubstantiated. GrayRobinson, a statewide Florida law firm that specializes in municipal law, was hired and approved by the City Council to document and investigate claims made by the former City Manager. Sacha Dyson, a shareholder of the firm, conducted the investigation and interviewed city officials, but the former city employee making the claims, Rob Hernandez, wouldn’t speak to them. Dyson investigated 17 claims by Hernandez, finding a few to have partial merit. Hernandez declined to participate in the investigation.

‘The voice’ of Florida’s Strawberry Festival and his wife killed in Parrish crash” via Jason Dill of the Bradenton Herald — The voice of the Florida Strawberry Festival, his wife, and his wife’s sister were identified as the three Plant City residents that were killed after a dump truck crashed head-on with their SUV in Parrish, according to various reports. Randy Scott, 71, was driving an SUV with his wife, Jill Scott, 71, and her sister Judy Cook, 80, on County Road 675, the Florida Highway Patrol and Tampa’s CBS affiliate, WTSP, reported. According to the FHP report, a 59-year-old Palmetto man driving a dump truck was traveling west on County Road 675, also known as Rutland Road, entering a curve when the SUV traveled east on the same road and entered the same curve.

Is there something in the water? Scientists suspect pollution impacting panthers” via Chad Gillis of the Fort Myers News-Press — The hunt for the root of a mysterious disease that may be cutting short the Florida panther population continues as scientists and environmental groups search for answers. The scariest part, some say, is that it may be a toxin coming from Florida’s ailing waters. “It’s not a tick paralysis, it’s not a virus, it’s not from pesticides or rodenticides and it’s not metabolic, so we do suspect it’s something in the environment,” said Hollis Stewart, a veterinarian for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. “There’s no evidence of infection or inflammation. Maybe it’s something that’s already been in the environment plus something that’s been introduced to the environment.”

2 sea turtles set free at Sarasota beach after red tide put them in critical condition” via Clinton Engelberger of the Bradenton Herald — A crowd of beachgoers cheered and hollered as they watched Mote Marine staff release two loggerhead sea turtles, named Lilly and Farmer, into the water at Lido Beach. Farmer was transferred to Mote’s on Feb. 21, and Lilly was transported on March 30. Both were found with symptoms of red tide toxicity. Lilly received antibiotics and fluids until symptoms improved, according to a release from Mote Marine. Farmer suffered from extreme lethargy and received fluids daily to help flush out toxins. Both turtles made full recoveries at Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. “We are super excited to see them go,” Lynne Byrd, Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care manager, said in a news release.


DeSantis’ war on college is bad for Florida business” via Peter Schorsch for the Daily Beast — DeSantis is focused on fueling culture wars that rally his base — a necessary move as he increasingly becomes more interested in running for President than serving as Governor — even if that hurts Florida’s standing as a beacon for economic freedom and prosperity, two things in which DeSantis takes pride.

He and his army of advisers and right-wing media allies have spun the move as a way to stand against discrimination — twisting the narrative surrounding his anti-DEI push as one that’s actually supporting diversity and equality by eliminating unfair concessions to those deemed undeserving.

But make no mistake, in signing SB 266 into law DeSantis has gone counter to many things he claims to stand for.

It starts with brain drain.

If colleges and universities are, as DeSantis describes them, hotbeds of student indoctrination rife with woke curricula and leftist academics, on what planet will said woke army stick around at institutions that no longer support diversity, equity, and inclusion? And who would be crazy enough to assume these bastions of liberal indoctrination will be OK with being told what curricula they can and cannot teach?

The answers are easy: Very few. Certainly not enough to maintain the high bar of academic excellence attained at the school’s booming institutes of higher education.

The impacts of that brain drain could spell a major hit to Florida’s economy.

So not only is DeSantis and his lackey Legislature giving the finger to both, they’re actively imposing policy that will scuttle the necessary talent pipeline businesses need to thrive.

This would be a good opportunity to talk about unintended consequences. But that would assume these consequences are indeed unintended.


Ralph Massullo: PBM reform legislation is a win for Floridians” via Florida Politics — I would like to thank Senate President Passidomo, House Speaker Renner, DeSantis, and the bill sponsors for passing historic legislation that will increase Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) transparency and will make access to lifesaving drugs more accessible to thousands of Floridians. The legislation will take away the spread pricing model used by PBMs to charge insurance companies a high price for prescription drugs without reimbursing the pharmacy the full amount, pocketing the difference at the expense of independent pharmacies. PBMs also enforce gag clauses, preventing pharmacies from informing patients of cheaper alternatives for lifesaving medication. This legislation will make a massive impact by reining in PBMs and improving the system for everyday Floridians.

I’m a Professor. Florida just banned everything I teach.” via William Horne for the Daily Beast — The information that college instructors like me are now forbidden by law from sharing with their adult students under SB 266 leaves them less able to understand the world around them and to critically engage Republican policy priorities like voter suppression or attacks on trans persons that promote inequality. It leaves students less informed and more vulnerable — that appears to be the whole point. This banned material is information that students want to know because it helps them make sense of the world as it actually exists.

DeSantis wants a focus on ‘classical education.’ What does that mean?” via the Orlando Sentinel editorial board — DeSantis and the Legislature have gotten a lot of attention lately for their often-successful efforts to inject high-emotion debates into Florida education, raising a ruckus over book-banning and attacks on racial and LGBTQ+ students and educators. But there’s another, quieter revolution going on — one that is attempting to remake the foundation of learning in Florida to fit a mold that breaks with most contemporary research into how young people learn and flourish.

A surprise Democratic win brings desperately needed hope” via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board — Democrats in Florida have reason to celebrate for the first time in a long, long while. In a monumental upset, Deegan convincingly won the race for Mayor of Jacksonville Tuesday by defeating Republican Davis, who had the support of DeSantis, Moms for Liberty and other right-wing groups. In a city known for its pro-business boosterism, Davis ran the Chamber of Commerce and had four times as much money as his opponent. But voters rejected his lack of vision and his divisive campaign.

DeSantis, SB 540 is poison for the environment and a gift to developers. Veto it” via the Miami Herald editorial board — Before DeSantis became known as the presidential hopeful who won’t back down from a culture-war battle, he surprised Floridians across the political spectrum for taking steps to protect Florida’s Everglades and clean up polluted waterways. Lawmakers passed a bill this month that ties Floridians’ hands when developers convince cities and counties to change urban-growth rules to allow for the same kind of sprawling development that has put pressure on Florida’s natural resources. DeSantis should stay true to his word and veto Senate Bill 540. He has until May 24 to do so. This wouldn’t be the first time DeSantis kills an anti-environment bill.


— ALOE —

Tom Cruise speeds off a cliff in ‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One’ trailer” via Jackie Strause of The Hollywood Reporter — The new trailer for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One reveals more of what Cruise has in store when he returns to the IFM agent role he first originated in 1996. The seventh installment in the billion-dollar action-spy franchise returns familiar faces and sets Cruise on more high-octane stunts. After hyping up the sequel with a 20-minute scene at CinemaCon the latest preview shows the action star speeding off the edge of a cliff full throttle from a motorcycle, engaging in a knife fight on top of a speeding train and then hanging on by a thread as a train car nose-dives into the water below.

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

Universal reveals Minion Land details, but still no official opening day set” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — Universal is teasing what kids can expect to see and eat when the new Minion Land opens sometime this summer at Orlando’s Universal Studios Florida. A stand selling banana-flavored popcorn. A whimsical bakery topped with a giant pink cupcake on the roof so you can’t miss it. An outdoor meet-and-greet featuring characters from Universal films “Minions” and “Sing.” A new sit-down eatery and a retail store.


Happy birthday to a slew of Florida politicos, including former Rep. Mike Miller, former St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon, FDLE PIO Jeremy Burns, Brooke Bustle, Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald, poker savant Trevor Mask, and Michael Wickersheim.


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.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

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

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