Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 6.15.23

Sunburn Orange Tally (1)
Don't miss your first look at stories driving today's agenda in Florida politics.

Good Thursday morning.

A top of ‘burn congratulations to Beth Boyd of SAS and GrayRobinson’s Kirk Pepper, who were married June 13 in a ceremony on the property of a beautiful hamlet in the Chianti region of Tuscany. All the best to the newlyweds!

Best wishes to newlywed Beth Boyd Nunnally and Kirk Pepper.


Lee Dury is stepping away from Americans for Prosperity but launching two new efforts of his own.

The outgoing AFP-FL policy operations director will launch his own lobbying firm, the Mezzanine Group, and a new political committee, Earn the Vote Action.

Lee Dury is setting out on his own with two new projects.

“As I talked to friends and professional colleagues about my ideas, based on initial excitement, support and advice, I decided now is the time to do it,” he said. “And if I do one, I might as well do both.”

The Mezzanine Group will focus on research and lobbying, leveraging quality relationships with state legislators. Dury will hold the title of founder and lead lobbyist.

Earn The Vote Action, meanwhile, will focus on recruiting and supporting candidates in local and municipal elections, and remain engaged after elections to hold locally elected officials accountable to their communities.

While Dury has worked the past few years with one of Florida’s most influential center-right groups, he plans to bring his own centrist politics to his new ventures.


Former Tallahassee Mayor John Marks has been tapped to serve as Chair of the nonpartisan policy organization the LeRoy Collins Institute. Marks is the longest-serving Mayor in Tallahassee history and succeeds Lester Abberger, who has been the Institute’s Chair for 10 years.

Former Mayor John Marks has a new gig — Chair of the nonpartisan LeRoy Collins Institute.

“John has dedicated his life to serving our city and state, and we look forward to having him as Chairman of the Board,” said Dr. Lonna Atkeson, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute.

Marks, who has been a LeRoy Collins Institute Board member since 2002, is the managing principal in the law firm of Marks and Marks, LLC.

The Institute, located in Tallahassee at Florida State University, is affiliated and collaborates with the State University System of Florida to study and promote policy solutions for issues facing the people of Florida and the United States.


@ZacJAnderson: The conservative National Review, which generally supports (Gov. Ron) DeSantis, said he’s picking some “strange battles” in criticizing (Donald) Trump’s Supreme Court picks. Said DeSantis is contorting himself to outflank Trump on the right because he’s unwilling to make an ethical case against him

Tweet, tweet:

@miaminewtimes: @RepCarlos didn’t mince words with us about @FrancisSuarez’s presidential aspirations: “He has never established himself as having the capacity to run anything in his life.”

@Alex_Roarty: would be curious what Suarez’s name ID is *within* Florida, much less what it is nationally

@ScottGustin: California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday met with Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company and Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Newsom also received a briefing on DisneylandForward

@DLthings: If you recall, Disney was frustrated with the CA Governor in 2020 because the state’s pandemic restrictions kept Disneyland closed. Iger resigned from Newsom’s Recovery Task Force over disagreements at the time. Guess they’ve made up. Mutual enmity over Florida will do that!

Tweet, tweet:

@MaxwellFrostFL: A bunch of people asked me to play but y’all gotta know that I went to an arts school with no sports. I’m a much better asset if I trash-talk in the stands. Trust me


Disney and Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ premieres — 1; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 1; DeSantis to headline Nevada PAC’s annual basque fry — 2; ‘Secret Invasion’ premieres on Disney+ — 6; ‘The Bear’ returns to Hulu — 6; ‘And Just Like That’ Season 2 premieres — 7; Florida Chamber 2023 Florida Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit — 12; Jacksonville Mayor-elect Donna Deegan’s inauguration — 15; ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ premieres — 15; Wimbledon begins — 18; 2023 MLB All-Star Game — 26; ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One’ premieres — 27; Florida Chamber 37th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School — 34; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 36; Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ tour in Tampa — 62; The first GOP Presidential Primary debate — 69; ‘Ahsoka’ premieres on Disney+ — 69; The U.S. Open begins — 74; Florida House Fall 2023 Interim Committee Meetings begin — 95; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres — 113; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 130; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 141; ’Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 148; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 160; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 208; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 233; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 236; Georgia Democratic Primary — 243; Michigan Democratic Primary — 257; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 267; 2024 Oscars — 269; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 288; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 323; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 344; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 407; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 407; New ‘Alien’ premieres — 428; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 436; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 554; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 610; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 687; ‘Moana’ premieres — 743; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 918; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 1,051; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,072; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,282; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,422; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,381; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,744.


Kevin Steele backs ex-rival Jennifer Canady for House Speaker” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Steele is publicly endorsing Canady’s bid for House Speaker in 2028. The Dade City Republican said he hoped his unequivocal support would end rumors about the race.

“In my heart, I have and will always be a Tampa guy. To that extent, I want to make sure everyone in my class knows, I’m standing with my region in support of Jennifer Canady for Speaker of our class,” Steele tweeted.

“I want to end any doubt or confusion on the issue and add some finality to the rumors that have persisted since the end of Session. I know our class can work together for the better of the state now that the Speaker’s race is over.”

Florida Politics reported in May the contest for Speaker was effectively over. That came after intense competition for support within the 2022 first-term Representative class between Canady, Steele and Rep. Jessica Baker.

Steele’s tweet set off a rush of GOP colleagues who also publicly backed Canady. Sources close to state Rep. Jeff Holcomb, a Spring Hill Republican, quickly voiced that he supported Canady when previously he was believed to be in Baker’s camp.

Shortly after, state Rep. Vicki Lopez, a Miami Republican, publicly endorsed Canady.

The news confirmed what Florida Politics readers have known for some time. Canady has won the Speaker’s race.

Tweet, tweet:


DeSantis’ campaign launch fizzled” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post — The central desired outcome is to begin the campaign with a bang, ginning up attention and contributions that mark an initial surge toward the eventual nomination. On that latter metric, the recently announced candidacy of DeSantis for the Republican presidential nomination was not a success. Let’s start with the poll numbers. On the day DeSantis announced, he trailed Trump by 33 points. Now, he trails Trump by 32 points and sits at 21.65 in the polls. That does not qualify as a “surge.” Nor did it yield a big surge in media attention. On the day of DeSantis’ announcement, he was mentioned more frequently on Fox News than Trump, as he had been on the two preceding days. But that was it.

Ron DeSantis’ campaign launch did not turn out as expected. Image via AP.

Mike Pence attacks Donald Trump over ‘serious allegations’ in classified documents indictment” via David Jackson of USA Today — Pence has joined the growing list of 2024 Republican candidates who are now starting to attack Trump over criminal charges that he hoarded sensitive classified documents and defied a grand jury subpoena to give them back. “The very prospect that what is alleged here took place — creating an opportunity where highly sensitive classified material could have fallen into the wrong hands even inadvertently — that jeopardizes our national security,” Pence told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In a meeting Monday with The Wall Street Journal editorial board, Pence said that “these are serious allegations. And the handling of classified materials — as I learned in my years as Vice President and my years on the (House) Foreign Affairs Committee — is a very serious matter that bears upon the national security of the United States.”

Poll: DeSantis just 5 points behind Trump in Maryland” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — A Gonzalez Poll conducted between May 30 and June 6 shows the Florida Governor just 5 points behind the former President, 42% to 37%, with 21% offering no answer to the question. The race shows a clear gender gap in a limited sample of just 221 Republicans. Women prefer Trump, 51% to 30%. Men pick DeSantis, 43% to 35%. DeSantis is narrowly ahead with self-described moderate voters, 41% to 40%. He’s holding his own with conservatives also, with Trump leading 44% to 37%. DeSantis also leads with a very limited sample of 18- to 34-year-old voters and with those over the age of 65, while Trump is up with voters between 35 and 64 years of age.

Poll: Joe Biden’s independent voter trouble and a hypothetical contest against Wes Moore” via Bryan Sears of Maryland Matters — A new poll by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research & Media Service finds independent voters in Maryland moving away from President Biden. The poll asked voters to weigh in on head-to-head matches between Biden and two top Republican challengers. The poll also gauged sentiment in a hypothetical Primary contest against Maryland Gov. Moore. Among the results, pollster Patrick Gonzales said independent voters in Maryland have not yet coalesced behind Biden. The President’s showing in Maryland with independent voters portends potential trouble nationally, he said. Biden performs as expected in matchups against two top Republicans: Trump (52%-35%) and DeSantis (65%-32%).

In a matchup against Wes Moore, Joe Biden gets a worrying sign. Image via AP.

Poll: 5 of 6 GOP women don’t want DeSantis to be President” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — If DeSantis wants to wrest front-runner status away from Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential race, he’s going to have to resolve his trouble with female voters. That’s one takeaway from a new poll by The Economist and YouGov, which illustrates DeSantis is dragging with women voters, and is stronger with men. While DeSantis only trails Trump 48% to 26% with male voters, with former United Nations envoy Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina each taking 4% for a distant third, he’s doing much worse with women. In this survey, 54% of female Republicans back Trump, with just 17% backing DeSantis. In third place with women voters: former Vice President Pence, who has 6% support.

An all-Trump news diet could swallow the Summer, denying attention to other Republican candidates who need it.” via Jonathan Swan and Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times — Advisers working for Trump’s opponents are facing what some consider an infuriating task: trying to persuade Republican Primary voters, who are inured to Trump’s years of controversies and deeply distrustful of the government, that being criminally charged for holding onto classified documents is a bad thing. Trump’s competitors are actually dreading what threatens to be an endless indictment news cycle that could swallow up the Summer. His rivals are desperate to get media coverage for their campaigns, but since the indictment became public last Thursday, as several advisers grumbled, the only way they can get their candidates booked on television is for them to answer questions about Trump.

— MORE 2024 —

Francis Suarez, Miami’s Republican Mayor, files to run for President in GOP Primary” via Douglas Hanks and Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald — Suarez, Miami’s second-term Mayor, has filed papers to run in the Republican Presidential Primary, casting himself as a conservative problem-solver as he faces an FBI probe over payments from a developer seeking help from the city. Suarez, 45, is expected to announce his candidacy Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, but papers filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday show he’s officially a candidate for President. The married father of two first came to national prominence in 2020 when he was one of the first elected officials to contact COVID-19 in the early weeks of the pandemic and documented his time in isolation with the virus.

—“It’s official: Florida will see a trifecta of Republicans running for President in 2024” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

Super PAC backing Suarez launches ads as 2024 announcement looms” via Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald — A federal super PAC backing Miami Mayor Suarez’s anticipated run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination has launched ads in key Primary states. SOS America PAC released a two-minute ad painting Suarez as a law-and-order politician who strongly supports policing in the face of increased crime in American cities under Biden. The PAC is running ads in New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada, according to a news release. “America needs conservative Mayor Francis Suarez for President,” said Chapin Fay, the PAC’s representative, in a statement.

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

Lincoln Project ad looks to spook Trump, says ‘rats’ are all around him” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — For his birthday, Trump is getting something from The Lincoln Project aimed at getting under his skin. “Rats” is the new spot the MAGA-skewering political action committee is airing on the Fox News Channel covering the Bedminster, New Jersey, market where the former President is now holed up. Alas, even in his Summer haven’s stately halls, there’s no escaping the garbage-feasting rodents, the one-minute advertisement tells him. The theme of betrayal is played up as shots of the teeming rats turn into quick flashes of familiar figures from Trump’s world: Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior Adviser Stephen Miller. “So many people turning on you, after all you’ve done for them,” the narrator says.

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

Why 2024 is shaping up to be the most online election ever” via Kaleigh Rogers of FiveThirtyEight — It’s clear campaigns are indulging in the online aspect of this election, and that’s likely to accelerate, according to Ryan Broderick, an internet culture writer who has been covering the election in his newsletter, Garbage Day. In some ways, the pressure for campaigns to engage with internet culture is an inevitability of our increasingly digitally focused lives. But Broderick said it’s also a direct response to Trump, and the integral role online culture played in his election and administration. “I sort of see this election cycle as a real referendum on the last two, with the big question being, ‘Does the internet impact, and influence, and amplify people that aren’t Trump?’” Broderick said.


Pete Buttigieg says DeSantis won’t return his calls” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg said he can’t reach DeSantis even about major transportation issues. “I’ve never heard from this Governor, and it’s not because I’ve never called him. We’ve never spoken,” Buttigieg told TIME. However, Buttigieg said the relationship between the U.S. and Florida Departments of Transportation remains healthy. “What I will say is we’ve done a lot of good work with the Florida Department of Transportation,” Buttigieg said. “We try to work around and through all that to just get stuff done. A huge amount of energy and effort is being wasted in these dumb fights. And that’s really unfortunate. It’s policy waste in order to achieve political benefit or perceived political benefit.”

Pete Buttigieg says DeSantis is not taking his calls.

‘GRU takeover’ bill reaches DeSantis’ desk, awaits signature” via Nora O’Neill of The Gainesville Sun — A controversial bill that aims to take away an all-Democrat City Commission’s control of the local municipal utility made its way to DeSantis’ desk Wednesday morning. The Governor has until Jun 29 to sign HB 1645, which strips away all decision-making abilities for the Gainesville City Commission regarding Gainesville Regional Utilities. If DeSantis doesn’t act on the bill by signing or vetoing it, it can still go into effect. The passage of the bill will take away the Gainesville City Commission’s century-long control of GRU and give ultimate authority to an unpaid five-member Board appointed by the Governor. If the bill is passed, DeSantis must issue a public notice looking for citizen nominations within 120 days of the July 1 effective date.

A timely warning: Florida courts becoming victims of groupthink as DeSantis shifts justice to the right” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix — The panel that screens Florida Supreme Court nominees for DeSantis got more than its members may have bargained for when veteran prosecutor Victoria Avalon appeared before them on May 3. They got a warning about the judiciary’s legitimacy. Her jeremiad touched on Justice Clarence Thomas’ acceptance of expensive gifts at the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the fairness of Florida’s judicial nominations process, created by former Gov. Reubin Askew in 1971 following improprieties by justices of the Florida Supreme Court. The idea was to remove politics from the process but, under Republican Governors, that independence has been lost. Avalon reported a perception out there that the fix was in — that DeSantis had already made his choice and it was up to the panel to go through the motions of independence.

Newsom and Texas sheriff ‘compare notes’ on possible DeSantis prosecution” via Elex Michaelson of Fox 11 — Newsom met with Sheriff Javier Salazar of Bexar County, Texas, to “compare notes” on possible criminal charges against DeSantis. Newsom made that revelation during an exclusive interview on FOX 11 Los Angeles’ political show “The Issue Is”: Newsom said that Salazar was “disgusted [with] what Ron DeSantis did, coming into his jurisdiction under false pretense and deceiving kids, not just kids, adults, and sending them on an airplane to Martha’s Vineyard.” Newsom continued: “I find it not only disgraceful, I think there’s grounds, not only to investigate but to potentially initiate some form of accountability. The Sheriff wants to see that from the D.A. in Texas and we’re pursuing that with the Department of Justice in this state.”

Report: Subway strangler called ‘good Samaritan’ by DeSantis indicted” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — ABC News reports that Daniel Penny of New York has been indicted by a grand jury for choking a man to death on a subway. The indictment comes after DeSantis joined a chorus of the vigilante’s defenders last month. Penny choked Jordan Neely on a New York City subway on May 1. “Vets look out for other vets,” DeSantis said in a May 16 defense of Daniel Penny. “What we can’t have in our society is inmates running the asylum.” DeSantis added, “And what you saw on the subway was, you saw a guy that was very dangerous. He was putting people in harm’s way. He was boasting that he may do harm.”

Advertisement— STATEWIDE —

National Hurricane Center monitoring 4 tropical waves, including 2 in Caribbean” via Cheryl McCloud of the Tallahassee Democrat — The National Hurricane Center is monitoring four tropical waves, including two in the Caribbean Sea, according to the latest advisory. No tropical cyclone development is expected over the next seven days. In Florida, a nontropical system is causing heat advisories for some parts of Florida. AccuWeather meteorologists are tracking the potential for activity to increase in the Western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico later this month. Meteorologists said they see signs that point to some potential trouble spots in the coming weeks. There may be some tropical development in waters surrounding Central America and southern Mexico beginning perhaps as early as this weekend and through the third and fourth weeks of June.

Hurricane season is in full swing. Image via AP.

Florida takeouts mid-hurricane season show Citizens book viewed as attractive” via Steve Evans of Artemis — The approval of two carriers to takeout policies from Florida’s property insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., right in the middle of the hurricane season, shows there are risks that are viewed as attractive within the Citizens portfolio, while these semi-seasoned risks can even be an easier win than finding and writing new business. The recent growth of Florida Citizens has been exacerbated by the litigation and fraud issues in Florida, which contributed to the failure of a number of carriers. Slide, the insurance firm launched by former Heritage CEO Bruce Lucas, is set to take out 25,000 policies from Citizens. Loggerhead, meanwhile, using its Loggerhead Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange entity, will take out up to 1,000 policies from the Citizens Personal Lines Account.

2 more property insurance companies scaling back in Florida just two weeks into hurricane season” via Tarik Minor of News4Jax — Two weeks into hurricane season, two property insurance companies in Florida are scaling back policy coverage, citing their vulnerability to natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. The Farmers Group and AIG made the announcement, and according to the insurance experts, it’s an indication that Florida’s insurance market is still very much in crisis. Insurance Information Institute Spokesman Mark Friedlander said new data reveals replacement costs for insurance companies have increased by more than 55%. But the bigger issue for Floridians is the rapid growth of Citizens, the state-backed insurer of last resort. Friedlander said Floridians are paying the highest average premium for insurance in the United States, adding that one major storm this hurricane season, could result in homeowners’ premiums skyrocketing once again.

Happening today — The Florida State University Board of Trustees holds Committee meetings before a meeting of the full panel: 8 a.m., Florida State University, Turnbull Conference Center, 555 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee.

Happening today — The Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged meets: 9 a.m., Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.

Florida banks’ deposit costs nearly tripled last quarter” via Christina Georgacopoulos of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Banks are earning more on loans in the higher interest rate environment, but they’re also paying out considerably more for their funding sources. The median yield on earning assets for banks in Florida climbed from 3.6% to 4.62% during the first quarter of 2023, but the median cost of deposits more than doubled from .32% to .88% last quarter. The rise in deposit costs for local banks is far outpacing interest earned on their loans and other assets, financial statements show. Banks in the Florida market are in a relatively stronger position than other regions in the U.S., local bankers also say. Last quarter, banks in Florida reported a $4.3 billion increase in total assets, according to the FDIC report.


Biden vetoes resolution that would have repealed new EPA limits on truck emissions” via Amy B. Wang of The Washington Post — Biden vetoed a Republican-led resolution that would have repealed new limits from his administration on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, saying the measure “would take us backward in our fight against air pollution.” In his veto letter, Biden noted that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new restrictions, finalized in December, sought to cut pollution and boost public health, particularly in communities situated along trucking routes where emissions are greatest. Under the EPA’s new restrictions, truck makers must reduce harmful tailpipe pollution from new trucks, delivery vans and buses to 80% below the current standard. It was the first time in over two decades that the government sought to crack down on emissions from diesel-powered vehicles.

With a veto, Joe Biden protects EPA limits on truck emissions. Image via AP.

Fed holds rates steady but expects more increases” via Nick Timiraos of The Wall Street Journal — Federal Reserve officials agreed to hold interest rates steady after 10 consecutive increases but signaled they are leaning toward raising them next month if the economy and inflation don’t cool more. Most of them penciled in two more rate increases this year and lifted their expectations for growth and inflation in projections released Wednesday after their two-day policy meeting. In a statement, the Fed said the decision to maintain the benchmark federal funds rate in a range between 5% and 5.25%, a 16-year high, might be short-lived. “Holding the target range steady at this meeting allows the Committee to assess additional information,” the Committee said in the statement. Officials approved the rate decision unanimously.

U.S. Justice Clarence Thomas declines to block FL execution set for Thursday evening” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix — Duane Eugene Owen, who claims he’s too mentally ill to be put to death for sexual battering and murdering a South Florida woman in 1984, has lost his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Owen asked Justice Thomas, who screens appeals from Florida, to put his execution on hold while he attempts to prove that he suffers from mental illnesses including schizophrenia and dementia and cannot understand the nature of the death penalty or why it is to be applied against him. He claims to be under a delusion that he is really female and can absorb the female essence by killing women as he has sex with him. Thomas said no on Wednesday.

Congressional support for aiding Ukraine frays amid spending battle” via Karoun Demirjian of The New York Times — A strong and long-standing bipartisan consensus in Congress around providing huge sums to aid Ukraine’s war effort is beginning to fray as a pivotal counteroffensive against Russia is underway, and as Republicans bent on slashing federal spending gain traction in their efforts to limit or block future military assistance for Kyiv. Right-wing House Republicans have long opposed U.S. support for Ukraine, but until recently they lacked the numbers to threaten any aid packages, which have sailed through Congress with the support of a critical mass of GOP hawks — including the party’s top leaders — and Democrats. The bill that passed this month suspending the debt ceiling set spending limits that strengthened their hand and increased the political pressure on Speaker Kevin McCarthy to keep a tight lid on federal expenditures.

Congress’ support of Ukraine is starting to waver. Image via AP.

Senate Republicans introduce plan to tackle student loan debt” via Lexi Lonas of The Hill — Senate Republicans are unveiling their own plan to tackle student debt as the Supreme Court is set to rule soon on Biden’s student debt relief program. The GOP package, called the “Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act,” consists of five bills that the Senators say will address the root causes of the student debt issue such as the increasing price of college and students taking out loans they can’t afford. The first two bills in the package specifically deal with how colleges give students information before they decide to attend. The last three bills deal directly with student loans, including how information is given to borrowers and limiting some borrowing.

CDC alerts states of cuts to STI workforce, blames debt deal” via Ariel Cohen of Roll Call — The CDC told states on Tuesday that it was reducing funding for workers who fight sexually transmitted infections by $400 million, according to an email obtained by CQ Roll Call. The spending cuts are caused by the recently passed debt ceiling deal. States have to annually apply to re-up their funding awards for Disease Intervention Specialists that were allocated as part of the COVID-19 relief aid. The CDC had already sent states the applications for grants to fund local Disease Intervention Specialists but then had to pull the funding. The move comes just after the Biden administration on June 8 issued its new multiagency plan to address rising rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Jared Moskowitz files bills to ban ‘ghost gun’ blueprints, study school shooter drills” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Democratic U.S. Rep. Moskowitz is continuing to make curbing gun violence a top issue through two new bills introduced in the House. One targets so-called “ghost guns,” firearms sometimes made entirely of plastic that are largely undetectable by metal detectors and many security scanning systems. The other deals with the effects of live shooter response efforts at schools. “We are in the midst of a gun violence crisis in this country and must take every step possible to ensure no other communities experience the tragedy like the one we experienced in Parkland,” he said in a statement. One day before, Moskowitz filed HR 4074, which would ban the online distribution of blueprints and instructions for 3D printing guns.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

5 elected Dems endorse Jay Shooster for HD 91” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Shooster’s campaign to represent Palm Beach County in the Florida House is picking up steam. Five elected Democratic officials have thrown their support behind Shooster, a consumer protection lawyer who last week filed to challenge freshman Republican state Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman in House District 91 next year. His new backers include U.S. Rep. Moskowitz, state Sens. Lori Berman and Tina Polsky, and state Reps. Joe Casello and Kelly Skidmore. HD 91, which encompasses Boca Raton and Highland Beach in Palm Beach County, is something of a tossup district. Biden won there by 4.5 percentage points in 2020. Two years later, voters chose DeSantis over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by a 9-point margin.

Local Democrats start lining up behind Jay Shooster. Image via Jay Shooster.

Palm Beach animal advocate raises $92K in first month running for Rick Roth’s seat” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Two top contenders have emerged in the five-way Republican Primary money race to succeed Republican Rep. Roth in representing an inland swath of Palm Beach County. Megan Weinberger, who runs an animal sanctuary and serves on numerous community nonprofit Boards, raised more than $92,300 in her first month of campaigning for the job representing House District 94. Her personal campaign account received more than $74,000 in donations, and her political committee, Friends of Megan Weinberger, collected $18,300. Her biggest donation — $10,000 — came from Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton. The most famous name on her list of donors is U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who contributed $100 to her campaign.

Ric Bradshaw’s re-election campaign claims $100K raised in first 30 days” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — The longest-serving Sheriff in Palm Beach County history raised more than $100,000 in the first 30 days of his bid to keep serving in the role even longer, his campaign said. Sheriff Bradshaw hauled $71,595 into his personal campaign account, his campaign said. An additional $31,000 was collected through his political committee, Friends of Ric Bradshaw. No other county-level political campaign in Palm Beach County raised more during the month of May, his campaign says. The donations made through his personal account were not yet posted on the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website and couldn’t be verified, however. Bradshaw, running as a Democrat, is facing a challenge from two candidates he already defeated and also Michael Gauger, who was Bradshaw’s second in command for 16 years.

He threatened Lauren Boebert online. How a South Florida man fared in court.” via Julius Whignam II of the Palm Beach Post — A South Florida man who pleaded guilty last year to making online threats against the outspoken Republican Congresswoman Boebert has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg imposed the sentence on Matthew Lee Comiskey, 39, during a hearing at the Paul G. Rogers federal courthouse in West Palm Beach. Rosenberg instructed Comiskey, a one-time Delray Beach-area resident who now resides in Broward County, to surrender voluntarily in August, when his sentence will begin. The judge also ordered that Comiskey be placed on one year of probation upon his release from custody.

‘A welcomed relief’: Daniella Levine Cava embraces TPS extension for some Central American immigrants” via Omar Rodríguez Ortiz of the Miami Herald — Miami-Dade County Mayor Levine Cava welcomed the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 337,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Nepal. TPS allows immigrants from designated countries in distress due to civil war, natural disasters and other extraordinary conditions to legally stay and work in the United States for a limited period. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced his decision to rescind the terminations of the TPS designations of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua, reversing a Trump-era decree that attempted to revoke the humanitarian protections. Mayorkas extended the TPS designations for 18 months each.

‘Seems like bullying to me’: Investors took over their condo Boards. Costs skyrocketed” via Aaron Leibowitz of the Miami Herald — Daniel Fiorda moved out of his 800-square-foot condo in Miami Beach last month, more than two decades after he bought it. He didn’t want to leave his canal-front slice of paradise. But after a real estate firm purchased six of his building’s 10 units, took control of the Board and increased maintenance fees by more than four times — a jump for Fiorda from about $550 to $2,280 a month — he and his wife, Laura Ines Cobos, were in a bind. “They want us to be worn-out,” Fiorda said of the building’s new majority owner, a Miami Beach real estate company called Stonemason. “To be broke.”

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Joe Harding requests sentencing delay in COVID-19 fraud case” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Former Rep. Harding, who pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements about COVID-19 relief funds he received, is asking for his sentencing date to be punted to September. In a motion filed with the North District of Florida, Harding’s lawyers, Ronald Kozlowski and Peggy-Anne O’Connor, requested a continuation of his sentence hearing from July 25 to around two months later. The reason for the request, they wrote, is they need longer to speak with witnesses and prepare a sentencing statement for the court. They added that Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Keen, the prosecutor on the case, is fine with the delay because he could use the extra time too.

Joe Harding asks to kick the can down the road. Image via AP.

Deltona’s former Acting Manager and Deputy City Manager are suing the city. Here’s why” via Katie Kustura of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Deltona’s former Acting City Manager and the former Deputy City Manager are suing their ex-employer. John Peters III filed a breach of contract lawsuit regarding his employment as Acting City Manager, and Stacey Kifolo filed a lawsuit under Florida’s Public Sector Whistleblower Act. Each is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, according to court records. Peters’ lawsuit states that based on his contract with the city, he is owed just over $63,416 in severance, which he hasn’t received. The former Acting City Manager is asking the court to award him 20 weeks of severance pay and benefits as well as legal fees, according to the lawsuit.

Antisemitic group demands apology, $100K in gold from Mike Chitwood; he’s sending pacifiers” via Frank Fernandez of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Members of an antisemitic hate group are demanding that Volusia Sheriff Chitwood pay them $100,000 in gold and apologize for calling them “scumbags” in notices that resemble a lawsuit but are not. The members of the “Goyim Defense League,” a group that has littered Volusia County neighborhoods with antisemitic flyers, also want the Sheriff to remove tweets about his “Scumbag Eradication Team” T-shirts. The shirts depict the Sheriff flushing some people, including one with a swastika tattoo on his leg, down a toilet. Jon E. Minadeo II, identified by the Anti-Defamation League as the leader of the GDL, was one of four members who filed the “notices.”

Contract spikes for UCF baseball coach Rich Wallace when TV deal, full Big 12 revenue distribution kicks in” via Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel — New University of Central Florida (UCF) baseball coach Wallace signed a 5-year, $2.3 million contract that sees an annual increase in salary each season as the Knights enter the Big 12 Conference, according to a memorandum of understanding offer letter obtained by the Sentinel. Wallace, who replaces the dismissed Greg Lovelady, is set to make $370,000 during his first year and will earn $25,000 more in his second year. The annual salary then takes a $105,000 jump — up to $500,000 — in 2025. That year coincides with two critical financial factors that will likely impact Wallace’s pay and UCF’s overall athletics budget.

Rich Wallace inks a sweet contract deal with UCF. Image via Twitter.

Head of UCF’s veterans’ program once convicted in high-profile military sexual assault case” via Christopher Cann of the Orlando Sentinel — The man leading the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) military outreach program was once convicted in a court-martial related to allegations that he had sexually harassed and assaulted a female lieutenant under his command. Michael Kepner ll, who was hired by UCF last July after a few years working for Valencia College — which ended in his firing — was sentenced to four months in a military prison in 2015, pleading guilty to assaulting the lieutenant in a deal with prosecutors. Public records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel revealed that UCF had knowledge of Kepner’s stained military history.

Funding shortfall to widen Ellis Road tops $50M, leaving construction start date in limbo” via Rick Neale of Florida Today — Projected costs to widen Ellis Road from two to four lanes have skyrocketed past $81.1 million, forcing local officials to hope a federal grant can cover a $50.8 million funding shortfall plaguing the Space Coast’s top-ranked transportation project. Planners want to widen the chronically congested, 1.7-mile skinny stretch of Ellis Road between John Rodes Boulevard and Wickham Road. Ellis becomes the four-lane NASA Boulevard east of Wickham Road, leading to the Melbourne Orlando International Airport passenger terminal and a host of major employers. But widening Ellis Road is a complicated endeavor that would require significant stormwater drainage infrastructure.

TEA report: Magic Kingdom tops theme park attendance list for 2022” via Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel — Theme park attendance in North America in 2022 was up 32% at the largest attractions, with Magic Kingdom topping the list, according to the annual report released by the Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM. Magic Kingdom, which continued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World last year, had 17.13 million visitors in 2022, an increase of 35%, the report said. Although TEA estimated park attendance for ’22, it did not re-rank its overall lists, maintaining the order from 2019 for the third consecutive year due to COVID-19 factors. But from the raw numbers provided, Magic Kingdom would be No. 1 worldwide.


Florida lawmaker sponsored ‘radioactive roads’ bill. Mosaic threw him a fundraiser.” via Max Chesnes of the Tampa Bay Times — Mosaic last month hosted and paid nearly $25,000 for a fundraising event for the state lawmaker who sponsored the controversial “radioactive roads” bill recently approved by the Legislature. Campaign finance records show Conservative Florida — the political committee of Plant City Republican Rep. Lawrence McClure — reported an in-kind contribution for “food, lodging, and entertainment” from Mosaic on May 22. A Mosaic spokesperson said the event was held that day at Streamsong Resort, a prestigious golf getaway on former phosphate mining land near the Hardee-Polk County border. McClure this year sponsored a bill that would allow the Florida Department of Transportation to study the use of phosphogypsum, a mildly radioactive byproduct of Mosaic’s phosphate manufacturing process, in road construction.

Mosaic helps Lawrence McClure out.

Hillsborough tourism revenue up 42% since 2018” via Devonta Davis of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — After National Travel and Tourism Week brought together over 500 leaders and honored 15 industry professionals, Visit Tampa Bay reported its highest month recorded in tourist development tax collections. The data shows that Hillsborough County’s TDT collections for April, reflecting March collections, hit $7.8 million, an 11.2% increase over the previous record set in 2022. With the collections from March, the total Tampa Bay bed tax collections for the fiscal year is $40.5 million, marking two straight years of record bed tax collections and taxable hotel revenue, according to a release. Taxable hotel revenue for March totaled $130 million, a 10.5% increase over the previous record set in the fiscal year 2022.

Pinellas County Commissioners select permanent CEO of CareerSource” via Henry Queen of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — CareerSource Pinellas has its new leader. Pinellas County commissioners unanimously voted on Tuesday to hire Steven Meier as the workforce development agency’s CEO. Meier had served in an interim capacity ever since Jennifer Brackney resigned as CEO in February 2022. Meier will make $175,000 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023, according to a spokesperson. The search for a permanent CEO was delayed in July 2022 as CareerSource Pinellas anticipated new guidelines from the state in the wake of a 2021 law called the Reimagining Education and Career Help Act. Nothing is guaranteed as final approval hasn’t occurred. CareerSource Tampa Bay CEO John Flanagan told the Tampa Bay Business Journal in March that he is in contact with Meier regarding the next steps.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Donna Deegan brings familiar names into administration leadership” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Jacksonville Mayor-elect Deegan is building her administration with some names with City Hall experience mixed in with people pivotal to her victory in May, names that will advance a “culture of collaboration” to “bring positive change to Jacksonville.” Deegan has tapped Karen Bowling to be Chief Administrative Officer. “As someone who is new to all this, I don’t know how we would have survived the last few weeks without Karen,” Deegan said. Bowling is the former CEO of Solantic Urgent Care, a company she co-founded with former Gov. Rick Scott in 2001.

Donna Deegan assembles her A team. Image via COJ.

Deegan’s top team puts more women in power than any previous administration” via Nate Monroe of The Florida Times-Union — Deegan unveiled a team of top appointments that will put more women in positions of power than any previous administration in the city’s consolidation-era government, and it projects a sharp break not only with the political priorities of the past eight years but also those of DeSantis. Still, the Mayor-elect will also rely on a few veteran hands to guide her administration, particularly in its early months, and she was eager to tout the bipartisan bona fides of her team. But by and large Deegan’s administration will empower a new slate of city officials. The closely held announcement was the highest profile move of what has been a mostly quiet mayoral transition.

WJCT host leaving radio for Jacksonville City Hall” via The Florida Times-Union — After 14 years at WJCT, “First Coast Connect” host Melissa Ross is leaving Jacksonville’s Public Broadcasting station and heading to Jacksonville’s City Hall. “Thrilled to announce I’ll be joining Mayor-elect Donna Deegan’s administration next month as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Press Liaison,” Ross announced on Twitter Wednesday following a morning news conference in which Deegan, who will take office on July 1, introduced the members of her leadership team. Ross joined WJCT in August 2009 after coming to Jacksonville to work for First Coast News and later the Dalton Agency. “Thanks to WJCT for 14 incredible years- and to all the listeners too. Also: the show must go on — and it will! — with a new host,” Ross said in her social media post.

County Manager proposes property tax reduction, employee pay bump for upcoming budget” via Nora O’Neill of The Gainesville Sun — The Alachua County Commission will have a few months more to decide whether to reduce property taxes for a seventh year in a row after being presented budget recommendations Tuesday. The tentative budget, proposed by County Manager Michele Lieberman, asks that Commissioners reduce the millage rate, or property taxes, to 7.6414 mills, a reduction of 0.1248 mills. The ability to reduce the property tax rates comes from a 10.68% increase in the general fund, as property values in the county have increased for the ninth consecutive year. Elected leaders will meet to discuss the proposed budget in the coming months before presenting a tentative final budget in July and adopting the new budget in September. The Commission is expected to decide on the millage rate on July 11.

FAMU alumna, Trustee Kristin Harper in line to chair the Board, succeeding Kelvin Lawson” via Tarah Jean of the Tallahassee Democrat — With Florida A&M University Trustee Lawson’s second term ending as Chair, colleagues on the Board have chosen Trustee Harper as his unopposed successor. Harper currently serves as Vice Chair, having been elected following TCC Vice President for Workforce Innovation Kimberly Moore’s decision to step down from the Board earlier this year ahead of her term’s end date of September 2023. While Trustee Michael Dubose nominated Harper for the Chair position, the Vice Chair contest consists of Trustee Otis Cliatt II nominating Dubose and Trustee Nicole Washington nominating Trustee Deveron Gibbons.


Investigation into New College faculty censure letter denies claims” via Samantha Gholar of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — An investigation by the administration into the claims within a recent censure letter targeting school leaders by New College of Florida’s (NCF) faculty concluded that the faculty’s claims were unfounded. Investigator and NCF Vice President for Legal Affairs David Brickhouse responded to the faculty’s formal censure of the college’s Board of Trustees in a three-page memo addressed to New College’s Interim President Richard Corcoran on June 12. The memo, released to the Herald-Tribune, lays out Brickhouse’s 10 responses to the faculty’s May 19 claims of various issues the faculty raised regarding the Board of Trustees’ handling of the conservative transformation of the small public liberal arts campus that began in early January.

Investigators into faculty censure at New College finds there is no basis for the claims.

FGCU presidential search cost nearly $175K, Aysegul Timur to be approved next week” via Nikki Ross of the Fort Myers News-Press — Florida Gulf Coast University spent $173,167 on its search for a new president, according to university financial documents. Timur was selected on May 4 to be the university’s next president and if approved by the Board of Governors on June 22, will be the first woman to hold the position in the university’s history. The cost of the search is roughly $81,000 less than the $254,118 spent on its last search which resulted in the hiring of outgoing President Mike Martin. That search lasted from May 2016 to March 2017.

Sarasota School Board selects new Superintendent: Hillsborough’s Terrence Connor” via Steven Walker of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Concluding a monthslong process to find the district’s next leader, the Sarasota School Board chose Connor from Hillsborough County as the district’s next Superintendent by a 3-2 vote. Connor has been the Deputy Superintendent and chief academic officer of Hillsborough County Public Schools. He was ranked as the School Board’s first choice ahead of this week’s Committee and Board interviews and emerged as what many in the public called the “clear choice” among the four top candidates to be the district’s next leader during a period of turmoil. Board Vice Chair Karen Rose made the motion to hire Connor, with Tom Edwards seconding, representing both ideological sides of the Board agreeing on a candidate.

Contract for Collier Superintendent approved, Oakes injunction to stop contract denied” via Nikki Ross of the Naples Daily News — The Collier County School Board approved a $305,000 contract for Superintendent Leslie Ricciardelli in a 3-2 vote. “I am humbled and honored to have been officially appointed the 20th Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. First and foremost, I want to thank the School Board for their confidence, and I look forward to working together on our student-centered mission,” Ricciardelli said. “I also want to thank my husband and daughter for their unwavering patience and support throughout this process.” The vote comes on the heels of Judge Joseph Foster with the Collier County Circuit Court denying a motion for a temporary injunction that would have prevented the Board from signing a contract.

Environmentalists call for EPA to revoke permits for fish farm off Sarasota coast” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Opponents of Ocean Era’s a proposed fish farming demonstration project offshore of south Sarasota County rallied at Maxine Barritt Park to urge federal regulators to revoke permits for the operation because of planned changes in both type fish to be raised and the way the containment pen would be anchored to the seafloor. They want the operation to seek a new application from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The media event, which drew a crowd of about three dozen participants and speakers, was designed to underscore points made by attorneys for seven groups or nonprofit organizations already challenging the existing permits in federal court in a June 7 letter to the EPA.


The genius of leaving Trump’s fate up to 12 ordinary Floridians” via Deborah Pearlstein of The New York Times — It is hard to imagine a case that places more pressure on the functioning of the jury — or that more dramatically illustrates its unique value.

The case against Trump does not just put a question of national security in the hands of the jury. It puts in its hands a case that is unprecedented, involving a former — and perhaps future — leader of the nation. The security policy stakes are high. The political stakes may be higher.

The jury system’s constitutional authority makes it, at its best, an essential check on government overreach. In a case like this, its democratic legitimacy also gives it a better chance than any other governing institution to render a judgment that can withstand the political firestorm ahead.

Leaving such a consequential judgment up to ordinary citizens may seem jarring in a political culture accustomed to assuming national security is best reserved to the most expert, most secretive corridors of military and intelligence agencies in and around Washington. Jury trials are, after all, the opposite of this.

Neither juries nor judges — especially in courts outside Washington — are known for their national security expertise. And like any jurors, those in Trump’s case will bring with them their own partisan political views that might shape their interpretation of evidence. Jury decision-making is never without risk, but rarely more so than here.


Republicans wanted Hillary Clinton prosecuted for her emails. And now they defend Trump?” via Jonah Goldberg of the Tampa Bay Times — The more widespread argument among Republicans is a variant of anti-anti-Trumpism. Specifically: Prosecuting Trump would be wrong because Clinton wasn’t prosecuted in 2016 for her email misbehavior or because Biden hasn’t been prosecuted for mishandling classified documents. Hence, the Trump loyalists insist, we have a “two-tiered” system of justice. This, of course, leaves out the fact that Biden and Clinton cooperated with the Justice Department, while Trump is accused of obstructing the investigation. Regardless, none of it amounts to an affirmative defense of Trump. Think of it this way: I believe it is outrageous that O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. But that doesn’t mean that when I murder someone, I get to say, “You can’t send me to prison! O.J. Simpson got away with it!”

How much did Congress lose by defunding the IRS? Way more than we thought.” via Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post — Every dollar available for auditing taxpayers generates many times that amount for government coffers — and the rate of return is especially astonishing for audits of the wealthiest Americans. In the years after a taxpayer gets audited, they start paying much more in taxes voluntarily. These additional taxes equal about three times the revenue raised from the initial audit, on average, over the 14 years of data the researchers had access to. So, in other words, the biggest returns from doing more audits come from deterrence effects. So, what do these numbers tell us about Congress’s decision to claw back money from the IRS? They suggest that existing projections for long-term costs likely underestimate the massive hole this policy will blow into federal budgets.

Miami’s ambitious Mayor makes a big leap, but is being President really Suarez’s goal?” via the Miami Herald editorial board — Suarez is young, telegenic and a good fundraiser. But his candidacy is a head-scratcher: Is he really running for President — or something else? Suarez’s name isn’t even mentioned in many presidential polls. It seems far beyond his political reach to compete for the nomination with Trump, DeSantis or the handful of other candidates, like Pence, who are running as anti-Trump Republicans. Much as mounting a long shot, yet buzz-filled, run for President in 2020 landed Democrat Buttigieg a job as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Suarez, too, might wind up with a plum political appointment out of this contest or running for another office later on. In other words, he could win without actually winning.

By going over the line, Maxwell Frost, anti-hate group went too far” via the Orlando Sentinel editorial board — U.S. Rep. Frost surged to national prominence on the strength and broad appeal of his innate political skills. But that doesn’t change the nature of the office he now holds. He was not elected simply to burnish his own celebrity. By behaving in a way that undercuts his reputation among his colleagues, he plays into the narrative that he should be taken less seriously because of his youth. In fact, the opposite is true. Frost is seen by many as the first champion from the ranks of a generation betrayed, a vanguard against the woeful legacy that the nation’s children and young adults are being left by the unprecedented irresponsibility of their elders. To rise to that challenge, he must first hold himself to a higher standard.



— ALOE —

Bud Light loses title as top-selling U.S. beer” via Jennifer Maloney of The Wall Street Journal — Bud Light no longer rules the American beer market. Modelo Especial overtook the brand as the top-selling U.S. beer in May, punctuating a monthslong boycott of Bud Light that has reshuffled the beer industry. Modelo represented 8.4% of U.S. retail-store beer sales in the four weeks ended June 3, compared with 7.3% for Bud Light, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by consulting firm Bump Williams. Bud Light’s sales have tanked since April when transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted an image on Instagram of a personalized Bud Light can that the brand had sent her as a gift. The Instagram post sparked an uproar, and brewer Anheuser-Busch’s response to the boycott angered even more people.

Bud Light loses its top spot as America’s favorite beer.

Beyond Weeki Wachee: How Florida’s freelance merman got TikTok-famous” via Gabrielle Calise of the Tampa Bay Times — Andrew Corter sat up on his beach mat next to the edge of the swimming hole, wriggling into the tight red tail one leg at a time. Corter, known to his 132,000 TikTok followers as @mermanandrew, makes his living underwater. In tanks and aquariums across North America, he’s delighted audiences while staying below the surface for two to four minutes at a time. Five of Corter’s mer-friends giggled as they dangled their tails off the edge of the dock into the 72-degree spring, waiting for him to start filming social media content. To have this job straight out of a childhood dream — and attract the swankier, $350-an-hour gigs — you have to sell the fantasy.


Happy birthday to Rep. Traci Koster, Ivette Faulkner of The Florida Chamber of Commerce, and lobbyist Travis Moore.


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.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 15, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Ron’s campaign launch did not turn out as expected? By whom?

    Everybody knows Twitter’s been a broken disaster ever since the future Mr Casey bought it and decided to CEO and fired half of everybody while the other half stayed only to exact revenge.

    Elon got digitally torched and pitchforked by Twitter’s remaining employees. Everybody saw it except Elon and Ron because seeing it requires thinking of others, not just thinking of yourself at all times.

    Casey saw it. She was counting on it. She’s the leaker. She’s the sinker, sinking Ron’s political campaign so she doesn’t look quite so bad when she leaves him ’cause he’s a loser. Landing at the top of the ladder as Mrs Musk, that’s the plan. Best of luck in your endeavor, Casey.

Comments are closed.


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.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704