Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 9.12.23

Sunburn Orange Tally (7)
Who's up, down, in and out — your morning tip sheet on Florida politics.

Good Tuesday morning.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio kicks off the second season of Ballard Partners’ “13th & Park” show.

In the newest episode, Florida’s senior Senator touches on everything from China and North Korea to artificial intelligence, and even the Miami Dolphins and rapper Eminem.

The first nearly 10 minutes of the 30-minute episode centers on China.

“America now faces for the first time since the end of the Cold War a near-peer adversary, meaning another great power who is competing with us economically, technologically, militarily, across the board,” Rubio says in the interview.

Rubio said American politicians, as well as the greater populace, need to be more willing to make changes that may be uncomfortable.

That’s why he said he targeted TikTok, noting that while it is an important China-related topic, it’s not even in the Top 10.

“If we as a society cannot bring ourselves to do something to control a social media app because people like it,” Rubio pondered, “how are we going to do any of these more difficult things?”

Domestically, Rubio weighed in on what has been a familiar topic for him — expanding job opportunities in trade industries, particularly for young men.

He said too many people go to college only to find their job prospects when graduating isn’t much better and groused that technology has left too many people behind as more jobs require some sort of tech or computer background.

13th & Park is hosted by Ballard Partners’ Adam Goodman, who also created and directs what originally began as a podcast. Fabian Pacheco produces the show, which has now grown into a multimedia program reflecting Goodman’s decades in filmmaking.

Previous guests included U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, media personalities Juan Williams and Jon Ralston, political prognosticator Larry Sabato and sports announcer Johnny Holliday, and more.


Continental Strategy, a rapidly growing lobbying firm in Tallahassee, has added Gangul Gabadage to its firm.

“Gangul has an amazing, fresh insight into the growing field of health care in Florida,” Continental Strategy Managing Partner James Card said. “His knowledge of legislative affairs from serving the Florida Department of Health will bring a wealth of experience and new insights into Florida Medicaid, hospitals and the health care insurance companies as well. We are excited to have his talent join our firm.”

Gangul Gabadage is the latest hire at the quickly expanding Continental Strategy.

Gabadage previously held leadership positions with the Florida Department of Health, including as deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, a position he held since 2019. Before that, Gabadage was director of executive appointments for the department, where he oversaw the administration and management of its 56 boards, councils and committees.

“Gangul is part of the very fabric of the health care industry in Florida, and he is going to be a great resource to our growing client base in this area,” Continental Strategy Vice President Ashley Spicola said. “His knowledge of Florida policymaking is also going to be a tremendous addition to the work we do to support clients in achieving the wins they need during the Legislative Session.”


First in Sunburn — “Daniella Levine Cava announces 5,000-plus petitions signed for Miami-Dade Mayor re-election” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Levine Cava re-election campaign announced it has amassed more than 5,000 petitions from voters who want her on the 2024 ballot — roughly a third of the number necessary to qualify without paying a fee. If Levine Cava succeeds by April 30, 2024, in collecting the requisite sum — 15,294 signatures, representing 1% of the total number of registered electors countywide — it’ll be the fourth time she’s pulled off the feat. She already carries support from 75% of the county’s municipal Mayors and the South Florida AFL-CIO. “Our people-powered campaign will continue to fight for the future of Miami-Dade,” she said, “because it’s up to each one of us to get involved and create positive change for our community.”


First in SunburnJoe Geller to seek spot on Miami-Dade County School Board — Former state Rep. Geller is launching a campaign for Miami-Dade County School Board, District 3. “I believe in the transformative power of public education to shape our future,” he said in a statement. “I bring unique experience to the table and feel I am well-positioned to lead at this critical moment for education in Florida’s history … to ensure every child receives a quality education and to strengthen our bonds with parents and communities while championing our teachers.” Geller is a prominent Democratic leader known for his four terms (2014-2022) in the Florida House, where he represented the 100th District. Geller consistently fought for progressive causes and demonstrated a commitment to bridging divides.


Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

@RonDeSantisFL: Twenty-two years ago, nineteen terrorists took 2,977 innocent lives in the deadliest attack against America in our history. We will never forget.

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

@AlCardenas: On Sept. 10th I had dinner with President (George W.) Bush; Gov. (Jeb) Bush; speaker Tom Feeney; Senate President John McKay near Sarasota. Said goodbye to the President on Sept. 11 as he headed to that Grammar school and heard the horrific news while in a classroom with young children. I had taken the last flight in Florida headed to Tallahassee. After landing no other non-military plane was over Fla skies. Never forget

@RepGusBilirakis: After sending a letter to both CEOs last month encouraging cooperation, I am glad to see that a deal has been reached and that my constituents who have Charter will be able to watch Monday Night Football this evening.

Tweet, tweet:


Florida GOP 2023 Statesman’s Dinner — 2; Florida House Fall 2023 Interim Committee Meetings begin — 6; ESPN+ and Disney+ present ‘Toy Story’ based telecast of game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons — 19; Loki Season Two premieres — 24; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres — 38; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 41; Britney Spears memoir ‘The Woman in Me’ drops — 42; NBA 2023-24 season tipoff — 42; Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ released — 45; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 52; Suncoast Tiger Bay Club hosts ‘Evening with the Tigers’ — 55; 2023 Florida Chamber Mental Health Innovation Summit — 58; ’Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 59; Formula 1 will take over the Las Vegas Strip — 66; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 72; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 78; 2023 Florida Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit — 80; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 92; Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ premieres — 101; Matt Dixon’s ‘Swamp Monsters: (Donald) Trump vs. (Ron) DeSantis ― the Greatest Show on Earth (or at Least in Florida)’ released — 119; 2024 Florida Chamber Legislative Fly-In — 119; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 119; Florida TaxWatch’s State of the Taxpayer Dinner — 124; 2024 Primetime Emmy Awards — 125; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 141; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 152; Georgia Democratic Primary — 152; South Carolina GOP holds first-in-the-South Primary — 164; Michigan Democratic Primary — 170; Trump’s D.C. trial on charges related to trying to reverse his 2020 Election loss — 174; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 180; 2024 Oscars — 182; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 231; 2024 Leadership Conference on Safety, Health & Sustainability — 240; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 251; the Republican National Convention begins — 307; New ‘Alien’ premieres — 309; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 318; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 318; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 347; Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 402; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 405; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 465; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 521; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 598; ‘Moana’ premieres — 655; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 829; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 962; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 984; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,197; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,336; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,292; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,655.


Ron DeSantis uses 9/11 anniversary to trash illegal immigration” via Dave Goldiner of the New York Daily News — Breaking an unwritten rule to keep politics out of commemorating 9/11, the Republican presidential candidate blamed the worst terror attacks on U.S. soil on lax immigration enforcement.

“9/11 was in part an immigration issue,” he said. “A lot of these guys should not have been in the country — had overstayed visas and whatnot.”

DeSantis speculated that migrants crossing the southern border from Mexico might be a threat to commit future terror attacks.

Ron and Casey DeSantis pay their respects and blast immigration. Image via AP.

“There is a good bet that somebody that’s come across that [Southern] border will commit an act of terrorism,” he said.

U.S. officials say 98 people whose names appear on the U.S. terror watch list were apprehended last year at the southern border, but experts warn that does not necessarily mean they were terrorists.

DeSantis did not mention immigration in an official statement his campaign issued after meeting with 9/11 families at Ground Zero during the 22nd anniversary of the worst terror attacks on U.S. soil.

“Our work is not done until we have fully brought to light all the details surrounding the attacks, and those responsible are held accountable,” DeSantis said in the statement.

Ron, Casey DeSantis visit 9/11 Memorial, connect attacks to immigration policies” via Michael Moline of Florida Phoenix


DeSantis and Donald Trump get ready for a fight at GOP convention” via Allan Smith of NBC News — The biggest GOP showdown in California this month might not be the second Presidential Primary Debate, scheduled to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Instead, it looks as if it will take place behind the scenes at the state Republican Party’s convention days later, as allies of DeSantis and Trump signal they are preparing to fight over the state party’s new delegate rules — a battle with major implications for the important Super Tuesday contest. Candidates could more easily target certain areas of the state rather than fight over the statewide vote. But in late July, the party wrote a new rule to change the way it operates, making the transition to a potential winner-take-all state.

—“New poll shows Trump lead over DeSantis is ‘the highest yet’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

The main event will happen at the GOP convention.

Reliance on Super PAC causes headaches for DeSantis’ campaign” via Alex Leary of The Wall Street Journal — DeSantis decided from the start to outsource much of the traditional campaign operation to Never Back Down. As DeSantis has struggled, that arrangement has sparked tension over strategic differences and communication barriers. Relying on a super PAC isn’t new, but DeSantis has taken the practice beyond precedent. He transferred more than $80 million from a state committee to Never Back Down, a move that is the subject of a federal election law complaint. DeSantis has had to lean on the PAC in part because his own campaign has suffered from overspending on staff, leading to layoffs. That means he has had less control over the strategy and messaging, though DeSantis had hoped to keep the reins over much of the advertising. Under federal law, campaigns get better TV rates than super PACs.

The DeSantis campaign’s strange Iowa outlook” via Zach Kessel of National Review — A “top DeSantis campaign official” reportedly told the outlet that the campaign would be happy with a “strong second-place showing” in Iowa. Hewing to Rich Lowry’s assumption that a Trump win in the year’s first caucus would sew up the nomination for Trump, those in DeSantis’ orbit should be concerned about, not content with, the prospect of coming in second in Iowa. Regardless of whether an Iowa win would have the potential to shape the outcome of the race, the DeSantis campaign’s outlook toward the race raises more questions than it answers.

Florida insurance crisis threatens DeSantis’ 2024 bid as hurricane season intensifies” via Max Greenwood of the Miami Herald — This Summer, just days after Farmers Insurance bailed on Florida’s risky property insurance market, DeSantis issued a bit of advice to his state’s residents: “knock on wood” and hope that the state is spared from a major hurricane this season. It hasn’t panned out that way. Hurricane Idalia tore through Florida’s Big Bend late last month as a Category 3 storm. While the Governor received praise from many Republicans for his swift and decisive response to Idalia, the looming uncertainty in the state’s homeowners’ insurance market could open him up to criticism.

Idalia and the state’s insurance crisis could throw a wrench in Ron DeSantis’ campaign.

DeSantis says U.S. is ‘entitled’ to kill Mexican border crossers suspected of being in ‘drug cartels’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — During a recent “tele-town hall” with supporters, DeSantis said the American government is “entitled” to take such action. “Some of the things that we’ve already highlighted as part of our agenda, our border policy, I’m the only one that’s willing to send the military to the border and to use deadly force against the Mexican drug cartels,” DeSantis said. “We’re entitled to do it. They’re killing tens of thousands of our fellow Americans. And so, our message for the Mexican cartels is if you break into our country and you try to run drugs when I’m President, it would be the last thing you do because you’re going to end up stone-cold dead at the border.” DeSantis added.

—“Flashpoints 2024: Immigration and security at the Southern border” via Jorge Ribas and Whitney Leaming of The Washington Post

DeSantis presses Joe Biden on declassifying 9/11 documents” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis visited New York City for the annual commemoration of the 9/11 terror attacks 22 years ago. And DeSantis is calling on the current President to make public information that is currently classified about how those attacks came to happen. “And now, decades later, we as a nation still owe full transparency and accountability to these grieving families. Yet too many politicians have broken past promises to them, and that is wholly unacceptable,” DeSantis said. DeSantis called on Biden “to publicly commit to declassifying the remaining Intelligence Community documents regarding the planning and financing of 9/11, consistent with protecting national security.

— MORE 2024 —

The next months of Biden’s campaign: Showing voters what Republicans are focused on” via Dan Merica and Amie Parnes of The Messenger — Part of the plan reflects the current political reality. The Republican Primary is the most interesting show in town and often the best way for Biden to get attention is to tie his message to countering his possible opponents. But the strategy also reflects a steadfast Democratic belief: The conversations happening on the Republican side are widely unpopular with most voters, giving Biden and his campaign a chance to highlight their differences.

Joe Biden’s strategy — show what Republicans are really interested in.

Biden bucks tradition, bets big on early swing-state advertising” via Michael Scherer of The Washington Post — About 3 in 4 U.S. adults recently told CNN pollsters that Biden failed to inspire confidence and raised “serious concerns” about his physical and mental competence. But this is a different leader shown in the new ads: Here he is before Congress saying no one should bet against America. There he is at the rope line giving a Black teenager a “go-get-’em-tiger” tap on the chest. Wages are rising. Manufacturing is back. The contrast helps explain why the Biden campaign has decided to buck precedent by launching a major advertising buy sooner than Barack Obama or Trump, the last two Presidents to run for re-election.

As Democratic jitters grow, Biden campaign tries to showcase his vigor” via Reid J. Epstein and Lisa Lerer of The New York Times — Biden is taking early steps to shore up his re-election candidacy with a multipronged strategy that includes a costly advertising campaign and leveraging the powers of the bully pulpit. During his recent trip to India and Vietnam, Biden’s aides aggressively pushed back on suggestions that he has lost a step, highlighting his busy schedule as a sign of his vigor. Back home, his campaign broadcast a television ad depicting a previous overseas trip, a secret journey to Ukraine in February that the White House has trumpeted as a triumph of daring and a foreign policy tour de force.

White House, Biden campaign bash reported Trump plans for corporate tax cut” via Brett Samuels of The Hill — Aides for the White House and Biden campaign Monday pushed back against reported plans among advisers of Trump to pursue a cut to the corporate tax rate if Trump wins back the White House in 2024. Some of Trump’s top economic advisers are eyeing a package of new tax cuts should he retake office, including plans to slash the corporate tax rate to as low as 15%. Biden aides were quick to highlight the story and contrast the proposal with his own agenda.

Biden campaign to focus more on Trump to boost lackluster fundraising” via Allie Raffa and Peter Nicholas of NBC News — Biden’s re-election campaign is expanding its fundraising strategy to try to boost contributions in the coming weeks and over the longer-term, as officials acknowledge that small-dollar donations have been slower to materialize, according to three campaign officials and two other people familiar with the matter. The new phase coincides with campaign officials’ privately downplaying expectations for how much the re-election effort will raise during the current fundraising quarter.

Gov. Chris Sununu says he’ll endorse 2024 GOP candidate before New Hampshire Primary” via Lauren Sforza of The Hill — Sununu said Sunday he plans to endorse a GOP presidential candidate before his state’s Primary next year. “I would think so. Yeah, I really — look I’m not very good about being coy,” Sununu said when asked if he would endorse a candidate before the New Hampshire GOP Primary.

Chris Sununu is staying neutral until the New Hampshire Primary.

Second GOP debate: From attacks to breakout moments, here’s what to watch for in California” via Sudiksha Kochi of USA Today — Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential race will take the stage Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California, for the second GOP Primary Debate. After last month’s showdown, some candidates will likely change their strategies and whom they will attack during the two-hour debate. The first debate in Milwaukee in late August brought more attention to Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, who have both seen polling bumps since then.

Former DNC Chair says party ‘should be concerned’ ahead of 2024 Election” via Asher Notheis of The Washington Examiner — Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile has warned the party should take the next presidential election seriously. Brazile’s concerns come as Biden is running for re-election in 2024, though some are concerned that his age, at 80 years old currently, could be a drawback to winning votes. In running Biden for re-election, Brazile said Sunday that the Democratic Party should run as if “we’re 10 points behind” to motivate Democratic supporters to vote. Biden’s age has been a growing concern for many voters, with 77% of voters in a poll believing that Biden is too old to be President for another term, including 69% of Democrats.

Dems inch toward House majority with recent court wins” via Zach Montellaro and Ally Mutnick of POLITICO — In the past nine days, state and federal judges threw out two congressional maps — and helped Democrats avoid a worst-case scenario in Ohio — kicking off an unusually busy redistricting calendar heading into the election year. Democrats could pick up an extra seat in each of a handful of states, including Florida, Alabama and Louisiana, and perhaps several more in New York.

Andrew Yang says he’s had ‘conversations’ with No Labels” via Brakkton Booker of POLITICO — “I’ve had conversations with various folks who are associated with No Labels,” Yang said during an in-person interview at POLITICO’s Northern Virginia headquarters Monday. Asked repeatedly if the group had specifically approached him about running as a possible presidential candidate, Yang sidestepped a direct response. “We have a lot of friends and people in common,” he demurred, wearing a navy-colored suit with a white FWD pin promoting his nonpartisan Forward Party on his left label.

Half in new poll expect AI-related misinformation to affect 2024 Election outcome” via Rachel Scully of The Hill — A little more than half of Americans believe that misinformation spread by artificial intelligence will impact the outcome of the 2024 Presidential Election. A new poll found that 53% of respondents said misinformation spread by AI would impact who wins the upcoming election, with frequent watchers of Fox, CNN and MSNBC sharing that view. Those who voted for Trump in 2020 were twice as likely to say AI will decrease their trust in the election results than those who voted for Biden.


Trump’s Electoral College edge seems to be fading” via Nate Cohn of The New York Times — Early polls show Trump and Biden tied nationwide. The patterns in recent polling and election results are consistent with the trends in national surveys, which suggest that the demographic foundations of Trump’s Electoral College advantage might be fading. He’s faring unusually well among nonwhite voters, who represent a larger share of the electorate in noncompetitive than competitive states. As a consequence, Trump’s gains have probably done more to improve his standing in the national vote than in relatively White Northern states likeliest to decide the presidency, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There are three basic pieces of evidence suggesting that Trump’s key advantage might be diminished today: the midterms, the Times/Siena polls and state polls.

Lightning may not strike the Electoral College twice.

State election chiefs look to courts to deal with Trump ballot challenges” via Nnamdi Egwuonwu and Emma Barnett of NBC News — State election officers have a near-unified message about the possibility of challenges to Trump’s eligibility for the ballot in 2024: We want nothing to do with this. “I don’t think it’s the role of the Secretary of State to make a judicial determination,” Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said. “My job is to create the process and the environment in the state of Missouri where candidates can run and the voters of the state of Missouri have the accessibility, the elections have security and credibility so that the people of the state can make a decision.”

Trump wants to give his favorite corporations another giant tax cut in a second term” via Bess Levin of Vanity Fair — Trump’s economic team is “plotting an aggressive new set of tax cuts to push on the campaign trail and from the Oval Office if he wins a second term.” According to the Post, some of the cuts would be to individual rates. However, the plan appears to focus on the overall corporate tax rate, which Team Trump reportedly thinks is just too damn high, and should potentially go to “as low as 15%.”

Trump is explaining exactly how wild and extreme his second term would be” via Stephen Collinson of CNN — Trump is conjuring his most foreboding vision yet of a possible second term, telling supporters in language resonant of the run-up to the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol that they need to “fight like hell” or they will lose their country. The rhetorical escalation from the four-times-indicted ex-President came at a rally in South Dakota on Friday night where he accused his possible 2024 opponent, Biden, of ordering his indictment on 91 charges across four criminal cases as a form of election interference. “I don’t think there’s ever been a darkness around our nation like there is now,” Trump said, in a dystopian speech in which he accused Democrats of allowing an “invasion” of migrants over the southern border and of trying to restart COVID-19 “hysteria.”

Trump is extremely touchy about voters saying he is not ‘mentally up for the job’ of being President” via Bess Levin of Vanity Fair — The Wall Street Journal released a poll showing that 49% of registered voters believe that Trump is not “mentally up for the job” of being President. Trump raged on Truth Social that the whole thing was clearly a plot on Journal owner Rupert Murdoch’s part to make Biden look good. “In a phony and probably rigged Wall Street Journal poll, coming out of nowhere to soften the mental incompetence blow that is so obvious with Crooked Joe Biden, they ask about my age and mentality,” he wrote.

Trump demands recusal by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in D.C. Jan. 6 trial” via Spencer S. Hsu and Rachel Weiner of The Washington Post — Attorneys for Trump asked U.S. District Judge Chutkan to disqualify herself from presiding over Trump’s federal election obstruction case, saying Chutkan appears to have prejudged Trump’s guilt based on statements she made in past cases involving Jan. 6, 2021, riot defendants. “Although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial — and may believe that she can do so — her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings,” Trump attorney John F. Lauro wrote. “The public will reasonably and understandably question whether Judge Chutkan arrived at all of her decisions in this matter impartially,” the motion said.

Donald Trump calls for the recusal of Tanya S. Chutkan.

Manhattan Judge may be open to moving Trump trial date as cases mount” via Jonah E. Bromwich and William K. Rashbaum of The New York Times — The judge presiding over the criminal case against Trump in Manhattan signaled that he could be open to changing the date of the trial, now set for March 2024, considering the handful of other potential trials Trump now faces. But in a letter sent to Trump’s lawyers, the judge, Juan M. Merchan, said he would wait until February to have that discussion, given Trump’s “rapidly evolving trial schedule.”

Prepare yourself. A Trump chatbot is about to be unleashed.” via Ben Schreckinger of POLITICO — In June, the AI avatars of Biden and Trump engaged in a marathon session of profane trash-talking broadcast on Twitch, offering a surreal glimpse at one potential future of political debate. Then a super PAC supporting the (since-scuttled) presidential bid of Miami’s Mayor launched an AI Francis Suarez bot to answer voters’ questions, which offered a more polished vision of a politician’s avatar.


Attorneys ask Florida’s congressional map be fast-tracked to state Supreme Court” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Parties in a lawsuit that could remake Florida’s congressional map want an appeal fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court. Attorneys for minority advocacy groups suing over cartography and state counsel defending the maps jointly filed a court request saying the case needs to be resolved as soon as possible. “This appeal requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court to provide certainty to voters, potential candidates, and elections officials regarding the configuration and validity of Florida’s congressional districts sufficiently in advance of the 2024 Elections,” the request reads.

Happening tonight:


Florida State Guard fetches praise from DeSantis” via Florida Politics — DeSantis recently highlighted the efforts of a volunteer disaster-response force respawned by his administration. In a statement, DeSantis praised the Florida State Guard’s actions in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, a Category 4 storm that swept through Florida’s Big Bend two weeks ago. It marked the debut mission for the organization, which had its first graduating class over the Summer. “Our Florida State Guard soldiers have already proven how important they are to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “They stood tall to protect those in need immediately following Hurricane Idalia.”

DeSantis gives a big thumbs-up to the Florida State Guard. Image via

DeSantis takes credit for post-Idalia power restoration in tele-town hall” via A.G. Gancarski — In the call, DeSantis took credit specifically for power restoration, contending that other states have more power outages than Florida as part of the “appropriate and overwhelming” response his administration delivered after the Big Bend storm. “If you look at power throughout the country, there are a handful of states that have more people without power than we do,” DeSantis said. “And we are basically eight days after the hurricane left the state of Florida.” It’s unclear at this writing Monday afternoon which states are part of that “handful.” According to PowerOutage.US, Florida has more than 9,300 accounts without power currently. More than 568,000 power reconnections occurred since the storm first hit the state’s Gulf Coast last Wednesday.

Immigrant workers who help rebuild after storms fear coming to Florida over DeSantis law” via Syra Ortiz Blanes of the Miami Herald — When the furious winds and rain of Hurricane Laura devastated Louisiana three years ago, Javier drifted toward the disaster, cleaning homes and chopping down trees that the Category 4 storm toppled and tore apart. “I heard that there was a disaster and that there was work. And where there is work, you go,” Javier said. The storm kicked off an unexpected round of work for Javier, an undocumented Honduran immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in 2016 and who did not want his last name used because of his immigration status. He has since helped clean up after other fierce Louisiana hurricanes, including Delta and Ida. Through word-of-mouth, clients refer him to others who call for help when catastrophes strike.

Advertisement— STATEWIDE —

Attorneys ask Florida’s congressional map be fast-tracked to state Supreme Court” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Parties in a lawsuit that could remake Florida’s congressional map want an appeal fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court. Attorneys for minority advocacy groups suing over cartography and state counsel defending the maps jointly filed a court request saying the case needs to be resolved as soon as possible. “This appeal requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court to provide certainty to voters, potential candidates, and elections officials regarding the configuration and validity of Florida’s congressional districts sufficiently in advance of the 2024 elections,” the request reads.

Fabián Basabe complains he hasn’t been served lawsuit over touching, defamation; plaintiffs say they can’t find him” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Rep. Basabe is complaining that his accusers in a battery and defamation lawsuit are trying to tarnish his reputation by slow-walking service of the complaint to delay court proceedings. An attorney for the plaintiffs, former staffer Nick Frevola and former intern Jacob Cutbirth, says that’s nonsense, citing more than a dozen attempts to serve Basabe since the lawsuit’s filing in early July. By Monday afternoon, the two parties reached an apparent agreement, according to attorney Cindy Myers, who represents Frevola and Cutbirth.

Fabián Basabe is still waiting to be served. Image via Fabian Basabe.

—“Lori Berman to serve on two agriculture-focused Committees, including one as Vice Chair” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics

—”Lauren Book to serve on Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules Committees” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

—”Nick DiCeglie repeats on Committees; will head Transportation, Banking and Insurance” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

—”Jason Pizzo keeps all but 1 Committee assignment ahead of 2024 Legislative Session” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

—“Blaise Ingoglia once again leads tax-focused Senate Committee” via Florida Politics

Hard cash: Bill requires some Florida businesses to accept currency, coin or pay penalties” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Florida businesses, including doctors’ offices and hospitals, could be forced to accept cash payments from their customers or face hefty fines under a bill (HB 35) filed Monday in the House for consideration in the 2024 Session. Filed by Rep. Joel Rudman, HB 35 requires businesses “operating at a fixed, permanent physical premises, from a vehicle or other mobile space, or from a temporary physical premises” to accept cash payment for the transaction of any tangible goods or services. The cash requirement — which includes coins and currency — does not apply to sales conducted via the internet or through telephone sales.

Happening today — The Levy County legislative delegation will hold its annual public hearing: 9:30 a.m., Levy County Commission Board Auditorium, 310 School Street, Bronson.

Happening today — The Hillsborough County legislative delegation meets in advance of the 2024 Session: 10 a.m., SkyCenter One, 1 Skycenter Dr., Tampa.

Happening today — Sen. Vic Torres hosts a town hall to discuss issues addressed during the 2023 Legislative Session: 6 p.m., Robert Guevara Community Center, 501 Florida Pkwy., Kissimmee.

Happening today — Rep. Yvonne Hinson will take part in a Town Hall Panel Discussion on the state of education in Florida, joined by Alachua County School Board Member Diyonne McGraw, Caring & Sharing Learning School principal Curtis Peterson, FAMU professor Dr. Monekka Munroe, Education Equalizer Foundation co-founder Dr. Carjie Scott, and Alachua County FAMU NAA President Boderick Johnson: 7 p.m., Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Ave., Gainesville.

Florida teachers face stiffer sanctions over classroom restrictions” via Jeffrey S. Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times — Florida teachers are becoming ever more anxious about what they can say in their classrooms. State officials keep tightening the laws and rules governing the content, adding tough penalties to those found in violation. The latest version of the Principles of Professional Conduct, which recently landed in district leaders’ inboxes, outlines a half-dozen new prohibitions for teachers to ponder. Among them, teachers are not to “intentionally” provide instruction on gender identity unless it is specifically provided for in state standards.

ALEC’s advocacy arm joins call for caution on anti-China investment law” via Florida Politics — While on board with the intent of the legislation, a prominent state-focused activist organization is joining the private sector’s warning that a new anti-China law could harm real estate investment in Florida. The advocacy component of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC Action) added to what’s becoming a chorus of industry caution about a bill (SB 264) that DeSantis prioritized and signed over the Summer. With some exceptions, the law generally prohibits Chinese nationals and government entities and affiliates from purchasing commercial or agricultural real property in Florida. It also places certain restrictions on nationals from other countries “of concern.”

Gas drop 24 cents since mid-August as winter blend returns” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Gas prices in the Sunshine State have declined for the third consecutive week, falling 24 cents per gallon since mid-August to $3.60 Monday. That’s a dime’s drop from a week ago and nearly a quarter less than this year’s highest daily price of $3.85 per gallon on Aug. 17. With cheaper but less fuel-efficient winter blend gasoline returning, the current price point could go even lower. However, the savings might not last long due to recent movements in the fuel industry.

Assignment editors — The Florida Mosquito Control Association (FMCA) will hold a virtual media briefing and discussion regarding malaria, dengue and other mosquito-borne illnesses and the post-hurricane breeding ground that may elevate that risk in Florida. Zoom panel discussion begins at 1 p.m. EST.



U.S. moves to advance prisoner swap deal with Iran and release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds” via Matthew Lee of The Associated Press — The Biden administration has cleared the way for the release of five American citizens detained in Iran by issuing a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions. In addition, as part of the deal, the administration has agreed to release five Iranian citizens held in the United States. Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the sanction waivers late last week, a month after U.S. and Iranian officials said an agreement in principle was in place. Congress was not informed of the waiver decision until Monday.

Biden’s news conference in Vietnam ignites his opponents” via Michael D. Shear of The New York Times — By Monday morning, as the 80-year-old President was flying home on Air Force One, conservative media outlets had seized on his end-of-trip news conference as the latest evidence that he is too old to perform on the world stage. It is a pattern that infuriates the White House, where Biden’s top aides believe that stories about the President’s age and health are stoked by his enemies to undermine his accomplishments.

Joe Biden ruffles feathers with a Vietnam news conference. Image via AP.

Rick Scott, Wilton Simpson meet with Florida farmers as Congress readies farm bill” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — U.S. Sen. Scott recently stopped by Clewiston to discuss issues farmers face as Congress tries to finalize a new farm bill. While Scott listened to farmers’ concerns, he also told agriculture community members that they needed to voice their priorities to as many members of Congress as possible. “You need to use every communications tool at your disposal to let them know that Florida agriculture helps feed our nation,” Scott said. “We have some of the best soil, the best sunshine, and the best rainfall in the world,” Simpson said during the Friday meeting. “We are here to celebrate that.”

Rick Scott, Wilton Simpson give Florida farmers some face time.

Why Democrats need Nancy Pelosi” via Lara Korte and Dustin Gardiner of POLITICO — The Speaker emerita’s decision Friday to run for another term frustrated those who want her to step aside for the next generation. But it’s clear the Democratic Party is eager to keep her, their most formidable fundraiser, with control of the House on the line and the prospect of another Trump presidency on the horizon. “The timing — it’s tough to walk away for her, it seems to me, given where we’re at,” retired California Sen. Barbara Boxer said. “People are rewriting history. And when you’ve lived through that history, like the Civil Rights movement, you’re going to fight like hell to make sure that history isn’t rewritten.” Pelosi has long hinted that she might be ready to retire. Time and time again, she has found herself pulled back into the fray, unable to sit back as Democrats battle what they see as existential threats.

Can’t wait to get my jab! —FDA approves new COVID shots” via Christina Jewett and Noah Weiland of The New York Times — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to hold an advisory meeting to discuss who should get the new shots, by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. After a final decision by the CDC’s director, millions of doses will be shipped to pharmacies, clinics and health systems nationwide within days. As COVID cases creep up, the trifecta of prevention measures could portend the first Winter of the decade without a crush of patients overwhelming some hospitals. But a healthy Winter is far from a lock: In the last year, the updated COVID vaccine made it into the arms of only 20% of adults in the United States.

Marine Capitol rioter gets one hour of community service for each of 279 Marine Civil War casualties” via Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press — One of three active-duty Marines who stormed the U.S. Capitol together was sentenced on Monday to probation and 279 hours of community service, one hour for every Marine who was killed or wounded fighting in the Civil War. U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes said she can’t fathom why Dodge Hellonen violated his oath to protect the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and risked his career by joining the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. “I really urge you to think about why it happened so you can address it and ensure it never happens again,” Reyes said.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

‘Don’t wait until the next tragedy.’ Boynton Beach reflects on lessons learned from 9/11” via Giuseppe Sabella of The Palm Beach Post — Chief Hugh Bruder wears a pin on his Boynton Beach Fire Rescue uniform: an American flag accompanied by the date Sep. 11, 2001. “This pin is worn by every firefighter on this fire department and many firefighters across the nation,” he said during the city’s remembrance ceremony Monday, 22 years after the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. “It sits right here, and it’s a constant daily reminder of the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that others may live.”

Boynton Beach Fire and Rescue urges to stay aware of possible tragedies.

‘It takes violence to a whole other level’: Tiny devices turn regular guns into machine guns on South Florida streets” via Shira Moolten of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Last year in March, a car unleashed a spray of bullets as it passed outside of a Miramar restaurant, killing two best friends as they were waiting for their food. Detectives say they still don’t know what weapons were used, though they know there were multiple. One witness told police he thought one of the guns may have had a “Glock switch,” a tiny metal cube that attaches to the back of a pistol and turns it into an automatic weapon. Though authorities could not provide exact data on how ubiquitous switches have become in the region, they do know that the devices, on the rise nationally, are popping up on South Florida streets.

Plan to replace Clevelander with housing is already a political football in Miami Beach” via Aaron Leibowitz of the Miami Herald — When the owners of the Clevelander Hotel and Bar on Ocean Drive announced last week that they plan to replace the popular party spot with a high-end restaurant and 30-story residential building, Miami Beach politicians and candidates for office were quick to label it a disaster. “Worst idea ever,” said Mayor Dan Gelber, who later posted an image showing how such a development would tower over neighboring Art Deco structures along the famed South Beach street. Mike Grieco, a former City Commissioner and state Representative who is running to succeed Gelber, posted a video standing outside the Clevelander, saying the new building would be, “by far, the tallest building anywhere near the entertainment district.”

The Children’s Trust: Study sheds light on long-lasting benefits of quality early learning” via Rachel Spector in the Miami Herald — When your child is a baby, everything matters. Every smile given and received, every moment of baby talk (and when they babble back), and every second someone sits with them and looks through a picture book — these all set the stage for a lifetime of growth. As a director of programs at The Children’s Trust, I have had the privilege to witness the profound impact of quality early care and education programs on young minds, especially in the case of infants and toddlers. Scientific research has long echoed what we at The Trust have championed: A child’s early years are the critical foundation for their journey ahead.

Hurricane Lee unleashes heavy swell on northern Caribbean as it charges through open water” via The Associated Press — Hurricane Lee barreled Sunday through open waters just northeast of the Caribbean, unleashing heavy swell on several islands as it restrengthened. The Category 3 storm is not forecast to make landfall and is expected to stay over open waters through Friday.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Hamburger Mary’s to host bingo fundraiser for Orlando Pride parade” via Austin Fuller of the Orlando Sentinel — Hamburger Mary’s in downtown Orlando is hosting a bingo fundraiser to bring in money for the Come Out With Pride Orlando’s Pride parade. Seating for bingo is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the game starting at the Church Street restaurant at 7 p.m. The parade itself is Oct. 21. Hamburger Mary’s co-owner John Paonessa said his business is hosting the fundraiser after hearing the pride event might not be getting as many sponsorships as it has in the past. Large companies have been caught in the so-called culture wars, with Anheuser-Busch facing backlash for transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney promoting its beer.

Hamburger Mary’s will host a bingo event to support Orlando Pride. Image via Facebook.

Brevard School Board mulls no longer broadcasting public comment in light of HB 1069” via Finch Walker of Florida Today — Brevard’s formal book review process has been halted since June, but with a new state law, parents could find a way to circumvent the traditional review process. That left the school board debating how to respond if a parent seeks to force a fast-track ban on a book. House Bill 1069, which went into effect July 1, lays out rules related to what can and can’t be taught in schools or kept on library shelves. It also says that parents must be allowed to read passages from “any material that is subject to an objection.”

Volusia joins 650 school districts in suing social media giants, citing mental health harm” via Mark Harper of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Volusia County Schools is one of at least 12 districts in Florida and 650 nationwide that are suing Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, as well as other social media companies, alleging they have done harm to children’s mental health and burdened educators. Social media companies’ addictive algorithms have contributed to a decline in mental health, and districts are having to hire more people and create new policies and plans, as a result, the suit argues, and schools need to be compensated. Other personal injury cases brought by families and individuals are also being brought against the social media giants.

‘A really big problem’: Here’s what’s killing dolphins in Indian River Lagoon” via Jim Waymer of Florida Today — Sometimes, they just take the bait. Other times they get tangled up in blue, or other shades of braided fishing line. A new study by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute found many bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon choke on our lines, lures and other fishing gear, or they die tangled in the line. More die from illnesses worsened by pollution in the lagoon. Their paper was published recently in the journal Wildlife Disease. Like manatees, bottlenose dolphins already have been emaciated and immune-compromised because of a lack of food in the Indian River Lagoon. Years of toxic algae blooms that smothered seagrass beds have unraveled the basic fish foundations of the lagoon food web.

Indian Harbour Beach Deputy Mayor David Panicola dies at 56” via J.D. Gallop of Florida Today — Panicola, a former Satellite High School teacher who turned to politics and was serving as Deputy Mayor of Indian Harbour Beach, died at his home Saturday after a fall. He was 56. Panicola, a former Indian Harbour Beach Mayor who had been Deputy Mayor of the 8,200-resident beachside town since 2019, spent two decades in city government. He was also a commodore at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Melbourne, family members said. “Our hearts go out to his family. It’s an absolute tragedy for his friends, family and the city,” said Scott Nickle, who succeeded Panicola as Mayor in 2019.


Pinellas County grows Republican voter registration lead” via Owen Girard of Florida’s Voice — The Pinellas County Republican Party have steadily increased their voter registration numbers since the November midterm elections in 2022, leaving the county’s Democratic Party 25,000 voters behind. Currently, the GOP has 230,556 active registered voters in the county, while the Democrats hold 205,457. This compares to when the Republicans had only 10,000 more voters in the midterm elections. In August, it was reported that Republicans had 568,000 more voters than the Democrats did in the state.

—“Tampa Fire Rescue honor 9/11 victims” via Dirk Shadd of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Fire Rescue honors the fallen heroes of 9/11. Image via Facebook.

Person in Pasco County among 4 deaths related to Hurricane Idalia, officials say” via Kevin Accettulla of WFLA — A person in Pasco County is among the four deaths related to Hurricane Idalia. The deaths that have been reported as of Monday include one in each of the following counties: Alachua, Brevard, Dixie, and Pasco, officials said.

Pasco County approves $260M expansion of its waste-to-energy plant” via Henry Queen of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Pasco County Commissioners last week unanimously approved a $260 million expansion of its waste-to-energy plant. The project is expected to add 515 tons of daily processing capacity, enough to generate 18 megawatts of electricity per day. “This is a long time for the board to slowly get up to where we can fund the new waste energy plant,” Commissioner Jack Mariano said during a meeting last week. “I know we’re looking at very creative things to cut the funding down, get as much federal help as we can.”

Tampa International Airport nominated for Best Large Airport by USA Today” via Andrew Harlan of That’s So Tampa — Tampa International Airport is No. 1 in our hearts, and also in the hearts of many national and international news outlets. The latest to sling praise on TPA is USA Today. This news outlet just listed it as one of the best large airports in America, and voting is open now to the public. A panel of industry experts and editors at the publication chose TPA as a nominee for Best Large Airport, up against major hubs including O’ Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Miami International Airport (MIA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Florida State debuts new LED lighting system at home opener” via Adrian Andrews of WFSU — Florida State (2-0) came out last Saturday picking apart Southern Miss (1-1) with a high-powered offense and relentless defense. The Noles put up 31 points in the first half alone. Junior running back Trey Benson scored 3 of the team’s nine touchdowns. The team’s blowout 66-13 victory wasn’t the only thing that kept fans amazed. A new LED lighting system at Doak Campbell Stadium dimmed, strobed, and lit up Bobby Bowden field throughout the game. described the atmosphere as amazing. “I enjoyed the lights, the new features they added this year,” said longtime FSU fan Xaiver Holmes. “Overall, the experience was worthwhile, it was definitely worthwhile.”

Doak Campbell Stadium unveils a new high-tech light show.


Federal aid approved for Sarasota, Manatee after Hurricane Idalia” via Derek Gilliam of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Manatee and Sarasota counties have been approved for federal assistance following Hurricane Idalia’s landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida earlier this month. County officials for both jurisdictions sent notification on Monday that residents can apply for “Individual Assistance and Small Business Assistance” through federal agencies. “We appreciate the work by our partners at Florida Division of Emergency Management and FEMA for their assistance in obtaining this funding for our community,” a Sarasota County news release said.

New College of Florida rejects allegations made in federal civil rights investigation” via Steven Walker of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — New College of Florida brushed off the U.S. Department of Education’s new civil rights investigation into the college in a statement. New College representative Nathan March said the civil rights complaint filed in August was only sent to media outlets and not to the college. He said it detailed false claims only meant to grab headlines. The complaint alleged an ongoing trend of discrimination against “protected groups” such as LGBTQ students, and the creation of a hostile environment toward those students. It pointed to actions taken by the college’s board and administration, singling out conservative anti-diversity policy activist and trustee Christopher Rufo, appointed in January by DeSantis, for fostering a hostile environment.

New College pushes back on accusations of civil rights violations.

—“Richard Corcoran to talk about the new New College at Tampa Tiger Bay” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

North Port City Commissioners give preliminary approval to proposed $251.6M budget” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — North Port City Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a proposed $251.6 million budget for the next year — despite the pleas of several residents, who wanted to see the Commission roll back the property tax rate to provide some financial relief. Because of a 16.9% increase in property values, the current tax rate of 3.7667 mills — or about $3.77 per $1,000 of taxable property value — would generate about $4.3 million more than it currently does. That accounts for a little more than $31 million of the $74.8 million general fund budget, which also draws funds from other sources of revenue.


DeSantis probably didn’t turn Florida red” via Nathaniel Rakish of FiveThirtyEight — it’s unclear how much credit DeSantis himself deserves for this shift — or if it even counts as a realignment at all. The most prominent argument in his favor, that Republicans have moved to the state thanks to his COVID-19 policies, is hard to prove.

His investment in the state GOP appears to have paid real dividends, but several other factors contributed to that push’s success. He probably didn’t have much to do with another one of Florida Republicans’ biggest accomplishments over the past few years: their inroads with Hispanic voters.

And finally, there’s considerable doubt over whether DeSantis’ premise — that Florida will continue to be a safe Republican state going forward — is even correct. The data suggests DeSantis’ 2022 rout was a historical outlier, driven by a massive partisan turnout gap, and it’s unwise to make sweeping pronouncements based on just one election.

Ask many Florida Republicans, and they’ll tell you Florida has gotten redder because DeSantis’ famous opposition to COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic drew anti-lockdown Republicans to the state in droves.

The problem with this theory is that Florida’s population was already expanding even before COVID-19 hit. It’s true that the pandemic had a particularly big impact on Florida: According to American Community Survey estimates, 674,740 people moved to Florida from a different state or the District of Columbia in 2021, the biggest influx of domestic migrants into any state.

But by Florida’s standards, it wasn’t that unusual. While the 2021 uptick was a bigger number than any year from 2011 to 2019, it was consistent with the general trend of more and more people moving to Florida as the decade wore on.


Trump is really old, too” via Frank Bruni of The New York Times — How would we even notice Trump’s lapse into incoherence, when derangement is essentially his brand? Pretty much any interview he gives is a babble bonanza. We can’t know — really know — that Biden’s occasionally prolonged, futile search for the right word or name is firmer evidence of cognitive fade than Trump’s hallucinatory musings are. Trump diverts attention from his age by going to significant lengths to conceal it.

COVID-19 misinformation is still killing us” via Stephen Neely and Kaila Witkowski of the Tampa Bay Times — In September 2020, officials at the World Health Organization offered a stark warning: “Misinformation costs lives.” A recent study underscored the real-world costs of the infodemic. The study showed that rates of “excess mortality” rose to 43% higher among Republican voters than Democratic voters after vaccines became widely available to the public. This is not some abstract problem. After all, COVID-19 has killed more than 90,000 people in Florida and more than 1.1 million in the United States. Yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, common myths surrounding the safety and effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have persisted.


— ALOE —

ESPN, Disney+ to present ‘Toy Story’-fied animated NFL telecast” via Nick Porter of The Hollywood Reporter — ESPN+ and Disney+ will present a fully animated, real-time alternate telecast of the Oct. 1 game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons. The game, one of the league’s yearly London matchups, is ESPN’s first regular season contest that’s exclusive to ESPN+ (save for over-the-air broadcast in the teams’ home markets). The animated version will take place in Pixar’s Toy Story universe, on a field laid out on the floor of Andy’s room. (The league’s NFL+ platform will also carry the alternate presentation.)

The NFL gets animated. Image via ESPN/Disney.

A Coco Gauff celebration: Delray Beach plans to honor champ for her U.S. Open victory” via Lisa J. Huriash of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Let the partying begin: Gauff, 19, made tennis history this weekend, and now her hometown of Delray Beach is going to celebrate. Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka, the No. 2 player in the world, in the U.S. Open final on Saturday, making her the first American teenager to win the country’s major tennis tournament since Serena Williams, then age 17, in 1999. Over the weekend, Ryan Boylston, Delray Beach’s Vice Mayor, posted on Facebook: “Looks like we have a parade to plan. #cocgauff” along with an emoji of a tennis ball. That post got the attention of City Hall staff and kick-started the internal planning and discussions, Boylston said. “In Delray Beach, we have a long history of celebrating our own,” he explained.

Lionel Messi scores big waterfront Fort Lauderdale estate for $10.75M” via David Lyons of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — World soccer star Messi and his family have finally landed a South Florida home — a sprawling waterfront estate in the gated Bay Colony community for $10.75 million. Messi, who has been tearing up Major League Soccer ever since he signed with Inter Miami this Summer, will have plenty of space to roam. The house contains more than 10,500 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms, and a three-car garage and pool, according to the Team Simpkin Compass real estate group of Fort Lauderdale. The firm, which says it has assisted other club players in finding homes in the area, confirmed the transaction through a news release on Monday.


Celebrating today is top lobbyist Jeff Hartley of Smith Bryan & Myers, Jonathan Tallman, and Elizabeth Wester. Belated best wishes to Daniel Diaz Leyva.


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.

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