Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 10.17.23

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Your morning review of the issues and players behind Florida politics.

Good Tuesday morning.

Breaking overnight — “Joe Biden to travel to Israel” via Jonathan Lemire of POLITICO — President Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday in what is likely to be a dramatic show of solidarity with a nation reeling from Hamas’ deadly attack. The announcement of Biden’s impending trip was made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday. Blinken himself was in Israel, where he had held hours of meetings with the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The trip by Biden could come on the cusp of Israel launching a ground invasion of Gaza, a backdrop that has left some administration officials worried. Netanyahu invited Biden to visit when the two men spoke on Saturday, officials said, with one of them saying then the administration was “weighing” the offer.


Gov. Ron DeSantis’ rapid mobilization of state resources to evacuate Americans from Israel benefited many beyond the Sunshine State’s borders, leaving an impression sure to ripple from coast to coast as he runs a presidential campaign.

During a Monday afternoon news conference, media teased out that there were just 70 Floridians — out of 269 Americans — on board a state-funded jet that landed Sunday evening in Tampa after departing from Tel Aviv. That means DeSantis leveraged his official powers to help Floridians but also Americans at large, taking the shape of something bigger nationwide at a critical moment in his bid for the Oval Office.

Ron DeSantis greets Americans arriving in Tampa on ‘DeSantis Airlines.’ Image via WSVN.

DeSantis last week issued an emergency order authorizing the use of state resources to facilitate evacuations from Israel as the country began fighting a war against Hamas, a terrorist organization that carried out an unprecedented deadly terrorist attack on Israel a little more than a week ago.

That order led to a partnership with a Tampa-based nonprofit, Project DYNAMO, which conducted a successful rescue mission Sunday evening culminating in a DeSantis tarmac appearance welcoming the formerly stranded Americans, one Czech Republic citizen and four dogs.

Federal authorities estimate 30 Americans were killed during the Hamas attacks and at least 13 are feared missing.

The State Department is scrambling to evacuate Americans from the war-engaged Israel where the dangerous airspace has made ordinary commercial travel unfeasible.

DeSantis is too. And now he can claim he brought back some of the 20,000-plus Americans stranded in the war-engaged Israel just as fast as the federal government.

The mission wasn’t only a success for the 269 Americans. It’s also a win for DeSantis’ political ambitions.

While the Monday afternoon news conference did not include anyone from the DeSantis administration or campaign, his leadership was often the subject of discussion.

Stern repeatedly commended DeSantis during the news conference, noting at one point that he had “the courtesy and patriotism to welcome Americans home.”

Stern also touched on the federal government.

“We have a decent relationship with the State Department,” Stern said. “But it depends on the day.”

The evacuees selected to speak about the mission also heaped praise on DeSantis.

“I thank Gov. DeSantis,” a teary-eyed Linda Neumann said. “He’s awesome.”

Neumann and her husband, Ron Neumann, are a couple who split their time between Israel and Melbourne, Florida.

Ron Neumann served in the United States military and saw combat in Vietnam, meaning this was the second time he returned home from a war-torn area. He contrasted DeSantis’ warm reception with the critical protests he received returning from the unpopular war in Vietnam.

DeSantis has been incredibly vocal since war broke out in Israel.

It’s hardly a new issue for him, however. During his first year as Governor in 2019, DeSantis led a trade delegation to Israel. He also went to the country again this year as part of a sprawling trade mission.


St. Petersburg City Council member Ed Montanari is launching a campaign for House District 60.

Montanari, a Republican, was first elected to Council in 2015 and served as Chair in 2020 and 2021. He is the first challenger to file for the seat currently held by the first-term Democratic Rep. Lindsay Cross.

“As a fighter pilot, I’m trained to fire up my afterburners and go when a mission needs accomplishing,” said Montanari, a U.S. Air Force veteran, in a news release. “That’s why I’m running for Florida state House. Insurance rate hikes, a higher cost of living, and crime issues have made life harder for local families in recent years. It’s clear we need a leader in the Florida House with proven ability to complete the mission voters sent them to accomplish.”

He added, “From the Air Force to the St. Petersburg City Council, I never backed down from a challenge — and I won’t start now.”

The Council member released a video touting his credentials — he’s a former Air Force F-16 pilot who served as an Air Operations Officer in Central Command at MacDill AFB during the first Gulf War, and he later worked as a Boeing 777 pilot for American Airlines.

Housing, crime, inflation and out-of-control insurance rates. We’ve all had a difficult year and we need leadership. Last time I faced a mission this tough it was from the cockpit of an F-16,” he says in the ad, adding that he’s ready for his “next mission.”

“I’ll fight against big Insurance to lower rates across the board. I’ll fight to make our homes and apartments more affordable. And I’ll fight for our first responders who are on the front lines to protect and serve our families,” he says.

HD 60 covers part of Pinellas County and has a Democratic lean. In 2020, Biden carried the district with 55% of the vote. Two years later, Cross won the election over GOP nominee Audrey Henson by 8 points in what was otherwise a banner year for Florida Republicans.

To watch the ad, please click the image below:



@JaredEMoskowitz: (Jim) Jordan will win the speakership tomorrow. It may take multiple rounds. Moderates will cave. This was always the plan by the Freedom Caucus. It wasn’t just about removing (Kevin) McCarthy but installing one of their own. Freedom Caucus played chess. The rest played checkers.

@jamiedupree: On Friday, Rep. Vern Buchanan R-FL was very mad with Jordan over how Steve Scalise was run out of the race for Speaker. “I think (Jordan) might get to 180, 160, something there, but he won’t get close to 217.” Today: Buchanan is on board with Jordan.

@jacobogles: @RepAaronBean tells me he is all in for @Jim_Jordan now, a week after saying he was leaning @SteveScalise in the original conference vote.

@JakeLahut: (Donald) Trump is rolling out a rebooted version of the travel ban at his rally in Iowa. This one is more extreme and entails “ideological screening,” which raises some serious 1A constitutional issues

@BryanDGriffin: “From the river to the sea” means from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — the entirety of the land of Israel. It is a call for the complete elimination of Israel. It’s an unacceptable position to hold or celebrate and should be treated as such.

@Fineout: CEO of nonprofit that helped organize charter flight out of Israel that brought 270 ppl to Florida said that when @GovRonDeSantis greeted them it was the “1st time an American politician” had met when they returned from a mission & “1st time” they got help from gov agency

@Will_Bunch: Introducing DeSantis Air: The only airline to offer scheduled service from Tel Aviv to Miami to El Paso to Martha’s Vineyard

@MarcACaputo: All campaigns ultimately lose money. Losing campaigns lose money faster


Republican Party of Sarasota County honors First Lady Casey DeSantis with the 2023 Stateswoman of the Year Award — 2; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres — 3; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 6; Britney Spears memoir ‘The Woman in Me’ drops — 7; NBA 2023-24 season tipoff — 7; Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ released — 10; the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership summit — 11; Suncoast Tiger Bay Club hosts ‘Evening with the Tigers’ — 20; ‘The Marvels′ premieres — 22; 2023 Florida Chamber Mental Health Innovation Summit — 23; Formula 1 will take over the Las Vegas Strip — 31; ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ premieres — 37; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 43; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 47; 2023 Florida Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit — 45; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 57; Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ premieres — 66; Matt Dixon’s ‘Swamp Monsters: Trump vs. DeSantis ― the Greatest Show on Earth (or at Least in Florida)’ released — 84; 2024 Florida Chamber Legislative Fly-In and reception — 84; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 84; Florida TaxWatch’s State of the Taxpayer Dinner — 89; 2024 Primetime Emmy Awards — 90; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 109; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 111; South Carolina GOP holds first-in-the-South Primary — 129; Michigan Democratic Primary — 131; Georgia Democratic Primary — 145; Trump’s D.C. trial on charges related to trying to reverse his 2020 Election loss — 139; Super Tuesday — 140; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 144; 2024 Oscars — 146; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 151; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 197; 2024 Leadership Conference on Safety, Health & Sustainability — 206; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 216; Republican National Convention begins — 270; New ‘Alien’ premieres — 274; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 282; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 283; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 313; Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 357; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 369; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 430; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 486; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 565; ‘Moana’ premieres — 622; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 796; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 927; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 949; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,162; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,301; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,257; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,620.


Ron DeSantis takes heat from Democrats for calling all Palestinians antisemitic” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — DeSantis’ declaration that all Palestinians are antisemitic was blasted by Democrats including U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, who asked why he didn’t condemn neo-Nazis in Florida with the same fervor.

“What a racist comment from a racist man,” Frost wrote on X. “ … The Nazis that have been marching up and down the state harassing the public [and] synagogues wave DeSantis 2024 flags.”

Ron DeSantis faces backlash over a comment about Palestinian antisemitism.

The Governor first made the remarks at a presidential campaign event in Iowa on Saturday. He repeated them in a Sunday interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” as part of his argument that the U.S. should not take in Palestinian refugees in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel and the Israeli response.

“We cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees,” DeSantis said in Iowa. “I am not going to do that. If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all antisemitic.”

CBS anchor Margaret Brennan pressed DeSantis on the comments on Palestinians and asked him about the estimated 600 Americans in Gaza, as well as the fact that half the 2 million residents of Gaza are under 18.

“How can you paint with such a broad brush to say 2.3 million people are antisemitic?” she asked.

In response, DeSantis called the Gaza Strip “a toxic culture” where they “teach kids to hate Jews.”

Help for Gaza refugees creates a flashpoint for DeSantis and Nikki Haley” via Neil Vigdor of The New York Times — The deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is driving a wedge between DeSantis and Haley, two of the leading Republican presidential candidates, who deviated sharply over whether the United States should help Palestinian refugees from the region ahead of an expected Israeli invasion. In an appearance on the CBS morning show “Face the Nation,” DeSantis doubled down on remarks he had made one day earlier in Iowa, espousing a hard-line opposition toward helping civilians who have been thrust into the middle of the conflict. “They teach kids to hate Jews,” he said. “The textbooks do not have Israel even on the map. They prepare very young kids to commit terrorist attacks. So, I think it’s a toxic culture.”


Money has been a problem for DeSantis’ campaign. Is it still?” via Emily Mahoney and Teghan Simonton of the Tampa Bay Times — While the total shows resilience in the Florida Governor’s fundraising abilities, it also raises daunting questions as DeSantis promises a comeback ahead of Iowa’s Caucuses early next year. The $15 million DeSantis raised falls far short of the $24.5 million reported by Trump’s campaign in documents also filed Sunday night. That figure is not comprehensive of all of Trump’s political committees; Trump’s team said it raised $45.5 million in total, as his fundraising shows upward momentum. Thanks to money raised by DeSantis’ other political committees and what was carried over from earlier this year, DeSantis’ operation had about $13.5 million on hand as it entered October. But just $5 million of it was available to be spent on the Primary Election, the campaign confirmed. Millions more must be held in reserve for the General Election, because of legal limits on federal donations.

Money was an issue for DeSantis. What about now?

DeSantis’ Yale fraternity brothers help him reach new donors” via Hadriana Lowenkron and Stephanie Lai of Bloomberg — The group of about a dozen Yale alumni, internally dubbed the “Fight Club,” has so far raised about $5.5 million for DeSantis from their contacts, according to the campaign. They meet for 45 minutes each week to discuss strategy and fundraising outreach. DeSantis joins the calls about once a month. Fight Club is the DeSantis network’s take on what is called bundling in political circles. Affluent and well-connected supporters willing to recruit their friends to give are known as bundlers — and they’re critical to many candidates’ fundraising efforts. The Yale alumni are continuing to assist with more fundraisers this Fall. Already on the calendar is one at the end of October in Miami, ahead of the third Republican debate on Nov. 8, which is scheduled to take place in the same city.

DeSantis ready for Nevada caucuses, though they seem primed for a Donald Trump win” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Gov. DeSantis has reconciled himself to participating in caucuses in a key early state, even as polling suggests he’s a long shot there. According to The New York Times, the DeSantis campaign will work on “earning every single delegate” in Nevada. “It is disappointing that the Nevada Republican Party changed the rules against the will of the people just to benefit one candidate. However, Ron DeSantis will fight to overcome these tactics,” campaign representative Andrew Romeo told the Times. Caucus participation may be an easier threshold than the Nevada Primary, which is more or less ceremonial in 2024.

DeSantis thinks he can pull RFK voters in General Election” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis continues to press his case against Trump, arguing he would be better positioned than the former President in staving off a third-party challenge from Robert Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent. “This RFK third party I don’t think would be a factor if I’m the nominee. But I think it would be a factor with Trump because I think some of the issues RFK raises like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the COVID lockdowns, all that, I’m very strong on that and I did something about it,” DeSantis said on WGIR’s New Hampshire Today with Chris Ryan. DeSantis suggested that Trump would “bleed support” due to his approach to coronavirus mitigation.

DeSantis backs Marco Rubio’s call to remove Hamas backers on visas from U.S.” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis is backing Rubio’s call to revoke visas for foreign nationals identified as Hamas supporters. During an interview on the Guy Benson Show, the Governor affirmed Florida’s senior Senator’s demand that those who protest in favor of the foreign terrorist organization be removed from the country. “You don’t have a right to be here on a visa. You don’t have a right to be studying in the United States and we have a right to defend our people. And I think that having that is a huge problem,” DeSantis said.

— MORE 2024 —

Trump swamps rivals with huge cash haul while DeSantis fundraising slows” via Maeve Reston, Clara Ence Morse and Hannah Knowles of The Washington Post — Trump far outpaced his Republican rivals in fundraising in the three-month period from July through the end of September, raising more than $24.5 million for his campaign. He began October with $37.5 million in cash to spend, according to reports filed with the FEC on Sunday night. It was not clear from the available data how much of his cash could be used for the Primary Election. The latest fundraising report reflects that effort to rein in costs, which DeSantis’ team says has set him on a more sustainable course. His campaign expenditures in September totaled about $1.4 million, down from nearly $4 million in August and nearly $6 million in June. His campaign said he entered October with about $5 million available for the Primary, less money than what his top rivals have reported.

Money may be slowing for other GOP candidates, but Donald Trump beats them all. Image via AP.

—“Trump’s giant lead is financial, too: 6 takeaways from 2024 filings” via Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Reid J. Epstein and Michael C. Bender of The New York Times

—“Poll: Trump builds lead in Utah at DeSantis’ expense” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Trump, campaigning in Iowa, vows to ban Hamas sympathizers from U.S. if he wins a second term” via Thomas Beaumont and Jill Colvin of The Associated Press — Doubling down on the hard-line immigration policies that have long animated his base, Trump vowed to bar refugees from Gaza and immediately expand his first-term Muslim travel ban if he wins a second term following the deadly attack on Israel last week. Trump, speaking to supporters in Iowa, said that if he returns to the Oval Office, he will immediately begin “ideological screening” for all immigrants and bar those who sympathize with Hamas and Muslim extremists. The war has sparked what is now the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides, with more than 4,000 dead. “No longer will we allow dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots, and maniacs to get residency in our country,” he said.

Tim Scott’s super PAC pulls the plug on Fall ads” via Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times — The main super PAC supporting Scott’s presidential campaign abruptly announced to donors that it was canceling millions of dollars in television ads it had reserved this Fall, writing that Trump’s strength was so ingrained among Republican voters that additional advertising would currently make little difference. “We aren’t going to waste our money when the electorate isn’t focused or ready for a Trump alternative,” said Rob Collins, a Republican strategist who is Co-Chair of the super PAC. “We have done the research. We have studied the focus groups. We have been following Tim on the trail. This electorate is locked up and money spent on mass media isn’t going to change minds until we get a lot closer to voting.”

Meanwhile … Climate advocacy group plans to spend $80M on ads to aid Biden” via Reid J. Epstein of The New York Times — Climate Power, a liberal advocacy group, plans to spend $80 million on advertising to lift Biden’s standing on environmental issues and inform voters about the impact of legislation he signed last year. Polls show few voters are aware of the President’s record on climate issues, and there is a broad dissatisfaction with his stewardship of the issue. This new effort also adds to the constellation of outside groups working to solve one of the Democratic Party’s most vexing problems: how to make a President widely seen by his own party as too old to seek re-election just popular enough to win a likely rematch with Trump.


Texas Sheriff hasn’t forgotten about DeSantis’ ‘unlawful’ anti-migrant stunt” via Caleb Ecarma of Vanity Fair — Gov. DeSantis’ transportation of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in September of last year qualified as “unlawful restraint,” alleged Javier Salazar, the Democratic Sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, who is investigating the incident. Making the claim on a “60 Minutes” segment, Salazar said the migrants were deceived into boarding a plane charted by the DeSantis administration. “They lied to them,” he said — “they” being the operatives hired by the Governor’s Office to convince dozens of migrants to fly to the Massachusetts island. “They told them they were gonna get jobs there, and housing there … The answer to your prayers is on this plane and (it) will take you to the promised land.’”

Javier Salazar still remembers what DeSantis did with migrants.

Nonprofit that flew Americans from Israel to Florida for DeSantis releases new details” via Michael Wilner and Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald — To safely fly Americans from Israel to Tampa, DeSantis’ administration partnered with a nonprofit that specializes in bringing U.S. citizens home from conflict zones around the world, covering the cost of air travel that the organization priced out at millions of dollars. The Republican Governor has said the state is planning more flights in the coming days but has not said whether the state will continue to partner with Project Dynamo, a Tampa-based organization that has been criticized by U.S. government officials for being too willing to take risks.


Biden weighs the risks of a wartime visit to Israel” via Peter Baker of The New York Times — Biden is considering whether to travel to Israel in the coming days to show solidarity with America’s closest ally in the Middle East after the devastating Hamas attack that has prompted a new war, a decision fraught with domestic and international ramifications. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended the invitation to Biden over the weekend, but the White House has not announced whether the President would accept. Biden at the last minute canceled a trip to Colorado scheduled for Monday to deliver a clean energy speech in order to stay at the White House and meet with his national security advisers, officials said.

Joe Biden’s trip to Israel poses many challenges. Image via AP.

Rick Scott thinks domestic terror potential is at 9/11 level” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — U.S. Sen. Scott is worried that the “open border” with Mexico could lead to Americans experiencing the worst terror attack since Sept. 11, 2001. “We know there’s people on the terrorist watch list that have come across,” Scott said on Monday’s “Mornings with Maria.” He agreed with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s warning that domestic risk is approaching the levels on that fateful day 22 years ago. “We have got to understand we have got an open border,” Scott added. “We have a significant risk of a terror attack right here in our country.” Scott also believes, regarding the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip, that any casualties are the fault of Hamas and not Israeli forces.

The House Speaker fight can’t escape Trump’s shadow” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post — Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where host Jake Tapper pressed him on his support for U.S. Rep. Jordan’s bid to be elected House speaker. Some Republicans, Tapper reminded Crenshaw, are wary of Jordan, given his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election to benefit Trump. “He defied the congressional subpoena” from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, Tapper said, “and he was trying to get (Vice President Mike) Pence to overturn the electoral votes.” “But a lot of them did that,” Crenshaw replied, with a chuckle. “If I held that grudge, I wouldn’t have friends in the Republican conference.”

Dan Crenshaw insists he doesn’t hold grudges. Image via AP.

Vern Buchanan will now support Jim Jordan for Speaker” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — U.S. Rep. Buchanan now says he will support U.S. Rep. Jordan’s bid for Speaker. The Longboat Key Republican, Chair of Florida’s congressional delegation, previously said he would not back the Ohio Republican. He said last week he was unhappy with the chaotic leadership fight that has left the House paralyzed since former Speaker McCarthy’s ouster. Buchanan previously endorsed Majority Leader Scalise to succeed McCarthy. Scalise went on to win a conference vote but was far short of the 217 votes needed to clinch a floor vote with the full House voting. Democrats are expected to vote as a block for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

NASA admits Artemis moonshot is unaffordable, but Bill Nelson, magic money rocket man, is on the case” via Brian Burgess of The Capitolist — With significant economic implications for Florida’s Space Coast, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month released a financial audit of NASA’s moonshot program, Artemis, and the conclusion was demoralizing. Short version: the space agency’s fantastical dream of building long-lasting lunar infrastructure both on the surface and in orbit around the moon is downright “unaffordable.” Period. Full stop. Notably, the wording of that conclusion didn’t originate with the GAO auditors. It came from “senior NASA officials,” who admitted there simply isn’t enough money to pay for NASA’s Artemis dreams. But don’t worry, because NASA has a plan to fix all that under the leadership of Spaceman Nelson, the former U.S. Senator from Florida, who now serves as NASA Administrator.

Advertisement— STATEWIDE —

Does he? —Next Senate President embraces the Florida culture wars, agriculture, water quality” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Florida’s next Senate President embraces the culture wars and rejects the idea that DeSantis exerts too much control over the Legislature. Wauchula Republican Ben Albritton, 55, will formally be named the Senate President-designate in a ceremony on Tuesday. He takes over the chamber from current Senate President Kathleen Passidomo at the end of next year. A fourth-generation Floridian whose mostly rural district includes Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties and portions of Polk and Lee counties, Albritton comes from a family of citrus growers. He served as president of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association and Chair of the Florida Citrus Commission before winning a seat in the House in 2010 and joining the Senate in 2018.

Happening today — Sen. Albritton will be instilled as Senate President-designate: 2 p.m., Senate chamber.

Ben Albritton is embracing his new role as Senate President-designate.

Fabián Basabe proposes amendment to delete same-sex marriage ban from Florida Constitution” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Same-sex couples since 2015 have enjoyed equal marriage rights across America, thanks to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that preempted state bans on gay and lesbian unions. Two such bans, one in the Florida Constitution and the other in Florida Statutes, could be removed in bills Miami Beach Republican Rep. Basabe has filed. The first measure calls for a statewide referendum during next year’s General Election proposing the removal of language in the Florida Constitution defining marriage as only being between one man and one woman. The other would repeal a section of Florida Statutes asserting the same definition and barring state recognition of marriages that do not fit that standard.

Florida Bar in opposition of judicial circuit consolidation” via Caden DeLisa of The Capitolist — In a comment signed off on by Florida Bar President F. Scott Westheimer and Executive Director Josh Doyle which was filed with the consolidation Committee, the legal organization cites data indicating that the current circuit structure is effective and efficient, with high clearance rates across all circuits and positive responses from survey participants regarding the handling of cases and written decisions. The self-formulated data also suggests that the current structure allows judges to serve on Committees and effectively manage caseloads while also determining that consolidation would have an overall estimated negative fiscal impact related to the work of state attorneys and public defenders. Rather than focusing on circuit consolidation, the Bar contends, bodies holding judicial authority should place focus on ancillary measures including staff supplementation and the implementation of technological measures like artificial intelligence.

Medicare enrollment is open now. Here’s what you need to know” via Donna Winchester of the Tampa Bay Times — Average premiums, benefits and plan choices for Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program will remain stable in 2024, good news for the estimated 33.8 million Americans projected to participate in the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older. Through Dec. 7, eligible individuals can update their plans as well as switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage; from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare; from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another; and enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if they did not enroll when they first were eligible for Medicare.


Carlos Giménez closes Q3 with $890K on hand” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Republican U.S. Rep. Giménez outspent the $139,000 he raised in the third quarter of 2023, leaving himself with about $890,000 on hand and zero debt. His lone challenger in Florida’s 28th Congressional District, Democrat Marcos Reyes, entered the race this month and won’t have to report any financial activity until next year. Giménez, the immediate past Mayor of Miami-Dade County, drew donations from a blend of deep-pocketed supporters, retirees, trade groups and corporate interests. Many of the funds came through Giménez Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee from which his campaign received nearly $173,000 this cycle. Altogether, he raised $139,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30. He spent $149,500 over the same span.

Republican Jon Arguello in Q3 outraised Democratic candidates in blue SD 25” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Republican Arguello jumped into a state Senate contest only weeks ago but had a stronger quarter than either Democratic contender. Now the Osceola County Republican believes he can flip a seat blue that wasn’t considered a battleground last year. Arguello raised more than $18,100 for his campaign between Sept. 5, when he filed, and the end of the month. That was more than either Rep. Kristen Arrington, a Kissimmee Democrat, or Carmen Torres, a Puerto Rican community leader and wife to sitting Sen. Victor Torres. Arrington for the third quarter raised over $13,600, while Torres collected around $12,800. Jose Martinez, another Republican in the race, also filed in September and collected $1,106.

Jon Arguello posts some solid bank.

James St. George massively outraises rest of HD 19 field” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Republican St. George posted one of the strongest fundraising quarters in the state in House District 19 during the third quarter. St. George added nearly $76,700 in contributions from July through September, notably while spending just over $2,700. That included a $43,000 check George contributed himself, bringing his self-funding in the race to almost $158,000. Combined with strong fundraising from his May launch, the physician boasts nearly $274,000 in total donations. While most of that came out of pocket, he’s still raised more outside dollars than all competitors combined. Bottom line, he started October with more than $269,000 still available to spend. His competition showed no real financial gains. One Republican opponent, Daryl Boyer, raised nearly $9,000 but repaid himself $10,000 after making a candidate loan in that amount in June.

Rick Bradshaw hits nearly $100K in Q3 fundraising” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Incumbent Bradshaw is approaching the half-million mark in money raised for his bid to become the most-elected Sheriff in Palm Beach County history. Bradshaw, now seeking a sixth term as a Democrat, was first elected in 2004 and became the longest-serving Sheriff in Palm Beach County history in March. That was the point he outlasted Richard Willie, who resigned from office midway through his fifth term in 1995. Between his personal account and political committee, Friends of Ric Bradshaw, the Sheriff has raised about $450,000 this election cycle and fell shy of $100,000 for the third quarter, financial reports show.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

‘A gut-wrenching punch’: What Debbie Wasserman Schultz saw in Israel after Hamas attacks” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schultz became visibly emotional when she described what she heard and saw on her most recent visit to Israel — just three days after the Hamas attacks that sparked the war in Gaza. Wasserman Schultz was part of a congressional delegation in the Middle East when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Despite what she described as State Department resistance, she insisted on traveling to Israel. She and three other members of the delegation spent Oct. 10 in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. “I can’t even begin to describe to you how sickening it was, and horrifying,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets a firsthand look at the horrors in Gaza. Image via AP.

Jason Pizzo starts statewide ‘Campus Conversations’ college and university tour” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — The 2022 Election results show the youngest group of voters elected to skip the polls, so Sen. Pizzo is going to them to explain why they need to grab that lever. Florida State University (FSU) will be the Senate Democratic Leader-designate’s first stop on his planned “Campus Conversations” College and University Tour starting Tuesday with a 6 p.m. town hall open to students and faculty. And then he’ll be at Florida A & M University at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for the same. Later in the week, he’ll be mingling at the Tallahassee eatery, DP Dough, 444 W College Ave., and then at the FSU v. Duke University football game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Besides fancy yachts and other vessels, luxury condo projects await visitors to Fort Lauderdale boat show” via David Lyons of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — When marine enthusiasts and lifestyle-driven visitors arrive at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show a little more than a week from now, they’ll be greeted by a growing selection of luxury condominium projects that are destined to come online in 2024 and beyond. It’s sort of a ritual that’s grown over the years as real estate developers seize the opportunity to grab the attention of out-of-town, high-earning visitors who are increasingly tempted to change addresses for reasons running from COVID-19 to lower taxes to a flat-out better lifestyle. This year, there appear to be more projects in the works in the greater Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton areas to woo them.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

First Lady Jill Biden arrives in Brevard to visit Patrick Space Force Base, Cape Canaveral” via Rick Neale of Florida Today — First Lady Biden has arrived at Patrick Space Force Base to meet with military families. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough will accompany Biden on her trip to the Space Coast. The First Lady is on the Space Coast to promote the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, which is aimed at supporting military families. While on the Space Coast, Biden will visit the Advanced Spaceflight Operations Center, home to the 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. She’ll also visit the Morrell Operations Center, which is the hub of range operations during launches. Then she’ll head to Patrick Space Force Base to visit fifth grade students participating in the STARBASE program, a STEM-education program.

Jill Biden takes a trip to Brevard to check out Patrick Space Force Base. Image via AP.

Seminole Commission Chair asks for DeSantis investigation into county elections chief” via Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — A little over a month after Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson posted an emotional video on TikTok claiming he’s encountered repeated racism among Seminole County leaders, Commission Chair Amy Lockhart sent a letter to DeSantis, asking his office to intervene and investigate Anderson’s seemingly “erratic” and “combative” conduct. County Commissioners have “been made aware that a toxic, if not hostile, work environment exists” at the Supervisor of Elections office, Lockhart said in her Oct. 3 letter to DeSantis. Lockhart also states that longtime employees have recently been terminated or resigned from Anderson’s Office, and that “is a cause for concern” with the upcoming City Elections on Nov. 7 in Oviedo and Lake Mary and Primary Elections in March 2024.

Orange School Board’s Angie Gallo takes ‘heartbreaking’ tour of Parkland shooting site” via Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel — Orange County School Board member Gallo joined hundreds of others on final tours of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building in South Florida where 14 students and three staff members were gunned down in 2018. “It was heart-wrenching. It was heartbreaking,” Gallo said. Gallo’s tour was led by Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son, Alex Schachter, was killed in the mass shooting at the Parkland school. He said he wanted school and state leaders from around Florida, and the country, to visit the site “and understand the failures and the lessons learned.”

Volusia County Council raises alarms about possible ‘predatory lending’ in PACE energy program” via Sheldon Gardner of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — A state program that is designed to provide homeowners with financing for new roofs, heat pumps, solar panels, wind-resistant windows and other projects through property tax assessments is causing major headaches in Volusia County. The PACE (property-assessed clean energy) program was created by the Legislature in 2010 with the intent of boosting clean energy projects in the state. “But the program is being abused by some in a way that preys upon those with few financial resources to repay the liens/loans,” according to Volusia County Tax Collector Will Roberts. Owners of more than 200 properties in Volusia County signed up for loans through the program in the first nine months of the year.


Enrollment at Tampa Bay community colleges declines by more than 10% since 2020” via Henry Queen of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Enrollment at St. Petersburg College dipped 12% from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022, according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. The total population at Hillsborough Community College shrank by 11% in the same period. In June 2020, both colleges were hopeful that COVID-19 would be a boon to their enrollment as some students looked for options closer to home. But it has instead exacerbated long-seen trends where many large universities have reported record attendance while others continue falling. Local institutions in the state college system shouldn’t expect their enrollment numbers to increase anytime soon, according to a report from the Florida Education Estimating Conference. By 2027, total attendance across all state colleges is expected to dip to just over 260,000 — a 60,000-person decline from 2018.

Tampa Bay’s community colleges are shrinking in enrollment.

Travel experts say high costs are reason international travel has not returned to pre-pandemic levels in Pinellas” via Josh Rojas of Spectrum Bay News 9 — Travel experts believe high prices have been keeping international visitors from returning to Pinellas County in pre-pandemic levels and the owner of a St. Pete Beach resort has noticed the lag, too. “Pre-pandemic 2018 and 2019, I mean we saw some huge numbers from Canada and from the UK,” said Plaza Beach Resorts President and CEO Rob Czyszczon. “We’re down over 50% last year.” It is something the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council (TDC) which runs Visit St. Pete-Clearwater (VSPC) has been working to address. Visitation from Canada, UK, Germany and Brazil has been roughly cut in half from 2019 to 2022. International travel has been down due to visa wait times, high prices and concerns about safety, according to VSPC experts.

California insurer backs Tampa startup with $2 million investment” via Christina Georgacopoulos of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — K2 Insurance Services is putting $2 million behind the newest player in Florida’s private flood market. San Diego-based K2 is taking a Board seat as part of the equity investment in Titan Flood and will contribute to its long-term strategy alongside founder and CEO Stephanie Lee. Lee launched the Tampa startup in August after previously cofounding Neptune Flood Insurance in St. Petersburg in 2017. Titan, a managing general agent, is launching as a surplus lines insurer for residential flood insurance in 15 states and will leverage K2’s technology and reinsurance and insurance carrier relationships, according to a statement. K2 is a diversified insurance holding company that underwrites around $1.5 billion in commercial and personal insurance premiums annually with the backing of global private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Historic Tampa homes in oldest African American neighborhood to be landmarked” via Saundra Weathers of Spectrum Bay News 9 — A final vote by Tampa City Council will set in motion the steps to protect and preserve two historic homes, ensuring the memory of a community is not forgotten. The homes are located in Tampa’s oldest and largest African American neighborhood, called The Scrub, right on the edge of downtown. Behind a chain-link fence on Scott Street in Tampa, the two homes that many refer to as the Johnson homes are in disrepair but still standing. Once upon a time for Black Tampa residents, The Scrub neighborhood was the place to be. The second reading and adoption of the vote to declare the two homes landmarks is scheduled to happen during a City Council meeting on Oct. 19.

New Sunset Beach dunes getting trampled by people. Officials say stay off.” via Chris Tisch of the Tampa Bay Times — Officials with the city of Treasure Island and Pinellas County government are asking people to stay away from a multimillion-dollar dunes restoration project on Sunset Beach. The project was launched after a surge from Hurricane Idalia washed the vegetation that holds the dunes together out into the Gulf of Mexico. Dunes are considered the first line of defense against intense storms, and they protect coastal developments from surge and wind. Phase 2 of the “Sunset Beach Emergency Dune Restoration” began on Monday and consists of planting native dune vegetation over a two-week period. “This is why we are asking everyone to help the city and county protect this major investment by staying off the dunes and the new vegetation,” Treasure Island officials said in a news release.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

DeSantis fills out Northwest Florida State College District Board of Trustees — There are three new faces on the Northwest Florida State College Board. DeSantis on Friday named Cory Fosdyck, Kristen “Rhea” Goff and Megan Harrison to the panel. The Governor also reappointed Donald Litke and Thomas “Rudy” Wright. Fosdyck is a Merill Lynch executive. Goff is an executive at the St. Joe Company. Harrison is the CEO and president of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce. Litke and Wright are both Air Force veterans. As always, the appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

The staggering numbers behind Perry paper mill closing: 2,000 jobs, $10 million in taxes lost” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat — The November closing of the Foley Cellulose Mill in Perry will wreak economic havoc across the Big Bend and will cost Florida nearly 2,000 jobs and $9.9 million in state and local taxes, according to University of Florida economists. IFAS calculated the Foley mill accounts for more than 12% of county jobs with 525 positions at the plant and another 500 jobs such as loggers and truckers directly dependent on it. It also produces another $377 million in spending in Taylor County, population 21,283, more than the combined profit of Florida’s three National Football League teams. Georgia-Pacific announced it would shutter the paper mill along the Fenholloway River in September. Local and state officials were blindsided by the announcement and a month later Perry is watching the main driver of its economy slowly withdraw from the community.

The closure of the Foley Cellulose Mill in Perry will have a devastating economic effect.

Senator-turned-university-president disses fellow educators for silence” via Kelly Garrity of POLITICO — University of Florida President Ben Sasse, a former Nebraska U.S. Senator, criticized other academic leaders around the nation for not publicly condemning the Hamas-led attack on Israel last week. “You got so many universities around the country [who] speak about every topic under the sun, Halloween costumes and microaggressions. But somehow in a moment of the most grave grotesque attacks on Jewish people since the Holocaust, they all of a sudden say there’s too much complexity to say anything,” the former Republican Senator said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” In Sasse’s own statement, addressed to Jewish students and alumni at the University of Florida, he forcefully condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and slammed those in “elite academia” inadvertently or explicitly expressing support for Hamas. Sasse also promised to “protect our students” in the event it becomes the site of any “anti-Israel” protests.

School Board still seeking answers on district’s rezoning process ahead of Tuesday vote” via Andrew Caplan of The Gainesville Sun — Alachua County School District officials gathered for the first time in months to have a thorough discussion on its controversial rezoning process and data being released. The workshop meeting, which offered the most in-depth explanation of the methodology being used to date during an eight-month process, brought a series of questions and concerns from School Board members and former district employees who say the administration’s proposal still isn’t up to par. The discussion also occurred just one day ahead of a meeting where Board members were being asked to vote on the issue. The process has been riddled with complications since kicking off, with the latest proposal, showing the district’s changes have actually made matters worse, going from 15 schools at 90% capacity or higher school to 17.

Escambia County homeless problem worsens as squatter population grows” via Mollye Barrows of the Pensacola News Journal — After months of delays in complying with an Escambia County magistrate’s order to clean up tents, trash and debris from camps of people who are homeless and living on his property, Pensacola businessman Collier Merrill said he is going to move those still camping on his family’s land in Brent “by whatever means” is needed, within the next few weeks. Merrill has said before that he would remove and trespass people still living on the property. He cleaned up homeless campsites there in August, months after the magistrate’s April deadline, because he said he wanted to give people living on the property time to find another place to live.

‘Win-win’: Panama City Beach accepts grant to buy police more rapid fingerprint scanners” via Nathan Cobb of the Panama City News Herald — The City Council approved a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to fund the purchase of four more rapid fingerprint scanners for the Panama City Beach Police Department. The grant, which does not require the city to put forward matching funds, is for more than $11,500. “It gives us the opportunity to process potential crime and criminals faster on the streets,” Mayor Mark Sheldon said. “Officers have these in their cars, and they can pull up, and if there’s a situation, they can fingerprint them faster. It gives us the ability to get them to jail quicker. It (also) keeps our officers on the street longer, instead of them spending more time doing administrative work.”

Fort Walton Beach Council approves $300K grant from FDOT for Coral Creek Nature Trail” via Collin Bestor of Northwest Florida Daily News — The city is getting $300,000 from the state to help with the design and construction of the Coral Creek Nature Trail. The Fort Walton Beach City Council voted 5-0 to accept the grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. The Council will talk about other funding options at a later date. Public Works Director Daniel Payne said the project has been in talks since 2006. The idea would be a concrete multiuse path that runs through city-owned land around St. Mary Catholic Church. The project is expected to cost $600,000, including design, engineering and lighting. The agreement will allow FDOT to give a maximum of $300,000 or 50% of the total project.


Sarasota School Board set to approve new redistricting map” via Steven Walker of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The Sarasota County School Board is poised to align the boundaries of its members’ districts with those of the five Sarasota County Commission districts in a vote Tuesday, concluding a redistricting process marked by questions about the rationale behind the revisions. Appearing as item No. 48 under the district’s new business section on Tuesday’s meeting agenda, a proposed map of the new School Board members’ districts is scheduled for a vote that would redraw the five School Board members’ districts to align with the County Commission’s five districts. School Board members are required to be residents of the geographic area covered by the district, but they are all elected by voters countywide.

Manatee County launches Under One Roof program to help families avoid homelessness” via Ryan Callihan of the Bradenton Herald — Manatee County officials are polishing up an old Sheriff’s Office building to give local families an opportunity to avoid homelessness and connect with helpful resources. Commissioner Amanda Ballard is spearheading a new community partnership that is expected to provide transitional housing for up to 30 families at a time. The initiative will rely on private nonprofits and other social services. The wide array of resources is where the facility takes its name — Under One Roof. In addition to the housing, Ballard also envisions a wide array of community resources in an administration center on the property, which can provide counseling, tutoring, job employment opportunities and more. Those services will also be available for families who are not living on-site.

Amanda Ballard is spearheading a new community partnership to provide transitional housing in Manatee County.

Venice Council candidates have all spent at least $14K on campaign trail” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — With less than a month until the Nov. 9 Election, each of the four candidates seeking a seat on the Venice City Council has spent at least $14,000 on the campaign, according to financial reports filed with the City Clerk. Mitzie Fiedler, the Seat 1 incumbent seeking a third term, has spent the least amount of money through Oct. 6, at $14, 672, while she has raised about $27,000, including self-loans to her campaign totaling $11,500. Her opponent, Joan Farrell, has spent $19,232, compared to $21,705 raised, including self-loans totaling $18,694. Seat 2 candidate Ron Smith has spent $18,010 and raised $30,517, including a $5,000 self-loan.

After delays, water taxi between Anna Maria Island and Bradenton has new launch date” via James A. Jones Jr. of the Bradenton Herald — Talked about for decades, water taxi service between the Bradenton waterfront and Anna Maria Island, could start in time for Thanksgiving. Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, briefed members of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council on water taxi plans. The water taxi’s start date has slipped several times due to a number of challenges, including finding a vendor, the time needed to build the boats, negotiating agreements with local governmental entities and more. Among previous forecasts for the start of service was Spring of this year. “I keep missing the timeline. It’s frustrating, but we’re pushing hard every day,” Falcione said.


Biden, defender of democracy” via Reed Galen, Stuart Stevens, Joe Trippi, and Rick Wilson for The Hill — Three years ago, The Lincoln Project endorsed then-candidate Biden for the presidency. We believe that in this crucial time, Biden’s re-election is crucial to the future of the United States.

Biden is the only person who has defeated Trump, and likely the only one who can beat him again.

Our support for the President’s re-election isn’t based on party registration or a particular political agenda. Instead, we see Biden as a historic figure, who has restored honor and dignity to the White House, and who is serving as a bridge from one American epoch to another.

Biden is the embodiment of what so many Americans claim they want in an American President. He has put service before self, has borne unimaginable tragedies, picked himself up and pushed forward.

When his moments have called, Biden has met them, head on, with dignity, grace and determination.

Americans say they want leaders who will work across the aisle, and get things done. Biden has done that — and continues to do it. His accomplishments, from a historic infrastructure package to ensuring we can compete in the 21st-century economy, are so popular that even Republicans who voted against the bills now show up to ribbon cuttings.

Biden has done all we could have asked of him, and more. Being part of the pro-democracy coalition does not mean we agree on everything. It means we agree on one thing: that self-determination, and a government of the people, by the people and for the people must not be allowed to perish from the Earth.

We must now agree that Biden’s re-election represents the continuation of the American experiment. We’re ready to get to work.


DeSantis is a man of action, not just words” via Jeffrey Blehar of the National Review — Most politicians blather and bloviate; that style tends to work electorally. DeSantis is notably — and problematically for his national prospects — not one of them. He doesn’t do stand-up-comedian-style rallies or engage with ease in light banter. He doesn’t get up on a debate stage and start spouting half-considered college-dorm political theories. Instead, DeSantis thinks and acts, and in his actions proves why people longing for executive competence in the White House continue to look to him as a better leader for the Republican Party than Trump. What has depressingly gotten lost in the miasma of this ridiculous 2024 presidential campaign is that this is basically all DeSantis does, all the time.



— ALOE —

Florida gas prices at 3-month low” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Gas prices in Florida are at their lowest level in three months, sinking by Sunday to $3.33 per gallon — a 15-cent drop in the last week, per AAA — The Auto Club Group. Florida’s gas prices sank somewhat steadily over the past four weeks from $3.69 per gallon. The discount at the pump is largely due to falling oil prices, AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “However, the downward trend could stall soon,” he added. “Ongoing geopolitical tensions allowed oil prices to regain some strength last week, though they remain below price levels we saw three weeks ago.”

How The Walt Disney Co. made it to 100” via Peter C. Kunze of TIME — This Oct. 16 marks the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Co. With over 200,000 employees and a market capitalization exceeding $150 billion, it is one of the most successful and influential media conglomerates in the world. But that good fortune was not a foregone conclusion. Indeed, in the years after Walt Disney died in 1966, the company languished without a strong creative leader. It would be easy to credit its survival to savvy business executives, including the company’s legendary namesake. But its longevity is due in no small part to its storytellers: animators, actors, writers, songwriters, directors, and producers, among them.

How did Disney make it to a century?

Have you heard of Margaret Winkler? She’s the woman behind Disney’s 100th birthday” via Elizabeth Blair of NPR — It was on Oct. 16, 1923, that the magic began — thanks in large part to a woman named Margaret Winkler. Winkler, a Hungarian immigrant, began her career in entertainment as a secretary for studio executive Harry Warner. She learned the ins and outs of the film business and in 1921 left Warner to start her company. She turned her first cartoon — Felix the Cat — into a global star. By contrast, Walt Disney was nearly bankrupt in 1923. On Oct. 16, 1923, Winkler and Disney signed a deal to produce and distribute 12 episodes of Alice Comedies. According to Disney, the contract “is considered the founding document of The Walt Disney Co.”

Under busy St. Augustine street, a 19th-century boat discovered where once was water” via Matt Soergel of The Florida Times-Union — The humble, much-repaired wooden boat, about 28 feet long, with a flat bottom and single mast, had no doubt reached the end of its useful life when it was left in the mud at the edge of St. Augustine sometime in the second half of the 19th century. Eventually, mud and water covered the boat, which helped preserve it, and it was further buried as fill was brought in to extend the old city to the east. The boat was discovered recently less than a block from the current waterfront, at King Street and Florida A1A just south of the Bridge of Lions. That brought in archaeologists from SEARCH Inc. (Southeastern Archaeological Research), a cultural resource management research firm with an office in Jacksonville. They painstakingly excavated the boat, board by board.


Best wishes to former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, Mark Hollis, Madeline Rose, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, and Ray Seaman of Progress Florida. Today would have been former Rep. Kristin Jacobs‘ birthday.


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

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

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

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