Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 2.6.24

Sunburn Orange Tally (7)
Get ready for Sunburn — a double shot of Florida politics and policy.

Good Tuesday morning.

A top-of-the-‘burn birthday shoutout to the man who has dined at more Michelin-starred restaurants than even me, Fred Karlinsky of Greenberg Traurig. Fred was INFLUENCE Magazine’s choice for Insurance Lobbyist of the Year in 2023. You can read about his success by clicking here.

Fred Karlinsky celebrates another trip around the sun.


Group rallies to ‘ban’ Bridget Ziegler from Sarasota School Board SEE Alliance and Support Our Schools are hosting a “Ban Bridget Rally” today at 5 p.m. The rally comes as School Board member Ziegler continues to face pressure to resign. “People throughout Florida and the country have had enough with Bridget Ziegler, Moms for Liberty and their fascist politics,” Executive Director Zander Moricz said. “We are going to keep up the pressure until she is replaced and Sarasota is given the opportunity to vote on her successor. ” The rally will be held at 1980 Landings Blvd. in Sarasota.

The push to get rid of Bridget Ziegler is gaining steam.


@GrayRohrer: Quote of the week contender: “We’re kind of like a little noodle bar in Tokyo between Godzilla and King Kong fighting it out, between the insurance companies and the Florida Justice Association.”

@JacobOgles: Murphy’s law, political journalism edition. If you only care about bill on the agenda, it will always be the last one taken up.

@Carlos_Frias: WLRN abruptly canceled Sundial and let our whole team go. It’s my first time out of work since I was 19. If you’re looking for a journalist with 30 years’ experience, 2 James Beards, a share of a Pulitzer, experienced in all media, please DM. I’m eager to work again soon.

@PaulFox13: Barometric pressure in #Tampa is 29.52“. Usually, when it’s that low, it means a tropical storm/hurricane is approaching. That’s not the case this time. Just a big area of low-pressure spinning overhead. More #ElNino impacts.

@Chiefs1989: Do those of you who keep hating on Taylor Swift realize what she just did? She wrote 2 albums while doing re-records, went on a sold-out 3.5-hour-long tour, released a movie, AND still had time to ruin your football game all at the same time. She deserves all the respect

Tweet, tweet:

@KevinCate: So, the Apple Vision Pro. Yes, it’s that good and AR/VR is going to change everything, eventually.* *I’m not an influencer and will not be posting AVP thirst trap pics. Happy to answer any questions.


Nevada Republican Presidential Caucus — 2; Super Bowl LVIII — 5; Ninth Annual Suits for Session begins — 14; Season 6 of ‘Drive To Survive’ premieres on Netflix — 17; South Carolina Republican Primary — 18; Michigan Democratic Primary — 21; James Madison Institute’s ‘Red, White and Bluegrass’ dinner — 22; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 24; Michigan/Idaho/Missouri GOP Primaries — 25; Netflix to stream “The Netflix Slam,” Rafael Nadal/Carlos Alcaraz faceoff — 26; Super Tuesday — 28; State of the Union address — 30; last day of Regular Session, if Legislature completes work in 60 days — 31; 2024 Oscars — 33; Georgia Democratic Primary — 35; Arizona/Florida/Illinois/Kansas/Ohio Primaries — 42; James Madison Institute’s ‘2024 Naples Dinner’ with keynote speaker Laura Ingraham — 44; ‘3 Body Problem’ premieres on Netflix — 44; The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the mifepristone/abortion pill case — 49; Major League Baseball’s (MLB) 2024 season — 51; March Madness Final Four (women’s) begins — 58; March Madness Final Four (men’s) — 61; Florida TaxWatch’s Spring Meeting — 65; The Masters begin — 66; Kentucky Derby — 89; 2024 Leadership Conference on Safety, Health & Sustainability — 94; ‘Bridgerton’ new season (part one) premieres on Netflix — 99; French Open begins — 104; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 106; Dave Matthews Band 2024 Summer Tour begins in Tampa — 106; Monaco Grand Prix — 110; the 2026 World Cup begins — 126; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 144; Republican National Convention begins — 160; the 2026 World Cup ends — 164; 2024 MLS All-Star Game — 169; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games on NBC/Peacock — 171; Alien: Romulus’ premieres — 189; Democratic National Convention begins — 195; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 200; Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 255; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 255; 2024 Presidential Election — 270; Las Vegas Grand Prix — 286; MLS Cup 2024 — 304; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 374; ‘Moana’ premieres — 507; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 535; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 640; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 640; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 682; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 819; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 835; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,046; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,186; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,145; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,867.


Ron DeSantis supports push to move homeless people off streets and into monitored camps” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times — DeSantis on Monday endorsed a statewide strategy for dealing with homelessness that Republican lawmakers say is the first of its kind. In short, put homeless people in camps.

Legislators in the last week advanced bills that would require counties to ban people on the street from sleeping in public places and instead allow them to stay in designated camps with security, sanitation, and access to behavioral health services.

Ron DeSantis floats the idea of camps for people experiencing homelessness.

Although DeSantis said the legislation is still a “work in progress,” he endorsed its goal of moving homeless people off the streets. He also said he was open to assigning money to help local governments treat and house people without homes.

“We feel that if the Legislature is willing to lean in on this, that we want to be there to be able to offer support, but it’s got to be done right,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Miami Beach. “It’s got to be done in ways that is focused primarily on ensuring public order, ensuring quality of life for residents, ensuring that people’s property values are maintained.”

To Democratic lawmakers and most homeless advocates, it’s a clumsy, one-size-fits-all approach that will lead to more arrests of people experiencing homelessness. It could also run counter to federal best practices, which encourage moving people off the streets and into transitional or permanent housing.


As State Guard goes to Mexican border, Legislature mulls leadership, logistics” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — The Legislature got its first official opportunity to weigh in on this decision, which some believe exceeds the modest expectations that its principal function might be storm response in Florida, rather than its ultimately more expansive assignment. But those expecting fireworks got fizzles instead. The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee unanimously advanced the nomination of Mark Thieme of Apollo Beach Monday afternoon, a Marine Corps veteran who says he has “unique insights” on how to build a “civil-military organization” very much like the State Guard. Democratic Sen. Vic Torres posed the first question about the Texas deployment. Thieme noted he wasn’t involved in decision-making, as it was the province of the Governor.

As Florida state guardsmen hit the Texas border, lawmakers debate a chain of command.

Senate Judiciary moves ahead with social media ban for most children” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Legislation barring most children in Florida from social media advanced in the Florida Senate. But it still contains no exceptions for children logging on with parental consent, something DeSantis has questioned. Sen. Erin Grall said Big Tech’s current practices pose too great a threat against children to ignore. “If we as a government have identified this harm, that is beyond the magnitude of really any one person to get in the middle of and control,” Grall said. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the legislation (SB 1788) on a 7-2 vote. As written, the bill would prohibit anyone under the age of 16 from opening or keeping a social media account.

Bill lowering defamation lawsuit standards advances in Senate” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — The bill (SB 1780), sponsored by Sen. Jason Brodeur was amended to remove some of the harshest provisions derided by critics, including a piece that would have eroded protections for journalists against disclosing the identity of a source in a legal proceeding. But opponents of the measure still contend it will undercut free speech protections. One provision would create a presumption in law that if a news outlet published a false statement by an anonymous source, they were acting with “actual malice” — the standard in a defamation lawsuit. It’s not just left-leaning organizations that oppose the bill. Americans for Prosperity spoke out against it, arguing it would erode anti-SLAPP laws that make it harder to bring frivolous suits designed to burden critics with legal costs.

Safeguards for election workers advance with request for poll watcher protections” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — A bill that would criminalize intimidating election workers is advancing in the Senate — with requests that it be amended to add equal protections for poll observers some say are in part responsible for the harassment. The measure (SB 562) would make it illegal to harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce an election worker with the intent to impede or interfere with their official duties or to retaliate against them for doing so. First-time offenders would face a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.


Lawmakers rebuff DeSantis’ push to bring casino to famed Miami Beach hotel” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO — A legislative push to bring a long-sought casino to Miami Beach fell apart again despite DeSantis and his administration urging lawmakers to pass the bill. The Republican Governor could not sway key legislative leaders to sign off on the proposal that had drawn opposition from Miami Beach leaders as well as wealthy South Florida billionaires such as hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin. DeSantis has enjoyed tremendous clout in the GOP-controlled Legislature but some have speculated that he may have less clout now that he’s no longer a presidential candidate.

DeSantis feels the pinch of a rare legislative loss.

Treading on difficult ground, Florida lawmakers want to define ‘anti-Semitism’” via Desiree Stennett of the Orlando Sentinel — Rep. Mike Gottlieb, a Plantation Democrat, said the goal is to curb hate speech toward Jews and Israel that has been on the rise across the nation for years. Though his bill was introduced in the days following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that left more than 1,000 dead, he was working on the bill long before the war erupted. But the bill’s definitions and examples are provoking concern among pro-Palestinian activists and those who want to protect their right to criticize Israel, at a time when many people are struggling with the question of what is anti-Semitic.


Deferred again: Third-party litigation financing bill lingers in House Appropriations Subcommittee” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — For the second time in as many weeks, the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee deferred a vote on legislation to crack down on the $13.5 billion third-party litigation financing industry. Subcommittee member and Jacksonville Republican Rep. Wayne Duggan was absent, and Republican Committee members Reps. Mike Beltran and Mike Redondo did not support the measure. That meant had the Democrats on the Committee voted in a bloc, the bill would have died by an 8-7 vote. The bill cleared its first Committee by a 10-7 vote. The bills are a top priority for the Florida Justice Reform Institute and the American Tort Reform Foundation, which repeatedly referenced third-party litigation financing in its 2023-24 Judicial Hellhole Report.

Mike Redondo and Mike Beltran put up a speed bump for the third-party litigation finance bill.

Independent hospital districts required to analyze the benefits of going private under House bill” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — Independent hospital districts may have made sense years ago, but a leading House Republican contends they may be antiquated in Florida’s current health care marketplace. Rep. Randy Fine, Chair of the powerful Health & Human Services Committee, filed legislation (HB 1421) that requires the 26 independent hospital districts in the state to conduct a market evaluation by the end of the year analyzing the costs and benefits associated with converting their model into a private nonprofit entity. “Just because something was a good idea in 1948, 1928 or 1968 doesn’t mean it’s a good idea today,” Fine told the members of the House Select Committee on Health Innovation before the panel voted 7-3 to advance the bill.

ACLU rails against Senate abortion bill The ACLU of Florida slammed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to advance a bill (SB 476) that would allow civil lawsuits for damages against health care practitioners providing abortion care. The House companion (HB 651) has already passed one of its two Committees of reference. ACLU of Florida legislative director and senior policy counsel Kara Gross said, “We have grave concerns about the real-world impacts of this overly broad bill. This bill could open the door to civil lawsuits for damages against health care providers providing abortion care, as well as friends and family members supporting a pregnant individual’s efforts to obtain the medical care they need. These are not hypothetical situations — we’ve seen dangerous cases like these brought in Texas and Arizona. Under this bill, civil lawsuits for damages could be brought by any person who impregnates someone else.”


8 a.m. House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee meets. Morris Hall, House Office Building.

8 a.m. House Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee meets. Room 212, Knott Building.

8:30 a.m. Senate Children Families and Elder Affairs Committee meets. Room 37, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

8:30 a.m. Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee meets. Room 412, Knott Building, the Capitol.

8:30 a.m. Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee meets. Room 301, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

8:30 a.m. Senate Transportation Committee meets. Room 110, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

9 a.m. House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Room 17, House Office Building, the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. House State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Room 212, Knott Building.

11:30 p.m. House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Morris Hall, House Office Building.

11:30 a.m. Senate Health Policy Committee meets. Room 412, Knott Building, the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. Senate Agriculture Committee meets. Room 301, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee meets. Room 110, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. Senate Criminal Justice Committee meets. Room 37, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

12:30 p.m. House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Room 314, House Office Building, the Capitol.

12:30 p.m. House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Room 17, House Office Building, the Capitol.

3 p.m. Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meets. Room 412, Knott Building, the Capitol.

3 p.m. Senate Community Affairs Committee meets. Room 401, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

3 p.m. Senate Education Postsecondary Committee meets. Room 301, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

3 p.m. Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee meets. Room 37, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

3 p.m. House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Morris Hall, House Office Building.

6:15 p.m. Senate Special Order Calendar Group meets. Room 401, Senate Office Building, the Capitol.

5:45 p.m. Senate Special Order Calendar Group meets. Room 401, Senate Office Building.


Florida researchers find voters are unhappy ahead of the presidential election” via Ari Angelo of WFSU — Researchers from the University of South Florida are releasing a series of nationwide surveys shedding light on critical election year concerns like inflation, border security and the role of social media in political discourse. The first in the series polled 1,500 registered voters and was conducted between Jan. 23-27. Three more surveys will be released between now and November. Lead researcher Stephen Neely is an associate professor at the USF School of Public Affairs. He said the goal is to track how public opinion changes as we get closer to the election.

Nikki Haley raises $16.5 million, fueling her fight against Donald Trump” via Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times — Officials with Haley’s campaign said Monday that she had raised $16.5 million in January, her biggest monthly fundraising total to date, adding a new infusion of cash to the $14.6 million her campaign brought into the new year to keep the nomination fight with Trump going. Public polling has shown that Haley has made little progress in closing the gap with Trump, either in her home state, which holds its Republican Primary election on Feb. 24, or nationally.

Nikki Haley stays in the race with a fresh $16.5 million.

Haley asks for Secret Service protection after increase in threats” via John McCormick of The Wall Street Journal — Haley has applied for Secret Service protection because of increasing threats she has received as Trump’s last major opponent for the 2024 GOP nomination. “We’ve had multiple issues,” Haley said after a campaign event here. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.” A request for her protection has been submitted to federal officials, and her campaign is thinking about how more intense security would affect her campaign schedule and travels. Haley’s work at the United Nations involving Iran could also be a factor.

Haley enters her YOLO stage” via Natalie Allison, Lisa Kashinsky and Meridith McGraw of POLITICO — She’s taking repeated, pointed shots at an “unhinged” Trump’s mental fitness and legal problems. She’s taunting him to debate her: “Show me what you got.” In recent days, her campaign responded to an 815-word memo from Trump’s advisers — a document arguing Haley is toast — with a “Why are you so obsessed with us?” meme from “Mean Girls.” Few, if any, believe it will work. And Haley’s let-’er-rip approach comes with serious risk. Attacking Trump so frontally could create a long-term branding problem for her. Already, the MAGA-dominated GOP has accused her of treachery. Trump allies say she’s effectively burned her career in Republican politics. But Haley seems to have concluded that freedom is just another word for trailing by 20-plus points.

Most Americans want verdict on Trump election subversion charges before 2024 votes” via Jennifer Agiesta and Ariel Edwards-Levy of CNN — Most Americans want to see a verdict on the federal charges Trump faces related to election subversion in 2020 before this year’s election. And looking ahead, most expect Trump to pardon himself of any federal crimes he’s convicted of if he wins the presidency. About half of Americans, 48%, say it’s essential that a verdict is reached before the 2024 election, and another 16% that they’d prefer to see one. Just 11% say that a trial on the charges should be postponed until following the election, with another quarter saying the trial’s timing doesn’t matter to them. A 72% majority of Democrats and 52% of independents say it’s essential that a verdict is reached preelection. Republicans are more split. While 38% say that a verdict should be reached before the presidential election, including 20% who call that essential, another 39% say it doesn’t matter when the trial is held, and 23% that they think the trial should be held after this election.

The 91-year-old Republican suing to kick Trump off the ballot” via Patrick Marley of The New York Times — Norma Anderson left the Colorado legislature nearly two decades ago, but she still keeps a copy of the state’s statutes in her home office. She’s turned down a page corner in that copy to mark the spot where the 14th Amendment appears. She has reread it several times since joining a lawsuit last year that cites the amendment in seeking to stop Trump from running for President. “He tried to overturn an election,” she said. “The very first time I ever ran, I didn’t win. I didn’t go out and try to change the election. I said, ‘Whoops, work harder next time, lady.’”

— MORE 2024 —

Joe Biden has lost support among Black voters. His allies blame misinformation.” via Tinashe Chingarande and Jasmine Wright of NOTUS — The first-in-the-nation official South Carolina Primary on Saturday was a testing ground for Biden’s popularity among Black voters. Black voter turnout increased by 13% from four years ago and 6,000 new voters participated in the Democratic Primary for the first time, Christale Spain, South Carolina’s Democratic Party Chair, told NOTUS on Primary night. “It was really about people not knowing the information,” Spain said. During voter outreach, the SCDP found “voters didn’t know what Democrats had to deliver.” The results, where Biden handily won every county in the state with over 95% of the vote, were “a testament” to that effort, she said. In total, over 115 events were held in South Carolina ahead of the Primary, the DNC announced Saturday.

Joe Biden struggles with Black voters; misinformation may be the reason. Image via AP.

DeSantis’ Utah fade included Ping-Pong loss, David Wells snub” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — How did DeSantis go from a candidate keynoting a speech in the Spring to Utah Republicans — one that included some of his first stump remarks about the just-signed six-week abortion ban and constitutional carry legislation, along with a bizarre assertion that Florida was the “Utah of the Southeast” — to a final fade there that mirrored collapses elsewhere on the GOP Primary map? The answer, per the Deseret News, seems to be his failure to personally connect with some of the biggest players in the Beehive State. DeSantis failed the test when it came to a friendly game of Ping-Pong and an autographed baseball from a turn-of-the-century hurler for the New York Yankees. DeSantis apparently was reluctant to play a game of table tennis with billionaire Scott Keller, with staff saying he didn’t have time before DeSantis finally agreed to play, and lost.

New Lincoln Project ad warns of grim future under ‘angry, petty and cruel’ Trump” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — The one-minute video “What Could Be” warns voters against re-electing a divisive commander in chief who “almost broke us apart.” “Have so many already forgotten what the Trump years were — chaos, corruption, ugliness, cruelty, violence, a wrecked economy, and over half a million dead Americans? That’s the past that Trump’s presidency brought, and it would be our future, too,” a voice-over in the video says. “He’s worse than ever — unstable and angry, petty and cruel, promising dictatorship and retribution, assuring his legion of unhinged fanatics that he is their instrument of vengeance. He’s not even hiding it, and not one American can hide from it.”

To watch the ad, please click the image below:

Bill Maher says a ‘pretty famous’ person lashed out at him for ‘platforming’ Republicans on his HBO show” via Joseph A. Wulfsohn of Fox News — Maher said he received scorn from a “pretty famous” person for welcoming Republicans on his HBO show. In an interview published Monday by Reason Magazine, Maher was asked how often he is accused of “platforming,” a growing sin among the left of allowing a conservative on a mainstream liberal platform. “I had DeSantis and Ted Cruz on this year, and Bill Barr. And yes, to answer your question, I can think of two people — and I won’t say who they are; one of them is pretty famous — just yelling at me in an email about that,” Maher said. “And my answer to that is: F— off. You know what? You live in your ivory tower. I’m going to talk to everybody in the half of the country that you find so deplorable. They’re not going to self-deport, even if they are deplorable. And some of them are! And some on the left are deplorable too, and incredibly obnoxious. That’s the country!”

Oversight Board urges Meta to rethink its policy on manipulated media in high-stakes election year” via Ali Swenson of The Associated Press — An Oversight Board is criticizing Facebook owner Meta’s policies regarding manipulated media as “incoherent” and insufficient to address the flood of online disinformation that already has begun to target elections across the globe this year. The quasi-independent Board on Monday said its review of an altered video of Biden that spread on Facebook exposed gaps in the policy. The Board said Meta should expand the policy to focus not only on videos generated with artificial intelligence, but on media regardless of how it was created. That includes fake audio recordings, which already have convincingly impersonated political candidates in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company also should clarify the harms it is trying to prevent and should label images, videos and audio clips as manipulated instead of removing the posts altogether, the Meta Oversight Board said.


DeSantis repeats warning against Spring Break ‘melee’ scenarios” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — In Miami Beach, DeSantis repeated his offer to provide state resources to avoid situations that have occurred in past years. “Proactively, the state will provide resources that the city here needs to be able to ensure that Spring Break is not turned into some melee,” he promised. “You should not even really know that it’s Spring Break or not because things should be orderly. So, we’ll have resources that both Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be working with not just Miami Beach, but wherever in the state.” The State Guard may be part of the solution, he added, for “probably a handful of spots” including Miami Beach.

DeSantis gives a strict warning about Spring Break chaos. Image via AP.

‘Delay and obfuscate’: Disney fights DeSantis for public records, joining others” via Skyler Swisher of the Orlando Sentinel — As Disney tries to rebound from a major legal setback, the entertainment giant is battling DeSantis and state officials on another front: access to public records. The corporation’s lawyers are demanding text messages, emails and documents related to the DeSantis-led effort to overhaul the special district providing government services to Disney World. Disney’s lawyers are accusing the Governor’s Office of engaging in “obstructionist conduct” and stonewalling them on “good-faith” efforts to obtain documents relevant to their legal dispute. “At every turn, EOG (executive office of the Governor) has responded to those efforts with gamesmanship designed to delay and obfuscate the discovery process,” Disney’s lawyers wrote in a court filing.

Florida drops death penalty pursuit for man accused of child sex abuse” via Romy Ellenbogen of the Tampa Bay Times — Though prosecutors sought the death penalty for a man accused of sexually abusing a child, making use of a new law DeSantis signed, the accused man instead pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Joseph Andrew Giampa, 36, may have been the first person to face the possibility of a death sentence for a sex crime under the state’s new law. The law seeks to extend the death penalty to people who sexually abuse children, despite existing Supreme Court precedent that says the death penalty should not be used for anything other than murder.

The worst-kept secret on many major construction sites: undocumented workers” via the Tampa Bay Times editorial board — You’re likely to find undocumented workers on most major construction sites in the country. They swing hammers, pave roads and connect bridges. They are here illegally, but we need them. They are integral to getting the jobs finished on time and on budget. Their presence is one of those worst-kept secrets. Everyone knows, but the pretense continues — with the occasional obligatory political bluster, of course. The current system fails the undocumented workers, the companies that hire them and the taxpayers who pay for the veneer of enforcement. It’s time that changed. Let’s get something out of the way. Yes, many undocumented workers broke the law to come to the U.S. Yes, companies that knowingly hire them or accept obviously phony identification are also likely breaking the law. But there’s a good reason the system so often looks the other way: Construction is big business — a major contributor to tax coffers and the economy as a whole.

Florida primary care provider Cano Health files for bankruptcy” via Cindy Krisher Goodman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel — Miami’s Cano Health, with more than 1,000 employees and primary care offices across Florida, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company specializes in senior care. Its Florida offices are heavily concentrated in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties with some locations on the west coast in Tampa and Central Florida in Kissimmee/St. Cloud. Cano’s doctors treat more than 310,000 patients, many of whom are Medicare enrollees covered under value-based plans, according to a company description.


Neal Dunn wants inspector general to investigate Tallahassee mail, Postal Service woes” via Arianna Otero of the Tallahassee Democrat — Tallahassee’s mail delivery problem is again coming to a head: Tallahassee’s Congressman now is getting involved. He’s demanding answers. He wants the U.S. Inspector General’s Office on the case. And he’s slamming the post office’s shoddy service as “negligence.” Since 2018, subpar mail delivery has been a point of contention for Tallahassee residents, many taking their complaints to social media and elected officials. “This isn’t obviously a new problem; this time last year, it was really, really bad,” said Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch, who has been advocating for better mail service since his election in 2020. U.S. Rep. Dunn shared with Welch a timeline describing the issues that have been ongoing. Some of these issues include stolen mail, mail not getting delivered, and even escalating to illegal check cashing.

Brian Welch collaborates with Neal Dunn to fix Tallahassee’s postal blues.


Annette Taddeo files to run for Miami-Dade Clerk” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — After months of considering a run, former state Sen. Taddeo is officially in the race for Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller. “I am proud to announce my candidacy,” Taddeo said. “We need public servants who will put our county residents first versus special interests or political agendas. Our Clerk (plays) a vital role in local government, ensuring that transparency, accountability and accessibility in our justice system is strong. And now with the addition of Comptroller, I will be laser-focused on protecting our residents’ tax dollars and committed to being a steward of our $11.7 billion budget.”

Former prosecutor Sam Stern to run for Palm Beach County State Attorney” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — Stern, a former federal and Palm Beach County prosecutor will run for State Attorney in Palm Beach County’s 15th Judicial Circuit. Stern is the first Republican to enter the race. Four Democrats have already filed, including Alexcia Cox, Gregg Lerman, Rolando Silva and Craig Williams. Stern comes from a long line of prosecutors and public servants. His father, Herbert J. Stern, worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan for more than 25 years, including as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and as a federal Judge. His grandfather, Samuel Stern, was a bureau chief in the New York State Attorney General’s Office for more than 30 years. “I am running for Palm Beach County State Attorney because this is where my wife and I are raising our two boys, and it is where our parents call home,” Stern said.

Sam Stern tosses his hat in the ring for Palm Beach County State Attorney.

Tampa defense attorney to challenge State Attorney Suzy Lopez for Hillsborough’s top prosecutor job” via Gloria Gomez of Fox 13 News — There’s a new face in the race for Hillsborough County’s State Attorney. Elizabeth Martinez Strauss is now the Democratic candidate, and she’s currently a defense attorney in Tampa with deep roots in the Bay Area. She will challenge the current Hillsborough State Attorney, Republican Lopez, for the top job. “I absolutely see myself as the next state attorney, I do,” said Strauss. The mother of two said she believes in having a strong partnership with law enforcement and wants to restore what she thinks is currently lacking — including transparency, fairness and the public’s trust in the State Attorney’s Office.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

Miami City Attorney investigated by Florida Bar over ties to alleged house-flipping scheme” via Sarah Blaskey of the Miami Herald — The Florida Bar is investigating Miami City Attorney Victoria Méndez and her close connection to companies that purchased homes belonging to vulnerable Miami residents at well below-market-value and then sold them — sometimes the same day — at a large profit. The investigation, which has not been previously reported, has been open since at least last April, according to an email sent at the time from Rick Courtemanche, Deputy General Counsel of the Florida Bar, which was obtained by the Herald. A representative for the Bar told the Herald the investigation is ongoing but provided no further information. A Bar investigation signals deepening problems for the City Attorney.

—“Judge mutes Miami City Attorney’s mic during heated testimony in home-flipping lawsuit” via Tess Riski of the Miami Herald

Victoria Méndez faces an ethics complaint over her work flipping homes.

Pollution taints even the most remote parts of Everglades, canoe journey reveals” via Bill Kearney of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — One hundred and twenty-five years ago, explorer Hugh Willoughby became the first non-Native American to cross the southern Everglades from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic. He traveled with a guide by canoe and kept notes on water quality in his journal. In 2022, a group of adventurers, including University of Florida scientist Tracie Baker, canoed the very same extremely remote 130-mile path. Along the way, Baker took much more sophisticated water tests at 12 sites spanning the width of the Everglades, from the Harney River at the Gulf of Mexico to the Miami River.

Spirit, JetBlue appeal of decision that blocked its merger to be heard in June. Will it be too late?” via Mike Diamond of the Palm Beach Post — JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines will have to wait until June before a federal court hears their appeal of a ruling that blocked JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion purchase of its smaller rival. The schedule set by the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston is a month later than the airlines had hoped. They asked for an expedited hearing in May so the court could rule before a July 24 deal-closing deadline in their merger agreement. The airlines argued in a court document filed on Feb. 1 that if their request for a May date was not granted, it is “unlikely” the appeal would be decided in time.

This Florida mall has Gucci, Prada … and soon, affordable housing?” via Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times — In Bal Harbour, an oceanside village north of Miami Beach, a luxury mall says it wants to help tackle one of the nation’s — and Florida’s — most intractable problems: a lack of affordable housing. In a rare instance of bipartisan agreement, the Florida Legislature passed a law last Spring intended to encourage projects like the one that the owner of the mall, Bal Harbour Shops, has in mind. Called the Live Local Act, the law allows developers to bypass certain local zoning rules and to qualify for tax breaks if their projects include enough “workforce housing.”

Get ready to party, South Florida! Hard Rock Stadium to host seven 2026 World Cup games” via Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald — South Florida, get ready to experience the equivalent of seven Super Bowls in the span of a month. The 2026 World Cup schedule was announced on Sunday afternoon, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens was selected to host seven matches: Group Stage matches on June 15, 22, 24, and 27; a Round of 32 matches on July 3; a Quarterfinal July 11 and the Bronze Medal Game July 18. “Very exciting times,” said Miami Host Committee Co-Chair Rodney Barreto. “We’re blessed because Hard Rock Stadium, (Chair) Tom Garfinkel, he and his crew know how to do big events. They handle the stadium and we have nothing to worry about. We’ll do some great activations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach. This is what we do best, right? We’ve hosted 11 Super Bowls. They’re coming to a community that is not the hottest city in America; it’s the hottest city in the world.”

Internet roasts Mayor Francia Suarez over 2026 World Cup announcement” via Naomi Feinstein of the Miami New Times — “Just a moment ago, FIFA announced that Miami will be getting the bronze game for the 2026 World Cup,” Suarez said in a video on X. “This is an effort that I’ve been engaged in helping bring to our city over many months and even some years.” X users who know the lay of the land were quick to point out that Hard Rock Stadium is located in Miami Gardens, a separate municipality 15 miles away from the City of Miami. Commenters apparently felt a little more clarity and deference to Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris was in order. “Miami Gardens is hosting the game not the City of Miami. Maybe this video is better served from @MiamiDadeCounty or @CityofMiaGarden,” user @RealJavi G wrote. “Liar liar,” one user chimed in.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Jerry Demings wants to discuss raising the sales tax for transportation again” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — Demings wants to give a sales tax to fund transportation another go. But based on the voters’ negative reaction last time around, it’s not clear if other politicians are willing to go along. The Mayor set a discussion for this morning with Orange County Commissioners to consider an appeal to voters in November to hike the sales tax by one cent, with proceeds marked for improving a chronically snarled network of roads and rail. In a memo to the Board late last month, Demings said the transportation challenges around Orlando will only get worse without a dependable funding source to move the millions of annual visitors and the growing number of residents.

Jerry Demings is giving a transportation tax one more try.

Federal grant could spark improvement on 6 of Orlando’s most dangerous roads” via Ryan Gillespie of the Orlando Sentinel — An influx of federal dollars will help guide safety improvements to some of Orlando’s most dangerous roads as the city strives toward the lofty goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2040. The city won a federal grant of $606,000 to examine stretches of Kirkman Road, Colonial Drive, Orange Blossom Trail, Orange Avenue, Rosalind Avenue and Semoran Boulevard over the next 18 months. The selected areas fall within Orlando’s “high-injury network,” where a disproportionate number of crashes resulting in severe injuries or deaths happen. “These are some of the most dangerous areas of Orlando,” said Christina Martin, the deputy transportation director.

With pipes in need of repair, Orlando residents face paying much higher stormwater fees” via Ryan Gillespie of the Orlando Sentinel — Orlando property owners could see a steep increase in the fee they pay to maintain and upgrade the city’s stormwater system. The current fee, unchanged for 15 years, is $9.99 monthly for most single-family homes and commercial properties. But it doesn’t rake in enough to fund the city’s annual stormwater operations and falls far short of paying for needed repairs and upgrades for aging infrastructure across the city, Public Works Director Corey Knight told City Commissioners. He proposed an increase of roughly $3.50 monthly each year, with the fee topping out at $21.24 per month in 2028.

Osceola County approves land sale for controversial clean energy project” via Natalia Jaramillo of the Orlando Sentinel — Following months of protests and multiple changes to a proposed clean energy park, Osceola County Commissioners voted to approve a deal to sell land for the project to CMG Clean Tech. Initially the France-based company was in negotiations with Osceola County to purchase over 300 acres of Mac Overstreet park close to the large Bellalago community but facing vigorous opposition from neighbors, CMG Clean Tech moved its chosen site to a 63-acre property next to the SunRail station in Poinciana in September. County Commissioners unanimously approved a deal to allow Panacea, a CMG Clean Tech affiliate, to purchase the SunRail site for $85,000 per acre in phases, with stipulations for proof of financial capability.

Public speakers will no longer be shown on the videos of Brevard County Commission meeting” via Dave Berman of Florida Today — The government can’t stop you from speaking. But it doesn’t have to broadcast your face on TV as you do so. That’s Brevard County’s position anyway. Public speakers will no longer be shown on the Space Coast Government Television video feeds of Brevard County Commission meetings. County Communications Director Don Walker, who oversees the government-access television operation, said he implemented the move to make sure the meetings run effectively. That includes making it clearer to Space Coast Government Television viewers watching the meeting which specific agenda item is being discussed by the members of the public.

Citizens for Truth and Justice in Education protests banned books in Volusia County” via Mary Ellen Ritter of the Daytona Beach News-Journal — During the week of Jan. 21, Florida schools participated in Celebrate Literacy Week, a statewide initiative reminding students to read regularly and value books. In Volusia County, students were encouraged to “believe in their ‘shelf’” by participating in various activities such as themed dress-up days, silent reading time, book swaps and fairs, literary-based art projects, and storybook parades. School Board members and district staff also made classroom visits as guest readers. “We know how important it is — reading, reading, reading,” Superintendent Carmen Balgobin said at the Jan. 23 School Board meeting. “In every subject matter that we have, reading is important.” But those in the classroom weren’t the only ones who recognized the power of books.

Study: Toxins linger in the Indian River Lagoon even in the absence of algae blooms” via Jim Waymer of Florida Today — Algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon often produce toxins that are a danger to marine life and humans. A new study finds that toxins linger in the lagoon, even when there are no algae blooms. Now scientists are trying to identify what is producing the toxins, if not excess algae. Here’s the upshot, according to Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s write-up about the study, published recently in the journal “Toxins”: Over three years (2018-2021), the FAU researchers collected water samples from 20 sites throughout the lagoon during wet and dry seasons.

Shark bites are up in 2023, report says; Florida, Volusia County top list again” via Brenno Carillo of the Daytona Beach News-Journal — The University of Florida released a report outlining worldwide locations of unprovoked shark attacks last year. And similar to recent years, Volusia County topped the nationwide list of most shark bites. There were 69 unprovoked shark attacks in 2023 worldwide, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, up from 57 in 2022; however, the number is consistent with the five-year average of 63. Of those 69 incidents, the U.S. leads all other nations with 36; Florida leads all U.S. states with 16; and Volusia County leads all Florida counties with eight.


Hillsborough transit agency, looking to overhaul policies, sticks with its general counsel” via Henry Queen of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — The Board overseeing the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority voted Monday to retain GrayRobinson, P.A. as the agency’s general counsel. Macfarlane, Ferguson & McMullen, P.A. was also looking to win the contract. Both law firms offered a flat annual fee of $9,000 for three years, with Macfarlane’s option-year prices increasing slightly higher than GrayRobinson’s. Board members cited GrayRobinson’s experience handling situations like the departure of former CEO Adelee Le Grand after several scandals as the reason for carrying on.

Hart taps GrayRobinson for its experience in situations like the Adelee Le Grand scandal.

New Rays stadium will elevate St. Pete’s identity on the national stage” via Michael Tillman of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — The Tampa Bay Rays recently announced a $1.2 billion deal for a new stadium that will anchor $6 billion in mixed-use development. The project will help St. Petersburg step out of Tampa’s shadow on the national stage, making it a true destination in its own right. Those who know St. Pete know how special it is, but the Historic Gas Plant redevelopment may be what reveals that secret to the rest of the world. St. Pete is ready. Like many cities in Florida, the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA has seen an influx of talent from the pandemic. The population has steadily increased over the past seven years. Between 2015 and 2022, the Tampa Bay MSA grew by more than 10%, from 3 million to 3.3 million.

What Helen Levine is readingFlorida Holocaust Museum to permanently house survivor Elie Wiesel’s collection” via Sara Filipe of WFLA — The Florida Holocaust Museum, located in St. Petersburg, announced that they will permanently house the belongings of Wiesel, a survivor of the Holocaust. The Wiesel Collection will include his Nobel Prize, unfinished manuscripts, letters from world leaders, artwork, photographs, and recordings, some of which haven’t been seen before, along with contents from his personal office.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Busy week for housing authority ends with new acting CEO who makes some history” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — The rapid-fire changes at the Jacksonville Housing Authority continued Friday when the Board met in an emergency session and selected Vanessa Dunn as acting CEO — the first woman to hold that post in the authority’s history. Dunn will be acting CEO while the Board launches a national search for the post left vacant by the resignation this week of Dwayne Alexander. Alexander announced his resignation Tuesday and said he would continue to fill that role for 30 days. He then notified the authority on Thursday he would serve as an unpaid volunteer. The Board met Friday afternoon and unanimously backed Dunn, the COO, to be acting CEO for the next 60 days.

Jacksonville Housing Authority chooses Vanessa Dunn as its emergency CEO.

Pensacola awarded $4M for Fricker Center, giving city $9.5M total for upgrades, new services” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal — DeSantis awarded Pensacola $4 million to help upgrade the Fricker Neighborhood Resource Center as part of $223 million broadband expansion program funded with federal infrastructure dollars. The $4 million grant award means the city now has $9.5 million to put toward a renovation of the Fricker Center. In July, the city was awarded a $5.5 million grant through a Hurricane Sally disaster recovery grant administered by the state of Florida. Those funds must be spent on hardening the structure to resist future storms, along with making stormwater improvements. The improvements include demolishing the social hall part of the building and replacing it with a new two-story social hall.


Sarasota County picks firm to design Legacy Trail connector at Nathan Benderson Park” via Christian Casale of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Sarasota County agreed this week to pay a design firm to plan a portion of the Legacy Trail connector at Nathan Benderson Park. The extension would run along 17th Street’s north side to Honore Avenue, then north along Honore’s east side to the park. The 12-foot-wide asphalt trail extension would run about 1.5 miles. The county’s design includes lighting and signals. At a Jan. 30 meeting, the County Commission finalized an agreement to pay Kimley-Horn and Associates about $440,000 for the trail design. The firm has previously consulted with the county on construction projects at Sarasota’s Boulevard of the Arts and for additions to the 17th Street athletic facilities.

A design firm has been chosen for Sarasota’s Legacy Trail connector.

Naples condo owners battle HOA over Ian repairs” via Kate Cimini of the Fort Myers News-Press — Hurricane Ian’s storm surge took less than 24 hours to flood homes and rip down walls, but some Southwest Florida homeowners have waited more than 10,000 hours for their homes to be livable again. Nine residents of Naples’ Vanderbilt Towers III, which stands just off the Gulf near Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, have banded together to file an injunction against their homeowner’s association after their first-floor condos were gutted down to the studs and concrete and then left exposed to the open air. They have remained so until January 2024. “The whole first floor was wide-open,” said condo owner Nancy Penoyer. Penoyer is one of the nine first-floor condo owners suing the Vanderbilt III HOA.

Naples City Manager to decide fate of Four Seasons porte cochere by mid-February” via J. Kyle Foster of the Naples Daily News — Whether Four Seasons’ Naples Beach Club can have a covered drop off or porte cochere and how large it can be is now up to City Manager Jay Boodheshwar, who is expected to decide by mid-February. The main issue, in addition to architects asking for a major design change after site plans were approved, is that a proper porte cochere for a five-star hotel such as this one being built on Gulf Shore Boulevard will break set-back rules. These minimum distances required around a building are set forth in the city’s Land Use Ordinance. The 216-room hotel is under construction by The Athens Group where the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club stood for 70 years.

Could the Sanibel Causeway become ‘Ron DeSantis Sanibel Causeway’?” via Claire Galt of WINK News — The name change is causing quite a stir with those on the island. The majority of people WINK talked to on Sanibel said that adding the governor’s name to the causeway is too political. Plus, DeSantis is still alive. Typically, we name bridges after someone has died, but Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said the governor’s leadership after Hurricane Ian was anything but typical and deserves an extraordinary “thank you.” Hamman said he was so touched by the governor’s swift action he made him a promise: “I want to make sure we name this bridge after you someday.”


Yes, it’s a Florida public record. Good luck getting it.” via John Hill of the Tampa Bay Times — Wouldn’t Hillsborough County taxpayers like to know how much of their money the state is holding from an ill-fated transportation tax?

We thought so, too — which is why I have been asking state agencies that question for weeks, to no avail.

Unfortunately, there’s a big difference in Florida between the open government laws and open government in practice.

The sad tale gets sorrier by the year as elected officials and bureaucrats grow ever creative and comfortable in concealing public information. Budget documents, arrest reports, hiring records, purchase agreements — this is only some of the information slipping from public view. The net effect is that Floridians are increasingly denied a clear picture of how decisions are made, who’s pulling the strings and how governments spend our money.

The episode reflects how far Florida has sunk from its reputation as the Sunshine State, whose open records and meetings laws were a model for the nation. With many agencies today, across all levels of Florida government, getting a simple question answered can be like pulling teeth. It’s become another wall between taxpayers and the services they fund.

It wasn’t always this way. Part of the problem is how the government’s concept of communicating with citizens has evolved. Media relations offices used to draw heavily from the ranks of former journalists, still infused with the public’s right to know. These offices now often recruit partisan careerists who are deft at branding but not at answering questions.

Changing attitudes is a big task for another day. But Floridians interested in maintaining muscle mass on the Sunshine Laws must continue requesting records — and continue pressing government officials to publicly explain their actions.


Haley paints herself into a corner” via Byron York of The Washington Examiner — With the South Carolina Primary less than three weeks away, Haley has become more overtly critical of Trump. After all, Haley is running against Trump one-on-one. Lagging far behind Trump, Haley has ramped up her attacks as the only way to catch up with Trump. But at the same time, Haley has few, if any, major policy differences with Trump that might normally form the basis of new political attacks. So, the Haley offensive against Trump has been mostly based on personal attributes: Trump is old, he’s out of it, he’s unhinged, he’s mean. When she hits Trump that way, Haley does two things. One, she wins positive reinforcement from the parts of the political and media world that love that kind of attack on Trump. For her work, Haley received an anti-Trump pat on the head from the people who give out pats on the head. The other thing Haley is doing is alienating many of the Republicans whose support she will need to accomplish her seemingly impossible goal of overtaking Trump.

Who should be Trump’s No. 2?” via Kellyanne Conway for The New York Times — “Who should President Trump choose for V.P.?” is one of the most popular questions among the political cognoscenti right now. It’s understandable. I am an admittedly well-intentioned but disastrous matchmaker, but I got one right when, in May 2016, I recommended the then-Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, as a solid running mate to Trump. Trump’s V.P. should help him win and help him govern. Trump will keep us all guessing. His shortlist will be long and dynamic. One thing he doesn’t need to do is rush this decision.

Eviscerating ethics oversight in less than a dozen words” via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board — Florida legislators sometimes make it impossible to earn the public’s respect. Case in point: The Senate’s 39-0 vote for a bill to cripple the Commission on Ethics. The Ethics Commission has never been popular with lawmakers or with local officials, but the Florida Constitution protects it from being abolished. The credit for that goes to Reubin Askew, the Governor in the 1970s and an anti-corruption crusader who embedded it in an ethics initiative that nearly 80% of voters approved in 1976. From the outset, the Legislature hobbled it by allowing it to act only in response to sworn complaints from others. Now its enemies would further weaken the watchdog by requiring complaints to be “based on personal knowledge or information other than hearsay.”

Bob McClure, Joseph Visconti: JetBlue-Spirit blockade — how Biden’s administration undermines American consumer interests” via Florida Politics — This merger isn’t merely about corporate gain; it’s about preserving a low-cost travel option for consumers. Moreover, the role of Ultra Low-Cost Carriers (ULCCs) like Spirit in promoting competition by offering affordable travel cannot be understated. The merger could reinforce this segment, potentially leading to aggressive pricing strategies against major carriers, ultimately benefiting consumers. This comparison demonstrates the modesty of the JetBlue-Spirit merger in terms of market impact, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of previous major airline mergers. The proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit by JetBlue was much more than a mere corporate transaction; it was a partnership between two uniquely American companies aimed at creating a more equitable playing field in an airline industry currently dominated by major players.

What Will Weatherford is reading — “USF doubles down on its commitment to community partnerships” via the Tampa Bay Times — Every great city in the world has a great university. When the University of South Florida (USF) was founded nearly 70 years ago, a strong community connection was already in our DNA and has since been part of our strategic plan. The community-engaged work that our faculty, staff, students, and administrators have undertaken resulted in the Carnegie Foundation recognizing USF as a “community-engaged university.” We are proud to announce an elevated commitment to community engagement through a newly created Office of University Community Partnerships, which provides a welcoming, consistent and user-friendly way for community organizations of all kinds to access and collaborate with the university.


— ALOE —

Florida gas prices dip after 12-cent jump” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Gas prices in Florida are dropping again after rising 12 cents last week, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group. Pump prices in the Sunshine State increased to a three-month high of $3.27 per gallon Thursday due largely to rising crude oil and gasoline futures prices. Then, as gas futures prices dipped, so did gas prices. “Futures prices reversed course last week, enabling pump prices to drop 4 cents in the past three days,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “Sunday’s state average was $3.23 per gallon and falling.” On Monday morning, the average price statewide was $3.22 per gallon, 7 cents higher than the national average.

How much for thin mints? Some Girl Scouts raise cookie prices.” via Julie Creswell of The New York Times — Across the country, Girl Scout troops have been seeing jumps in cookie prices over the last couple of years. But they are not all seeing them at the same levels. That’s because the 111 councils that make up the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. operate as individual nonprofit organizations and negotiate separate contracts with the two bakeries that are licensed to manufacture the cookies. The various councils also decide when to sell the cookies.

Girl Scout Cookies, the addiction we just can’t quit. Even at (slightly) higher prices.


Celebrating today is Sen. Clay Yarborough, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley, former Rep. turned Judge Eric Eisnaugle, Katie Kelly, and Michael Steinberg.


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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