Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.28.24

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Good morning. ‘Sunburn’ has been waiting for you.

Good Tuesday morning.

Sachs Media, one of Florida’s and the nation’s leading communications firms, has just released the first of a four-part comprehensive examination of the demographic, cultural, economic, and political impacts of different demographic groups on the state.

Part 1 of “The Changing Face of Florida” focuses on the significant influence of Florida’s flourishing Hispanic population, one of the state’s most important and fastest-growing demographics. Sachs Media is one of the few communications firms with an in-house research team led by Karen Cyphers, Ph.D., and it tapped into that expertise to pull together research and analysis to explore the many ways Florida’s diverse Hispanic population is influencing every facet of life in the state.

How is the influx of Hispanics influencing the ‘face of Florida?’”

The report notes that Florida’s white population will move into the minority as soon as next year, and in two decades the state’s Hispanic population will account for one-third of all Floridians.

“Though far from monolithic, the Hispanic population has been at the forefront of Florida’s population boom and shifting demographics, and this report shows how business leaders and communicators will need to adapt as they work to engage this vital segment of our state,” said Lisa Garcia, a Sachs Media partner and Chief Operating Officer.

Future quarterly installments of the yearlong research series will examine the demographic, cultural, economic, and political impacts of other portions of Florida’s population. Check out the full report here.


Jax voters are largely on board with a plan to spruce up the Jaguars’ stadium, although they are hesitant about how much it could cost taxpayers.

The University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab found that 56% of Duval County registered voters said they supported the $925 million proposal, while 43% said they were opposed.

More than half of Duval County voters support the Jaguars’ stadium remodel.

The top-line support diminished when voters were asked about a specific portion of the proposed deal — a majority (58%) said they opposed using $775 million in public funds on stadium construction costs compared to 41% in favor.

Voters were far more amenable to the $150 million in public spending, which the Jags would later match for the Community Benefits Agreement portion of the agreement. The CBA dollars would be spent on workforce and community development, affordable housing, homelessness and parks, both near the stadium and countywide.

More than four out of five voters said they either strongly or somewhat support the CBA provision, with just 17% opposing it.

“When we polled on this issue last Fall, people placed a lot of importance on the benefit to the downtown area and surrounding communities, and that still seems to be the case here,” PORL faculty director Michael Binder said.

“Duval County voters just don’t want to foot the bill for stadium renovations, but that Community Benefits Agreement seems to have sweetened the pot enough for folks to go along with the entire deal.”

Additionally, 72% of voters would have liked to have had a say in a referendum, something policymakers have rejected. The referendum is a preferred option by at least 64% of every subgroup, with 78% of women and 79% of non-fans saying the people should have had a say.


@POTUS: Since America’s founding, our service members have laid down their lives for an idea unlike any other: the idea of the United States. Today, as generations of heroes lie in eternal peace, we live by the light of liberty they kept burning. May God bless them, always.

Donald Trump’s message:

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:


Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 4; the 2024 World Cup begins — 15; DreamWorks Land officially opens at Universal Orlando — 17; season two of ‘House of the Dragon’ returns to Max — 19; CNN Presidential Debate — 30; Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Disney World — 31; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 32; Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday begins — 35; Universal Mega Movie Parade debuts — 36; Republican National Convention begins — 47; the 2024 World Cup ends — 51; 2024 MLS All-Star Game — 56; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games on NBC/Peacock — 59; ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ premieres — 60; Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins — 63; ‘Alien: Romulus’ premieres — 81; Florida Primary Election — 85; Democratic National Convention begins — 85; second Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 89; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 89; Tool Time Sales Tax Holiday begins — 97; 2024 NFL season kicks off — 102; Packers will face Eagles in Brazil — 102; Vice Presidential Debate — 121; Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 144; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 151; Florida TaxWatch’s 45th Annual Meeting — 160; 2024 Presidential Election — 161; Legislature’s 2025 Organizational Session — 175; Las Vegas Grand Prix — 175; ‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ premieres — 192; MLS Cup 2024 — 193; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 261; the 2025 Oscars — 279; Florida’s 2025 Legislative Session begins — 281; 2025 Session ends — 341; ‘Moana’ premieres — 391; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 422; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 422; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 529; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 571; ‘Avengers 5’ premieres — 707; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 724; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 935; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,075; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,034; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,756.


God and Amendment 4: How religion plays into Florida’s abortion debate” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — When Roe v. Wade fell, Rabbi Rachel Greengrass fought back.

At holiday celebrations, Shabbat services, whenever they could, her congregation collected 1,800 petitions to help get abortion rights on the ballot this November.

“I’m somebody who really loves to ground myself in Jewish text,” said Greengrass. “I’m also a feminist.”

The Miami rabbi supports Amendment 4 because of her religion, not despite it, she said.

Religion could play an oversized role in the push to pass Amendment 4.

She is among the faith leaders mobilizing the grassroots efforts for Amendment 4. The November ballot question would limit government interference on abortion. It needs at least 60% of the vote to pass and replace the state’s current six-week abortion ban that went into effect May 1.

Other religious institutions are preparing to fight against Amendment 4.

“The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is working hard to oppose this dangerous and deceptive amendment and urges all Floridians to vote ‘no’ on Amendment 4,” the Catholic Church said in a statement, which called the ballot proposal “extreme.” “Amendment 4 goes so far as to enshrine in our state constitution late-term abortion well after a child feels pain and can live outside the womb.”

Greengrass describes her congregation as purple, with a congregation that includes big donors and leaders from both Democrats and Republicans.

This isn’t the first time Greengrass has talked about women’s health care and abortion rights to her congregation in her 16 years serving the temple, but not everyone is happy about her advocacy, she admitted.

She knows some people don’t want their politics and religion to mix.

“You can’t completely be devoid of politics,” Greengrass said. “We’re just trying to make the world a better place. That’s what religion is all about.”

— 2024 — FLORIDA —

Rick Scott says experiencing Donald Trump trial is ‘the scariest time’ in his life” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — U.S. Sen. Scott has faced legal questions before, specifically regarding his former health care company and Medicare billing anomalies. But despite pleading the Fifth Amendment 75 times during that case, Florida’s junior Senator says Trump’s current trial makes him more fearful than any personal experience ever did. “It’s the scariest time in my lifetime to watch a friend be persecuted,” Scott said. “When you hear that they were allowed to use lethal force, to go pick up documents at Mar-a-Lago, this is a scary time. And if we don’t change this, then there’s not one American that’s safe.

Rick Scott says he gets flashbacks watching Donald Trump’s trial.

Trump endorses Brian Mast” via Jim McCool of The Floridian — Mast has been a strong supporter of Trump for years, often agreeing on foreign policy and illegal immigration, two issues that are major points of concern in the 2024 election cycle. Economics has also become a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign, which Rep. Mast has recently been verbose about regarding “Bidenomics.” However, Mast’s military service and his pro-military legislation have helped him win the favor of Trump. Trump officially endorsed Mast in a Truth Social post that reads: “Congressman Brian Mast is a tireless advocate for Florida’s 21st Congressional District. The Chair of my campaign’s Veterans for Trump Coalition, Brian is a true American Hero and Patriot. Brian works hard to stop the endless wars pushed by some in Washington and is making sure that we take care of Americans First. Brian has never been afraid to put himself in the line of fire. Brian Mast has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

Bryan Leib endorsed by Randy Fine” via Jim McCool of The Floridian — With endorsements coming in for the election ahead, critical moves are being made in Florida. State Rep. Fine has endorsed Leib’s run for Congress. Leib is currently a candidate in Florida’s 25th Congressional District. The Congressional hopeful is hoping to win the South Florida district and may have solidified his chances with an endorsement from Fine. Fine is the only Jewish Republican serving in Florida’s Legislature, which has propelled him to new heights of notoriety within the Republican Party. Fine made headlines in recent years for his commentary on the Israeli-Hamas conflict which was more than colorful. The outspoken representative has even caught the attention of Trump who endorsed Fine for his bid for the Florida Senate.

Florida is using a fraud-hunting tool used by the right to look for voters to remove from the rolls” via Matt Dixon and Jane C. Timm of NBC News — Florida wants local elections officials to use data collected by far-right activists, some of whom falsely believe the 2020 Election was stolen, to potentially remove people from the state’s voter rolls. The network of activists has been collecting voter data in 24 states and on May 3, one of them emailed the Florida-specific information to a top state election official. It included the names of roughly 10,000 voters from across the state the group insists should be examined for potential removal from the voter rolls, a process commonly referred to as list maintenance. The state’s chief elections official then forwarded that information to county Election Supervisors and asked them to “take action.”

— 2024 — DOWN-BALLOT —

Ben Albritton, Senate Republicans support Don Gaetz’s comeback bid in SD 1” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Eight former Florida Senate Presidents have already endorsed Gaetz’s plan to return to the chamber. Now, a future one has as well. Senate President-designate Albritton is backing the Panhandle Republican in Senate District 1. “Don Gaetz is a statesman and a warrior for the cause of conservatism,” said Albritton. “I admire his passion for the people of Florida’s Panhandle and his commitment to ensuring they have a strong voice in Tallahassee. I am proud to endorse Don Gaetz and look forward to welcoming him back to the Florida Senate.” Albritton chairs the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRSCC) and will take over as Senate President in November so long as Republicans maintain a majority.

Ben Albritton gives a huge thumbs-up to Don Gaetz.

21-year-old marketing manager takes on Jessica Baker in HD 17” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Opposition took its time to manifest against Rep. Baker, but just weeks before the qualifying deadline, a Democratic challenger has filed in House District 17 in southern Duval County. Bryson Kade Morgan, a 21-year-old marketing manager for the Texas Roadhouse chain, is looking to take a bite out of the Republican supermajority in Tallahassee by defeating the wife of one of the region’s most proven political consultants. Morgan, a graduate of Atlantic Coast High School and member of Jacksonville Young Democrats who has lived in the area since 2014, believes his professional experience translates to what will be an uphill battle against one of the most connected Republicans in local politics. “So the thing is we need more regular people in office. We need people to not only understand what’s going on on the ground, but we also do need to understand that people with regular jobs can be lawmakers and my everyday job, that’s going to help me because I do have those personal connections,” Morgan said.

—”‘Fortunate to have someone like you’: First responder unions back Debra Tendrich for HD 89” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics


Trump honors U.S. war dead, wishes ‘Happy Memorial Day’ to ‘human scum’ in legal cases” via Antonio Fins of The Palm Beach Post — On a solemn day of remembrance and honoring the nation’s fallen heroes, Trump posted rival messages honoring America’s military war dead and wishing a “Happy Memorial Day to All,” including, he wrote, “the Human Scum” involved in his New York legal cases. A lengthy mid-morning missive on his Truth Social platform focused exclusively on his court battles, primarily in New York state. The post took aim at the proceedings by a writer who won a sexual assault and defamation civil case against Trump as well as the business fraud case brought by the New York attorney general that has resulted in an almost $500 million judgment against him and the Trump Organization. It also included a swipe at the judge presiding over the ongoing criminal case against him in Manhattan, in which closing arguments are expected to begin on Tuesday.

Donald Trump’s Memorial Day message was filled with spite.

Trump told donors he will crush pro-Palestinian protests, deport demonstrators” via Josh Dawsey, Karen DeYoung and Marianne LeVine of The Washington Post — Trump promised to crush pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, telling a roomful of donors — a group that he joked included “98% of my Jewish friends” — that he would expel student demonstrators from the United States. “One thing I do is, any student that protests, I throw them out of the country. You know, there are a lot of foreign students. As soon as they hear that, they’re going to behave,” Trump said on May 14. When one of the donors complained that many of the students and professors protesting on campuses could one day hold positions of power in the United States, Trump called the demonstrators part of a “radical revolution” that he vowed to defeat. He praised the New York Police Department for clearing the campus at Columbia University and said other cities needed to follow suit, saying, “It has to be stopped now.”

Trump fans say he speaks his mind. But on some subjects, he’s as slippery as an eel” via Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times — Trump’s supporters often say they admire him because he always speaks his mind. “He’s brutally honest,” Larry Faria, a Trump fan in the San Joaquin Valley, told my colleague Jeffrey Fleishman in March. “His abrasiveness got him elected.” But on some topics, Trump can be as slippery as an eel. The presumptive Republican nominee has refused to be pinned down on abortion, Obamacare and the federal budget.

Trump revives false claim that Joe Biden authorized ‘deadly force’ for Mar-a-Lago search” via Edward Helmore of The Guardian — Trump’s campaign has issued another extraordinary fundraising request to supporters by doubling down on a false claim that rival Biden was prepared to hurt or kill him by authorizing the use of deadly force during an FBI search for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago compound in August 2022. The claim has become a currency among some Trump supporters and is widely described by them as an “attempted assassination” — but rests on a misquoted section of FBI policy in a legal motion. Moreover, Trump was not even in Florida during the search. The revival of the claim came late Sunday in the form of an email to supporters headlined: “This is an Alert from Donald Trump.” “DEADLY FORCE? Biden authorized it. They brought guns to the raid on Mar-a-Lago!” it read.

Biden ‘Snapped’ spot showcases Robert De Niro voice-over” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — One of the most celebrated movie stars of the last half-century is making a cameo in the 2024 presidential race. De Niro is lending his vocal talents to the Biden campaign to make a familiar case: that Trump winning the 2024 Election would imperil democracy itself. “From midnight tweets to drinking bleach to tear-gassing citizens and staging a photo op. We knew Trump was out of control when he was President. Then he lost the 2020 Election — and snapped. Desperately trying to hold on to power. Now he’s running again. This time threatens to be a dictator. To terminate the Constitution,” De Niro says in the ad. “Trump wants revenge. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.”

To watch the ad, please click the image below:

Biden warns West Point grads of threats ‘like none before’” via The Associated Press — Biden on Saturday told graduates of the U.S. Military Academy that their class is being called upon to tackle threats across the globe and preserve the country’s ideals at home “like none before.” Biden said the phrase, the class motto, was apt for the sorts of challenges they will take as newly minted Army second lieutenants, from supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion to facilitating humanitarian assistance into Gaza and defending Israel from attacks by Iran. “There’s never been a time in history when we’ve asked our military to do so many different things in some many different places around the world, all at the same time,” Biden said.

Biden needs more empathy on the economy, Democrats say” via Catherine Lucey and Ken Thomas of The Wall Street Journal — Biden is facing calls from anxious Democrats to express more empathy over inflation and prices, as voters continue to reject the President’s positive rhetoric on the economy. Voter pessimism on the economy and Biden’s handling of it appear increasingly locked in just over five months from Election Day, with surveys showing many voters holding a rosier view of the pre-pandemic economy under Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Democratic worries are mounting as the Summer vacation season kicks off, and Biden is gearing up for two foreign trips in June — with less of his time devoted to domestic issues.

Biden’s got a plan to protect science from Trump” via Erin Schumaker of POLITICO — The Biden administration is setting up new tripwires for Trump at America’s premier health research agency to safeguard against political interference if Trump wins in November. The White House fears Trump could try to advance an ideological agenda at the National Institutes of Health, like the ones he’s suggested on everything from vaccines to diversity policies. In an effort to Trump-proof, NIH has designated an official to identify political meddling in the agency’s work and is tasking a soon-to-be-established Scientific Integrity Council with reviewing those cases. The White House knows Trump could still cast those plans aside but is calculating that doing so will set off alarms with the media, Congress and the public. The Biden administration likely hopes GOP lawmakers, even those who think the NIH needs an overhaul, will temper Trump’s moves.

Potential Trump running mate Tom Cotton took hard look at 2024 run, but being a father came first” via Paul Steinhauser of Fox News — Sen. Cotton is in the Trump running mate spotlight. The Army veteran, who served in combat in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before becoming a rising star in Republican Party politics, has been viewed as a potential running mate since he endorsed Trump in early January, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. But a report last week that Cotton may be moving up on Trump’s list for the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee sparked a slew of stories in recent days about the Senator.

‘He’s more delusional than I thought’: Libertarians jeer Trump during convention speech” via Brittany Gibson and Peder Schaefer of POLITICO — If Trump came to the Libertarian National Convention to make peace on Saturday, it could hardly have gone worse. Within minutes of beginning speaking — and after enduring sustained jeering and boos — Trump turned on the third party, mocking its poor electoral record in presidential elections even as he appealed to them for their endorsement. “What’s the purpose of the Libertarian Party of getting 3%?” Trump asked the crowd, which proceeded to pelt him with jeers. “You should nominate Trump for President only if you want to win.” The libertarians in attendance didn’t want to hear it, as hecklers chucked insults at Trump all night.

Trump’s speech to the Libertarian National Convention couldn’t have gone any worse.

The shaky foundation of Trump’s lead: Disengaged voters” via Nate Cohn of The New York Times — The polls have shown Trump with an edge for eight straight months, but there’s one big flashing warning sign suggesting that his advantage might not be quite as stable as it looks. That warning sign: His narrow lead is built on gains among voters who aren’t paying close attention to politics, who don’t follow traditional news and who don’t regularly vote. To an extent that hasn’t been true in New York Times/Siena College polling in the last eight years, disengaged voters are driving the overall polling results and the storyline about the election.

The 3 ways Trump’s hush money trial could end, as jury deliberations begin soon” via Tyler Bartlam of NPR — The hush money trial against Trump is nearing its end, but the jury has yet to decide Trump’s fate. The jury has to consider 34 charges against the Republican nominee. If they find Trump guilty, he could face prison time. The team at NPR’s Trump’s Trials podcast spoke to former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, who breaks down three broad possible conclusions the jury could reach. If the jury finds Trump guilty of all 34 counts, he would be eligible for a prison sentence. But Litman says there’s “no chance, as I see it, he’s actually incarcerated before November.”


Hosting national radio, Ron DeSantis pays tribute to Rush Limbaugh” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Listeners to Sean Hannity’s radio show got a surprise when DeSantis assumed hosting duties. Yet the Governor’s opening monologue offered fulsome tribute not to the man for whom he was filling in but to the man who pioneered the national iterations of conservative talk radio that persist to the present day: the departed Limbaugh. “Rush really paved the way for so much of what people like Sean had been able to do. Hell, he paved the way for things like me and like me being in office and pursuing a conservative agenda,” DeSantis said.

Ron DeSantis goes on national radio to praise Rush Limbaugh.

DeSantis claims ‘Founding Fathers’ would reject sociology in remarks to homeschoolers” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis is sounding off about sociology yet again. And this time the architects of the American experience have his back. The Governor went back for a second slam of the academic discipline in as many months on Thursday, in remarks to the Florida Homeschool Convention in Orlando. “Florida used to require all students to take a course in sociology,” DeSantis reflected. “Now, look, if you want to do sociology, I mean, fine but why are we requiring sociology but not requiring American history or other classical subjects? So we in Florida we got rid of the requirement that you have to do sociology. And we added a requirement for American history for all of our undergrads. The media did not like that at all.”

School choice programs have been wildly successful under DeSantis. Now public schools might close.” via Andrew Atterbury of POLITICO — DeSantis and Florida Republicans have spent years aggressively turning the state into a haven for school choice. They have been wildly successful, with tens of thousands more children enrolling in private or charter schools or home schooling. Now as those programs balloon, some of Florida’s largest school districts are facing staggering enrollment declines — and grappling with the possibility of campus closures — as dollars follow the increasing number of parents opting out of traditional public schools. The emphasis on these programs has been central to DeSantis’ goals of remaking the Florida education system, and they are poised for another year of growth. DeSantis’ school policies are already influencing other GOP-leaning states, many of which have pursued similar voucher programs.

Florida’s LGBTQ+ residents relieved after easing of DeSantis’s anti-gay laws” via Joseph Contreras of The Guardian — Leaders of Florida’s much-embattled LGBTQ+ communities say the worst of DeSantis’s three-year onslaught against them may be over, with the official start of Pride month celebrations only days away. Evidence has been mounting over the past 12 months of a radical change in the political climate now facing LGBTQ+ people in Florida. The first sign came in June 2023 when a federal-district court judge in Orlando granted an injunction that prevented the state from enforcing a DeSantis-backed law that prohibited children from attending public performances by drag queens. The first quarter of this year brought more welcome news. In March, the state’s premier advocacy group for LGBTQ+ rights announced a settlement with the state over key provisions of the so-called “don’t say gay” law that DeSantis rammed through the Republican-controlled state Legislature in 2022.

Florida directive for bridge lighting is latest in battle over Pride and other symbols” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — Amy Glassman swung into action when the state ordered a halt to rainbow Pride lights on the Acosta Bridge after they shined for the first time in 2021. Glassman helped organize a protest march that brought hundreds of people to the downtown Jacksonville bridge in support of Pride Lights. By then, the Florida Department of Transportation had decided the rainbow lights could return. Even after rainbow lights celebrating the LGBTQ community lit up the Acosta again in June 2022 and 2023, Glassman and other supporters kept marching over the bridge during Pride month because they didn’t take for granted the lights would continue.

No water, no shade: How homebuilders, farming companies and construction firms got politicians to reject heat rule” via Jason Garcia of Seeking Rents — In January 2022, the Florida Senate finally scheduled a hearing on the heat-safety legislation in its Agriculture Committee. The bill didn’t just pass that Committee. It soared across it. Nearly two dozen people testified in support of Senate Bill 732, including farmworkers, a UPS driver, and the widow of a construction worker who collapsed and died on a job site in Summer. So did the CEO of a large tomato grower with farms in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Mexico. Sometime soon after that hearing, lobbyists representing the homebuilding industry approached Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez. There’s no way to know for certain what they said. But the lobbyists came away confident that the heat-safety bill — the one that farmworkers and construction workers were pleading for, the one that Republican Senators had just called “important” and about “making sure people are protected” — was doomed.

Immigrant advocates seek federal and state reforms in face of hostile climate” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Legislation focused on illegal immigration gets filed in Florida each Legislative Session, and Republicans in Congress spotlight concerns about the border at every opportunity. But advocates for immigrants and minority-owned businesses say that hasn’t changed the need for humane and realistic policy. “It’s a challenge for a lot of these businesses, maintaining their workforce,” said Julio Fuentes, founder and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “But I believe that we need to maintain this message, at least for us anyway, at a high level because I think when you start talking dollars and cents, it resonates more.”

The 2026 Governor’s race is already taking shape. Here’s who could run.” via Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times — The 2024 Elections are still months from being decided. But for some in Florida, 2026 is already here. With Republican DeSantis set to be termed out of office in January 2027, the field of potential gubernatorial candidates is taking shape, with some of Florida’s most powerful figures jockeying for position. Several Republicans rumored to be eyeing the Governor’s Mansion, including U.S. Several Republicans rumored to be eyeing the Governor’s Mansion, including U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Michael Waltz and Byron Donalds, have made recent appearances at Trump’s criminal trial in New York. Trump’s endorsement in 2018 helped propel DeSantis’ candidacy and the Mar-a-Lago resident’s grip on the party shows no signs of slipping. Any GOP candidate hoping to do well in Florida will likely need to win Trump’s approval — or at least avoid his scorn.

Jimmy Patronis announces arrests of four in faked accident insurance benefits scheme” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — An attempted insurance fraud got four men a free ride to the Miami-Dade County lockup. Bryan Carlos Hernandez, Elvis Fonseca Lauzao, Juan Fonseca Lauzao, and Rusland Rivero Tellez were charged on May 22 with various felonies, according to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer Patronis. Those felonies include grand theft, organized fraud, false insurance claims and setting up a staged accident for the purpose of insurance fraud. The four exploited personal injury protection (PIP) benefits of their insurance policies, billing Progressive Insurance and National General Insurance after a staged May 12, 2023, accident in Miami-Dade County that had no reported injuries, according to an investigation by the CFO’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Miami Field Office. “If you engage in insurance fraud in Florida, you will be exposed and held accountable,” Patronis said.

Jimmy Patronis makes a dent in insurance fraud in Florida.

Happening today — Patronis will host a “Fixing Problems for Floridians” Fair in West Palm Beach: 8 a.m., Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel, Room — Salon CD, 150 Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach.

Florida homeowners finally have some new insurers to consider” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel — Ted Herbert, a retired business professor from Rollins College, said he was shocked when he got a letter last month from his insurance company telling him that while they valued him as a customer they would not be renewing his policy. Herbert is among the thousands of homeowners hunting for a new insurer after their companies shed them like winter jackets as hurricane season starts on June 1. Anyone freshly dumped back into the insurance market for one reason or another now has several new options, in addition to 19 other companies that are either keeping their rates the same or lowering them slightly, according to the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation.

Florida to allow doctors to perform C-sections outside hospitals” via Phil Galewitz of NBC News — Florida has become the first state to allow doctors to perform cesarean sections outside of hospitals, siding with a private equity-owned physicians group that says the change will lower costs and give pregnant women the homier birthing atmosphere that many desire. But the hospital industry and the nation’s leading obstetricians’ association say that even though some Florida hospitals have closed their maternity wards in recent years, performing C-sections in doctor-run clinics will increase the risks for women and babies when complications arise.

Payment should begin by end of the month for Florida’s toll relief program” via James Tutten of WFTV — If you use Florida’s toll roads frequently, you should be getting a rebate from the state soon. Florida Department of Transportation officials said a bill extending Florida’s toll relief program still completes the administrative process. They said payments will begin by the end of the month. Any SunPass or E-PASS customers who pass through 35 monthly tolls automatically qualify for the program.

How Florida is getting its pink back” via Lori Rosza of The Washington Post — In the past nine months, flamingos have appeared throughout Florida in places where they haven’t been seen in decades — sightings scientists hope mark the return of one of the state’s most celebrated symbols. They’ve been photographed while taking a leisurely swim within eyeshot of office buildings in Tampa Bay, hanging out with pelicans near Sanibel Island and sharing a sandspit with great blue herons just a few miles from Kennedy Space Center. Researchers believe the new arrivals blew in with Hurricane Idalia last August, probably from Mexico or the Bahamas, where conservation efforts over the past 50 years have helped flamingo populations recover from near extinction. It wasn’t the first time a powerful storm swept the birds to Florida. But in most of those instances, the flamingos left after only a few days.


Democrat says ICC as ‘irrelevant’ as ‘Harry Potter School of Magic’” via Sarah Fortinsky of The Hill — Rep. Jared Moskowitz blasted the International Criminal Court (ICC) as political and irrelevant in an interview. “This is totally political. The ICC is irrelevant. They have no jurisdiction. We might as well call them the ‘Harry Potter School of Magic,’” Moskowitz said. Moskowitz criticized the ICC for targeting Israel, while not similarly targeting China and Syria — even though none of the three countries is subject to the court’s jurisdiction. Moskowitz said the ICC has in the past defended its decision not to go after China and Syria more aggressively by noting its lack of jurisdiction. Both China and Syria have been widely criticized for allegations of human rights abuses.

Jared Moskowitz dismissed the International Criminal Court as irrelevant.

Congress defies its own law, fails to install plaque honoring Jan. 6 police officers” via Scott MacFarlane of CBS News — In a Congress stuck in gridlock, legislators have grown accustomed to sluggishness in their Capitol Hill work. But Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who has represented a Northern California Bay Area district since 1995, is infuriated by one particular holdup. “My letters have not been answered. And it’s a mystery to me,” Lofgren said, throwing her hands up in frustration. Lofgren and a group of other top House Democrats are questioning why a small plaque to honor police officers who saved the Capitol — and the lawmakers and staffers working there — on Jan. 6, 2021, was not completed or installed by the March 2023 deadline required by law.

Democratic Senators request meeting with Chief Justice John Roberts over flags flown at Samuel Alito’s homes” via The Associated Press — Two Democratic Senators are requesting a meeting with Chief Justice Roberts after reports that two separate flags carried by rioters at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had flown outside of houses owned by Justice Alito. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary panel, wrote Roberts on Thursday asking him for a meeting to discuss Supreme Court ethics and to take steps to ensure that Alito recuses himself from any cases before the court concerning the Jan. 6 attack or Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 Election defeat. “We request a meeting with you as soon as possible, in your capacity as Chief Justice and as presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States, to discuss additional steps to address the Supreme Court’s ethics crisis,” Durbin and Whitehouse wrote to Roberts in a letter released Friday by both offices.

Martha-Ann Alito called upside-down flag ‘signal of distress’” via Justin Jouvenal and Ann E. Marimow of The Washington Post — The wife of Supreme Court Justice Alito told a Washington Post reporter in January 2021 that an upside-down American flag flew on their flagpole was “an international signal of distress” and indicated that it had been raised in response to a neighborhood dispute. Martha-Ann Alito made the comments when the reporter went to the couple’s Fairfax County, Virginia, home to follow up on a tip about the flag, which was no longer flying when he arrived. The incident documented by reporter Robert Barnes, who covered the Supreme Court for The Post for 17 years and retired last year, offers fresh details about the raising of the flag and the first account of comments about it by the justice’s wife.

Samuel Alito and his wife remained embroiled in a kerfuffle over a distress flag.

Florida citrus growers ‘optimistic’ as new farm bill continues taking shape” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — Florida Citrus Mutual, the state’s largest citrus grower organization, is praising House lawmakers as they continue forming this year’s farm bill. The organization released a statement following a markup meeting in the House Agriculture Committee. Florida citrus farmers have faced hurdles in recent years, but Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President and CEO Matt Joyner released a statement praising the work that House lawmakers are doing on the bill. “Following the 2024 Farm Bill markup in the House Committee on Agriculture, Florida Citrus Mutual remains optimistic as the bill progressing to the House chamber prioritizes the domestic citrus industry,” Joyner said.

American held in Turks and Caicos over ammunition speaks out after returning home” via Stefan Joyce and Ivan Pereira of ABC News — The Pennsylvania father who was held in Turks and Caicos over ammunition in his baggage said he was preparing for “doomsday” as he waited to learn if he would be sent to prison for more than a decade. Bryan Hagerich and his wife, Ashley Hagerich, said they put together a list of everything he would need if he was given the full 12-year sentence by a judge. Turks and Caicos has one of the Caribbean’s strictest gun laws. “Prison is a whole different feeling that, even to this day, right now, I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for it,” Hagerich said.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

Trump’s mass-deportation plan would have big economic consequences for South Florida” via the Tribune News Service — During a rally in Hialeah last Fall, Trump regaled supporters with a pledge to undertake “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history” if they helped put him back in the White House. The comment, which has become a cornerstone of Trump’s agenda for a second term in Washington, was met with a roar of applause as supporters in the majority-immigrant city cheered Trump’s pledge to end what he has declared an “invasion” by migrants entering and settling in the United States illegally. Even in the Capital of the Americas, where most of the population was born outside the U.S., Trump’s hard-line immigration platform has struck a chord.

Trump is promising to kick out immigrants, which could have huge consequences in South Florida.

Federal suit says South Florida congressional, House districts wrongly gerrymandered based on race” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — A federal lawsuit filed in South Florida is challenging the state’s congressional and Florida House maps. But in a twist from prior challenges to Florida’s redistricting process, the latest complaint alleges state officials wrongly used race as a motivating factor to create noncompact districts. The lawsuit focuses on four U.S. House seats (Florida’s 19th, 26th, 27th and 28th Congressional Districts) and seven state House jurisdictions (House Districts 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 118 and 119). All are located in Southwest and South Florida, and Republicans represent all of them. It was filed by progressive groups Cubanos Pa’Lante, Engage Miami and the Florida International University’s (FIU) ACLU Club.

Miami agrees to settle racial gerrymandering lawsuit, accept new voting map from plaintiffs” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — It only took a year-and-a-half court battle and almost $3 million in taxpayer money, but Miami now has voting district boundaries based more on geography than race. City Commissioners voted 4-1 to accept a settlement agreement with five residents, four local advocacy organizations and the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The settlement included a new map by the plaintiffs and nearly $1.6 million in compensation for their legal fees, but no admission of guilt from the city. Miami spent about $1.3 million on the case since the groups filed suit in December 2022.

As Haitian Heritage Month closes, Marie Woodson asking Gen Z to help cure chaos-torn Haiti” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Haiti’s current state of instability has Rep. Woodson wanting to end Haitian Heritage Month searching for how to quell the unrest so it will be possible to visit her native country once again. Gang violence shut down the country’s airports for three weeks starting in March and regularly scheduled flights have yet to resume beyond a handful of departures. The situation has Woodson of Hollywood desperate to tap into the wisdom of Gen Z about possible solutions that could heal the chaos-torn country and raise awareness of its history. Gen Z “is a completely different generation … who have been exposed to so much more,” Woodson said. “I truly believe that they might have some ideas and recommendations. And I want to give them a platform where they can share that. And maybe, hey, who knows? One of them might come up with a solution that might work.”

For the end of Haitian Heritage Month, Marie Woodson calls on Gen Z to help Haiti in crisis.

Miami-Dade tourism bureau reports rising visitor revenues, record growth at travel hubs” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — For Miami-Dade’s tourism and hospitality industry, 2023 wasn’t just a banner year; it was a record-smashing one. The county last year welcomed more than 27.2 million visitors who spent an estimated $21.1 billion — a 2% increase over the year prior, according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). Many of those out-of-town travelers came through and sailed from Miami International Airport (MIA) and PortMiami. The area also saw 17.3 million hotel room nights sold, a 0.3% year-over-year uptick. In all, tourism generated nearly $30 billion in overall impact — including $5 billion in tax revenues — and more than $19 billion in the gross domestic product, representing 9% of Miami-Dade’s total GDP.

Why homebuyers are pouring into South Florida despite record-breaking high prices” via Rebecca San Juan of the Miami Herald — Deep-pocketed buyers came back to South Florida in April after a slowdown in residential transactions since December. Miami-Dade County had 2,342 home sales, up by 5.4% from April 2023. Broward saw even more activity — a total of 2,538 residential deals, up 6.1%. South Florida’s housing market defies even national trends. The number of single-family homes and condos fell by close to 2% nationwide. South Florida’s slowing housing activity got into higher gear in April for the first time this year. January and February saw barely a 1% increase in year-over-year home deals, and March saw a double-digit drop, which real estate analysts blamed on interest rates and concerns about the economy.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Orange Schools says maintaining student laptops for all is getting too pricy” via Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel — Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) prides itself on providing laptops to all students, an effort that started in 2013 and aimed to make sure everyone had access to technology no matter their family’s income. But putting laptops in the hands of thousands of students — and keeping them running and up to date — has proved to be pricy. The OCPS laptop repair budget for the school year that ends this week is $1.6 million, and in coming years the yearly budget to purchase and maintain laptops is at least $30 million, with more slated to be spent on classroom technology.

Laptops for all students are an expensive program.

UF employee, students implicated in illegal plot to ship drugs, toxins to China” via Fresh Take Florida — A University of Florida (UF) research employee and students have been implicated in an illegal, multimillion-dollar scheme investigated by the Justice Department to fraudulently buy thousands of biochemical samples of dangerous drugs and toxins that were delivered to a campus laboratory then illicitly shipped to China over seven years, according to federal court records. Among the students tied to the scheme was the president of UF’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association. The group openly protested a Florida law signed by DeSantis last year that limits universities from recruiting students and faculty from China — and bans employing such students from working in academic labs without special permission.

UF bans student named in Chinese smuggling probe from campus for three years” via Matthew Cupelli of the Tampa Bay Times — The University of Florida on Saturday banned a student from its property for three years whom the Justice Department accused of being involved in a multimillion-dollar scheme to divert biomedical samples of dangerous drugs and toxins from a campus laboratory to China. Nongnong “Leticia” Zheng, 21, a senior marketing major in the business school and president of UF’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association, has not been formally charged with any crime.


Conservative group offers $2.38 gas in Tampa to highlight effects of ‘Bidenomics’” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — A conservative organization is rolling back the price of gas for up to 200 lucky Summer drivers in Tampa to highlight how everyday costs have changed under Biden. Americans for Prosperity Florida (AFP) is offering gas at $2.38 a gallon Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon, to the first 150-200 cars that pull up to the Marathon station at 17519 Bruce B Downs Blvd. That was the average U.S. price of gas when Biden took office, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group. Now it’s $3.61. “Under the Biden administration, energy costs are up 39%, and gas prices continue to climb, which often impacts Summertime plans for Florida families and tourists,” AFP said in a statement. “The bottom line is ‘Bidenomics’ has led to higher prices which are an incredible burden on ratepayers.”

Americans for Prosperity Florida is giving a break to drivers as a way to blast Bidenomics.

A Pinellas town is clarifying its beach rules. Some residents are confused” via Jack Prator of the Tampa Bay Times — Temperatures were climbing into the high 80s on Mother’s Day when Elena Garcia walked to the shore from her beachfront condo in Redington Beach with her son, husband and mother-in-law. She brought beach chairs, towels and a shade canopy. About 30 minutes after they plopped on the sand, she looked up from her lunch to see a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulling a cruiser into sight. An ordinance banning tents on private beaches in Redington Beach was passed in 2018, but recent enforcement has taken Garcia and other residents by surprise. Town leaders say they are revising the rule to make it easier for law enforcement to uphold. But Garcia, who set up the canopy on a beachfront owned by her condo, believes the current ordinance allows her to use a tent because she lives there. She says law enforcement was out of line to tell her not to use her tent since the ordinance has yet to be revised. “That’s not what the rule says,” she remembered telling a Pinellas deputy later over the phone. “You can’t enforce a rule that’s not current.”

Bear caught on video in Oldsmar, Tampa: Could it be the same animal?” via Lane DeGregory of the Tampa Bay Times — A black bear tried to get into an Oldsmar woman’s trash can Thursday night. Saturday morning, while wildlife officers were attempting to find it, a bear lumbered through an apartment complex on Tampa Shores Boulevard — more than 7 miles away. “We believe it’s the same one,” said Forest Rothchild, representative for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Charter proposal to double Tallahassee City Commissioner pay faces likely headwinds” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat — A city of Tallahassee charter amendment that would give a big pay raise to City Commissioners — a proposal that percolated from the elected officials themselves — faces probable headwinds at the ballot box this Fall. Some city voters will be turned off by the mere idea of giving more money to elected officials, according to political experts and observers. Others may be disinclined to vote yes for reasons ranging from an iffy economy to the entrenched hostility between the two City Commission factions that’s been on public display for years. “I think it’s going to get crushed,” said Jon Ausman, who served as Chair of the Leon County Democratic Party for two decades. “You don’t give people who are in disharmony a pay raise.”

A raise for Tallahassee City Commissioners is expected to get pushback.

Developer’s past flaunting of Santa Rosa codes proves no obstacle to rezoning request” via Tom McLaughlin of the Pensacola News Journal — The sins of his past did not come back to haunt developer Bill Lewis on Thursday as the Santa Rosa County Commission seemingly overlooked those to grant him, without objection, the rezoning he needed to sell a handful of 5-plus acre lots at Ten Mile Road and Quintette Road in Pace. Lewis, according to county Planning Director Shawn Ward, had been one of a few developers who, in developing the North Diamond Estates subdivision, had exploited Land Development Code provisions in order to sidestep paying recording fees for engineering design work or the costs of stormwater retention. The provisions were known as the parent parcel and the family homestead provisions.

FSU baseball takes No. 8 seed. Will play Stetson in regional opener at Dick Howser Stadium” via Peter Holland Jr. of the Tallahassee Democrat — Florida State baseball (42-15, 17-12) will not only host regionals of the 2024 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, but it did enough to earn the No. 8 national seed. The NCAA Selection Committee unveiled the 64-team field Monday on ESPN2. The Seminoles were projected to be a top-eight seed and were ranked No. 8 in RPI. “You have to execute from Day One through the conference tournament, and I’m proud of the guys in that room,” FSU coach Link Jarrett said. “To be recognized as a top-eight seed with the schedule (from start to finish), with difficulty in the middle week and the challenges in the conference tournament, they earned that. It’s not easy to be in this position.”


Fort Pierce post office flies upside down flag, symbol of ‘Stop the Steal’ election deniers” via Wicker Perlis of TC Palm — A star-spangled banner flew upside down Wednesday at the United States Post Office on Orange Avenue, days after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito faced criticism for years-old pictures of the same sight at his home. The upside-down American flag has been a symbol used by “Stop the Steal,” groups backing false conspiracy theories that the 2020 Presidential Election actually was won by Trump, only to be stolen by Biden.

Upside-down flags for ‘Stop the Steal’ are becoming a hot-button issue. Image via Wicker Perlis/TC Palm.

Three years or four? Venice Council to host public hearing on proposal to lengthen terms” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The Venice City Council will vote Tuesday on a proposed referendum that would ask city voters to approve a change in term lengths from three years to four for Council members and end the practice of sending city voters to the polls every year. Instead, city elections would be conducted in even years and coincide with elections for either President or Governor. If voters approve the referendum, it will eliminate elections in 2025 and 2027, as well as grandfather in one-year extensions in the terms for Council Seats three through 7.

Field shrinks in race for one Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board seat, candidate ineligible” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Dr. Kendra Becker-Musante, one of three declared Republican candidates for At-Large Seat three on the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, ended her campaign on May 22, citing a desire to stay out of a three-way battle that might have forced a runoff after the Aug. 20 Primary. But Becker-Musante was also not eligible to run this year, because she did not register as a Republican until Feb. 23, 2024. Since that was after closing the registration books for the Presidential Preference Primary, it did not go into effect until March 20. Any candidate seeking a party nomination must be registered as a party member for 365 days before the qualifying period.

Florida man nicknamed ‘Sedition Panda’ convicted of assaulting officer in Jan. 6 Capitol riot” via Kim Luciani of USA Today Network — A Florida man, nicknamed ‘Sedition Panda’ for the panda costume head he wore during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was convicted of multiple charges Friday. Jesse James Rumson, 38, of Lecanto, was found guilty on Friday of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses, following a bench trial in District Court.


Biden is leaning into his strengths. Winning will require him to address his weaknesses.” via Stephen Neely for the Tampa Bay Times — In the face of low and stagnant approval numbers, Biden’s campaign has leaned more on the President’s perceived strengths, making reproductive rights and access to health care cornerstones of his re-election campaign, while simultaneously touting the administration’s substantial investments in infrastructure and student loan forgiveness.

But voters are singing a different tune, and the President’s campaign is now at risk of drifting irretrievably out of key with public sentiment.

A recent survey conducted at the University of South Florida asked respondents about the issues that will determine how they vote this November. Their responses bode poorly for the President’s current campaign strategy.

While Biden — and many of his Democratic allies — see abortion and reproductive rights as a winning issue for the party in 2024, less than 1 in 4 American voters rank it among the three most important factors when considering how they’ll vote.

Conversely, about half the registered voters surveyed identified “the economy and jobs” and “inflation” as being among the three most significant issues on their minds. A little more than a third said the same about immigration and border security.

While abortion and social issues may help the President “turn out his base” come Election Day, the cold, hard calculus is that Biden already has those votes. The President’s more immediate concern should be the fact that those issues voters are most concerned about are the very ones on which they trust him the least.

Leading with your weakest foot is counterintuitive, and leaning into your weakness is never fun. But sometimes it’s necessary. And for Biden that means speaking clearly about the economy and a more visible and persistent pursuit of his proposed bipartisan immigration reforms.


If Gregory Tony broke the law, why is he still in office?” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — Broward County Sheriff Tony has generated a lot of controversy since taking office. Among other things, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said Tony repeatedly lied about his past. Tony’s woes, however, were amplified when a Judge validated one of FDLE’s key accusations, ruling that the Sheriff had violated the law. Specifically, Administrative Law Judge Robert Kilbride ruled Tony concealed a previously suspended driver’s license when seeking a renewal in 2019 — after Tony was Sheriff. The Judge also recommended Tony attend ethics training. But the biggest question here is: Why the hell is this man still in office?

Florida should use $3.2 billion opioid settlement to save lives, not stuff jail cells” via the Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial boards — Local City and County Commissions must decide, soon, how to divvy up hundreds of millions from national opioid lawsuit settlements. “Blood money,” one Palm Beach County Commissioner called it during a workshop, and that assessment is brutally accurate. The nation’s current drug crisis was fueled by a reckless, sustained abandonment of public trust. The numbers may look huge, but in some communities, the settlement money will work out to just a few hundred dollars for every life derailed or ended by a decadeslong failure to properly manage dangerous drugs and the foreseeable consequences when controlled-substance laws swung in the other direction toward overbearing enforcement.

Judgment week: How prosecutors will use the ‘other crime’ against Trump” via Byron York of the Washington Examiner — How prosecutors will use the ‘other crime’ against Trump. On Tuesday, a jury in Manhattan will hear closing arguments in the trial of Trump. Local prosecutors allege Trump committed bookkeeping offenses as part of a conspiracy to corrupt the 2016 Presidential Election. The former President’s specific crime, prosecutors say, was labeling a nondisclosure agreement negotiated by his lawyer as a “legal expense” in Trump Organization books.

Upside-down flag an alarming display of partisanship” via Marshall H. Tanick of the Fort Myers News-Press — The revelation last week of the upside-down American flag flown for several days after the 2020 Election in the front yard of the home of ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Alito in protest of the outcome was an alarming display of partisanship by a supposedly neutral jurist. Flying the colors upside down symbolically signified his concurrence with the “Stop the Steal” fiction that the election was rigged against the defeated President Trump and that President Biden’s victory was illegitimate. In typical Trumpian fashion, the justice blamed someone else, his wife, who apparently did the deed and, following flag protocol, took it down every night and hoisted it up the pole again each morning, all without his knowledge or awareness.

What happened to our ad-free TV?” via John Koblin of The New York Times — Not long ago, streaming TV came with a promise: Sign up, and commercials will be a thing of the past. Well, that did not last long. Ads are getting increasingly hard to avoid on streaming services. One by one, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+ and Max have added 30- and 60-second commercials in exchange for a slightly lower subscription price. Amazon has turned ads on by default. And the live sports on those services include built-in commercial breaks no matter what price you pay. The importance of advertising was driven home this month when Amazon and Netflix both staged their first in-person presentations during the so-called upfronts, a decades-old television event in New York where media companies try to woo advertisers.


— ALOE —

14-time champion Rafael Nadal loses in the French Open’s first round to Alexander Zverev” via Howard Fendrich of The Associated Press — The noise was loud and relentless, a chorus of thousands belting out “Ra-fa! Ra-fa!” whenever their guy found the occasional moment of brilliance of the sort he has conjured up so often at the French Open and elsewhere through the years. The 15,000 or so on hand roared their support when Nadal stepped out into Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday, voices echoing under the closed roof of a place he called “magical for me.” When the 14-time champion at Roland Garros approached the net for the pre-match coin toss. When he took his swings during the warmup. And, especially when he whipped his trademark topspin lefty forehand, chopped his two-fisted cross-court backhand, or placed a volley perfectly to claim a point.

First look: Disney’s new drone show takes flight” via DeWayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel — Walt Disney World has cranked up 800 drones for a new colorful and creative production. “Disney Dreams That Soar” is now a nightly event at Disney Springs. Like many nighttime spectaculars at WDW, there’s an inspirational theme (“unleash your heart, let your imagination fly,” the narrator says at the top) and a slew of movie characters to illustrate flight and, well, soaring. “We really wanted to present Disney characters who have taken to the skies in pursuit of their dreams,” Tom Vazzana, creative director with Disney Live Entertainment, said before Friday night’s debut. “And what we’ve always said is, from Day One of conceiving, that we wanted to be a short film in the sky.”

Drones help Disney visitors ‘let their imagination fly.’

What’s the best kind of repellent to fight off mosquitoes?” via Evan Dean of NBC 2 — Meteorologists are predicting an active hurricane season and a wet Summer. That means it could be an especially buggy one, too. “Humid, hot, rainy. It’s the perfect conditions for tons of mosquitoes,” Dr. Keira Lucas, the deputy director of the Collier Mosquito Control District, said. In the effort to fight the bite, some truly unusual options have emerged over the years. Everything from bracelets — to devices that emit sound or light — to even burning coffee grounds have been suggested as mosquito repellents. And that’s not all. “People are using pure vanilla and rubbing it on their bodies,” Melanie Gillespie told NBC2 in North Fort Myers. “They say it works, but I’m scared to try it.”


Celebrating today are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, former state Rep. Mel Ponder, Tom DeMint, Richard DeNapoli, Zach Monahan of Enwright Rimes, Tammy Perdue, Scott Ross of Capital City Consulting, good guy Clark Smith of The Southern Group, top attorney Alicia Taylor and Craig Waters.


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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