Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 6.17.24

Sunburn Orange Tally (2)
Your morning review of the issues and players behind Florida politics.

Good Monday morning.

Morning must-reads — “Florida Politics had 11 questions before candidate qualifying week. Here are the answers.” andHere’s how — and why — Florida Democrats found candidates in every legislative district this cycle


@POTUS: Today and every day, we celebrate the fathers and father figures in our lives who guide us with support and inspire us to be our best selves. Happy Father’s Day from my family to yours.

@MittRomney: My father was the CEO of a major car company and a three-term Governor. Yet, when I asked him at age 88 what gave him the most meaning in life, his answer was: “Raising you four kids.” His dedication to family has stayed with me my whole life. To all dads, Happy Father’s Day!

Tweet, tweet:

@SpencerRoachFL: I spent this Father’s Day weekend with foster & adoptive parents from around the state at the FAPA Conference. Proud to serve on the Board of Directors & proud of the foster families & fathers who’ve stepped up!

Tweet, tweet:

@MarcACaputo: While it’s still hard to see Trump hit the 20% mark with Black voters, numbers like these for Biden suggest there could be real turnout problems for him So maybe (maybe) Biden will get roughly the same share of Black voters as he did in 2020, but it could be from a smaller pool

Tweet, tweet:


CNN Presidential Debate — 10; Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Disney World — 12; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 13; Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday begins — 16; Universal Mega Movie Parade debuts — 17; Trump’s felony sentencing — 24; Republican National Convention begins — 27; 2024 MLS All-Star Game — 36; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games on NBC/Peacock — 39; ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ premieres — 40; Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins — 43; ‘Alien: Romulus’ premieres — 61; Florida Primary Election — 62; Democratic National Convention begins — 64; FBHA’s annual conference, BHCon, begins — 65; second Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 69; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 69; Tool Time Sales Tax Holiday begins — 77; 2024 NFL season kicks off — 82; Packers will face Eagles in Brazil — 82; Vice Presidential Debate — 101; Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 125; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 132; Florida TaxWatch’s 45th Annual Meeting — 140; 2024 Presidential Election — 141; Legislature’s 2025 Organizational Session — 155; Las Vegas Grand Prix — 155; ‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ premieres — 172; MLS Cup 2024 — 173; College Football Playoff begins — 186; Fiesta Bowl — 197; Peach, Rose & Sugar Bowls — 198; Orange Bowl — 206; Sugar Bowl — 208; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 242; the 2025 Oscars — 260; Florida’s 2025 Legislative Session begins — 262; 2025 Session ends — 322; ‘Moana’ premieres — 372; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 406; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 406; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 513; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 551; ‘Avengers 5’ premieres — 687; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 704; FIFA World Cup 26™ final — 724; FIFA World Cup 26™ final match — 762; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 915; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,055; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,014; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,736.


Florida has unraveled climate goals for years. Ron DeSantis struck the latest blow.” via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO — DeSantis toured flooded areas of Hollywood, where he declared a state of emergency Wednesday after parts of the region received more than 20 inches of rain this week. There, he brushed off recent criticism from Democrats for signing a bill last month that struck language directing the state to promote renewable energy and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

After a storm, “We need to get the lights back on,” he continued. “We don’t want our policy driven by climate ideology.”

Flooding in Hollywood is the backdrop for silence on climate change.

Some environmentalists say the law was further evidence of Florida’s continued backtracking on climate policy, after being a leader more than 15 years ago under then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

Since taking office in 2019, DeSantis has signed legislation blocking cities from restricting the use of natural gas and has promoted tax breaks on gas stoves in response to initiatives elsewhere curbing their use. He has also criticized the Biden administration for restricting oil drilling and for pushing climate change initiatives.

DeSantis on Friday rejected any connection between the state’s energy policies and the flooding that occurred in South Florida, calling some of the criticism “very political.”

“We don’t want our energy policy driven by climate ideology,” he continued. “When that happens, people pay more, and the energy is less reliable. You don’t believe me? Look at California; look at the places that have tried this.”

DeSantis rejects climate change rationale for record-breaking rain” via Lori Rozsa of The Washington Post

— 2024 — FLORIDA —

Another poll shows DeSantis is still a VP favorite” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — DeSantis denied any interest in being Trump’s running mate, but the feeling isn’t mutual for Republican voters surveyed in the latest The Economist and YouGov poll. With 41% of Republicans and 40% of self-proclaimed conservatives saying the Governor would be a satisfactory choice for a Trump running mate, the data from the poll conducted between June 9 and June 11 shows again that Republican voters want Florida’s Governor as Trump’s second in command. The data suggests that memories of the vicious back-and-forth between Trump and the man who he made the Florida Governor have long since faded for Republican voters. DeSantis is a more preferred option than a Florida man who is reportedly in the mix as well. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is at 27% with Republicans and 26% with self-proclaimed conservatives.

Ron DeSantis continues to be the leading name for Donald Trump’s VP.

Emboldened by poll, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell says she can pick up Rick Scott’s seat” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Though many have cast doubt on a Florida Atlantic University/Mainstreet Research poll of Florida’s U.S. Senate race, Scott’s Democratic challenger is touting the survey as a sign that she can win. “Rick Scott is the most vulnerable Republican that we have and the most unpopular Republican in the state of Florida right now. Polling is showing that we are statistically tied at this point, but this man is someone that lies to Floridians, is trying to lie his record away,” asserted Mucarsel-Powell Friday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.” Noting that Scott is vowing to block judicial nominees, the former member of Congress called the Senator “the poster child of extremism and one of the most radical members that we have right now in the Senate.”

Women bypass Florida’s six-week abortion ban through telehealth, mail, travel” via Caroline Catherman of the Orlando Sentinel — In the month since Florida imposed a six-week abortion ban, Lana’e Hernandez has helped nearly 200 women figure out how to end later pregnancies, work that sometimes means securing airfare, hotel rooms and money to pay clinics in places as far away as Illinois. Her clients have included a first-time mother who terminated a pregnancy due to serious fetal health defects and a single mother of five unable to support another baby. She said some of her clients have never left the state before or flown on a plane.

Democrats field candidates in every Florida legislative race. Does it matter?” via Lawrence Mower of the Miami Herald — “Democrats made history in Florida today,” Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a statement. Out of power in the state’s House and Senate since the 1990s, Democratic leaders are seeking a more modest target this year: hanging on to the seats they have. And, maybe, breaking out of their superminority status in both chambers, which locks them out of procedural maneuvers. Democrats are going up against an increasingly popular Republican Party this Fall. Active GOP voters began outnumbering Democrats in 2021, and the party’s edge is nearly 1 million today. That enthusiasm in the GOP is reflected in the number of candidates who qualified on Friday. There will be more Republican legislative primaries on Aug. 20 than Democratic ones. Although Democratic leaders say they don’t expect to retake either chamber, they do expect a boost this year from two ballot initiatives in front of voters in November.

— 2024 — DOWN-BALLOT —

Whitney Fox message-testing poll shows narrow path to victory in red CD 13” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — A poll commissioned by Fox’s campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District shows her with a razor-thin path to victory in a district that polls at R+8 and that the Cook Political Report lists as R+6. Asked whether they would vote for a Democrat or a Republican in a generic General Election, half of respondents say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, while only 43% say they’d cast their ballot for a Democrat. Asked to choose between Fox and incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Luna’s support jumps to 51%, and Fox’s increases by 3 percentage points to 46%. The poll then offers an “informed vote” question, which is presented after giving respondents additional information about each candidate. Fox’s support in the poll jumps to 49%, while Luna’s drops to just 47%.

Geraldine Thompson qualifies, prepared to defend residency attacks from Randolph Bracy” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Sen. Thompson is seeking re-election in Senate District 15 — despite threats from former Sen. Bracy challenging her residency. “I’m prepared for litigation if it comes to that,” Thompson said, adding that it is something she can defend in court. But she also questions why Bracy would raise the matter when he has a homestead outside the district. Bracy and Thompson both qualified for a Democratic Primary in SD 15. Since no other candidates filed for the seat, the Aug. 20 Primary is expected to be open to all voters and will decide who holds the Senate seat for the next four years.

Geraldine Thompson is ready to take on Randolph Bracy.

Bracy’s sister endorses his opponent in his Senate race” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics

Carlos Guillermo Smith coasts into Senate as only candidate to qualify in SD 17” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Guillermo Smith is heading back to Tallahassee. Less than two years after losing a re-election bid to the House, Smith won election unopposed to succeed Sen. Linda Stewart in Senate District 17. “My heart is full of gratitude for this community who has entrusted me with the responsibility of serving as their state Senator,” Smith said. “Since last year, our campaign has knocked on over 10,000 doors in Senate District 17. We know that voters are frustrated with the direction our state has been heading and they’ve had enough. Rents and property insurance premiums are soaring, over a million Floridians have recently lost health care, and Tallahassee has turned our classrooms into political battlefields.”

‘Just getting started’: Senate Republicans want Jonathan Martin back for another term” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Senate leaders want Sen. Martin to continue his work next Legislative Session. The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRSCC) is endorsing Martin. The political committee released a statement from Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and the next three Republicans in line: Senate President-designate Ben Albritton and Sens. Jim Boyd and Jay Trumbull. All praised the first-term lawmaker as he seeks another term. “Southwest Florida has a long tradition of conservative warriors who aren’t afraid to take a stand for hardworking families and businesses,” a joint statement from the Senators reads.

— 2024 — DOWN-BALLOT 2 —

Tallahassee GOP candidate qualifies to challenge Allison Tant in 2024” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat — Incumbent Rep. Tant looked like she might be guaranteed a third term in the House this week as no one filed to challenge her during the candidate Qualifying Week. That was then, this is now: Out of nowhere, Republican Spencer Brass, also of Tallahassee, qualified for House District 9. Brass is a 26-year-old real estate and business development expert who has earned Executive Education Certificates from Columbia University and Dartmouth College. The Pasco County native has lived in Tallahassee for three years and said he wants to “do amazing things for the community.”

Republican Spencer Brass is an eleventh-hour entry to face Allison Tant.

Former consumer advocate finds friends in big Florida business for campaign” via Nate Monroe of The Florida Times-Union — You’ve probably never heard of Richard Gentry, but the odds are good the legacy he left briefly leading an obscure state office still weighs on your pocketbook today. The long arc of Gentry’s career in Tallahassee, where he was a familiar face for decades as a lobbyist before an abrupt turn as the state’s top consumer advocate, makes him that most quintessential Florida politician, a product of the state’s Wild West blend of government and big business. Today, Gentry, a Republican who lives in the St. Johns River hamlet of Astor and is no longer working for state government or as a registered lobbyist, is running for state House District 27.

Republican Greg Pull files to run against Orlando Democrat Anna Eskamani for House” via McKenna Schueler of Orlando Weekly — Rep. Eskamani, a progressive who’s known as something of a firebrand in the Legislature, has gained a Republican opponent in her race for re-election to the House this Fall. Republican Pull, a real estate broker by trade, filed to run against Eskamani for the Democratic-leaning House District 42 seat one day ahead of the filing deadline. When reached by phone, Pull politely declined to comment on his campaign “at this juncture,” but said he will have more to share with Orlando Weekly in the future. Incumbent Democrat Eskamani, who was first elected to the House in 2018, told Orlando Weekly she feels “very confident” she will continue to earn the support of her constituents.

Lindsay Cross enjoys more than $100K cash advantage over Ed Montanari in HD 60” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Democratic Rep. Cross has raised more than $295,000 to defend her swing district this November. That’s on top of more than $8,500 in support from the Florida Democratic Party. Over April and May, the St. Petersburg Democrat collected more than $23,000 in donations to her candidate account. That brings her total for this election cycle above $218,000 as she seeks a second term representing House District 60. Additionally, the political committee Moving Pinellas Forward raised nearly $30,000 during the latest period as well. That PC has added more than $77,000 this cycle. Minus expenses, Cross’ campaign account closed May with almost $187,000, while the committee ended May with nearly $82,000 in cash on hand. That leaves the incumbent with more than $268,000 at her disposal.

Spencer Roach endorses Greg Folley in HD 81 — Rep. Roach is backing Folley for a Southwest Florida House seat. “Greg has experience serving in every branch of government, and during his tenure on the Marco Council, he has built a solid track record of lowering taxes and limiting government to its proper role,” Roach said. “His experience in local government, success in business, and lifelong adherence to conservative principles ensures that he will be ready to tackle the tough challenges facing Florida on his first day in office.” Roach represents a nearby district, but recently announced he would not seek re-election. “Spencer’s commitment to making life easier for Floridians and addressing the real issues facing the state is inspiring,” Folley added.

Jay Shooster leads April-May fundraising push for HD 91 with $32K haul” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Shooster outpaced his incumbent Republican opponent in the April-May fundraising stretch for House District 91, with a $32,000 haul. Most of it came directly from people, the overwhelming majority of whom are South Florida residents. He also spent $8,500, leaving himself with an imposing $485,000 between his campaign account and political committee, Future Leaders Florida, heading into June. Shooster received more than 80 personal checks. The biggest was for $5,000 and came from Evan Hubinger, a California-based research scientist and member of the effective altruism movement responsible for a not-insignificant portion of Shooster’s campaign funding.

Dan Daley retains HD 96 seat as no challenger emerges by deadline” via Robert Haughn of Florida Politics — Rep. Daley of Coral Springs has been re-elected to the House after running unopposed. Daley ran for the House District 96 seat and has been elected to his third full term, his campaign announced on X. “I’m excited to announce that as of noon today, we have been re-elected unopposed to the Florida House of Representatives,” Daley said. “It has been an honor to serve our community and my hometown since 2019 in this role, and I look forward to continuing our work these next few years.” Daley was first elected in 2019 during a Special Election, where he was also elected unopposed. Before joining the House, he served as a Coral Springs City Commissioner from 2012 until 2019, as well as serving as Vice Mayor from 2015 to 2017.

Dan Daily trudged through torrential rain to submit his paperwork. He won by default.

Joe Saunders crosses $250K raised for HD 106 bid amid ‘Moe Saunders’ controversy” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — In the year since he filed to run, Saunders has raised about $252,000 between his campaign account and political committee, Friends of Joe Saunders. He had more than $204,000 heading into June. Republican Rep. Fabián Basabe, meanwhile, raised less than $5,000. But he still holds more than anyone else in the contest due to $250,000 worth of self-loans, the unspent portion of which he can take back. Basabe’s lone Primary challenger, lawyer and former congressional hopeful Melinda Almonte, has lent her relatively nascent campaign $16,000 since she filed on May 1. She also spent close to $2,000 on a qualifying fee that every other candidate in the race also paid. Then there’s Maureen Saunders Scott, Saunders’ aunt and a late-filing no-party candidate from St. Johns County who appears to be trying to run a spoiler campaign. Saunders Scott filed an affidavit to change her name on the ballot to “Moe Saunders” — a name one letter different from her nephew’s — and the state Division of Elections obliged.

—“Dotie Joseph automatically re-elected to fourth House term” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics


Happening today — Florida Democrats will hold a “Cup of Joe” Seniors For Biden-Harris panel and breakfast: 10 a.m., Delray DEC Office, 220 Congress Park Drive, Suite 140, Delray Beach.

Marco Rubio’s name rises toward top of Donald Trump’s VP shortlist” via Jared Gans of The Hill — Although he has said he has not directly heard from Trump about the possibility, Rubio has reportedly been near the top of Trump’s Vice-Presidential shortlist. Strategists said Rubio’s background, experience as a legislator and skills as a political candidate would make him a strong candidate to widen the ticket’s appeal. “I happen to think that he’s the candidate the Biden campaign probably fears the most,” said Republican strategist Justin Sayfie. “Of all the people that President Trump can pick to be his running mate, I think that the Biden campaign probably would not like to see Marco Rubio on the ticket.”

—“How Trump’s Florida residency complicates Rubio’s path to VP” via Julia Manchester of The Hill

Marco Rubio is rising on Trump’s VP shortlist.

Trump challenges Joe Biden to a cognitive test but misstates the name of doctor who tested him” via Will Weissert of The Los Angeles Times — Trump on Saturday night suggested that Biden “should have to take a cognitive test,” only to confuse who administered the test to him in the next sentence. Trump referred to Rep. Ronny Jackson, who was the White House physician for part of his presidency, as “Ronny Johnson.” The moment came as Trump was questioning Biden’s mental acuity, something he often does on the campaign trail and on social media. “He doesn’t even know what the word ‘inflation’ means. I think he should take a cognitive test like I did,” Trump said of Biden during a speech at a convention of the conservative group Turning Point Action in Detroit.

Republican National Committee prepares for a convention Trump may not attend” via Matt Dixon of NBC News — Trump is preparing for a scenario in which he will be unable to attend the Republican National Convention, a decision influenced in part by the possibility that he could be sentenced to home confinement after his historic conviction late last month. Preparations are being made at both Mar-a-Lago, his home in Florida, and in Milwaukee, the host city for the convention next month, should Trump either choose to make appearances from afar or be unable to attend, according to two sources familiar with the planning. “The campaign, in conjunction with the RNC, is planning an amazing convention program that will highlight the party and officially designate President Trump’s nomination,” senior adviser Brian Hughes said. “President Trump will be featured as an active part of this official event and celebration of our pathway to victory in November.”

‘I was a MAGA activist. I was a MAGA true believer.’ He’s now creating a community for people who abandon Trump.” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Rich Logis was deep into Trump’s MAGA movement. Very, very deep. Among the hardest of hard-core supporters for seven years, he bought into the rhetoric and espoused it as his own. Logis shunned those who disagreed and developed bonds with fellow believers. He spent hours at the computer, posting on social media and writing pro-Trump missives. In person, he volunteered for the Trump campaign, spoke at events, and helped develop a Broward-based political club, Americans for Trump. He ignored sources of information that didn’t echo MAGA viewpoints, and castigated journalists and news outlets that didn’t parrot the party line. No more. “It turned out that I was wrong,” Logis said in an interview.


DeSantis signs ‘Condo 3.0’ bill aimed at boosting Board accountability, building safety” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Unscrupulous and malfeasant condo Board members and associations that for years skirted Florida law through loopholes in state statutes may soon have a tougher time getting away with it. DeSantis just signed HB 1021, which on July 1 will overhaul state laws governing condo oversight and management. The measure, which the Legislature passed unanimously in March, is meant to strengthen oversight of condo buildings and their Boards, making them more accountable for maintenance, repairs, reserves and record-keeping. Miami Republican Rep. Vicki Lopez, the legislation’s House sponsor, nicknamed it “Condo 3.0,” as it builds on a pair of prior measures lawmakers passed since the deadly June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.

DeSantis vetoes plan to put free tampons in public schools” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — DeSantis vetoed a $6.4 million program to give free tampons and pads to public school students. Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Democrat from Boca Raton, had pushed for a bill to make those period hygiene products free and available at school nurse’s offices and school bathroom restrooms. Getting their periods was why 1 in 4 students missed class, Skidmore said. “I’m confident most women can relate to their period starting unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time and location,” Skidmore said at a House Committee during the Special Session last year. “For girls in school, it is no different and they shouldn’t be deprived of attending class and furthering their education five days out of every month.”

Kelly Skidmore wants free tampons available in school bathrooms. DeSantis cut it from the budget.

Health care providers thank the Legislature and Governor for upcoming Medicaid increases” via Florida Politics — Money flowed to many health care providers this year, and they were quick to thank DeSantis for signing the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget. The budget, along with the ambitious Live Healthy proposal, will bring increases in funding for those who provide care to the poor, elderly and disabled and help fortify the state’s health care delivery system. The budget includes a $247.8 million Medicaid increase for Florida’s nursing home providers. The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA), a “federation that represents 86% of the state’s nursing centers and other long-term care facilities,” issued a statement lauding the Legislature for appropriating the funding and the Governor for signing the budget. “The state budget provides an 8% increase ($247.8 million) in Medicaid funding, amounting to nearly $470,000 per center, per year to support the state’s nursing centers with meeting the growing demand for qualified caregivers and the needs of Florida’s vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities,” read a statement from the FHCA.

Lawmakers ignore attempt to re-establish a state labor department to take on wage theft — again” via McKenna Schueler of Orlando Weekly — Florida hasn’t had a state labor department in over 20 years, nor a statewide mechanism to combat wage theft, and a repeat attempt by Democrats to re-establish one during this year’s Legislative Session was ignored for a fourth year in a row. Rep. Angie Nixon filed a bill last November that sought to re-establish a state Department of Labor. This is a department that most states in the U.S. have, but which was dissolved in Florida by Florida lawmakers and former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 as his administration instead chose to identify programs that could be “eliminated, consolidated, or privatized.” The process of the department’s decentralization was initiated during the 1999 Legislative Session. Its eventual abolition was accomplished through the passage of several bills in the years after, including a bill during the 2000 Session.

Cabinet approves rules to lower business rent tax” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — The Cabinet has approved new rules to administer a cut on the sales tax on commercial leases, or business rent tax, from 4.5% to 2%. The cut was long ordained. Lawmakers passed a measure to cut the tax from 5.5% to 2% in 2021, with the cut triggered when the unemployment insurance trust fund, which was depleted by the COVID pandemic, was replenished to its pre-pandemic level of $4.1 billion. A later measure cut the tax to 4.5% in the interim. The Department of Commerce announced that the fund had reached that amount on March 21, triggering the cut as of June 1.

Farm Share grateful for funding in 2024-25 budget — “Farm Share is here to help lighten the load for the 8 million Floridians experiencing food insecurity,” said Farm Share CEO Stephen Shelley. “The state’s investment will allow us to strengthen our network of facilities, local farmers, community partners, and volunteers, all of them dedicated to getting nutritious foods to Floridians who need a little extra help. Last year, our team turned the state’s investment in Farm Share, combined with our other outreach efforts, into more than 77 million meals for Florida families, representing a return on investment 14 times over.”

Notable spike in Florida’s new jobless claims for week ending June 8” via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics — There was a sharp increase in Florida’s initial unemployment claims in the past week. There were 8,709 initial jobless claims in the Sunshine State for the week ending June 8, according to seasonally unadjusted numbers. That’s a sharp increase of 1,649 first-time claims, up from the 7,060 initial filings from the week before. It’s the first time in months that first-time weekly unemployment claims exceeded 8,000 in Florida. The state had been on a run of mostly stable first-time jobless claim reports, with most weeks over the past few months seeing filings declines.

Orange juice prices won’t go down anytime soon” via The Associated Press — Orange juice prices have always been volatile, falling when bumper harvests create an oversupply of oranges and rising when frost or a hurricane knocks out fruit trees. But the record-high prices the world is seeing for OJ right now may be on the table for a while since the diseases and extreme weather ravaging orange groves in some top-producing countries aren’t easily resolved problems. This year’s harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of orange juice, is likely to be the worst in 36 years due to flooding and drought. “The concern isn’t just that the price of juice is going up. The concern is not having the juice,” Oscar Simonetti, an orange farmer in Mogi Guacu, Brazil, said.


Democrats accuse Scott of hurting women with IVF, contraception votes” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — Democrats are attacking U.S. Sen. Scott for voting in line with other Republicans against bills protecting access to contraception and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “We need to remember that Rick Scott’s attacks on reproductive freedom is not just about politics. His policies have real and dangerous effects on the health and well-being of women across Florida,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said during a virtual news conference. “He needs to be held accountable.” The bills to protect IVF and contraception both failed to advance as Senate Republicans blocked them.

Rick Scott gets blasted for his votes on reproductive freedoms.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

DeSantis vetoes funding for Miami-Dade gun violence prevention, mental health programming” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — South Florida programming focused on counteracting rising firearm homicides in the area with mental health and community services will have none of the funding it sought this year from the state. Lawmakers approved a $990,000 earmark during this year’s budget conference for a gun violence prevention initiative by the Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department. The agency would have provided the state funds and a matching apportionment from the county to the philanthropic Miami Foundation, which in turn would divide the money between community, faith-based and grassroots groups that serve the public.

DeSantis tosses Miami-Dade eviction prevention funding from state budget” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Hundreds of Miami-Dade households at risk of eviction will have to rely solely on local funding this year to help keep roofs over their heads. Lawmakers approved a $1.35 million earmark this year for the county to spend on rental assistance and legal representation for residents embroiled in eviction proceedings. The money, plus more than $4.7 million in local funds, would have gone to local nonprofits to aid those in need. DeSantis vetoed the state portion of the funds, along with nearly $950 million for other local projects. Substantively identical funding requests from Sen. Shevrin Jones and Rep. Felicia Robinson, both Miami Gardens Democrats, sought $2.5 million for the initiative. The Legislature ultimately OK’d spending $1.35 million following this year’s budget conference.

Thanks to line-item vetoes, evictions in Miami-Dade have to rely on local funds.

In a small Miami suburb, plans to help street flooding are gutted by a DeSantis veto” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald — The backhoe tearing up a dead-end street in Virginia Gardens on Friday morning marked the beginning of another small win against street flooding. A short walk away, an idle neighborhood thoroughfare still drying out from this week’s rains represented the promise of more progress now halted by a Governor’s veto. With a population of less than 2,500, the village relied on the $850,000 in state funding it received last year to pay the seven-man excavation crew working in a trough 15 feet below sidewalk level. New pipes and a cement basin will help funnel rainwater from the street above into the ground below, where it can eventually flow into a nearby canal. Until this week, Virginia Gardens planned to construct another 15 of the streetside drainage systems in other flood-prone areas of town, using $700,000 that Florida lawmakers put in the 2025 budget in March. But that plan died June 12 when DeSantis vetoed a list of projects totaling about $1 billion, including the Virginia Gardens package.

Danny Espino, Steve Gallon automatically elected to Miami-Dade School Board” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — It’s a short election cycle for incumbent Miami-Dade School Board members Espino and Gallon. Both are keeping their seats after no one qualified to challenge them. Gallon, a longtime local educator-turned-administrator, is bound for a third consecutive four-year term on the nine-seat panel. He represents District 1, which encompasses 47 schools in a center-north section of the county. Miami-Dade records show Gallon reported raising about $162,500 to defend his job. He also spent more than $63,000 of that sum through May 31, mostly on consulting, financial management, community outreach, web fees and compliance.

Republican poll shows 67% of voters are undecided in Primary race for Miami-Dade Sheriff” via Jessee Scheckner of Florida Politics — While some candidates stand out more than others in voters’ minds, none has enough locked-in support to win outright in August. Miami-based consulting firm Dark Horse Strategies, working for the campaign of retired Republican Miami-Dade Police Lt. Ernie Rodriguez, surveyed 342 Republican county voters by phone June 5-6. Its finding: 67% of Republican voters remain undecided on the race. And despite roughly $900,000 in combined spending by June among active Republican candidates, the highest any of them is polling is 10%. That distinction belongs to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez, a former Miami City Commissioner, who alone has spent more than $300,000 on his campaign since New Year’s Day.

No matter how much they tried, the most popular candidate for Miami-Dade Sheriff is ‘undecided.’

Gregory Tony qualifies for ballot as he seeks another term as Broward Sheriff” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — Broward Sheriff Tony has officially qualified in his bid for re-election to another four-year term. Records submitted with the county show Tony paid the $14,358.96 qualifying fee with a check dated June 11. That puts him on track to compete in a contested Primary to retain his job as head of the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO). “I am profoundly grateful for the unwavering support from my community and the tireless dedication of my team,” Tony said. “As Sheriff, my foremost commitment has been prioritizing the safety and well-being of Broward County families. Seeking re-election is about more than celebrating our achievements; it’s about sustaining our momentum in bolstering said safety and prosperity for all. I am excited (about) our future achievements and eager to extend my tenure as Sheriff to further serve the Broward community.”

—“Here’s who just won four seats on the Broward County Commission” via Lisa J. Huriash of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Nancy Metayer Bowen wins Coral Springs City Commission seat unopposed” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — Metayer Bowen will continue representing Seat 3 on the Coral Springs City Commission after no candidates filed to challenge her before the qualifying deadline. “I am humbled and honored to be re-elected to the Coral Springs City Commission with the strong support of our residents, families, and small-business owners,” Metayer Bowen said in a prepared statement. “Our victory reaffirms our community’s shared vision for a resilient, inclusive, and future-ready Coral Springs. I am committed to continuing our work, fostering community engagement, and advocating for policies that enhance the quality of life for all residents.”

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Glen Gilzean, a DeSantis appointee, won’t run for Orange elections chief; local races set” via Skyler Swisher and Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — Gilzean, DeSantis’ appointee as Orange County Supervisor of Elections, is not running to retain the post. “I will leave that next chapter to the next Supervisor,” Gilzean said in a social media post, as he vowed to run a smooth Presidential Election for Orange voters. Gilzean, a Republican, landed the job in March when DeSantis appointed him to fill the vacancy created upon longtime Democratic elections chief Bill Cowles’ retirement with about a year remaining in his term. Gilzean will remain in office until the new Supervisor takes over in January. Gilzean likely would have had a tough path to victory running as a Republican in one of Florida’s most Democratic counties.

Glen Gilzean is not looking to run for Orange County Supervisor of Elections.

Central Florida hoteliers list endorsements for House, local races” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association’s (CFHLA) PAC is endorsing four Republican incumbents running for re-election in the House. CFHLA endorses Rep. Rachel Plakon for House District 36, Rep. Susan Plasencia for House District 37, Rep. David Smith for House District 38 and Rep. Doug Bankson for House District 39. In addition, the powerful interest group is backing several Democrats and Republicans for county Boards, as well as candidates in the nonpartisan School Board races in Orange County. CFHLA represents approximately 80% of the more than 129,500 hotel rooms throughout the Central Florida Region, as well as more than 500 suppliers who work within the industry.

GOP Chair claims last-minute dirty trick played on popular incumbent” via Meta Minton of — The Chair of the Lake County Republican Party is crying foul after an alleged dirty trick at the last minute of filing time at the Supervisor of Elections Office. Anthony Sabatini has issued a statement describing the last-minute stunt that will block popular longtime Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker from running for re-election as a Republican. “As some of you may know, Carey Baker has a long-standing tradition of saving taxpayers and his supporters money by qualifying for re-election as a ‘write-in’ candidate instead of a party nominee when there are no other candidates filed. This saves his supporters money from paying the filing fee,” said Sabatini. He said that at 11:59 a.m., there were no candidates filed for the office of Lake County Property Appraiser other than Baker, a former state Senator. So, Baker filed for re-election as a write-in candidate, ensuring his automatic victory.

Osceola’s 1st Hispanic sheriff faces rough path to re-election” via Cristóbal Reyes of the Orlando Sentinel — With a crowd of hopefuls seeking to replace him, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos López is launching a re-election bid that may prove as tumultuous as his term in office. López has attracted attention since his 2020 Election for more than being Osceola’s first Hispanic sheriff. While he made good on some of his campaign promises — from expanding Spanish-language services to overseeing the agency’s first real-time crime monitoring center — his administration has been at the center of controversy in its handling of the 2022 killing of Jayden Baez and providing misleading information about botched drug trafficking prosecutions cited in the suspension of Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell. No surprise then that he drew four challengers in the Democratic Primary, most prominently his predecessor Russ Gibson, who was elected Osceola County Sheriff in 2016 but lost to López in the 2020 Primary by just 620 votes. Luis “Tony” Fernandez, a former deputy, will also run again, this time as a Democrat after López cruised to victory in the 2020 General Election with two-thirds of the vote while Fernandez ran with no party affiliation.

Mike Prendergast, David Vincent to square off for Citrus County Sheriff” via Mike Wright of Florida Politics — The Citrus County Sheriff’s race is down to two men. Sheriff Prendergast and Citrus County School District Police Chief Vincent will square off in a winner-take-all Republican Primary. Two challengers, retired state law enforcement Col. Calvin Adams Jr. and Inverness pastor Doug Alexander, did not qualify. Both Adams and Alexander announced their support for Vincent during the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum that occurred just moments after qualifying ended. They said the three challengers were able to meet recently and concluded their collective message has a better chance of defeating the incumbent. “It is imperative the vote not be split among so many like-minded candidates,” Adams said.

David Vincent and Mike Prendergast will face off for Citrus County Sheriff.

Traci Phillips elected unopposed in her first run for Citrus County Clerk” via Mike Wright of Florida Politics — Traci Phillips’ first term as Citrus County Clerk of Court will come without a single vote cast. Traci Phillips and three incumbents were elected to Citrus County offices without opposition following the close of ballot qualifying Friday. The daughter of former Citrus County Commissioner Vicki Phillips, Traci Philips’ lone Republican Primary challenger withdrew five weeks ago. Traci Phillips serves as Chief Deputy to Clerk of Courts Angela Vick, who is retiring after 12 years in office. A Citrus County native, Phillips has had a 23-year career at the Clerk’s Office. In 2018, she was promoted to Chief of Staff.

DeSantis vetoes $4.23M out of $10M proposed for Ellis Road widening” via Dave Berman of Florida Today — Funding for two large Space Coast transportation projects was vetoed out of the budget by DeSantis. DeSantis vetoed $4.23 million from a proposed $10 million allocation for pre-construction activities for a project to widen Ellis Road. That money would have come from the state transportation trust fund, according to Rep. Tyler Sirois, a Merritt Island Republican, who sponsored the Ellis Road funding proposal. The other $5.77 million remains in the budget and comes from the state’s general revenue fund. Sirois said the reduction in funding could extend the timeline for completion of the $80 million project. But Sirois added that he is pleased that there remains $5.77 million for the project in the just-signed 2024-25 budget.

Will a $1.6 billion highway save Central Florida’s Wekiva River — or doom it?” via Kevin Spear of the Orlando Sentinel — The new and extraordinary superhighway conceived as the savior of the imperiled Wekiva River has begun to reveal itself to environmentalists as the threat they had feared all along. Completing the $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway was a marathon, spanning decades of tough talks and compromise. Road builders and developers crusaded for the road to complete the 111-mile beltway around Orlando. Environmentalists and rural residents warned it would rip a destructive gash across the Wekiva and pump cookie-cutter housing into the region’s most cherished and valuable wild place. Today, the parkway, about 20 miles north of Orlando, stands as a tribute to environmental correctness. It features enormous wildlife underpasses, extensive fencing to hold black bears from harm’s way, a city’s worth of bat houses and a trio of bridges that soar over the river without touching its currents of spring water. Despite the apparent accomplishment, a proposed and controversial development of nearly 2,000 homes is now stirring fears about what’s in store for the fragile river and its surrounding landscape.

State funding for a new Student Achievement Center at Florida Poly survives DeSantis’ veto” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland is getting a major boost from the state for a new Student Achievement Center, securing $5.7 million in the upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25 for the project’s preliminary design. DeSantis signed the budget, leaving the line-item funding intact. He did veto one Florida Poly project though, a $3 million allocation for STEM program enhancements. The new budget takes effect July 1. The funding will come from the state’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) program. “We’re very excited about what the Student Achievement Center will mean for the future of our students and their success academically, personally, and professionally,” Florida Poly President Randy Avent said. “We appreciate Gov. DeSantis’ leadership and the Legislature’s ongoing support of Florida Poly and our strong STEM mission.”


Vincent Nowicki draws last-minute Primary challenge as he seeks to oust longtime Commissioner Charlie Justice” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — A second Republican has joined the race for Pinellas County Commission in District 3 in hopes of challenging incumbent Democrat Justice, who has not drawn a challenger. David Scott Leatherwood has filed and qualified for the race, a late start that leaves him at a big funding deficit behind Nowicki, who, as of the end of March, has raised nearly $55,000 for the race. Justice has raised nearly $33,000, though officially entered the race three months after Nowicki. Leatherwood is an influencer known for his conservative activism, particularly on his Instagram account, where he goes by the name “Brokeback Patriot.”

Vincent Nowicki is the last-minute Primary challenge to Charlie Justice.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Reprimand settles former Duval teacher Amy Donofrio’s fight over Black Lives Matter flag” via Steve Patterson of The Florida Times-Union — A former Duval County teacher who could have been barred from teaching over displaying a Black Lives Matter flag at school left a state disciplinary hearing with a simple reprimand for another matter and no punishment for the flag. “It’s a great day for her,” Donofrio’s attorney, Mark Richard, said following the ruling by a five-person panel from Florida’s Education Practices Commission, which administers penalties affecting teachers’ licenses. Donofrio, who taught English at Riverside High School when it was called Robert E. Lee High for the Confederate general, was removed from her class in 2021 after refusing to take down the BLM flag.

A simple reprimand means the end of Amy Donofrio’s battle for Black Lives Matter. Image via Amy Donofrio.

Dollar General shooting by racist gunman spurs state aid for poor Jacksonville neighborhoods” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — A pilot program in next year’s state budget will use $3 million for helping the part of Jacksonville where a White Clay County resident carrying a swastika-marked rifle killed three Black people at a Dollar General store. The racist rampage brought condemnations by Biden and DeSantis, a hate crime investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and emergency state funding for Edward Waters University to strengthen security at the historically Black college where the shooter stopped before going to the nearby Dollar General. The shooting also put renewed attention on the predominantly Black neighborhoods whose racial makeup made the store a target for the shooter.

Gator Bowl weighing options for site of 2027 game” via Cole Pepper of Florida Politics — Jacksonville’s City Council will vote on June 25 on the proposal to partner with the Jacksonville Jaguars on renovation plans for EverBank Stadium. If it passes, as it is expected to, the stadium’s tenants will know when they must vacate. The Jaguars’ plan as of now is to play in a reduced-capacity stadium in 2026 and then play the 2027 season somewhere else before returning to the newly renovated stadium for 2028. The decision also impacts the annual Georgia-Florida game and the Gator Bowl. Officials with the Gator Bowl have already begun exploring other options.

Emails about hemp farmer’s $237M gift to FAMU reveal ominous bank letter. What else?” via David Weissman of the Miami Herald — Before Florida A&M announced a questionable $237 million donation, the university received a striking email from the donor’s bank, raising a red flag that the historic gift may not be legitimate. Internal emails recently released by the university to The Sun News show that weeks before donor Gregory Gerami presented an oversized check at FAMU’s graduation ceremony, a Raymond James Financial Services executive told FAMU officials that previous assurances they provided of Gerami’s account balance were not accurate. “On Feb. 1 and March 1, 2024, Raymond James issued a letter to client, Gregory Gerami, reflecting the balance in his account,” Kirk Bell, a senior vice president at Raymond James, wrote on April 12. “Effective April 10, 2024, Raymond James will no longer provide a value for the securities in Gerami’s account and no longer stand by the verification of deposit letter you may have received.

‘Ed Bielarski show’: GRU Board fires manager, appoints resigning member to interim position” via Nora O’Neill of The Gainesville Sun — The Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority Board fired General Manager Tony Cunningham Wednesday night, with authority Chair Bielarski subsequently resigning from the Board and being named interim general manager. At a particularly tense meeting on Monday, Bielarski tried to fire Cunningham, but the vote failed 3-2. On Wednesday, authority member Craig Carter made a motion again to fire Cunningham, a move that came just days after Carter joked he would consider firing him to put him out of his misery in dealing with Bielarski and the utility. Wednesday’s vote passed 4-1 with Eric Lawson in dissent. The Board agreed to make Lawson Chair in Bielarski’s absence. “This is with [Cunningham’s] knowledge, not his happiness,” Carter said. “I should have fired him so he could go to bed that night … I feel we need to move forward.”


Collier County Commission formally condemns pro-abortion ballot initiative” via Michelle Vecerina of Florida’s Voice — The Collier County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday that condemns a pro-abortion ballot initiative to protect access constitutionally in Florida. Commission Chair Chris Hall proposed the resolution, which unanimously passed Tuesday with a 5-0 vote. The resolution cited the pro-abortion ballot initiative, Amendment 4, which is titled “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,” and will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot. “The Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida expresses its strong opposition to Amendment 4,” the resolution stated.

Chris Hall had proposed Collier County’s resolution against Amendment 4.

Sarasota County Commission Primary closed after person close to campaign files as write-in” via Derek Gilliam of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The daughter of a Sarasota County Commission candidate’s campaign worker closed the Republican Primary in August by registering as a write-in candidate, locking out independent and Democratic voters in balloting to decide who will represent District 1 the next four years. If no Democratic or write-in candidates had filed paperwork to qualify this week, the Aug. 20 Republican Primary would have been open to all voters in a race that pits Teresa Mast, a former Sarasota County Planning Commissioner, against Alexandra Coe, who previously served on the Sarasota County Charter Review Board. Current District 1 County Commissioner Mike Moran is precluded by term limits from running for re-election after representing the northeast Sarasota County area for the past eight years.

Write-in candidates file for Sarasota Hospital Board election to ensure closed GOP Primary” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Six people have filed to run as write-in candidates for the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, including a pair of North Port Republicans who share the same address at Gran Paradiso in Wellen Park. On Thursday, three of the six filed and qualified to run for the at-large Seat 1. On Wednesday, Donna Hurlock filed to run for at large Seat 2, while Curt Erlandson filed to run for at large Seat 3 and qualified Thursday. Those filings came on the same day that current Hospital Board Member Victor Rohe appeared at the ultraconservative America First Southwest Florida Caucus meeting and discussed the process required to file as a write-in candidate in general.

Judge approves dismissal of citizen activist’s lawsuit against Sarasota’s Kyle Battie” via Christian Casale of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — A Sarasota circuit Judge approved a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against City Commissioner Battie by local activist Kelly Franklin. Judge Stephen Walker concluded that Battie acted in his capacity as a public official at the January city meeting where he publicly accused Franklin of referring to him as a racial epithet in a Facebook post. Franklin has maintained that Battie’s “evidence” was a hoax and that the Commissioner was involved in a plot to destroy her credibility. She sued the Commissioner for defamation, conspiracy to defame and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Richard Tatem’s Manatee School Board seat to be filled by appointment upon resignation” via Jesse Mendoza of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — A School Board of Manatee County seat left vacant by Tatem two years early will be filled by an appointment made by DeSantis, despite calls to leave the decision up to voters during the November election. Tatem resigned from the School Board on May 30 to run for the House District 72 seat but said the departure would take effect on Nov. 5, leaving questions about the fate of his District 5 School Board seat up to legal interpretation. According to the state constitution, if the remainder of a Tatem’s School Board term is 28 months or longer, then the unexpired portion of the term shall be filled during the next General Election

Naples secures $31.5M for local projects in state budget, including the Naples Pier” via Laura Layden of the Naples Daily News — Naples secured $31.5 million for a trio of projects in next year’s state budget. The budget, signed by DeSantis, includes $25 million for a new coastal stormwater management system, $5 million for the rebuilding of Naples Pier, and $1.5 million for lake restoration. City Manager Jay Boodheshwar shared the good news via email, saying the city is “extremely grateful to the Governor” for approving the funding. However, he noted the city didn’t get all of its projects approved, which came as a disappointment. The Governor vetoed funding for two of the city’s projects, as part of his larger efforts to trim the budget state lawmakers sent him.

North Port readies referendum to ask voters to allow city to borrow without asking public” via Earle Kimel of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — North Port city staff will start crafting a referendum to ask voters to loosen the purse strings to allow the officials to borrow some money without public approval. Voters would still have to approve borrowing through bonds backed by property taxes. In addition to voting to direct city staff to bring an ordinance back to set the referendum, the City Commission also wants to see a debt management plan similar to those used by some other governments to outline how much North Port can safely borrow and repay through bonds, as well as short-term loans. North Port is the only known municipality in Florida that does not have the ability to borrow without voter approval.


What I learned during my visit to the U.S.-Mexico border” via Jason Shoaf for the Tallahassee Democrat — A few weeks ago, I joined a handful of other state legislators from across the nation to tour the U.S. Mexico border in Texas. I saw violence, crime and drugs flowing through the border at a rapid pace. The illegal immigrants are overwhelming the system, threatening our families, and spreading lethal substances throughout our communities.

I believe that ensuring the safety of our communities is one of the most important roles of government. That requires the federal government to secure our borders and enforce the law. But the Biden administration has done just the opposite.

During my time at the border, I felt as though I was transported to a third-world country and witnessing a horror scene. We visited Eagle Pass, one of the busiest border points, where last year, as many as 4,000 unauthorized encounters were recorded daily.

It was heartbreaking to think of my own family pursuing this difficult journey to find freedom and build a better life. But the reality is a large portion of the migrants coming through do not have pure intentions. Last year, Border Patrol arrested more than 35,000 of them who had criminal convictions or outstanding warrants nationwide. Hundreds of them were members of gangs.

It is a serious national crisis, and it requires a real federal solution. If President Biden is not capable and willing to manage it, it’s time we have a President and Congress who can and will.


Biden should assume the polls are right, not wrong” via The Washington Post editorial board — Biden has a polling problem, and he needs to admit it. The President trails presumptive GOP nominee Trump by an average of around 1 percentage point. Biden’s approval rating hovers around 38% — one of the lowest for a sitting President in decades. The picture is worse in swing states, with Biden trailing in five of the six that he won in 2020. Trump was leading Biden by 12% in Nevada and 10% in Georgia. For months, Democratic strategists, the Biden campaign and even the President himself have failed to make sense of the numbers. The hope was that, as the economy improved, so, too, would Biden’s political fortunes.

The Hunter Biden and Trump trials were a litmus test. Only the Bidens passed.” via Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post — That a prosecutor appointed by felon and former President Trump should bring a case of the type so rarely charged only heightened the queasy feeling that Hunter Biden was forced to bear the burden of being a President’s son. “As former President Donald Trump complains that he is a victim of selective prosecution for his brazen attempts to defy a federal subpoena, Hunter Biden may actually be experiencing it,” David Graham wrote for The Atlantic. Even a juror said the prosecution was a “waste” of tax dollars. The reaction of many MAGA types and their captive right-wing media — seemingly disappointed that the allegedly “rigged” judicial system apparently wasn’t so rigged after all — was one sign of the moral chasm and twisted logic that has come to define MAGA-era politics. On every score, the Biden family, throughout the public ordeal, exemplified dignity, decency, and the sort of unconditional love that many endlessly needy narcissists and other damaged adults were denied as children.

Gov. DeSantis, where’s the real homeowners insurance fix for Florida?” via Linda Grosz for The Palm Beach Post — I think it’s safe to say that “we Floridians are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore” regarding the current home insurance crisis. Many homeowners across the state have been dropped by the insurer of last resort that was created to protect us from going bare and being gouged by outrageous insurance prices. We are being forced to go without windstorm coverage, find insurance that offers very little real protection, and for this we have to pay double or more what we would normally pay. It’s outrageous and it must be stopped.

Bill that says it’s OK to shoot bears ‘breaking bad’ fashioned in fiction” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix — Florida produces a lot of wild animal stories. I mean stories about animals that are WI-I-I-I-LD. Pythons battle alligators for supremacy in the Everglades! Giant snails proliferate after they’re smuggled into Miami by a religious cult that thought drinking the mucus would make them healthy! Two idiots stuff three endangered Key deer into their car and the police officers stop them for a busted taillight — because one of the deer kicked it out! There was another such story last week. A bear was swimming across the St. Johns River when an alligator popped up and tried to take a bite. The bear swatted it away. Then a SECOND gator tried to make a meal out of Yogi. The bear just pushed by it, then climbed up on the riverbank. The kayaker who filmed this round of WWE (Wild Wildlife Encounters) told TV station WKMG that the bear seemed “kind of annoyed.” This is also the way I picture Florida’s bears reacting to the news that House Bill 87 has been sent to the Governor for him to sign or veto.


— ALOE —

‘Inside Out 2’ returns Pixar to box office heights” via Brooks Barnes of The New York Times — Pixar is finally back in fighting form. The Disney-owned animation studio’s 28th movie, “Inside Out 2,” arrived with $155 million in estimated North American ticket sales from Thursday night through Sunday, ending a cold streak that began in March 2020, when theaters closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the second-biggest opening weekend in Pixar’s 29-year history, trailing only the superhero sequel “Incredibles 2,” which arrived to about $180 million in 2018. “They’re back,” David A. Gross, a film consultant who publishes a newsletter on box office numbers, said of Pixar. “This is a sensational opening.”

Inside Out 2 ends a cold snap for Pixar.

Bay scallop season opened this weekend in Dixie County, parts of Taylor and Levy” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — Bay scallop season is here. Beginning Saturday, June 15, scalloping will be permitted in the Fenholloway-Suwannee River Zone, which includes Dixie County, portions of Taylor County, including Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee, and a portion of Levy County. The season in that zone will remain open through Labor Day, which is Sept. 2. The zone’s daily bag limit from June 15-30 is 1 gallon of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 cup of shucked bay scallop meat. Those limits are per person, with a maximum of 5 gallons of whole scallops or 2 pints of shucked scallop meat per vessel. From July 1 through Labor Day, the limit is 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole scallops or a half gallon of scallop meat per vessel.


Best wishes to Republican political consultant Brett Doster, Donna Main, Kristin Piccolo, top lobbyist Toby Philpot, Rep. Rachel Saunders Plakon, and Sharon Smoley, founder of Central Florida Public Affairs.


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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