Democrats’ Dreams Turn to Dust as Adjudicated Redistricting Maps Set the Stage for Large Republican Gains in 2022

The Democratic Party’s hopes of gaining seats from redistricting have been crushed as court decisions and an increasingly aggressive GOP produced more Republican-friendly maps.

Democrats were initially optimistic that they could mitigate projected midterm losses in the House when it appeared they were poised to score wins in the redistricting process. However, the party’s hopes have been dashed after key losses in major states erased their redistricting advantage.

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Commentary: The Right Should Not Protect Woke Capital

Disney's Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

For nearly 70 years, families have traveled to Disney for vacation, not indoctrination.

Sadly, America’s preeminent entertainment company has joined a growing list of corporations bent on pushing woke ideologies.

For decades, Congress has unthinkingly supported these companies. Conservatives need to reassess whether Disney’s bottom line is worth protecting.  

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DeSantis Signs Law Enforcement Bill into Law, Includes Signing Bonuses for Officers Who Move to Florida

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed into law a measure that incentivizes law enforcement officers to move to or stay in the state through monetary awards.

“While other parts of the country are mistreating, marginalizing and defunding law enforcement, in Florida we continue to prioritize and appreciate our law enforcement officers,” DeSantis said during a Friday news conference while accompanied by Attorney General Ashley Moody and House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “This legislation encourages Floridians to pursue careers in law enforcement and attracts high quality law enforcement officers from other states who are sick and tired of the mistreatment they experience to bring their skills to Florida. From $1,000 scholarships to $5,000 bonuses to $25,000 adoption incentives, we are putting our money where our mouth is, and we are backing the blue.”

HB 3 includes a wide range of law enforcement initiatives, including incentives to encourage both out-of-state residents and Floridians to join state and local law enforcement agencies. It includes signing bonuses for every new recruit, costs covered for training programs and relocation expenses, pay raises and $1,000 bonuses. The bill also created a Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program for children of law enforcement officers, and adoption benefits for officers.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Families, Patients from Filing Lawsuits Against Healthcare Providers over COVID

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill this week that at least 35 organizations asked him to veto. Now health-care providers have liability protection from being sued by patients and family members over COVID-19-related injuries, deaths and refusal to try available treatment.

The new law provides liability protection to health-care providers that follow “government-issued health standards” that “include the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, which many say aren’t working,” the groups wrote in a letter to DeSantis. “Some medical professionals have stated that these CDC protocols have led to unnecessary medicines, ventilation and deaths.”

Shawn McBride, director of The American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. who led the 35-group coalition asking DeSantis to veto the bill, told The Center Square that while DeSantis “signed a bill that may allow CDC protocols to continue in some hospitals, we’ve laid the foundation to help more folks get to medical freedom.”

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$10 Million Grants Awarded for Semiconductor Manufacturing in Central Florida

semiconductor

With chip and semiconductor shortages expected to last through the year, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida is continuing its investment in local technology initiatives to strengthen the economy and job growth and eventually offset future production delays.

Osceola County and Valencia College received nearly $10 million in funding through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support semiconductor and other advanced technology manufacturing in the county.

The award includes $6 million to assist with developing infrastructure connecting the county’s emerging NeoCity technology district with its workforce, and $3.7 million to Valencia College to develop a new program that will train students in utilizing robotics technology for semiconductor manufacturing. The two awards are designed to help create manufacturing jobs and develop a talent pipeline to support industry growth.

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Commentary: The Vaccine Mandate Assault on the Common Good

Joe Biden

As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue. 

United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.

Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida. 

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Commentary: Florida Governor DeSantis Strikes Back Against Big Tech Censorship

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

After months of aggressively censoring what it called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Facebook recently announced that it would no longer block user posts claiming that the coronavirus was “man-made” or “manufactured.” That’s because those posts, which typically referenced the work of scientists who supported the idea of a possible coronavirus “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now appear to have been credible.

This entire episode should be extremely embarrassing for Facebook, a company so confident it has cornered the market on “truth” that it has made it their prerogative to “fact-check” individual user posts, banning anything that fails to comport with Silicon Valley’s extreme left-wing view of reality. Last year, Facebook banned an ad from the American Principles Project PAC claiming Joe Biden and the Democrats would destroy girls’ sports by supporting policies that allowed boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls.

Facebook said the ad was “missing context,” and so our PAC wasn’t allowed to communicate with voters. On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he signed an executive order specifically allowing these boys to compete in girls’ sports.

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DeSantis Announces Special Election to Replace Congressman Alcee Hastings

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he would sign an executive order to set the date for the special election to replace recently deceased Congressman Alcee Hastings who represented Florida’s 20th Congressional District.  The date scheduled for the special primary election is November 2nd, 2021; and January 11th, 2022 for the special general election.

Since the death of Hastings, Democrats have been pressing DeSantis to set the dates for the special election. One candidate, Rev. Elvin Dowling, filed a federal lawsuit to force DeSantis into setting the date. In past circumstances when a special election was necessary, the average amount of time between a seat becoming vacant and being filled is approximately 4 months, whereas the seat left vacant by Hastings will remain unfilled for approximately 9 months.

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Florida Teachers’ Unions Fought Against Raises

The pandemic has made it clear to parents that teachers’ unions don’t represent the interests of students. And while, in theory, the union should serve the interests of teachers, in practice they have another master: the Democratic Party. When these interests don’t align, the result can be fascinating political contortions – as when Florida teachers’ unions fought against pay raises provided by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

In October 2019, DeSantis declared that 2020 would be the “year of the teacher.” Despite the massive budgetary uncertainty presented by COVID, in March 2020 DeSantis requested $600 million for teacher raises and $300 million for teacher bonuses. The legislature delivered $500 million for raises and $100 million for bonuses, which Jacob Oliva, chancellor of the Division of Public Schools in the Florida Department of Education, described as “the single largest compensation increase ever in Florida and a statement to the nation that Florida is elevating the teaching profession.”

One might expect teachers’ unions to applaud DeSantis and call on other governors to follow his lead. Instead, some local teachers’ unions actually fought against the raises, effectively keeping money out of their own members’ pockets.

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Addresses Marijuana, DeSantis, and Democrats

Nikki Fried

  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried recently appeared on Facing South Florida, with Jim DeFede and responded to questions related to medical marijuana, Governor DeSantis and her political future. Provided below is a summary of the interview. Jim Defede: You ran on legalizing medicinal marijuana and you want to move…

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