On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis launched an education agenda focused on influencing local school board races in the 2022 election cycle.
Titled “The DeSantis Education Agenda: Putting Parents First, Protecting Parents’ Rights,”, the policy focuses on issues related to student success, parental rights and curriculum transparency.”
According to the website, “The DeSantis Education Agenda is a student-first, parent-centered initiative focused on setting Florida’s children up for success, ensuring parental rights in education, and combatting the woke agenda from infiltrating public schools….This statewide agenda is for school board candidates and school board members who are committed to advancing these priorities at the local school board level.”
In a statement provided to The Federalist, DeSantis championed the launch of the agenda, saying that “Florida has delivered the most student-focused, parent-centered education agenda in the nation” at a time when “curriculum in states around the country are being used as opportunities to indoctrinate innocent children.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning and labeled the potential “blockade” of the Supreme Court by pro-choice groups as an “insurrection.”
DeSantis was referring to the publicized plans of ShutDownDC, a left-wing group which announced it was hosting a “shut down SCOTUS” protest on June 13, with plans to “blockade” the streets surrounding the Supreme Court in light of a potential decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
The group announced the protest plans on their website. “On June 13, one of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision days, we plan to blockade the streets around the Supreme Court to rise up for the transformative change that our communities need,” the website states. “Right now our political system is in crisis. Times of crisis can either be opportunities to break through the inertia and win transformational change or they can be opportunities for the establishment to further entrench the status quo.”
DeSantis said on Fox & Friends that group is “trying to change the outcome of decisions that they are concerned that they don’t like and that is totally antithetical to the rule of law…That would be considered an insurrection: to stop a court from functioning, and yet they seem to be able to get away with a lot more than if the shoe were on the other foot.”
“I think that we have a rule of law in this country and you don’t just get to have a mob descend on a Supreme Court Justice’s house or try to impede the operations of government because there may be a decision you don’t like,” DeSantis added.
Supported by environmentalists, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) vetoed a controversial measure (SB2508) tied to Everglades restoration last week. In the veto letter, DeSantis noted the possibility that the legislation could have a negative impact on Everglades restoration projects.
“While the bill that was ultimately passed by the Legislature is an improvement over what was initially filed, SB 2508 still creates unnecessary and redundant regulatory hurdles which may compromise the timely execution and implementation of Everglades restoration projects, water control plans and regulation schedules,” DeSantis wrote in the letter submitted to Secretary of State Cord Byrd.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made it clear that he does not support the call for a special session on gun laws as proposed by several legislators.
Last week State Rep. Joseph Geller, D-Miami-Dade, sent a letter to all state lawmakers and the Florida secretary of state in an attempt to have a special session called to address gun violence.
In order for a special session to be granted, 60% of the lawmakers in the house and senate would have to approve the request. The governor could also issue a proclamation calling for the special session.
On Wednesday, DeSantis responded to the request by noting that Florida has adopted a number laws to address gun violence.
DeSantis said, “What we’ve done in this budget is have record funding, continued record funding for school safety and school security as well as mental health. We’ve done three-quarters of a billion dollars just for school security, just since 2019, so we took the Stoneman Douglas recommendations, we put those into effect in both policy and with resources and it’s made a really, really big difference.”
DeSantis then took a shot at the “leftist.”
During a recent interview with David Rubin, Gov. DeSantis explained his actions related to Disney and their position on the Parental Rights in Education bill.
DeSantis told Rubin that early in the 2022 Florida legislative session he became aware that activists would be pushing a false narrative about the Parental Rights in Education legislation around the “Don’t Say Gay” slogan.
DeSantis said, “I started fighting back against them because they were just lying to people and it’s offensive when they’re lying and so we start fighting back and I would literally have these reporters, I’d say ‘okay where does it say that in the bill?’ okay it doesn’t say that in the bill what does it say?”
DeSantis then discussed Disney’s decision to get involved with opposing the legislation.
DeSantis said, “Then you had this situation where you had the corporations, mostly Disney, deciding to get involved and I think people look at that they’re like first of all I don’t know why they got involved in this, it was a huge mistake for them …. I think they’ve lost 60 billion in market cap since they got involved.”
Florida Democrat House member Anna Eskamani was quick to politicize the mass shooting that took place at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday where reports indicate that 19 students and two teachers were killed in the shooting.
Eskamani tweeted out at 4:34 p.m. on Tuesday, “All these ‘pro-life’ politicians don’t seem to give a damn about our kids being shot in their own schools.”
An analysis by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing agency, showed that Florida attracted a record number of tourists during the first three months of 2022. The numbers, which were released this past Friday, surpassed totals reported for similar time periods before the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the hospitality and leisure industry.
The analysis estimates that 35.982 million people traveled to Florida between the start of January and the end of March. Florida has now recorded four consecutive quarters attracting more than 30 million visitors.
“Our Q1 visitation estimates show that 2022 is shaping up to be another amazing year for Florida tourism,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “In addition to breaking more pre-pandemic records domestically, we are seeing an exponential rebound in Orlando as well as our international numbers, which we expect to continue in the months ahead.
Earlier this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill that established November 7 as the “Victims of Communism Day” where Florida will honor the hundreds of millions “who suffered under communist regimes across the world.”
At a recent Leon County School Board meeting, Superintendent Rocky Hanna used a misleading CNN fact-check to publicly criticize Governor DeSantis’ rationale for the Parental Rights in Education bill, while ignoring facts related to a lawsuit filed against the school district.
The CNN fact-check uses selective comments from a DeSantis press conference, related to an incident which took place at a Leon County middle school, to question the rationale for the Parental Rights in Education bill.
The incident involved the failure of school officials to notify parents about a meeting with their daughter concerning gender issues. The parents have filed a federal lawsuit against the Leon County School Board.
Hanna, reading DeSantis’s comments from the CNN fact-check, said that “none of this happened, none of this is true, it is all fabricated…”
While DeSantis’s comments about the specifics of the incident were partly inaccurate, Hanna ignored facts that were consistent with the comments made by DeSantis.
What Hanna did not reveal in his comments to the school board is that school officials initiated an interview with the student as part of a “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Student Support Plan” without including the parents.
A misleading CNN fact check related to the Parental Rights in Education bill is being used by some in the Florida statewide media to promote incomplete information related to Governor DeSantis rationale for the legislation.
The fact check – which was published last week – notes that “On several occasions since signing the bill into law, DeSantis has highlighted the story of a woman named January Littlejohn, a registered Republican, who says she was not fully consulted about the school’s gender-affirming plan for her child.”
CNN uses the fact that Ms. Littleljohn initially told school officials – in an email- “that she would not stop her child from using preferred pronouns or name of choice at school” as inconsistent with the DeSantis statement that the school did not get the mother’s consent to address the her daughter’s gender identity issues.
However, what the CNN analysis does not include is the fact that Leon County school officials went beyond Ms. Littlejohn’s initial consent- related to pronouns and name choice – and initiated an interview with their child as part of a “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Student Support Plan.”
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) promised to enact a new policy that will see all illegal aliens in the state bussed up to Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.
As reported by Fox News, DeSantis made the announcement shortly after signing the No Patients Left Behind Act into law. After signing the bill into law, he voiced his opposition to the Biden Administration’s plans to end Title 42, the highly successful Trump-era policy that largely shut down immigration into the country due to the health risk of so many illegals flooding into the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not long after signing the Parental Rights in Education bill into law on Monday, Governor DeSantis’ office fielded questions about concerns related to possible boycotts of Florida businesses.
Critics of the bill have used the “Don’t Say Gay” slogan to generate opposition to the legislation. This opposition has included protests and employment boycotts aimed at the Disney Corporation.
Christian Pushaw, Governor DeSantis spokesperson, tweeted that a reporter had inquired about possible backlash in Florida from the new law.
The reporter said “in other states we have seen boycotts and business impacts from controversial bills, is this a concern in Florida…that tourism could be impacted, as it still rebounds from the pandemic.”
During the 2022 legislative session Florida Republicans took actions to distance themselves from some of Florida’s biggest corporations – Governor DeSantis called out Disney, and the Florida Legislature let a corporate income tax break expire.
The publisher of floridapolitics.com, Peter Schorsch, tweeted that corporations “got (royally) screwed during Session.” This assessment goes against the traditional narrative that corporate political donations pad Republican campaign accounts and tax breaks and lax regulation follow.
The most public rebuke of corporate interests was on display during the controversy between Governor DeSantis and Disney CEO Bob Chapek as related to the Parental Rights in Education legislation. The controversy made headlines across the U.S. and put the two powerful executives in a very public battle.
A day after Chapek publicly condemned the bill that would ban classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity before fourth grade, DeSantis ripped Disney before a roomful of supporters. He called Disney a “Woke corporation” and criticized its business interests in China.”
But Chapek should not have been surprised by the DeSantis response.
As wildfires rage across Florida’s Panhandle, three of Florida’s four cabinet members traveled to the region to assess the damage and offer state support. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis (R), and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried all traveled to the Panama City region to assess the three wildfires in the Bay County area.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is looking into allegations that North Miami voters were receiving help in completing ballots in voting booths from election officials and other government employees.
The findings were first reported by the Miami Herald.
Florida law allows voters to request assistance in the voting booth if proper procedures are followed. The procedure requires voting assistants to complete a form swearing that the voter sought their help. The voters, if they have never previously asked for assistance, must fill out a separate form swearing that they requested it.
However, the concern in North Miami is with the number of people seeking assistance and those who are helping the voters. Records indicate that more than two-thirds of the assisted voters were helped by city employees or campaign workers.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried promoted false information in a political attack related to Governor DeSantis’s support for $80 million in infrastructure funds allocated to South Florida projects.
Fried, who recently compared DeSantis to Adolf Hitler, is currently facing fundraising challenges in her race against U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
DeSantis recently announced more than $80 million in awards to South Florida communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. DeSantis noted that the funding received through the grant program will enhance community infrastructure, support the environment, and mitigate against damage from future storms.
As political partisans weigh-in against Governor DeSantis’ election security proposal which calls for an election oversight police force, recent reports indicate the presence of petition signature fraud in at least six Florida counties related to a gambling petition drive.
The election security proposal by DeSantis would put in place a special police force to help regulate state elections. The Office of Election Crimes and Security would be created in the Department of State. The proposal seeks approximately $6 million to hire 52 people to enforce election laws.
Critics note that the law could be used to intimidate voters.
“My number one concern is that this is going to be used as a tool to harass or intimidate civic-engagement organizations and voters,” said Jonathan Diaz, a voting rights lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center.
One state legislator pointed out the new office is not needed since Florida has had no issues during recent elections.
Former President Donald J. Trump (R) criticized politicians who have not announced if they have received their booster shot referring to them as “gutless” Many pundits theorized that Trump was hinting at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The campaign for U.S. Representative and Democratic candidate in Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial race Charlie Crist announced $670,000 raised in December to round out 2021 and make his starting cash on hand for 2022, $3.8 million.
December fundraising numbers for Crist’s campaign were initially reported by Florida Politics on Tuesday, prior to official numbers being released by the Florida Elections Commission (FEC) late Monday. The actual number was $670,833.25.
Weeks after being arrested and charged with perjury, two Republican county commissioners in Sumter County were suspended from office Thursday by Governor Ron DeSantis in the first two executive orders of 2022 (EO 22-01 and EO 22-02).
Until their cases are settled, Governor DeSantis ordered the immediate suspension of commissioners Oren Miller of District 5, and Gary Robert Search of District 1, who were arrested on December 15th and charged for lying during an investigation into possible violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law.
Despite the surge in the new COVID-19 Omicron variant that is especially prominent in Florida, the number of new unemployment claims during the week that ended on December 25th was the lowest since before the pandemic during the same time period in 2019.
According to a news release by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) on Thursday, the number of initial unemployment claims in Florida for that week was only 3,982 – down 1,178 from 5,160 the week before.
Last week, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced Florida’s juvenile arrest rate reached a 46-year low. Specifically, the arrest rate is down 51 percent in the last five years. The DJJ praised the findings and the work of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and First Lady Casey DeSantis for their efforts and expanding access to opportunities to Florida’s youth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now advising people to avoid going on cruises or cruise ships regardless of if they have received their COVID shots, or not. The federal agency made the new recommendations after a recent spike in COVID cases aboard cruise ships.
The latest General Revenue (GR) report – released last Thursday – from the Florida Department of Revenue shows that revenue collections continue to exceed expectations. The November numbers continues a series of monthly reports of higher-than-projected revenues.
The report comes ahead of the 2022 Florida legislative session which begins in January and is good news for lawmakers, in part, because general revenue plays a critical role in determining the state budget.
In addition, the November jobs report revealed Florida’s job growth was six times faster than the nation
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (D) criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) this week saying the governor has been absent from helping local communities against the fight from the omicron variant of COVID.
“Our residents, all Florida residents, should be outraged and they should ask the question, ‘Where is our state? Where is our governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now?’ When is the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing on COVID-19?” said Jerry Demings.
Ahead of the turn of the new year and the 2022 legislative session that begins on January 11th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his appointments for the first three of five seats in the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) on Wednesday.
The three appointments include Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Julie Imanuel Brown, Chief of Staff at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Michael Yaworksy, and Founder and President of Drago Professional Consultants, Charles Drago.
Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker announced he would be hearing arguments next month over Florida’s most recent election integrity law, known in the Florida Legislature as SB 90. Walker rejected the state’s motion for a summary judgment and insisted on hearing the case.
The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The new law adds requirements for ballot drop boxes and mail-in voting. For example, the drop boxes will have to be manned by a staff member at the supervisor of elections office, and voters will have to request mail-in ballots each election cycle every two years.
After the Florida Capital Star broke the story regarding the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) removal of LGBT bullying resources from left-wing groups, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) repurposed resources and posted them to the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS) site.
Many of the resources consist of anti-bullying resources, though not all are expressly described as “LGBT” anti-bullying resources. However, the main heading of the site designates the links as being categorized as “LGBTQ+” as well as providing a brief timeline of Fried’s efforts to advocate for the LGBT community as agriculture commissioner.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently appointed Eric Hall to be the new head of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and his doctoral-level dissertation from 2014 has some scratching their heads.
According to POLITICO, Hall was a previous endorser of Critical Race Theory (CRT) when he wrote his final work while at the University of South Florida. Hall described CRT as a good “framework” for the public education system to engage is racial disparity discussions.
A Tampa federal judge on Wednesday backed Florida’s request to block a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal contractors.
U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday issued a 38-page decision in response to a request by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody for a preliminary injunction against the requirement.
Merryday ruled that Florida had demonstrated a “likely irreparable harm to sovereign interests absent a stay” due to the federal guidance requiring a vaccination requirement that is prohibited in Sections 112.0441 and 308.00317, Florida Statutes.
After the ruling, Moody stated, “Proud to secure an injunction in our case to stop @JoeBiden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Floridians should not have to choose b/w the vaccine & their careers. There is still a lot of fight left in us & we will continue to push back against unlawful fed overreach.”
Governor Ron DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw cited a quote from the ruling on her Twitter account: “The absence of evidence…suggests a ruse, a mere contrivance, superficially attempting to justify a sweeping, invasive, and unprecedented public health requirement imposed unilaterally by President Biden.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, along with the state’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, and Attorney General Ashley Moody, held a meeting Monday of the State Board of Administration (SBA) to “take action against communist China and woke corporations.”
As stated in a press release by the Governor’s Office, the meeting was an attempt t0, “revoke all proxy voting authority that has been given to outside fund managers, to clarify the state’s expectation that all fund managers should act solely in the financial interest of the state’s funds, and to conduct a survey of all of the investments of the Florida Retirement System to determine how many assets the state has in Chinese companies.”
After more than three months of COVID-19 cases declining weekly since the summer spike in Florida, the holiday season welcomed in a new spike in cases due to the new Omicron variant that began Thanksgiving Day weekend and has boomed into the month of December.
According to the weekly COVID-19 case report provided by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), the 13-week continuous decline of weekly cases ended on the weekend of November 26th through December 2nd, and recorded 10,875 new cases – a 1,234 increase from the previous week that recorded 9,641.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released the November jobs report along with labor force statistics, and the unemployment rate in Florida dropped to 4.5 percent. Compared to one year ago, the rate was a 5.4 percent.
State officials say the continued drop is more indication the “open for business” policies in Florida have kept Florida’s economy recovering from the pandemic-induced economic slow-down.
Florida progressives are calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to declare a state of emergency regarding housing affordability, and DeSantis is redirecting the angst toward President Joe Biden (D) and Democrats whose policies, he says, are raising rent costs.
More than approximately two dozen Florida Democrat lawmakers penned a letter saying Floridians can no longer afford to pay rent and called on Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) to “enact price gouging consumer protections for renters.”
Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Earley, told The Florida Capital Star that he has begun the process of removing seven felons from the Leon County voter registration system. Earley noted that all seven voted in the 2020 general election.
The voters were discovered by a private citizen who forwarded 12 names to Earley’s office. Earley told The Florida Capital Star that after research by his office it was determined that seven of the voters were convicted sex offenders and should not have been allowed to register to vote. Earley said further research is needed to determine the fate of the other four names.
Earley said that his office takes all input from citizens seriously and in this case there were problems with several registered voters.
Yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a new preventative monoclonal treatment will be available for immunocompromised Floridians like cancer patients and transplant recipients. DeSantis said the new product from AstraZeneca, a pre-exposure prophylactic called Evusheld, is the newest development in Florida’s fight against COVID.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made two stops in rural north Florida counties yesterday to announce the millions of dollars being granted to the respective communities.
DeSantis’ first stop was in Nassau County, north of Jacksonville where he emphasized the money being granted out of the Job Growth Grant Fund will go to workforce development.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced at a press conference yesterday the unveiling of new anti-woke legislation referred to as the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act. After DeSantis banned Critical Race Theory (CRT) from Florida’s schools he said this is the next step in legislation to fight back against “woke indoctrination.”
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of requiring prospective university board of trustee members to donate $100,000 to his campaign. In turn, he would grant appointments to university boards.
Former President Donald. J. Trump and conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly made a stop in Orlando for their “History Tour” where they discussed the last few years and the challenges that came with being president. While on stage, Trump said that he would have to consider running again in 2024.
“I said loud and clear,” the former president said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We won the first time, and the second time we won by even more. And it looks like we might have to think about that very strongly a third time.”
O’Reilly reminded the audience that it was not a Trump rally, but a conversation with the former president and that they were “going to talk about very serious things.”
The University of Florida is launching an internal investigation after a report came out showing a culture of fear, political influence, and pressure to destroy COVID-related research data. Vice President of UF Research David Norton made the announcement last week by email.
As campaign finance reports for November were filed by 2022 gubernatorial candidates and officially released by the Florida Division of Elections on Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign finance report showed that his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, raised $4,593,936.
DeSantis, who had been fundraising for his campaign well before his official campaign announcement, now has $67 million in cash on hand from a variety of contributors who donated from as low as $1, to as high as $500,000 in November.
At a press conference in Jacksonville yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced his desire to implement an $8 million program to transport illegal aliens out of Florida. Also a part of the plan would be to limit access to state contracts for contractors that hire and transport illegal immigrants “knowingly and recklessly.”
Yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced his plans for Florida’s 2022 budget, which is expected to come to a total of $99.7 billion. Last year, Florida’s budget eclipsed $100 billion for the first time in state history. The slight decrease in state revenue is due, in large part, to the economy rebounding from the effects of the COVID pandemic.
The Florida Commission on Ethics announced yesterday it found probable cause that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) violated state law when she failed to disclose more than $350,000 in lobbying income when she ran for her current post.
At a press conference in Oldsmar, Fla., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a statewide flooding resiliency plan and is asking lawmakers for millions of dollars of environmental spending. In total, DeSantis is seeking $276 million in proposed funding for 76 state projects within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as part of the 2022 Florida budget.
DeSantis said that Florida is a state with flooding issues, and he’s just addressing the need for environmental infrastructure without “a bunch of left-wing things.”
After the Florida Capital Star uncovered the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) removed links and resources to LGBT advocacy groups, notable Florida progressives chimed in to criticize the FDOE and the Gov. Ron DeSantis administration.
Florida’s military budget could receive more than $100 million in funding as Governor Ron DeSantis announced multiple proposals on Thursday that aim to support Florida’s National Guard, and establish a “civilian volunteer force,” known as the “Florida State Guard.”
According to the Governor’s Office, his proposals would further support the National Guard in giving them extras hands in helping with state-specific emergencies such as natural disasters.
Florida Sen. Manny Diaz (R-FL-36) is sponsoring legislation that would expand opportunities for students to be able to attend a school of their choice through a voucher program. SB 506 would amend the Hope Scholarship program to permit students who attend school districts who are not complying with state law to apply for the program and receive a voucher.
Last week, the Florida Capital Star reported on two Duval County, Florida men being charged and arrested for fraudulently registering dead people to vote. It was revealed that the two men were working as employees for a petition and canvassing company, Grassfire.
Since the story broke, Grassfire has said they hired the two men in June 2021 to work as petitioners, not to register voters.