Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
The wheel of political folly that was U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s “Rescue America” plan keeps turning. President Joe Biden, during his State of the Union address this week and while on political tour, keeps accusing Republicans of going after Social Security and Medicare thanks to what’s known as sunset language in Scott’s plan. Regardless of whether the GOP supports it (and they don’t), the “Rescue America” plan keeps handing Scott losses almost a year after he rolled it out. Republicans likely hope it hasn’t handed Biden one winning strategy going into 2024.
Rick Christie -
Rick Christie, executive editor of The Palm Beach Post, picked up a win this week when a judge wouldn’t level sanctions against the newspaper. The Post named State Attorney Dave Aronberg in a lawsuit seeking grand jury documents that may show why prosecutors soft-pedaled their initial case against the late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. But Aronberg, who was eventually dropped from the suit, is making noise he will go after sanctions once more.
Ben Crump -
When Will Smith shows up at your event, you know you’ve made it. St. Thomas University's law school this week named itself after Ben Crump, the nation’s leading human-rights attorney. Not that Crump, who’s become the spiritual heir to Thurgood Marshall and now represents the family of Tyre Nichols, needs the validation. But he is only the second Black American to have a law school named after him. The first? Thurgood Marshall.
Luis Soler -
Luis Soler, the Iraq War veteran who’s director of the Florida State Guard, might be getting a whole lot more money to use. The guard is “the state's civilian defense force that assists Floridians during natural disasters or man-made emergencies,” its website says. The force is a creation of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who proposes increasing its funding from $10 million to $95 million. And as we’ve learned, pretty much whatever Ron wants, Ron gets.
Craig Damon -
The Florida High School Athletic Association voted to not ask about the menstruation history of female athletes on required forms. That was after the recommendation of its executive director, Craig Damon, and following outcry from several legislators and organizations. Before the vote, 14-2 in favor of scrapping the questions, one board member said he was “inundated” with comments and questions. But instead, the FHSAA did change one field on the form to “sex assigned at birth.”
Melody Lynch -
The DeSantis administration is looking to revoke the liquor license of the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation after one of its venues hosted a drag event that children attended. While the venue can still sell alcohol for the time being, it's having to contend with six pending civil counts of state law violations while being at the center of a media firestorm. As the foundation’s president, Melody Lynch is having a very bad week, we think.
Pierre Rutledge -
The chair of Miami-Dade County’s Black Affairs Advisory Board apologized on behalf of the body after one of its members called the governor “racist” last week. Pierre Rutledge said the comment didn’t reflect the perspective of the entire board. Not the issue you want to have to deal with at the start of a press conference where you share a letter calling out DeSantis for behavior that critics have called, well, racist.
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