Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
We hate to overuse this meme – goodness knows it’s been used before – but really, wasn’t it “Ron DeSantis and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week” this week? It started last Friday, when he was bum-rushed on stage in New Hampshire by activists shouting “Jews against DeSantis!” Then his effort at locking down congressional endorsements did not go as planned. As one commentator wrote, “that Trump is successfully messing with DeSantis in his own backyard is particularly galling – and embarrassing – for the Florida governor.” But the governor is still racking up policy wins in the Legislature, so there’s that.
Blaise Ingoglia -
The state senator from Spring Hill was picked to carry one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ many priorities this session: reducing the number of jurors that have to agree to recommend a death penalty from all 12 down to eight. The bill was passed and signed into law this week, with Blaise Ingoglia getting a choice spot in the bill signing photo. Sure, this was a foreseeable win – whatever Ron wants … – but it’s a win nonetheless.
JD McCormick -
The head of the pro-hemp industry Florida Healthy Alternatives Association, JD McCormick successfully lobbied to revise parts of a proposed bill aimed at regulating the state’s hemp industry. Hemp business owners were concerned the legislation would kill the $10 billion industry, but now the regulation is focused on preventing people under 21 from consuming products instead of banning them altogether. We’re counting this as a “W.”
Susie Wiles -
It’s not every day that a Republican campaign consultant gets a glowing profile in The New York Times, but Susie Wiles is not your average consultant. She’s been an architect of Ron DeSantis’ 2018 win as governor and helped Donald Trump win Florida in his successful White House bid. She’s now back with Trump for 2024. As #NeverTrumper Rick Wilson said of her this week, Wiles is “hyper-competent. … We are taking (her) very seriously.”
Ashley Moody -
Well, she tried. Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted a public records request to gain insights on the agreements the Reedy Creek Improvement District made with Disney to beat the state takeover, and got back absolutely nothing. Maybe it was because of the goofy wording of the request. Or maybe the DeSantis administration’s efforts to change policies around public records requests have caused those in the Capitol to forget how to write them?
Elizabeth Scherer -
The judge who presided over the Parkland school shooter case was yanked off another murder case by no less than a unanimous Florida Supreme Court. The defendant in that case had objected, saying the judge might be biased. The reason: Elizabeth Scherer, who was once a prosecutor, was photographed hugging the prosecutor and victims’ family members after the Parkland verdict. Well, duh, that’s a bad look.
Nadine Smith -
Leaders like Nadine Smith at Equality Florida and other LGTBQ advocacy groups have been working hard to counter certain state legislation this year, but their losses keep on coming. A bill cracking down on drag shows just passed, what they call “Don’t Say Gay” was expanded, and more LGTBQ focused legislation is coming. No amount of protest is going to stop the agenda of the man with the White House in his sights.
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