Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
When it came to changing the state’s resign-to-run law, Republican legislative leadership seemed inclined to do it, then didn’t think it was needed, then – surprise – passed a big elections bill that included it. State law will soon make clear, as soon as Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the legislation, that he doesn’t have to step down as the state’s chief executive to run for the White House. We’ve been writing about this since December, when House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo first talked about amending the law in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge kind of way. Now, DeSantis gets another win.
Andrew Gillum -
The 2018 Democratic candidate for Florida governor got the best win for an indicted politician: A not-guilty verdict. After some weirdness this week during deliberations, including one juror caught posting about the federal public corruption trial on LinkedIn, Andrew Gillum was cleared of lying to the FBI as jurors deadlocked on all other charges. Prosecutors will likely bring him back on the other counts, but for now he can celebrate.
Richard McCullough -
Florida State University will get $250,000 in this year’s state budget (assuming it survives a line-item veto) to create a “Center for Rare Earths, Critical Minerals, and Industrial Byproducts.” Its job? Research whether phosphogypsum, the toxic waste product of phosphate mining, is a “source of rare earth minerals – a group of metals used in consumer electronics and other industries.” FSU President Richard McCullough gets another funding feather in his cap.
Will Witt -
The Florida Standard is the little conservative website that could – keep getting scoops and tips from the usually media-averse DeSantis administration, that is. In fact, as Politico put it, it’s become the media-bashing governor’s favorite platform. So much so that the chatter is that DeSantis backers are bankrolling it. Editor Will Witt – formerly host of PragerU's “Man on the Street” – isn’t saying, but he keeps staying in the good graces of America’s Governor.
Alex Andrade -
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “push to make it easier for prominent people to sue media outlets for defamation appears to have failed in the Legislature this year, one of the few things lawmakers didn’t deliver for him as they finish their session Friday,” the Orlando Sentinel reported. Alex Andrade, as the House sponsor, also takes the “L” on this one, made more stinging because it “drew a backlash from conservative media outlets that feared they could be harmed financially.”
Laura DiBella -
The president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. is watching as the state decides to dissolve the entity she leads. State lawmakers seem set on killing the agency responsible for recruiting businesses to Florida, instead transferring its responsibilities to the Department of Economic Opportunity, which will be renamed the Department of Commerce. EFI’s death is an outcome sought by House Speaker Paul Renner and previous House leaders. Here’s to a soft landing.
Diana Greene -
Duval County’s schools superintendent was sent to an early retirement this week. Despite the school board’s 4-3 vote to “accept her terms of retirement,” there was pressure to oust her after she faced scrutiny and criticism about the district's handling of reports of crimes as well as faculty misconduct stemming from an arrest for a teacher for engaging in lewd conduct with a student on campus. At least she got a severance payment over $100,000.
NEXT STORY: This week’s biggest Winners & Losers