Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?

As a gutsy underdog defying everyone’s expectations, the Miami Heat have made it all the way to the NBA finals despite entering the postseason as the lowly No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The squad is led by Jimmy Butler, who’s burnishing his reputation for delivering when the stakes are highest. For Floridians of a more political bent, Butler could serve as inspiration for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s taking on a formidable foe in former President Donald Trump. Then again, maybe it’s Trump, a fellow Floridian, who’s set to bounce back after a rough regular season, just like Jimmy Buckets.


Ron DeSantis Sr. -

The younger Ron DeSantis may have an ingrained antipathy toward the news media, but his dad, Ron Sr., has been nothing but a mensch (we’d say “persona per bene” but it doesn’t have the same feeling). A year ago, he told a New Yorker writer, “I’d rather not talk to you,” then talked to the guy anyway. More recently, he rebuffed – but was cordial – to the Orlando Sentinel. If he drinks beer, we’d have one with him.

Frank DiBello -

The latest news about the U.S. Space Force is a feather in the cap of Frank DiBello, the Space Florida president and CEO whose retirement is effective at the end of this month. “After years of surveys and deliberations, the Space Force announced it would headquarter one of its major commands at (Brevard County’s) Patrick Space Force Base,” Florida Today reported. A job well done is a nice fare-thee-well.

Ron Salem & Randy White -

It’s not as headline-grabbing as the election of Donna Deegan as Jacksonville mayor, but in a key development, City Council Members Ron Salem and Randy White secured the top leadership posts in the city’s legislative body. Salem moves up from vice president to president, while White secured Salem’s old No. 2 post. The Republican duo will lead a GOP supermajority as they negotiate with Deegan, a Democrat taking over after eight years of GOP leadership at City Hall.


Tim Burke & Lynn Hurtak -

An FBI search of a private residence may provide a political boost for some – or, really, probably just one person – but for the average Floridian, it’s not good news. That’s the situation consultant Tim Burke and his wife, Tampa City Council Member Lynn Hurtak, find themselves in. The feds’ search of their home is reportedly related to an alleged hack of Fox News and video of former Fox host Tucker Carlson. Burke has not been accused of doing anything illegal.

Joe Carollo -

Say it ain’t so, Joe! Joe Carollo, the colorful Miami city commissioner, was found guilty of retaliating against two Little Havana businessmen for having the temerity to back a political rival of his. Carollo was ordered to pay $63.5 million in damages, although he’s expected to file an appeal in the federal civil case. With the final outcome still in doubt, perhaps the biggest winners are the attorneys, who have been getting their own payouts no matter what.

Mark Glass -

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass has recently been on the receiving end of some bad press. First, House Democrats “called for an investigation into whether DeSantis directed FDLE to ‘act in furtherance of his political agenda’ and intimidate voters,” Axios Tampa Bay reported. Then NBC News reported on “fierce pushback” following allegations of “mismanagement by past leaders” after spending increased for DeSantis’ protection. We predict this’ll get worse before it gets any better.