Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

The wallets of the six Orange County commissioners and Mayor Jerry Demings are about to start bulging. The commission voted 4-2 (Demings didn’t vote) to pass 25% pay increases for themselves, effective next week. Commissioners’ salary is going from $91,158 to $113,608; Demings’ salary is getting a $45,000 bump to almost $228,000, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The commissioners that supported the change argued the increase would bring them in line with state standards for county commissioner pay – but it’ll certainly boost their own bottom lines.


Anna Paulina Luna -

Just weeks after welcoming her first child to the world, U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna was named to the Time100 Next list, which identifies 100 younger up-and-comers from around the world. The magazine noted that “the youngest House Republican is using her digital prowess to lead a new class of populists working to redefine the Republican Party.” Plus, she’s one of the headline-grabbing House Republicans pushing for impeachment proceedings into President Joe Biden. The line keeps going up for Luna.

Paul Mitchell -

This was a legal saga that went on far longer than even the most hardened participants in The Process expected. An appeals court finally drove a stake into a defamation lawsuit filed by former Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Ronald Rubin against Southern Group lobbyist Paul Mitchell. And it said Rubin owes Mitchell legal fees because the appeal “was without substantial fact or legal support.” Yipes. Time to pull out the checkbook. 

Marcellus W. Osceola -

No rehearing for you, a federal appeals court told pari-mutuel owners. The ruling “upheld a multibillion-dollar deal giving the Seminole Tribe control over sports betting throughout the state,” the News Service reported. This means the Tribe, led by Marcellus W. Osceola, is free to resume offering sports betting. As of the end of the week, however, the Tribe’s betting app said we were “outside (the) service area.” Guess we’ll keep waiting to lose money on the Jets. 


Jason Brown -

Jason Brown was arrested this week after hanging swastikas and other antisemitic banners above Interstate 4 near Orlando. Doing so is in violation of a new state law prohibiting images from being displayed on a building, structure or property without permission. He’s presumed innocent till proven guilty, but he is an unabashed anti-semite who targeted Jewish people at previous demonstrations. Come to think of it, maybe Orange County residents should be on this list as winners.

Donna Deegan -

Is the honeymoon over for the new Democratic mayor of Jacksonville? For the second time, a Republican nominee for an office in Mayor Donna Deegan’s administration has withdrawn from consideration. First it was Al Ferraro for director of neighborhoods. Now it’s Randy DeFoor for general counsel. Picks have to be confirmed by “no less than 13 members” of the supermajority Republican City Council. This may be a long four years.

Michael DiNapoli -

First he was a loser, then he was a winner, now he is a loser again … the DiNapoli coaster keeps going up and down. The embattled state housing agency executive director has been suspended again by his board after members received a report accusing him of creating a hostile work environment. With DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern already defending him, who knows how long it will be till the governor reinstates him again.