‘Nice try’ on 2024 question- POLITICO
Hello and welcome to Tuesday.
Who wants to know? — Gov. Ron DeSantis — fresh off a speech in New York City on Sunday that drew protesters — sidestepped several questions about 2024 thrown his way during a Monday appearance on Fox News.
Words — Let’s be clear. DeSantis never said he’s running for president or thinking about it. But he never said he wasn’t running either.
The dance— When asked, the Republican governor deflected and suggested that his name keeps coming up on a list of potential GOP candidates because of his track record in Florida. He then joked it would be “futile” to keep pressing him on it and at one point said “nice try” when he was asked point blank if would forgo a run for president if former President Donald Trump sought another term.
Networking — DeSantis, contending that some people have been plotting a run since the 2020 elections were over, said he’s just been “focusing on the task at hand” as governor. Well, let’s acknowledge that DeSantis has become a very popular draw in GOP circles and has held fundraisers and appearances across the nation, which could help him for a future run.
The audition— Let’s also understand this: DeSantis’ moment to run would be in 2024 — as opposed to 2028, when he will no longer be governor and could be out of the spotlight. That means what happens in 2022 looms large. And DeSantis doesn’t just want to win a second term. As he made clear on Fox News, he wants to end the relevance of Democrats in Florida.
Rising tide— “I think you have the opportunity to have a really big red wave,” said DeSantis, who boasted that Republicans are going to win up and down the ballot from congressional seats to school board races. DeSantis said the goal is to flip Florida from a battleground state to a “red state” and “an opportunity to take it off the board.”
— WHERE’S RON? — Nothing official announced for Gov. DeSantis.
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‘DETACHED FROM REALITY’— “Jan. 6 panel tracks how Trump created and spread election lies,” by The New York Times’ Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a wide-ranging case on Monday that former President Donald J. Trump created and relentlessly spread the lie that the 2020 election had been stolen from him in the face of mounting evidence from an expanding chorus of advisers that he had been legitimately defeated. The committee, in its second hearing this month, traced the origins and progression of what it has described as Mr. Trump’s ‘big lie.’”
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
‘UNSEEN MATERIAL’ — “‘Untrue’ claim leveled at video of Naples man arrested in Jan. 6 attack, played at hearing,” by Naples Daily News’ Michael Braun: “A video showing Christopher Worrell, a Collier County member of the Proud Boys, played before a Congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is cropped and untrue, several sources close to Worrell claim. Additionally, a second superseding federal indictment has been filed against the East Naples resident accused of attacking police officers with pepper spray gel during the Jan. 6 riot. A superseding indictment can include different charges, new charges, or add defendants, replacing the original indictment.”
— “Trump’s elections fraud claims were false. Here are the advisers who said so,” by POLITICO’s Meredith McGraw
‘IT HAS DIVERTED ATTENTION’— Lauren Book spending big to fend off rare challenge to Democratic caucus leader, by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon: Florida Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D-Plantation) is flexing her financial muscle in an expensive Broward County primary fight that surprised — and angered — much of Florida’s Democratic establishment. It’s exceedingly rare for the leader of a legislative caucus to get a challenge from within their own party, but that’s exactly what happened when former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief in March announced she was running for the newly-drawn Senate District 35.
On the air— Early polling showed Sharief with an advantage, in large part due to better name recognition, but Book has since flooded the airwaves with more than $400,000 in television ads compared to just $40,000 from Sharief, whose campaign is almost exclusively funded by a $500,000 personal loan. “I have never shied away from hard work,” Book told POLITICO of her unexpected primary. “It was a challenge we have to overcome because it is the responsibility to ensure we bring back all our [Democratic] members.” The Republican-drawn state Senate maps drew Book out of the district by roughly four blocks, a point that Sharief made early in the campaign.
DAY ONE— The first day of qualifying for the 2022 ballot got off with a flurry on Monday with one of the more notable last-minute candidates being Corey Simon, a former NFL and Florida State University standout. Simon, who is the chief executive officer of Volunteer Florida, filed to run as a Republican challenger to Democratic state Sen. Loranne Ausley. Simon’s run is being backed by GOP leaders as he was immediately endorsed by current Senate President Wilton Simpson and incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
Rep. Al Lawson and incumbent Rep. Neal Dunn both qualified in the member-on-member race for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District while far right activist Laura Loomer qualified in a race for Florida’s 11th Congressional District in central Florida against longtime Republican Rep. Daniel Webster. Former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness — who lost to Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick by just five votes in a Democratic primary for Florida’s 20th Congressional District — also qualified on Monday for a rematch.
DEMINGS: NO TO ‘DEFUNDING THE POLICE’— Democrat Rep. Val Demings is launching her first television ad in her Senate campaign with a spot that emphasized her record as a former police chief while at the same time saying she will work to stop bad ideas such as “defunding the police.” “That’s just crazy,” she says in the ad. Demings is putting the ad out after incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio has picked up backing from statewide groups that represent sheriffs and police chiefs. An analysis by AdImpact shows that the initial buy for the ad is more than $104,000 and that it is running in Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville.
CAMPAIGN ROUNDUP— State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who dropped out of the Democratic primary for governor last week, endorsed Rep. Charlie Crist on Monday. Taddeo, who was Crist’s running mate during his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2014, called Crist a “true public servant” and declared him “our strongest candidate to defeat Ron DeSantis.” She called on Democrats “unite” behind Crist who is being challenged by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the primary. ….
Crist is also picking up the endorsement of state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat and vocal progressive legislator. “At Team Carlos, we put people over politics, are champions of equality and working people, and we stand up to special interests and corporations — and that’s exactly what Charlie stands for,” Smith said in a statement. ….
The Fraternal Order of Police on Monday endorsed Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis for a second term … CHC Bold PAC, the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus dedicated to getting more Latino and Latina candidates elected, endorsed Taddeo in her bid for Florida’s 27th Congressional District even though she running against incumbent Rep. María Elvira Salazar.
SCOTT V. BIDEN— “White House fires back at Rick Scott ads, says he is ‘exploiting inflation to rip off working families,’” by Fox News’ Brooke Singman: “The White House is firing back at Sen. Rick Scott after his latest television ads targeting President Biden, slamming the Republican senator for ‘exploiting inflation to rip off working families with more welfare for the rich.’ Scott, R-Fla., on Monday released a television ad blasting Biden for having ‘destroyed America’s economy.’ The ad features a video of the president referring to Sen. Scott as being from Wisconsin, and warns that Biden is forcing America into a recession. In a previous ad, Scott called Biden “incompetent and confused.”
BE ON THE LOOKOUT— “Marco Rubio asks for an Interpol red alert notice to arrest Nicolas Maduro,” by El Nuevo Herald’s Antonio Maria Delgado: “U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to request an Interpol red alert notice for the arrest of Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro so he can be brought to the United States to face drug trafficking charges. Maduro is currently outside his country in the middle of an international tour claiming to represent Venezuela even though the United States and a large number of countries accuse him of stealing the 2019 presidential election, the senator said in a letter also addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.”
MOVING ON — “Jamaica-born Renatha Francis a favored finalist for Florida Supreme Court,” by South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Susannah Bryan: “Renatha Francis, a Palm Beach circuit judge who came close to becoming the first Jamaican-American appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2020, is now getting a second chance at the title. The judge who once described herself as the ‘epitome of the American dream’ is one of six nominees to fill a vacancy on the court created by the retirement of Justice Alan Lawson. The list was sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday by the Judicial Nominating Commission.”
FILE – In this May 26, 2020 file photo, Renatha Francis smiles speaks at a news conference in Miami. State Rep. Geraldine Thompson is challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointment of Francis to the Florida Supreme Court. Thompson said in news conference Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, that DeSantis only chose Francis for the high court because she shares his conservative ideology, not because he sought racial diversity. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) | Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo
ANYBODY PAYING ATTENTION? — “Election supervisors, soil and water district board members left in limbo by bill awaiting governor’s action,” by POLITICO’s Bruce Ritchie: Some election supervisors say a delay over legislation now awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature is creating uncertainty and confusion over the election of members of obscure soil and water conservation district boards. DeSantis has until June 23 to sign or veto SB 1078 which requires that all of the unpaid board members run for re-election from geographically assigned seats and have agricultural industry backgrounds.
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Florida leads the nation in new COVID deaths, CDC data shows,” by Palm Beach Post’s Chris Persaud: “Florida’s coronavirus death toll rose faster in the past week than any other state, though that increase was among the state’s smallest since the pandemic started. Federal data shows the state added 262 victims since the state Health Department’s last COVID-19 report published June 3. That’s the highest seven-day increase since mid-April, but lower than most weeks. Immunity from vaccinations and prior infections, along with new antiviral treatments, have helped stop severe illness.”
THE BILL— “$100 million legal bill in Surfside condo suit. Court filing argues it’s a bargain,” by Miami Herald’s Jay Weaver: “The attorneys in the massive Surfside condo case have filed a legal bill of just over $100 million. That’s a lot of money, but they argue it’s a “significant savings on fees” compared with what lawyers typically make in such catastrophic class actions. Dozens of attorneys who represented the 98 people who died and others who suffered injuries in the collapse of Champlain Towers South submitted their total tab for legal fees on Sunday. Their tab, which must be reviewed and approved by a Miami-Dade judge, represents 10% of the $1 billion settlement that the victims’ lawyers reached last month with various defendants and other parties in the Champlain Towers South class-action case.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET?— “Private islands still exist in Florida, and they’re attracting the mega rich amid a booming real estate market,” by South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Natalia Galicza: “A thin strip of asphalt reaches out into the Atlantic Ocean south of Islamorada, and leads to an idyllic looking private island. Patti Stanley, a Coldwell Banker Schmitt real estate agent, is one of the few who’ve ever set foot there. She represented the former owner, who sold the nearly 16-acre lot for $10 million in December. Amid a pandemic-fueled real estate boom in South Florida, real estate agents who’ve tapped into the niche private island and investment property market say they’re seeing unprecedented action.”
REACTION— “Genderbread Person? Gone. Schools chief asks teachers to pull books, materials ahead of new law,” by Palm Beach Post’s Giuseppe Sabella: “Teachers throughout Palm Beach County are combing their classrooms for books that might violate Florida’s new laws, which take effect July 1 and target lessons on gender identity, sexual orientation or any text deemed ‘critical race theory.’ And with less than one month until the laws take effect, the school district has given teachers much to consider.”
— “Leesburg gives ‘long overdue’ honor to civil rights pioneer Virgil Hawkins,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Stephen Hudak
— “Taxing the Mouse: Disney renews legal fight over property assessments for resorts,” by Florida Politics’ Gabrielle Russon
— “7th member of Special Olympics Haitian delegation is missing,” by The Associated Press
— “Despite 2 failed launches, NASA intends to stick with using Astra Space,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Richard Tribou
— “Christian Caban aims to succeed Jimbo Jackson on Leon County Commission,” by Florida Politics’ Jacob Ogles
— “Autopsy: Teen died of blunt trauma in Florida ride death,” by The Associated Press: “A Missouri teenager died of blunt force trauma after falling from a 430-foot Florida drop-tower amusement park ride, according to an autopsy released Monday. The report by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office also ruled that 14-year-old Tyre Sampson’s death in March was an accident. Sampson slipped out of his seat about halfway down the Free Fall ride located in a tourist area of Orlando.”
BIRTHDAYS: Former President Donald Trump … Laura Figueroa Hernandez, White House correspondent for Newsday … Foyt Ralston of Foyt Ralston & Associates