Good Wednesday morning.
It’s debate night in America.
Seven candidates have qualified for tonight’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, the Republican National Committee said, confirming that former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not make the cut this time.
Former President Donald Trump, the early Republican presidential front-runner who skipped the first debate, will also be missing from the stage and will instead hold events in the battleground state of Michigan.
To qualify for the second debate, candidates needed at least 3% support in two national polls or 3% in one national poll as well as two polls from four of the early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
The White House hopefuls also needed at least 50,000 unique donors, with at least 200 of those coming from 20 states or territories. They also had to sign an RNC pledge promising to support the party’s eventual nominee.
An anti-Ron DeSantis group hopes to put a cloud over the Governor’s debate performance with a new ad claiming that his “campaign remains in a state of free fall.”
The DeSantis Watch ad, titled “Crashing,” slams the Governor’s positions on abortion and his “racist agenda,” and claims that “his campaign is broke and fighting with itself.”
“Ron couldn’t even successfully launch his own campaign. Now the DeSantis campaign is crashing,” the ad narrator states. “One misstep after another for a failing candidate while Floridians have real problems that need to be addressed now.”
The ad closes with the narrator telling DeSantis to “give up your ego-driven vanity project and do your job.”
In a news release announcing the ad buy, DeSantis Watch Communications Director Anders Croy said, “Like pudding dropped on pavement, the Ron DeSantis campaign is a massive mess and impossible to clean up.”
“The more voters have seen of Ron DeSantis, the less they have liked, which isn’t surprising given that most Americans don’t support banning abortion or books,” he continued. “It’s time for Ron DeSantis to stop sticking his fingers where they don’t belong, end his ego-driven vanity campaign for President, and come home to fix the affordability crisis in Florida that he created in the state still paying his six-figure taxpayer-funded salary.”
To watch the ad, please click the image below:
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@MarcACaputo: Welcome to California, where Republicans are like Republicans in the other states and U.S. territories when it comes to the presidential Primary
—@MarcoRubio: The allegations against the Senior Senator from New Jersey are nasty & the evidence offered difficult to explain away But in America guilt is decided by a jury, not politicians in fear of their party losing a Senate seat
—@FrankThorp: Asked if he thinks Sen Menendez should resign, Sen CORNYN says, “I’d like all of my Democratic colleagues to resign.”
—@atrupar: Cassidy Hutchinson on Matt Gaetz: “I never dated Matt Gaetz. I have much higher standards in men.”
Want to take a moment and give a big thank you to our outgoing District Aide, @sergioxcart! His last official day with the team is October 2nd.
Sergio stepped into this role right as session was kicking off. He took a non-existent system and created it. He’s a huge part of the… pic.twitter.com/ofuAU1Tukw
— Representative Rita Harris (@RitaForFlorida) September 26, 2023
— DAYS UNTIL —
ESPN+ and Disney+ present ‘Toy Story’ based telecast of game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons — 4; Loki Season Two premieres — 9; Republican Party of Sarasota County honors First Lady Casey DeSantis with the 2023 Stateswoman of the Year Award — 22; Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres — 26; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 26; Britney Spears memoir ‘The Woman in Me’ drops — 27; NBA 2023-24 season tipoff — 27; Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ released — 30; Suncoast Tiger Bay Club hosts ‘Evening with the Tigers’ — 40; 2023 Florida Chamber Mental Health Innovation Summit — 43; ’Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 44; Formula 1 will take over the Las Vegas Strip — 51; ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ premieres — 56; Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ premieres — 57; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 63; 2023 Florida Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit — 65; 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 77; Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ premieres — 86; Matt Dixon’s ‘Swamp Monsters: Trump vs. DeSantis ― the Greatest Show on Earth (or at Least in Florida)’ released — 104; 2024 Florida Chamber Legislative Fly-In and reception — 104; Florida’s 2024 Regular Session begins — 104; Florida TaxWatch’s State of the Taxpayer Dinner — 109; 2024 Primetime Emmy Awards — 110; South Carolina Democratic Primary — 129; New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic Primaries — 132; South Carolina GOP holds first-in-the-South Primary — 150; Michigan Democratic Primary — 153; Georgia Democratic Primary — 167; Trump’s D.C. trial on charges related to trying to reverse his 2020 Election loss — 159; Super Tuesday — 160; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 165; 2024 Oscars — 166; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 171; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 217; 2024 Leadership Conference on Safety, Health & Sustainability — 226; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 236; Republican National Convention begins — 290; New ‘Alien’ premieres — 294; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 303; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 303; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 333; Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 377; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 390; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 450; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 506; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 585; ‘Moana’ premieres — 642; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 816; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 947; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 969; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 1,182; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,321; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,277; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,640.
— TOP STORY —
“Federal trial opens in Ron DeSantis’ congressional redistricting plan that killed a Black-held seat” via Michael Moline of Florida Phoenix — Alex Kelly — DeSantis’ acting chief of staff, who was waist-deep in redistricting negotiations with the Legislature last year, was the first witness called in a legal challenge to the redistricting plan the Governor forced on the Legislature.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers repeatedly emphasized that the Florida Supreme Court itself drew an earlier version of the district following the extended litigation that marked the last redistricting process during the early 2010s.
“The Florida Supreme Court got it wrong,” Kelly declared. DeSantis, by contrast — “He knows better.”
Common Cause Florida, Fair Districts Now, the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, and individual voters are suing to overturn the DeSantis map and reinstate the district at issue, which would run 200 miles between Jacksonville and Gadsden County in North Florida.
It includes sufficient Black voters to ensure them the ability to pick the representative of their choice, as required under Florida’s Fair Districts constitutional amendment, itself modeled on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and which forbids political gerrymandering or diminishment of minority voting strength. Black Democrat Al Lawson held the seat for a decade.
In a separate challenge in state court, a trial judge ruled the DeSantis plan violated the Florida and U.S. Constitution. The appeal is now before the 1st District Court of Appeal.
DeSantis has argued that the district amounted to a racial gerrymander in violation of the equal protection language in the 14th Amendment. He has evinced eagerness to give the U.S. Supreme Court a chance to bar any consideration of race in redistricting.
That was a pretext, plaintiffs’ attorney Greg Baker said during opening arguments. “His real concern was not having any Black districts in North Florida,” he said.
— THE TRAIL —
“DeSantis will be center stage at second GOP debate” via Zachary Leeman of The Messenger — DeSantis, who has polled the best among Republican candidates next to Trump, is taking the center stage position Wednesday night. The debate airs at 9 p.m. on Fox Business. Trump already confirmed he would be skipping the second debate, as he did the first. He’ll instead speak to autoworkers in Detroit amid an ongoing strike by the United Auto Workers union. Next to DeSantis on the debate stage will be Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley. Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie follow in the next spots. In the final spots at the end of the debate stage will be North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Vice President Mike Pence.
“DeSantis in second place in new Iowa, New Hampshire polls” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — New CBS News polling finds DeSantis alone in second place in two early states in the 2024 Republican presidential race. In Iowa, the Governor is above 20%, his best standing outside of internal polling in a while. With 21% support, DeSantis is still 30 points behind Trump in the Hawkeye State, but well ahead of the rest of the field. His nearest competition, Haley, has just 8% support in Iowa. With 6% support, Pence and Scott are tied in fourth place. In Iowa, only 20% of voters are only considering Trump, with 31% ruling him out and the remaining 48% considering Trump and other candidates, meaning there is still theoretical room to grow.
“Poll: 57% of GOP voters see DeSantis as part of the ‘political establishment’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — In the latest Monmouth Poll, 57% of Republican Primary voters see the Florida Governor as part of the “political establishment,” while 33% do not. That’s just marginally more than Haley’s 56%. However, only 22% of the 510 people polled are confident she is not part of the establishment. “Nearly half the GOP electorate says it is either extremely (26%) or very (21%) important for the next President to be someone from outside the political establishment,” the pollsters say. “Just 22% say this is not important to them. This is a particularly high priority among strong MAGA supporters (47% extremely and 24% very important). Most Republican voters — whether a MAGA supporter or not — see Donald Trump as more of a political outsider (69%) than insider (26%).”
“DeSantis is brandishing his military service. Do Republican voters still want that?” via Alex Leary and James Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal —As he struggles in the race, DeSantis is increasingly highlighting a credential that sets him apart from Trump and the rest of the Republican field. The 45-year-old Florida Governor served as a Navy lawyer in Iraq and the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. It has been three decades since the U.S. had a veteran as President. A military career isn’t always a political winner. David Foy, 60, of Willis, Texas, who twice voted for Trump, said that he respects DeSantis’ service but that it isn’t a top factor as he evaluates candidates. “The job is not about military experience; it’s about governance,” he said.
— MORE 2024 —
“Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire” via Michael R. Sisak of The Associated Press — A judge ruled Tuesday that Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House. Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, found that the former President and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing. Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee the Trump Organization’s operations.
“Trump is crushing it in California. His rivals are ‘in denial.’” via Christopher Cadelago of POLITICO — Enduring loyalty to Trump from millions of Republicans in the state combined with new delegate rules are tilting the scales dramatically in Trump’s favor. It’s a rude awakening for the rest of the field as they descend on the state for Wednesday’s debate. “The grassroots across California is all behind Trump,” said Bill Essayli, a conservative Republican state assemblymember from Corona. “He’s the guy that excites them and energizes them and they think that he should have won in 2020. And they’re still behind him and 2024.” That has left never-Trump Republicans “in denial,” and some deep-pocketed establishment donors desperately looking for another candidate, Essayli said. “The best you can say is they’re figuring it out. They thought it was gonna be DeSantis, but he hasn’t manifested.”
“Why Trump’s message works” via Byron York of the Washington Examiner — Trump arrived in the suburb of Charleston, South Carolina, buoyed by a Washington Post poll that showed him leading President Joe Biden by 10 points in a hypothetical 2024 rematch. “That’s a lot,” Trump said of his lead. “It’s hard for Republicans to lead by that much in the fake news media.” Trump then went on to mock The Washington Post for distancing itself from its own poll. “They said this must be an outlier. The numbers must be wrong — it was their poll!” When The Washington Post’s research showed Trump with a big lead, the paper suggested its own research must be wrong. The pollsters could fret all day long about whether the question was worded correctly or whether it was placed among other questions in the right order, but Trump supporters simply saw it as part of one big, crooked operation.
“Joe Biden, in historic but sensitive move, joins UAW picket line” via Matt Viser of The Washington Post — Biden joined a picket line here Tuesday in an extraordinary attempt to place himself on the side of striking union members against the country’s biggest auto manufacturers and make good on a promise to be “the most pro-union President in history.” It marked the first time a sitting President had joined a picket line, and on a dreary afternoon, Biden stood on a wooden platform and spoke through a bullhorn with an American flag on it to a group of United Auto Workers members clad in red shirts. “Now they’re doing incredibly well,” he said outside a General Motors plant here on the outskirts of Detroit, referring to auto manufacturers. “And guess what? You should be doing incredibly well, too.”
“Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission” via Alex Thompson of Axios — Biden and his campaign are working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn’t trip. As voters express deep concerns about the 80-year-old President’s age and fitness for office, Biden’s team is taking extra steps to prevent him from stumbling in public as he did in June, when he tripped over a sandbag at the Air Force Academy. With a physical therapist, Biden has been doing exercises to improve his balance as far back as November 2021. Since his stumble in June, he has been wearing tennis shoes more often to avoid slipping and using the short stairs on Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than before.
“Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin signals interest in offices beyond Governor” via Christian Hall of Bloomberg — Virginia Gov. Youngkin signaled interest in running for other elected offices, a move that will fuel speculation about a future Senate or presidential bid. “There might be others,” Youngkin said Tuesday at an Economic Club of Washington event, in response to a question from Carlyle Group Inc. founder David Rubenstein about whether he plans to run again for public office. Youngkin, a former Carlyle co-chief executive officer who won the Virginia Governor’s Mansion in 2021, dodged several follow-up questions during the interview with Rubenstein about whether he intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
— DESANTISY LAND —
“Home discomfort for DeSantis as Florida Republicans edge away” via Richard Luscombe of The Guardian — There haven’t been many good days for DeSantis’ flailing presidential campaign lately, and news that the Governor has slumped to fifth place in a poll for the New Hampshire Primary will hardly have lifted his spirits. Yet the biggest blow of the past week came from Florida’s once fiercely loyal Republican Party, which appears to sour on the idea of their man in the White House. The action, which DeSantis lobbied hard against, sends a clear signal to DeSantis that he no longer enjoys the unquestioned allegiance of the party in his own state, a potentially fatal position for a candidate seeking to convince the rest of the country he is best qualified for the presidency.
“Charlotte County school district orders librarians to purge all books with LGBTQ characters” via Judd Legum of Popular Information — Charlotte County school librarians sought guidance from the school district about how to apply an expansion of the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, to all grades. “Are we removing books from any school or media center, PreK-12 if a character has, for example, two mothers or because there is a gay best friend, or a main character is gay?” the librarians asked. Charlotte County Superintendent Mark Vianello answered, “Yes.”
— STATEWIDE —
“Ex-CEO of disgraced domestic violence coalition arrested on fraud charges” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald — The former head of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Tiffany Carr, was arrested Monday on criminal corruption charges accusing her of defrauding the state of $3.4 million, using government funds provided through grants to help fund domestic violence shelters across Florida. Carr turned herself into the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina and was released on a $1 million bond, but law enforcement officials said she was not extradited to Leon County because she cited a medical condition that prevented that. Her arrest came nearly a week after Patricia Duarte, the former chief financial officer, turned herself into Leon County authorities on the same charges. Duarte is accused of receiving $291,000 in excessive compensation because of the scheme.
“Hurricane Idalia left $34M bruise on Florida shellfish processors, other aquaculture” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — The state is anticipating that Florida shellfish processors and others in the aquaculture industry will have suffered losses of more than $34 million from Hurricane Idalia by the time the dust settles. The news is another installment in the mounting toll that officials are scrambling to determine in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm. The numbers are setting the stage for the 2024 Legislative Session, during which some Special Committees in both the Senate and House will focus exclusively on hurricane recovery and resiliency. Wilton Simpson released estimates Tuesday for the adjusted reported losses. He said in a statement that aquaculture is the “most diverse agribusiness” and that it suffered a “hard hit.” He said that was especially true for the shellfish industry.
“Florida gambling interests want state Supreme Court to stop sports betting pact” via Mitch Perry of Florida Phoenix — Florida companies with gambling interests are calling on the Florida Supreme Court to issue a “writ of quo warranto,” saying DeSantis and top legislative leaders exceeded their powers in granting the Seminole Tribe of Florida the exclusive rights to offer off-reservation online and-in person sports betting in Florida in 2021. Now, those gaming companies want to suspend the sports betting pact, claiming only that voters must approve a constitutional amendment to do such a thing. The legal brief filed late Monday night shows the players in the lawsuit: West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation, a corporation doing business as Bonita Springs Poker Room, as well as Isadore Havenick, the vice president of both companies.
Assignment editors — Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis will host an IRS Accountability Roundtable: 9 a.m. EDT, Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, 8552 Northwest 53rd Street, Doral. For details, contact Amanda Pinto at (786) 338-3375.
Happening today — The Franklin County legislative delegation meets: 10:30 a.m. EST, 34 Forbes Street, Apalachicola. Rep. Wyman Duggan, Chair of the Duval County legislative delegation, will hold a public hearing: 1 p.m. ET, Jacksonville Council Chamber, first floor of City Hall, 117 West Duval Street, Jacksonville. The Gulf County legislative delegation meets: 1:30 p.m. EST, 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr Blvd., Port St. Joe.
“Christine Hunschofsky wants to know what’s on her constituents’ minds” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Rep. Hunschofsky, Parkland’s former Mayor, is returning to City Hall. This time, Hunschofsky is holding a town hall to find out what’s on her constituents’ minds as the next Legislative Session draws closer. The first of two town halls she’s planning in October will be at 7 p.m., Oct. 8 at 6600 N. University Drive in Parkland. The 126th Regular Session since Florida became a state is slated to begin Jan. 9. Hunschofsky’s profile increased as she led her grieving community through the aftermath of the state’s worst school shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018.
— DOWN BALLOT —
“DeSantis appointee Emery Gainey formally files to run sheriff of Alachua County” via Andrew Caplan of The Gainesville Sun — Sheriff-appointee Gainey has formally filed to run for office in the 2024 election. Gainey is a Gainesville resident with nearly four decades of experience in law enforcement. DeSantis appointed him on Sept. 7 to replace Sheriff Clovis Watson, who will officially resign Oct. 1. Just five days after Gainey’s appointment, Undersheriff Joel DeCoursey, the second in command, also abruptly departed from the sheriff’s office with no reason given and will officially resign with Watson Oct. 1. As a result, Gainey was given “full autonomy” of the agency weeks ahead of his swearing-in ceremony, officials said.
— D. C. MATTERS —
“Not again. Federal workers who’ve weathered past government shutdowns brace for yet another ordeal” via Fatima Hussein of The Associated Press — John Hubert, an airport security officer in Fort Lauderdale, recalls helping fellow Transportation Security Administration workers get essentials from food banks when they worked without pay during the last government shutdown. By the end of the 35-day ordeal, he needed the same help himself. Steve Reaves, a union leader for workers at FEMA, went through three government shutdowns while working at FEMA, and remembers having to pull money out of his retirement early to make ends meet during that last one in 2018-19. Jessica LaPointe, a Social Security Administration worker from Madison, Wisconsin, says she had to rely on financial help from friends and family during the 16-day October 2013 shutdown. In anticipation of the next one, she’s already postponing a planned family vacation to Disney World.
“Senate votes to advance short-term funding bill to avoid government shutdown” via Alexander Bolton of The Hill — The Senate voted Tuesday to advance a short-term funding measure to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week. The Senate voted 77 to 19 to advance the legislative vehicle they will use for a continuing resolution funding government until Nov. 17. The vote puts the Senate on a path to pass a continuing resolution (CR) later this week that it could then send to the House to avoid a shutdown Oct. 1. The House has been stuck on how to move forward with funding the government amid disputes among Republicans in the majority. If the Senate does approve a CR, it could put pressure on the House to bring it to the floor and avoid a shutdown, particularly in the lower chamber has not made much progress on its own.
“Supreme Court declines to revisit Alabama voting map dispute” via Abbie VanSickle of The New York Times — The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused Alabama’s request to reinstate a congressional map drawn by Republican lawmakers that had only one majority-Black district, paving the way for a new map to be put in place before the 2024 election. Alabama’s request to keep its map was the second time in under a year that it had asked the Supreme Court to affirm a limited role of race in establishing voting districts for federal elections, in what amounted to a defiant repudiation of lower-court rulings. In the latest twist in the case, the lower court had found that the state had brazenly flouted its directive to create a second majority-Black district or something “close to it.”
“Marco Rubio doesn’t think Bob Menendez should resign” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — As the list of Democrats calling for U.S. Sen. Menendez’s resignation grows, Florida’s Republican senior Senator offered a different take. U.S. Sen. Rubio, a Miami Republican, delivered somewhat of a defense of his Democratic colleague. “The allegations against the senior Senator from New Jersey are nasty (and) the evidence offered difficult to explain away,” Rubio posted. “But in America, guilt is decided by a jury, not politicians in fear of their party losing a Senate seat.” Menendez faces federal corruption charges and was indicted last week, with federal prosecutors alleging he aided figures in the Egyptian government in exchange for cash.
“Darren Soto’s campaign accepted money from Menendez” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Democrats running for Congress across the country have accepted support from U.S. Sen. Menendez, despite his previous scandals. But as he faces new federal corruption charges, will Florida Democrats who accepted donations give the money back? U.S. Rep. Soto accepted $5,000 from Menendez’s New Millennium PAC when Soto first won his seat in Congress in 2016. Two years later, the leadership PAC donated another $4,000 to Soto as he fended off a Democratic Primary challenge by former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson. Now the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said Soto needs to address accepting support from Menendez. “Why hasn’t Darren Soto spoken up or given back Sen. Menendez’s crooked contributions?” said NRCC representative Delanie Bomar. “Soto’s silence speaks volumes.”
“FTC sues Amazon, alleging illegal online-marketplace monopoly” via Dave Michaels and Dana Mattioli of The Wall Street Journal — The Federal Trade Commission and 17 states on Tuesday sued Amazon alleging the online retailer illegally wields monopoly power that keeps prices artificially high, locks sellers into its platform and harms its rivals. The FTC’s lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court, marks a milestone in the Biden administration’s aggressive approach to enforcing antitrust laws and has been anticipated for months. The agency’s Chair, Lina Khan, is a longtime critic of Amazon who wrote in the Yale Law Journal in 2017 that earlier generations of competition cops and courts abandoned the law’s concerns over conglomerates such as Amazon.
“Fentanyl smuggling is hard to stop — but easy to use as a cudgel” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post — Kevin McCarthy has been struggling for days to figure out how he can get his caucus to approve funding bills that would prevent the government from shutting down at the end of the month. Not seeing much success, he has recently shifted his approach. Instead of allowing the conversation to center on House Republican dissension, he’s pushing the media and, by extension, the public to view border security as the sticking point. The White House has pointed out that it had an agreement on funding that it reached with McCarthy earlier this year, a deal that McCarthy has been pushed to jettison. Instead, McCarthy is choosing to cast the Biden administration as negligent, if not dangerous.
FWD.us celebrates Biden administration’s re-designation of TPS for Venezuela — FWD.us is launching a digital ad campaign praising Biden for his recent re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. The ad features Juan Miguel, a Venezuelan TPS recipient living in Orlando. FWD.us said redesignating TPS for Venezuela “was undoubtedly the right thing to do — and it’s also popular.” The organization cited polling it and SEIU conducted showing that a majority of American voters in battleground states support the Biden administration using TPS as a policy solution for current immigration challenges. “As we celebrate this announcement, we are committed to continue urging the Biden administration to build on their successful use of TPS to safeguard other vulnerable people in need of protection from countries facing devastating humanitarian crises like Cameroon, Mauritania, and other nations in Central America and beyond that clearly meet the program’s statutory requirements.”
Meet Juan Miguel, a Venezuelan #TPS holder who has been able to further his education and work to help his community. Thanks to the Biden Admin’s redesignation of TPS for Venezuela, more families like Juan’s will be eligible for work authorization and deportation protections. pic.twitter.com/zrkTsGbkIK
— FWD.us (@FWDus) September 26, 2023
— LOCAL: S. FL —
“FAU trustees move to prevent Vice Chair’s instant elevation if DeSantis removes Board Chair” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — With no letup in the controversy surrounding the leadership of Florida Atlantic University, the school’s trustees voted to short circuit the automatic ascension of their Vice Chair if the Board Chair’s position were to become vacant. The move would prevent Vice Chair Barbara Feingold from automatically becoming the Board’s leader if Board Chair Brad Levine leaves — or is removed by DeSantis. No one mentioned the specific players during a brief discussion of the plan, which passed with 10 trustees voting in favor, two opposed, and one — Feingold — absent. But the subtext was clear to anyone who’s been watching the tumultuous, monthslong attempt to hire a new FAU president.
“Broward College accepts president’s resignation, plans to name acting President soon” via Jimena Tavel of the Miami Herald — After nearly two weeks of uncertainty since Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile abruptly resigned, the college’s Board of Trustees accepted his resignation Tuesday, but decided to wait another week to name an acting president. The Board will meet again next week to interview the qualified applicants, select an acting president and vote on the compensation package. Board members, the student government president, and the faculty Senate Chair will all submit questions for the candidates. In the meantime, the rest of the college’s senior management team, especially provost Jeffrey Nasse, will handle operations, said Board of Trustees Chair Alexis Yarbrough at a meeting Tuesday on the south campus in Pembroke Pines. Haile, who submitted a resignation letter on Sept. 13, will help with the succession.
“Former Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office captain wants to be county’s top prosecutor” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — A retired Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) captain is making it a four-way Democratic Primary contest to replace Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. Rolando Silva retired from leading PBCSO District 8 earlier this year, ending 33 years with the law enforcement agency. Now, Silva wants to trade in his dress blues for a shirt and tie. He filed to become Palm Beach County’s top prosecutor earlier this month but has not responded to calls and texts from Florida Politics.
“Mike Grieco wins pro-LGBTQ group’s endorsement for Miami Beach Mayor” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics — Grieco’s bid to be Miami Beach’s Mayor got the nod from an LBGTQ rights organization, even after an incident involving a loaded gun. Grieco won SAVE Action PAC’s endorsement for the Nov. 7 General Election over three other candidates: Former Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Góngora, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Steven Meiner, and former HBO and MTV executive Bill Roedy. Orlando Gonzales, SAVE’s executive director, said the gun incident that led Roedy to demand Grieco withdraw from the race, did not weigh that heavily on the SAVE members deciding on the endorsements.
“Florida ethics panel clears Delray Beach deputy Vice Mayor” via Abigail Hasebroock of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Delray Beach Deputy Vice Mayor Rob Long has been cleared in an ethics probe relating to votes he cast as a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board before being elected as a City Commissioner earlier this year. The Florida Commission on Ethics conducted a review of three different votes that Long had made in 2018, 2020 and 2022, and whether there was any conflict in voting. However, the ethics panel found that there was no conflict. Christopher Davey, the former Chair of the Delray Beach Planning and Zoning Board, had submitted a complaint pertaining to Long.
“Miami man distributed over $16M of adulterated HIV drugs given to U.S. patients” via Omar Rodríguez Ortiz of the Miami Herald — A Miami man has pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing at least $16.7 million of adulterated HIV drugs that were ultimately dispensed to unsuspecting patients across the United States. Armando Herrera, 43, and his co-conspirators established companies in Florida, Texas, Washington and California that they used to sell and distribute adulterated prescription drugs, primarily HIV medications, to wholesale pharmaceutical suppliers from January 2019 to November 2021. A drug is adulterated if, among other things, any substance has been substituted in whole or in part for the drug.
“Family of woman killed in Broward helicopter crash asks Sheriff’s Office for $50M” via Grethel Aguila of the Miami Herald — The family of a woman killed after a Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter crashed into an apartment is now asking the agency for up to $50 million in damages. Attorney Gary C. Robb, who is representing the family of Lurean Wheaton, notified Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis about the wrongful death claim. Wheaton, 65, was sleeping when the helicopter crashed into her Pompano Beach apartment complex on Aug. 28. BSO Fire Chief Terryson Jackson, 50, was also killed in the crash.
— LOCAL: C. FL —
“Four charged under new hate crimes law with placing swastika banners over I-4 in Orlando” via Frank Fernandez of The Daytona Beach News-Journal — Four people were charged in the hanging of antisemitic hate banners along a bridge over Interstate 4 in Orlando in violation of a state law passed this year to combat such hate messages, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Ronald Murray, 41, and Amanda Rains, 36, both of Cypress, Texas, were arrested last week and turned themselves into the Orange County Jail, according to the FDLE. They join two others: Jason Brown, 48, of Cape Canaveral, arrested Sept. 13, and Anthony Altick, 36, of Monroe, Louisiana, who was arrested Sept. 18. The four are accused of placing banners without permission on June 10 along a fence on the Daryl Carter Parkway Bridge in Orlando.
“Miya Marcano’s family sues Orange County Sheriff’s Office over mishandled investigation” via Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel — The parents of Marcano, who was abducted from her University of Central Florida-area apartment by a worker and killed two years ago, have filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Sheriff’s Office over failings in its initial investigation into her disappearance. The suit, filed in Orange County circuit court by Marlon Marcano and Yma Su-Ling Scarbriel, accuses the agency and deputies Samir Paulino and Kenneth Dale of negligence and violating Miya Marcano’s civil rights. Michelle Guido, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, declined to respond to the lawsuit, saying the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
“3 tourism capital projects recommended for county grants totaling $1.71M” via Dave Berman of Florida Today — A county advisory board has recommended grants for three tourism capital projects next year ― two in Titusville and one in Palm Bay ― totaling about $1.71 million. Funding for the grants would come from Brevard County’s 5% tourist development tax on hotel rooms, vacation rentals and other short-term rentals. The unanimous grant recommendations from the Tourist Development Council’s Capital Facilities Committee next go to the Tourist Development Council itself on Wednesday, then to the County Commission on Oct. 10. Each of the three grant applicants was recommended for only a portion of what was requested. The nine Capital Facilities Committee members score the grant applications on a 0-to-100 scale.
— LOCAL: TB —
“Some Tampa Bay Fall festivals canceled due to labor, migrant worker shortage” via Sharon Kennedy Wynne of the Tampa Bay Times — The annual Fall festivals at St. Raphael’s and St. Paul’s Catholic churches in St. Petersburg and Blessed Sacrament in Seminole have been canceled — though they hope for a Spring rescheduling — mostly because their amusement vendors are not able to get enough labor for their biggest fundraiser. It echoes a problem nationally, where many companies in the carnival industry that rely on hiring seasonal workers from outside the United States are facing a shortage of workers. The industry leans heavily on the government’s temporary work visa program (called H-2B and J-1 visas) to meet staffing needs. However, the government has been slow to grant visas, especially for the family-owned vendors who work at these smaller festivals. Amusement and recreation jobs are the second-most common occupation granted nonagricultural temporary work permits.
“St. Petersburg hires first Chief Equity Officer” via Colleen Wright of the Tampa Bay Times — City officials on Tuesday announced the hiring of Lenice C. Emanuel as St. Petersburg’s first Chief Equity Officer. According to a news release, Emanuel is an executive with 25 years of experience in nonprofits, including as chief executive officer of the YWCA of Tampa Bay from 2010 to 2015. Her work starts Monday. Emanuel’s job is to create and carry out policies and practices that put everyone on the same playing field, in and out of City Hall, and make sure equity and inclusion are baked into city government policies, procedures and practices, according to the job posting. The goal is to work with the community to oversee and advance racial equity and inclusion within city government. The city received 112 applications for the job, said spokesperson Alizza Punzalan-Randle. Emanuel will make a salary of $185,000.
“Stadium naming rights deals hint at what Rays could fetch for new ballpark name” via Henry Queen of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg will need to amass $700 million for the team’s portion of a $1.3 billion deal to build a new stadium in St. Petersburg. One way to attract financing will be through the ballpark’s naming rights. In the years since the ThunderDome was rebranded as Tropicana Field before the 1997 season, the value and volume of naming rights deals have risen sharply — a good sign for Sternberg. That Rays-Tropicana deal will bring in $46.2 million through the end of the team’s stadium lease in 2027, according to terms of the deal obtained through a public records request. That amounts to an annual average value of $1.5 million … Elsewhere in Major League Baseball, teams have been able to procure about $10 million annually for the license to name a new stadium.
“St. Pete awards $430k to South St. Pete business owners” via Veronica Brezina of St. Pete Catalyst — Inside the St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch congratulated business owners for participating in the city’s first South St. Pete Microfund program aimed to help entrepreneurs continue their venture … Welch, the city’s economic development team and St. Petersburg Greenhouse executives announced the rollout of the South St. Petersburg CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) Microfund program earlier this year, touting it as a new accessible funding pot for business owners who utilize the funds toward making targeted improvements without providing any upfront capital … According to CNBC reports, 25% of small businesses fail by the first year and 50% by the fifth year. Minority-owned business owners face even greater odds. Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months, largely due to financial hardships and lack of support.
“Kathleen Beckman campaign shows early momentum after launching bid for Clearwater Mayor” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics — Clearwater City Council member Kathleen Beckman only just launched her campaign for Mayor last week, but already she appears off to a strong start. She raised more than $25,000 in the first 72 hours of her campaign, according to a campaign spokesperson, and those donors came almost entirely from within Pinellas County. “The support for my campaign since last week’s launch has been both humbling and overwhelming. I plan on running a local campaign fueled by local donors and volunteers who are excited about Clearwater’s future,” Beckman said. Of the first three days’ contributions, more than 120 came from individual donors, while 90% of donations came from within Clearwater or Pinellas County. Beckman’s campaign said she has already landed 16 local endorsements, though she didn’t specify who offered the early nods.
— LOCAL: N. FL —
Florida Democratic Party condemns Trump visit to Jacksonville gun shop — FDP is slamming Trump for making a campaign stop at Palmetto State Armory, where the neo-Nazi who shot three Black people in Jacksonville last month purchased his weapon. “This visit was no accident,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “Donald Trump’s visit to this gun shop sends a clear message to his extremist supporters: he supports the horrific racism that drove a man to murder Black Floridians in broad daylight. It’s a sickening decision from the de facto leader of the GOP and the presumptive choice for their presidential nomination. … The use of racist dog whistles and coded neo-Nazi sympathies are a danger to our society, and any elected Republican with a backbone should be condemning their creeping influence on the party.”
“City plans to buy proposed Brentwood liquor store” via Will Brown of Jax Today — The proposed package store that raised the ire of Brentwood residents will not open. Council member Ju’Coby Pittman has told neighborhood residents the city will buy the property along Golfair Boulevard. A funding source for the purchase has not been identified, nor has legislation been introduced to acquire the property, which is less than 200 feet from a school, KIPP Voice Academy. But during a community conversation on Aug. 24 at the Legends Center, Pittman indicated that she would soon look to have legislation introduced to purchase the property. St. Johns-based SBPS 3 JI LLC bought the property in 2019. At the time, it was a vacant property that once held a gas station. The family that bought the property manages a RaceWay gas station less than a half-mile away.
DeSantis appoints three to the Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority — DeSantis made three appointments to the new GRU Authority on Tuesday evening, effective Oct. 1. James Coats is the CEO of Phalanx Defense Systems and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from American Military University. Robert Karow is a retiree who previously served as the manager, legal counsel, and contracts manager for Oleoductos de Crudos Pesados. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Chapman College and a law degree from the University of Florida. Eric Lawson is the CEO of HCA North Florida Regional Hospital and most recently served as the Division CFO for HCA TriStar. Lawson earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tennessee Technological University.
“Pensacola and Baptist in serious talks about demolition, land donation of old hospital” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal — Pensacola is in active talks to secure an agreement with Baptist Health Care for the donation of the old Baptist Hospital campus to the city in exchange for paying for the demolition of the old hospital. Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves and Baptist Health Care officials had their first negotiation meeting Tuesday morning. Reeves said during his weekly news conference Tuesday the meeting was “very productive.” “(The meeting was) our largest substantive discussion we’ve had to date in terms of a potential donation agreement between Baptist Hospital in the city of Pensacola on the donation of their parcels,” Reeves said.
“Mexico Beach hires outside firm to represent city in lawsuit filed by Mayor Michele Miller” via Nathan Cobb of the Panama City News-Herald — With an attorney selected, Mexico Beach can officially begin crafting its defense in the lawsuit filed by Mayor Miller against the City Council. In a special meeting on Monday, Mexico Beach City Council members voted to hire the firm Sniffen & Spellman to represent the city in the lawsuit, which alleges financial information about the city was intentionally withheld from Miller by former City Administrator Douglas Baber and Current Administrator Chris Hubbard under the direction of some Council members. Sniffen & Spellman has locations in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Pensacola.
“FSU bar exam scores rise to second best in state; FAMU falls to lowest rate in state” via Benjamin Taubman of the Tallahassee Democrat — Florida State University College of Law graduates who took the Summer Florida bar exam for the first time in July passed at the second highest rate in the state, moving up from the third highest in the year prior. Florida A&M University College of Law, which is based in Orlando, graduates who took the exam for the first time passed at the lowest rate in the state, moving down from the third lowest last year. At a passing rate of 83.4%, 121 of 145 FSU College of Law graduates are one step closer to joining the Florida Bar. The college only scored lower than Florida International University College of Law, which had 113 of 124 graduates pass at a rate of 91.1%.
“Leon County Schools launch ‘Littles to Leaders’ program for early childhood development” via Alaijah Brown of the Tallahassee Democrat — “We are committed to doing everything we can to prepare this diverse population of young people to enter school ready to succeed,” LCS Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a statement. Under the leadership of LCS Director of Early Childhood Programs Brooke Brunner, and Capital Area Healthy Start Executive Director Chris Szorcsik, the initiative will support families with resources and education on the development of children from birth to five years old to prepare them for school. The program received a financial boost of $150,000 from Simply Health Care, a health insurance company based in Florida. The contribution helped pay for an exclusive book by local author Heidi King and local illustrator Janae Easton called “Good Morning Tallahassee” which will be included in every “brain bag” for families.
“National Park Service to seek U.N. World Heritage Site label for Okefenokee near Jacksonville” via Steve Patterson of The Florida Times-Union — The National Park Service will nominate the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Jacksonville for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the agency has announced. The listing would be an extraordinary endorsement of the vast swamp’s ecological value and could fuel ecotourism travel through Jacksonville to reach the refuge about 50 miles northwest in Folkston, Georgia. A final decision through a panel of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization could be years away. The designation wouldn’t automatically create new regulations or limits on how nearby property is used but would underscore that the 400,000-acre refuge is environmentally precious.
— LOCAL: SW. FL —
“Sarasota County Commissioners partially reverse course on funding” via Barb Richardson of the Englewood Sun — Blowback to a Sept. 12 decision by the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners about funding social services manifested itself at Tuesday’s meeting. A total of 23 people spoke for organizations that were excluded from county funding at the previous meeting. All the agencies had been recommended for funding approval by two county Advisory Committees before making it to the County Commission. Whether they represented the groups or just spoke on behalf of them, the message was the same: Funding is needed; please restore it. The discussion resulted from changes largely driven by Commissioner Mike Moran about how Commissioners provided funding for social services.
“City Council approves tax increase in Naples for 2024, despite opposition” via Laura Layden of the Naples Daily News — The City Council has approved a property tax increase in Naples, despite opposition from residents who asked for a break in tough times. Usually, the city’s budget hearings don’t attract much attention. This year, the final hearing drew a crowd. Those who spoke in opposition asked for a reprieve, not just for themselves, but for the less fortunate, who are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Many residents are still fighting to recover from Hurricane Ian while facing higher living costs across the Board, driven mostly by record inflation. Last week, the Council voted 5-2 in favor of an increase from 1.15 to 1.17 mills for the city’s general fund.
“Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is expanding. When will construction be done?” via James A. Jones Jr. of the Bradenton Herald — The planned ground-level passenger terminal at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is no longer just a concept. The 75,300-square-foot ground boarding facility, which will eventually have five gates, a four-lane security checkpoint, nursing rooms, a pet relief area and restrooms, now has a roof and a concrete floor, as well as underground utilities. Also planned are 970 seats, 630 with power for phones and other electronic devices. The new terminal rising from the construction site was a welcome sight for members of the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. “Steel is going up. It’s coming along well,” Rick Piccolo, the airport’s president and Chief Executive Officer, said of construction.
— TOP OPINION —
“Americans are down on Biden. Why does his party keep winning elections?” via Reid Epstein of The New York Times — For nearly two years, poll after poll has found Americans in a sour mood about President Biden, uneasy about the economy and eager for younger leaders of the country.
And yet when voters have actually cast ballots, Democrats have delivered strong results in special elections — the sort of contests that attract little attention but can serve as a useful gauge for voter enthusiasm.
In Special Elections this year for state legislative offices, Democrats have exceeded Biden’s performance in the 2020 Presidential Election in 21 of 27 races, topping his showing by an average of seven percentage points, according to a study conducted by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the party’s campaign arm for state legislative races.
Taken together, these results suggest that the favorable political environment for Democrats since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade has endured through much of 2023. Democratic officials have said since the Summer of 2022, when the ruling came down, that abortion is both a powerful motivator for the party’s voters and the topic most likely to persuade moderate Republicans to vote for Democratic candidates.
Political operatives remain vexed about how much stock to put into the results of special elections. Such races tend to draw a fraction of the turnout in regular contests, and the voters skew older and more educated — a demographic that in the Trump era is more likely to favor Democrats.
The party that wins special elections tends to trumpet their importance and predictive power, while the losing side writes them off as insignificant measures of voters’ mood.
— OPINIONS —
“DeSantis’ ‘communist’ school accusation rings hollow, reveals ugly truth” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — Over the past six years, the Orlando Sentinel has spotlighted a slew of publicly funded voucher schools in Florida with disturbing policies and woefully inadequate educational programs. We’ve found schools that flat-out refuse to serve children with disabilities — with written policies saying that they simply won’t accept kids in wheelchairs or who have conditions like autism. Also, schools that refuse to admit students who are gay or even have gay parents. In each and every one of those cases, GOP lawmakers have said: Well, that’s how school choice works. Parents get to choose. But now that the Governor has lodged wild and unproven accusations about Chinese, communist indoctrination, these same politicians are suddenly no longer smitten with choice and freedom.
“Why DeSantis went limp as Georgia-Pacific ruined a small Florida town” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — He launched a legislative blitz against Disney when it dared to weigh in on a homophobic law. He demanded the state sue Bud Light’s parent company after the beer brand involved a transgender actor in a marketing campaign. He dedicated the bulk of a Legislative Session to his war against “Big Tech” companies. But when — in an audacious display of greed — Georgia-Pacific threatens the existence of the rural town of Perry, all that known-corporate-assailant DeSantis can muster is a feeble request for severance benefits in a bare-bones statement devoid of criticism of the paper giant. Why? The issue is too real. There’s no sexy culture-war angle. It doesn’t exhibit any of that forbidden wokeness and DeSantis won’t touch something that doesn’t advance his national ambitions.
“Lucy Morgan’s mission was to ‘roam around Florida and cause trouble’” via Diane Roberts of Florida Phoenix — Those of us who worked with her, or for her, or just hung out at her house drinking copious amounts of good red wine, cannot get our heads wrapped around this. Lucy, tough, funny, stiletto-sharp Lucy, Lucy the Hall of Famer, Pulitzer-winner, dogged investigator, epic badass, would surely live forever. That’s not, of course, the way the universe works. Causing trouble — for the powerful, at least — was her job. She mentored generations of journalists at the Times, a paper that has always been a kind of incubator for young talent, people who’ve gone onto Politico, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Those of us lucky enough to have been around her will mourn her, miss her, and never forget.
“Michelle Flowers: Cancer outcomes must not be determined by insurance protocols” via Florida Politics — All too often, we see patients denied the medications their doctor prescribes because of insurance barriers. Meanwhile, patients’ quality of life and mental health are diminished as they wait to receive the treatment they need. One of these barriers is “step therapy” or “fail first,” as patients must go through steps and fail to earn the right to access the medication their oncologist believes is best. Things like step therapy protocols undermine this crucial connection and strip patients of their freedom to take the best treatment path. Another tactic, known as “prior authorization,” requires an insurer or other third party to run a check to determine coverage. Given the potentially life-threatening nature of many cancers, such delays can have significant implications for continuity of care and, ultimately, health outcomes.
— INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY —
— ALOE —
“FIFA moving 100+ jobs to Florida from Zurich as legal department transfers to 2026 World Cup base” via Graham Dunbar of The Associated Press — FIFA is moving more than 100 jobs from its Swiss headquarters to Florida, where a growing workforce is already working on organizing the 2026 World Cup. FIFA informed staff on Tuesday that its entire legal department and the audit, compliance and risk management teams will move from Zurich to Coral Gables near Miami, a city whose status on the global soccer map is growing after Lionel Messi’s move to play in MLS for Inter Miami. “The move is planned to be fully operational in August 2024,” FIFA said.
“Retailers expect hefty Halloween spending from Floridians” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics — Halloween is a sweet holiday for many. But that’s especially true this year for those selling candy and costumes. The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), an advocacy group for Sunshine State sellers, highlighted data this week showing that Americans will spend more this spooky season compared to 2022. The numbers suggest that consumers plan to spend a record $108.24 per person, an increase of more than $8 since 2022. “More Floridians plan to celebrate Halloween this year, many of which have already started their shopping,” said FRF President and CEO Scott Shalley.
“Epcot Food & Wine: What would it cost to eat everything in 2023?” via DeWayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel — All marketplaces are up and running for the 2023 edition of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, so it’s time to break out the calculators for an annual tallying. This exercise answers the burning Disney World question, “What would it cost me if I ordered one of everything?” It isn’t an inflation gauge or a double-dog-dare-you sort of thing. It’s more of a trivia question. For the total cost, the published prices of all the menu items in the official festival passport plus a couple of late additions are considered, as well as a key subtraction. When you add up the cost of every solid food on the festival menu, you would be dishing out $637.58, and you’d probably feel like it. To walk away with one of every beverage, too, it’s an additional $1,014.36. That makes the festival total $1,651.94.
— HAPPY BIRTHDAY —
Belated birthday wishes to Darren Richards of Tucker/Hall. Celebrating today are U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sen. Joe Gruters’ better half, Sydney as well as Geoff Burgan and Monica Russo.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.
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