Winner and Loser of the Week in Politics in Florida – Week of 7.10.22
With just over a month to go until the August 23 primary election, the Democrat charlie christ was the next logical step for someone in his position.
Emboldened by a poll that shows him with a substantial advantage over his fellow Democrat Fried NikkiCrist has set his sights on the big dog.
In his first TV commercial of this election cycle, Crist ignored Fried and went straight for the jugular against the governor. Ron DeSantis.
“Think what’s at stake in Florida,” Crist says in the ad headlined Defending. “Governor. Ron DeSantis bullies school kids. He wants to ban abortion, even for victims of rape and incest.
“He opposes all gun background checks, even for violent criminals. And he cares more about running for the White House than your home. Well, I defend myself.
Yes, we said it was a “logical” step for Crist, but it’s also risky. Winning the ballot is not the same as winning the election, and Fried has shown no sign of surrender. Turnout is generally low for a primary, which could help Fried if his attacks on Crist’s abortion dossier start sticking.
But if Crist wins, the “Fighting Back” ad points to potential vulnerabilities in DeSantis. Granted, his popularity seems out of control now, and the polls – again – point to a comfortable victory for the governor.
Crist knows the GOP base won’t care about the issues he raised, but independents might. This is probably the only area of vulnerability, even remotely, for DeSantis. People might look at his attacks on teachers, universities, and local governments and say, “Hey, wait a minute.
There was also that embarrassing moment when he dismissively told school kids to take off their masks at an event in Tampa.
Like someone once said, it’s not over until it’s over.
Now it’s time for our weekly game of Winners and Losers.
Honorable Mention: Val Demings. The Democratic candidate who is trying to overthrow Marco Rubio in the US Senate continues to raise impressive sums. His campaign reported raising $12.2 million in the second quarterhis highest total to date.
His campaign called it “historic” and that makes Demings competitive on the money. She is still way behind in the polls; FiveThirtyEight continues to give Rubio a 94% chance to win.
However, having that much money gives Demings a chance to cut Rubio’s lead with a televised blitz. It’s also likely that the margin will shrink after the primary elections in August as voters begin to pay more attention.
“We’re building the most powerful campaign Rubio has ever seen,” Demings’ campaign manager said. Zach Carroll said in a press release.
Almost (but not quite) the biggest winner: the University of Florida. UF has moved to the front lines of cybersecurity research, announcing a collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency to combat cyberterrorism.
UF’s Florida Institute for National Security will study how artificial intelligence and machine learning applications can defend against attacks on computer networks.
“If you operate retroactively in the field of cybersecurity, you are often too late,” said the director of FINS Damon Woodard said in a school press release.
Cyberattacks in 2021 increased by around 500 compared to the previous year. Ransomware attacks are also increasing.
The big winner: Mary McLeod Bethune. As a 26-year-old black woman in 1904, Mary McLeod founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls on an abandoned Daytona Beach landfill.
Today we know Dr.. Mary McLeod Bethune Bethune-Cookman University, and countless thousands of young black men and women have received their education there.
Dr. Bethune’s impact on Florida history is immense. Now he is enshrined in the Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol in Washington. The leaders – including US Rep. Catherine Beaver of Tampa – led a ribbon-cutting ceremony that highlighted Bethune’s incomparable legacy as an educator and civil rights leader during a turbulent time in Florida history.
His 8-foot marble statue, sculpted with materials from the Italian quarry used by Michelangelo, weighs over 6,000 pounds. It shows Bethune in her role as teacher and role model.
Each state is allowed to display two statues. Bethune is the first black woman so honored.
In 2016, Florida lawmakers agreed to replace the statue of the Confederate general Edmond Kirby Smith. Two years later, they agreed Bethune deserved the honor in a rare overwhelming bipartisan show.
In August, her adopted Daytona home will unveil a second statue of Bethune — this one in bronze — as a permanent reminder of how a determined individual continues to have a profound impact more than a century later.
Dishonorable mention: Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Mainstream media strive for balanced coverage, especially on their editorial and opinion pages. However, that doesn’t mean contorting yourself like a pretzel to allow others to use you for propaganda purposes in the name of fairness.
So did the Herald-Tribune last Sunday when it authorized a response to a previous guest editorial in the newspaper criticizing school board members for being too pals with the Proud Boys.
For incomprehensible reasons, the newspaper published a counter-argument under the title “Attacking the proud boys does a disservice to the parents of caring pupils”.
“When I think of the Proud Boys, I think of fathers, business owners and veterans,” Melissa Radovitch wrote in his rebuttal. “These fathers spoke at many school board meetings. They are concerned about the direction of their local schools and I commend them for coming to school board meetings.
Ai Yi Yi!
Radovich is married to the Proud Boys member Nicolas Radovitchand the play did not reveal it.
The backlash was swift, and editors quickly removed the editorial.
Editor-in-chief of the Herald-Tribune Jennifer Orsi followed by an article stating that the newspaper had made a mistake when printing the original.
She said the Proud Boys are “an extremist group that promotes white nationalist views.”
The editorial’s use, she said, was “antithetical to our values as an organization and not our responsibility to provide a fair forum for different viewpoints.”
Almost (but not quite) the biggest loser: Wayne Ivey, Sheriff of Brevard County. The popular and sometimes controversial lawman has gone overboard trying to influence elections in his county.
At least that’s what two candidates say, one for the County Commission and the other for the School Board. says Florida Today. They said Ivey told them that if they withdrew their applications, they would get Commission jobs if the sheriff’s preferred candidate, Tom Goodsonwin the elections.
Chris Hattaway runs against Goodson, while Shawn Overdorf is running against Courtney Lewis for the school board seat.
The newspaper said both candidates, who are Republicans, current or former police officers and war veterans with distinguished backgrounds, declined the sheriff’s offer. Goodson told the newspaper he knew nothing about what the other candidates were alleging.
“Basically, his comments were, ‘I didn’t know you were so serious (about running); I’ve already committed to Tom Goodson. But if you’re really looking to get into politics, I can put you in touch with him, and you can work in his office. I told him how awesome you are. But we don’t want to see you lose and prevent you from going further in politics,” Hattaway said.
According to the newspaper, the sheriff did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Ivey could face an ethics charge if the allegations are true.
The biggest loser: Erick Aguilar. In the Old Testament book of Amos, the prophet has a message in chapter 5 for those who claim to follow God while exploiting the poor.
“I hate, I reject your parties; I don’t like your merry assemblies. If you bring me your burnt offerings and food gifts, I will not be happy. I won’t look at your offers of well-fed animals. Remove noise from your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice flow like waters, and justice like an inexhaustible torrent.
Aguilar is a candidate for Congress in Florida’s 4th congressional district. His The touts of the Twitter page“Service to GOD”.
However, according to a meticulously reported story by Matt Dixon of POLITICO, Aguilar served himself first.
“Erick Aguilar is not donald trump or Ron DeSantis,” Dixon wrote. “He just wants you to think he is.”
The story detailed how Aguilar sent a large number of emails, mostly to retired elderly people, asking for money. He used a GOP fundraising site called WinRed.
The emails never mentioned Aguilar’s quest for Congress. Instead, they were crafted in a way that tricked recipients into thinking they came from DeSantis or Trump.
People believed their money would go to top Republicans.
POLITICO reported the text of an email sent last November as DeSantis and sparked a huge surge in campaign donations for Aguilar.
“Governor DeSantis is still fighting against the corrupt left,” it read. “No matter how bad this country is, the Fake News media and Biden Admin are OBSESSIONED with it [sic] Florida is doing fine.
The website contacted some of the donors.
“I don’t know that name” Pat Medford, an 88-year-old woman from Minnesota, said when asked about her donations to Aguilar. “I give, of course, to President Trump and DeSantis, but that’s really all.”
WinRed responded by kicking Aguilar off their platform.
“This account has intentionally misled people by claiming to be, among others, Donald Trump, Ron Desantis and Jim Jordan“, said a spokesperson. “WinRed will not let this happen, so several months ago we took action by shutting it down.”
A final word to Aguilar: repent!