Don’t miss your first look at stories driving today’s agenda in Florida politics.
Suncoast Tiger Bay Club is holding its Annual Legislative Wrap Up with the Pinellas County delegation today, and yours truly will serve as moderator.
The event will feature Sens. Jeff Brandes and Darryl Rouson as well as Reps. Ben Diamond, Traci Koster, Chris Latvala and Michele Rayner, who will discuss what went down during the 2021 Legislative Session and the Special Session that followed.
We’ll also discuss the wins, opportunities, and ongoing challenges facing each of them in Tallahassee.
The event runs from noon to 1 p.m. on Zoom. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions and I’ll pass them on to the lawmakers.
Wrap Up tickets are free for members and $5 for nonmembers, though Suncoast Tiger Bay Club encourages those who can to chip in a $25 donation — ticket sales will be used to support continuing programming for the Young Tigers Scholarship Program.
Registration is available online.
The Sunshine State is getting its own 24-hour news network.
The E.W. Scripps Company announced the launch of The Florida 24 Network, which will be beamed out through apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV streaming devices.
The Florida 24 Network will feature coverage from Scripps’ TV stations in Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Fort Myers markets.
The company said the network will cover the “issues most essential to Floridians,” such as tourism, wildlife, beaches, lifestyle and agriculture. And yes, politics too.
Meteorologists from each market will also contribute frequent weather updates, focusing on tropical weather during hurricane season.
All Florida, all the time “Scripps is committed to serving both longtime Florida residents and newcomers with the authentic and hyperlocal journalism we know is essential to people’s lives,” Scripps Local Media president Brian Lawlor said. “The launch of the Florida 24 Network is the evolution of our longtime commitment to our Florida audiences and advertisers. We know our local business partners are eager to reach TV consumers via OTT.”
Scripps said it will pull in staff from its stations across the country. Nicole Wolfe of WSFL in Miami has been tapped as news director, and Matt Borek of WFTS in Tampa will serve as The Florida 24 Network senior director of digital.
Statewide investigative reporter Katie LaGrone and Florida State Capitol reporter Forrest Saunders will feature prominently.
“The pandemic has taught us a lot about the ways in which our newsrooms are able to collaborate to produce high-quality news and information in a remote environment,” Lawlor said. “The Florida 24 Network captures those learnings with the same commitment to essential journalism for which Florida residents have known Scripps for many years.”
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@DaveWeigel: I still feel like “GOP guy will speak out against (Donald) Trump” stories get too much attention relative to their importance in GOP politics. Remember how Paul Ryan gave a speech about moving past Trump? No, you don’t. It was last month.
—@JeremyHerb: I asked former WH chief of staff Mark Meadows if it was appropriate for him to email acting AG (Jeff) Rosen pushing election claims. “I’ll let you answer that,” he said, leaving the Senate dining room. “Obviously, I’m not going to comment on anything that may or may not have happened.”
—@nxthompson: If you’re vaccinated, the variants aren’t much of a threat. If you’re not vaccinated, you face a much more dangerous coronavirus than a year ago.
The two key facts about the Delta variant:
1. It seems to be both more contagious and more severe than other versions of the virus.
2. Vaccines work extremely well against it, virtually eliminating death. Check out the recent trends in Britain:https://t.co/LJJtxI1Fyh pic.twitter.com/DvfdiOs9r2
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) June 14, 2021
—@JReinerMD: People reluctant to get vaccinated will only listen to those they trust. So the 42% of Republicans who say they will not get vaccinated, or are still deciding, need to hear from Republican leaders. Yet, there is mostly silence. This is a massive dereliction of duty.
—@FarnoushAmiri: In a huge departure, @AP will no longer name suspects in brief stories about minor crimes in which there is little chance AP will provide coverage beyond the initial arrest. This is an effort to minimize harm on suspects’ who later gain employment or just move on in their lives.
—@AndreaGainey: People have no idea the positive they can often miss out on because they either 1. Won’t forgive the mistake. 2. Won’t admit a mistake was made. When I’m in the position to forgive, I try to always remember how many people I pray offer me the same 2nd chance when I screw up.
—@zeitchikWaPo: Expressing public excitement about the arrival of Ted Lasso screeners seems like a very unhumble, un-Lasso-like thing to do, and yet Lasso love dictates no other response. Damn you and your beautiful contradictions, Ted Lasso.
— DAYS UNTIL —
Father’s Day — 4; Amazon Prime Day — 5; New York City Mayoral Primary — 6; Microsoft reveals major Windows update — 8; F9 premieres in the U.S. — 9; Bruce Springsteen revives solo show, “Springsteen on Broadway” — 10; ‘Tax Freedom Holiday’ begins — 15; Fourth of July — 18; ‘Black Widow’ rescheduled premiere — 23; MLB All-Star Game — 27; Jeff Bezos travels into space on Blue Origin’s first passenger flight — 34; new start date for 2021 Olympics — 37; second season of ‘Ted Lasso’ premieres on Apple+ — 37; the NBA Draft — 47; ‘Jungle Cruise’ premieres — 49; ‘The Suicide Squad’ premieres — 55; Florida Behavioral Health Association’s Annual Conference (BHCon) begins — 63; St. Petersburg Primary Election — 69; Disney’s ‘Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings’ premieres — 78; NFL regular season begins — 85; Broadway’s full-capacity reopening — 90; 2022 Legislative Session interim committee meetings begin — 96; ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ premieres (rescheduled) — 100; ‘Dune’ premieres — 107; MLB regular season ends — 109; ‘No Time to Die’ premieres (rescheduled) — 114; World Series Game 1 — 133; St. Petersburg Municipal Elections — 139; Florida’s 20th Congressional District primary — 139; Disney’s ‘Eternals’ premieres — 142; ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rescheduled premiere — 156; San Diego Comic-Con begins — 163; Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ premieres — 177; ‘Spider-Man Far From Home’ sequel premieres — 187; NFL season ends — 207; 2022 Legislative Session starts — 209; Florida’s 20th Congressional District election — 209; NFL playoffs begin — 213; Super Bowl LVI — 242; ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ premieres — 282; ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ premieres — 324; ‘Platinum Jubilee’ for Queen Elizabeth II — 351; “Black Panther 2” premieres — 387; ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ sequel premieres — 478; “Captain Marvel 2” premieres — 513.
— TOP STORY —
“Report: Americans support pathway to citizenship for most immigrants” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — A new report shows that nine in 10 undocumented immigrants are part of groups that most U.S. citizens believe should have a pathway to citizenship. The FWD.us report finds that voters, regardless of political affiliation, would support legislation allowing immigrants in the country for at least 10 years, have a child or spouse who is a citizen, or seek asylum to achieve citizenship. Support is also strong in battleground states. Polling found about three-quarters of voters favor providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship to most subsets of immigrants. The only groups to fall short of that threshold are asylum-seekers (71%) and undocumented immigrants who hold Temporary Protected Status (68%).
Most immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship, a new poll of Americans found. Image via AP.
— 2022 —
“Ron DeSantis to keynote Faith and Family Coalition event” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — The Governor, who continues to get talked up as a 2024 presidential contender, will headline the “Road to Majority” event. The Faith and Family Coalition event runs on Jun. 17-19 at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Expect a pro-DeSantis crowd at what is billed the “premier grassroots conservative policy conference.” Speeches from DeSantis and the rest will stream, via the Fox Nation service. It will be the second major Orlando speech for DeSantis this year; he also offered remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2021.
—”DeSantis continues to dance around 2024 questions” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Nikki Fried’s marijuana-money conflicts are too big, plentiful to ignore” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — The Orlando Sentinel recently revealed troubling details about Fried’s personal financial connections to the cannabis industry her office helps regulate. She’s personally invested in one of the state’s few licensed marijuana providers. Her fiance is an investor in one of only 17 hemp extractors in Florida permitted by her department. And she made money lobbying for the industry before she took office, money she didn’t fully disclose until the Sentinel started asking questions. All that stinks worse than an unwashed bong. Either make money off cannabis or regulate cannabis. Don’t do both.
Nikki Fried’s ties to marijuana interests could be a problem on the campaign trail. Image via Twitter. “Marco Rubio’s play for anti-China vote” via Lachlan Markay of Axios — Rubio is making a play for China hawks in Florida as he braces for a competitive reelection fight next year, records show. Why it matters: Hostility toward communism drove a significant number of Latino voters in Florida into the Republican column in 2020. The Rubio campaign’s focus on China can capitalize on that trend and a wider — and widening — American mistrust of Beijing. What’s new: Rubio allies have spent the past year quietly building a list of voters motivated by anti-China sentiment. Now his campaign is openly hitting up their inboxes. Rubio campaign emails with subject lines such as, ‘Dems