With the 2020 legislative session a day away, there has been very little (if anything) that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has done wrong in his first year in office.
But the stellar track record could come to a crashing end, as The Floridian has found out that the good governor may be ready to make an ill-conceived, unforced error if he appoints a certain individual to a coveted appointed position.
We don’t want to say too much about this person if the appointed doesn’t happen.
So, let’s just say that the particular individual is on the verge of being named in two major civil lawsuits, committed election fraud but could not be prosecuted because of statute of limitations, accused of spousal abuse, accused of refusing to pay child support, and used his/her position in politics to squash complaints filed against him/her.
This is just the tip of the iceberg…Stay tuned…
AG Commissioner Nikki Fried’s statement on Hand vs. DeSantis ruling:
“Now that the court has ruled, it’s all the more important that Governor DeSantis and my Clemency Board colleagues heed my call for new clemency rules that restore the rights of Floridians. We’ve been in the office for a year, and the rules could have been changed in the first week. Floridians who have paid their debt to society should not have to wait a day longer.”
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“Florida University Names Melania Trump 2020 ‘Woman of Distinction,’ by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – First Lady Melania Trump has been named Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2020 “Woman of Distinction.” “Our first lady, is an exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother and an outstanding first lady, who represents us brilliantly in the United States and worldwide,” said co-chairwoman Eileen Burns. “Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her.” The university a private Christian university in West Palm Beach, Florida, always honors two woman as honorees who have made significant contributions to the community each year at an honorary luncheon. This year, Melania will be the solo honoree.
“Republicans concerned over Rep. Mast’s ties to enviro group suing Trump,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The 35th annual Everglades Coalition Conference on Captiva Island went off as planned, but on the first day of the event, a group of Republicans showed up to protest Rep. Brian Mast (R) prior to him delivering the keynote address on Friday. Local Republican Michael Thompson said that he and a group of fellow like-minded Republicans questioned “why he (Mast) was there as a keynote speaker and break bread with a Soros-funded organization” like those represented at the Everglades Coalition. The Floridian couldn’t find any direct donations made from George Soros or his Open Society Foundation or the Tides Foundation to the Everglades Coalition or the Everglades Foundation or Trust, but there is a financial tie between the Tides Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the group that has sued the Trump Administration 179 times, and counting. Jaclyn Lopez, the Florida Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, was honored as the “Conservationist of the Year” following Mast’s Friday keynote address.
“Florida Democrats, Vilarino welcome Gimenez to congressional race,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Just as news broke that Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was going to announce a run for Congress in Florida’s 26th congressional district, Florida Democrats released a scathing video titled “Corrupt Carlos” that accuses the two-term mayor of Miami-Dade of corruption, cronyism, and for being a self-serving career politician. Now, one of Gimenez’s probable Republican congressional primary opponents, restauranteur Irina Vilarino, welcomed Gimenez into the race with a warm political backhand to the face, questioning how he would be able to “make the case” for being the Republican nominee after he “endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and contemplated leaving the Republican Party in 2014.”
“James St. George enters race to replace Rep. Ted Yoho,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The Republican congressional primary race to replace retiring Conservative Rep. Ted Yoho (R) has gotten a little more crowded as Dr. James St. George has decided to run for the hotly contested seat, and who hopes to “carry on Congressman Yoho’s commitment to our conservative principals and support of our President.” Dr. St. George, a businessman, husband, father, and Eagle Scout stated in a press release that he was “ready to take off” his medical coat, “roll up” his sleeves, and work to help President Trump “heal our country.” “Now more than ever we need members of Congress who support our President and represent our conservative values just as Congressman Yoho has done so honorably,” stated St. George “As a physician, I’ve help patients across North Florida with their medical needs, as a conservative Republican I’ve supported candidates locally who stand for our conservative principals, and as a father I was a leader in an organization that teaches our youth the value of strong morals and service to the community.
“Teachers rallying at Florida State Capitol on Monday” by FOX 35 Orlando’s Stephanie Buffamonte – Thousands of Florida teachers are expected to be out of the classroom and rallying in front of the State Capitol on Monday. The Brevard Federation of Teachers is getting ready to join teachers from all over the state who will lobby for more funding at the Capitol Monday. In Brevard County, 350 teachers and community members will be heading to Tallahassee.“We’ve had over a decade of disinvestment in public education and we’re asking the governor to take a serious look at investing in our public schools,” Vice President of the Brevard Federation of Teachers Vanessa Skipper said. The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association said they have at least 350 teachers who plan to attend the rally. “We just want to make sure we have smaller class sizes, better working conditions, and that we can have enough of a salary so we can recruit and retain the best, and experienced teachers we can,” said President of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Wendy Doromal. Both the Brevard Federation of Teachers and Orange County Classroom Teachers Association say there will be substitutes in each classroom. The Polk County Superintendent said 1,600 of their teachers will be out on Monday, leaving them scrambling to find replacements.
“Florida man who spat on ‘MAGA’ hat-wearing bar patron gets 90 days in jail” by Fox News’s Vandana Rambaran – A Florida man who spat on a fellow bar patron wearing a “Make America Great” hat was sentenced to 90 days in jail and one year of supervised probation. Matthias Ajple, 43, entered a no-contest plea Thursday and Judge David Morgan found Ajple guilty of battery, Treasure Coast News reported. Surveillance footage of the incident showed Ajple approaching Robert Youngblood, 67, at a bar in Vero Beach on Oct. 26. He placed a paper towel on Youngblood’s head to cover up the “Make America Great Again” lettering on the hat, and slapped the bill of the hat before telling him to “go back to Russia, you f— communist,” investigators said. Ajple then spat on Youngblood and left the bar, according to an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit. Youngblood took down Ajple’s license plate and gave it to police. Ajple told police when they arrested him, “I was just trying to protect you guys because I support law enforcement. Trump supporters are communist and racist.” “I don’t even care that I’m going to jail; this is actually exciting,” he said. “Plus, I have more time on this earth than he does anyway; he probably feels so good about himself.” Ajple must also pay a $155 to Youngblood, pay for all necessary court costs and avoid contact with him, according to the sentencing document.
“Local judge interviews for spot on Florida Supreme Court” by WJHG – One local judge is looking to take his judicial power to the Florida Supreme Court. This weekend, the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission met in Orlando to interview applicants for two spots on the Florida Supreme Court. Sunday, Judge Elijah Smiley from the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit interviewed for one of those spots. The commission will submit the names of finalists to Governor DeSantis who will then select the two replacements. However, based on the current makeup of the Florida Supreme Court, one of the justices appointed must be from Florida’s third appellate district, which is Dade and Monroe counties. Judge Smiley started as a Bay County judge in 1995. He was also the first African American to serve as Chief Judge in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.
“SAUDI SERVICE MEMBERS TO BE EXPELLED AFTER FLORIDA BASE SHOOTING” by CBS News – More than a dozen Saudi service members training at U.S. bases will be expelled, a U.S. official confirmed to CBS News’ David Martin. The service members are being expelled after an investigation into the deadly December shooting by a Saudi national at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The service members are not accused of having involvement in the shooting, but some are said to be linked to extremist movements and a number are accused of possessing child pornography. CNN first reported the news of the Saudi service members’ expulsion. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday that there has been an investigation by the Department of Justice and FBI into the shooting. “I’ve signed out directives that address enhanced screening of all of our foreign students that address credentialing going forward, weapons policies, etc.,” Esper told CBS News. “So we’re doing everything we can. The investigation is being conducted by DOJ and FBI. I’m sure they will release something on that in the coming days.”
“Gov. DeSantis goals: teacher pay, E-Verify, environmental action” by Associated Press – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is pursuing an agenda this year that builds on some of his successes in his first year in office, including education, the environment and immigration. DeSantis has declared 2020 “the year of the teacher” and is proposing raising the minimum teacher salary to $47,500; he’s pushing for legislation that will help Florida combat blue-green algae and other environmental issues and he wants lawmakers to approve E-verify, a system that checks whether someone can legally work. “We’ve put out some pretty major initiatives over the last few months,” the Republican governor said when he released his proposed $91.4 billion budget. “The environment, we’re going to keep the momentum on that, and then we have a lot of major education initiatives.” But after getting nearly everything he wanted during his first legislative session, he might find this year’s to be a little tougher, with concerns about his teacher raise proposal and reluctance to pass E-verify. The legislative session begins on Tuesday. House Speaker Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano, both Republicans, have expressed concerns about DeSantis’s proposal to raise the minimum teacher pay statewide, which would cost about $600 million. While Galvano said raising teacher salaries is a worthy goal, taking a blanket approach to a state as large and diverse as Florida may not be easy. “There are districts that have different levels of pay currently, you have different costs of living in certain districts, and when you go through and put it as a one-size-fits-all, then you can create some practical problems as well as some inequities,” Galvano said.
“Kelly Glover, Missing Utah woman, found dead in Florida lake” by New York Post’s Jackie Salo – A Utah woman was found dead in a lake two days after she vanished while on a work trip in Florida, her family said. Kelly Glover, 37, went missing Thursday from the Westin Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, where she was on a business trip, news station WPLG reported. “Her friend went to bed early [on Wednesday],” her husband, Adam Bremer, told the outlet on Friday. “My wife was still up and her friend woke up around 4 a.m. [on Thursday], and my wife was nowhere to be found and the door was left open.” She was last seen on surveillance video from the hotel, which showed her going down a stairwell barefoot around 2 a.m. Thursday, WPLG reported. Her husband said she didn’t have a history of sleepwalking.
“Trump demands Schiff and Pelosi testify in impeachment trial,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With Speaker Nancy Pelosi expected to send the two articles of impeachment over to the Senate sometime this week, a move that would nudge the Republican-led Senate to begin the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, the president is once again sharing his opinion on how he thinks the trial should go, and who should be called as a witness. Trump has said that he would like to see the Bidens called in as witnesses, now he wants House Intel Chief Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi called in to testify as witnesses. If Pelosi does send over the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the measures would be all-but dead on arrival, as Sen. Mitch McConnell has already signaled that he would have a quick vote to end the debate once and for all. But now the chance of an actual trial has increased as President Trump himself has openly stated that he wanted to have a public trial.
“AOC Refuses to Pay DCCC Dues, Funding Progressive Challengers Against Colleagues,” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) has emerged as the top fundraiser powerhouse of her party, but the Democratic socialist is refusing to pay her dues to the House’s Democratic campaign committee, angering her fellow Democrat colleagues. “It is pretty nuts, $250,000 for a freshman Democrat,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with Hispolitica outside the Capitol Friday. “I am not paying D-trip dues (nickname for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) because I don’t agree with the policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates.” She added, “Congress in the primaries 70 percent of Americans live in a safe blue seat or a safe red seat which means the only choice that they have realistically is in their primary election and the idea that we should take democracy away from people is one that I fundamentally disagree with that.”
ICYMI—“Pelosi: Obama didn’t need congressional authorization, but Trump does,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Republicans are mocking Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats for their apparent hypocrisy over presidential authority to use U.S. military force against a foreign power or terrorist group, or threat to the U.S. In a 2011 press conference, then-leader Nancy Pelosi (D) was asked to confirm her statement that President Barack Obama did not need “any authorization from Congress” to attack Libya. Leader Pelosi answered with a firm “yes.” House Democrats voted on and passed a non-binding Iran War Powers resolution to prevent President Trump from conducting any further military operation against the Iranian regime without Congress first approving.
“Matt Gaetz on Iran : “We shouldn’t join them (Democrats) in being hypocrites,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The non-biding House Iran War Powers resolution to limit President Donald Trump’s future military action against the Islamic State of Iran, passed by a vote count of 224-194 along party lines, but saw three Republicans cross the aisle to vote with Democrats. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Thomas Massie, and Francis Rooney backed the resolution, leaving many Republican members scratching their heads over their vote, especially after Rep. Brian Mast’s passionate speech on the House floor. Rep. Mast, who lost both his legs and a digit in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED during a nighttime operation, told The Floridian that American “deaths were paid for by Obama.”
“Brian Mast: Many U.S. military “deaths paid for by Obama,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Rep. Brian Mast (R) has taken exception with fellow Floridian Rep. Val Demings’ claim that President Barack Obama handed $1.7 billion in cash to Iran that went to fund terrorists and made the U.S. “less safe in the situation today.” Rep. Demings told The Floridian that “What President Obama did has nothing to do, moving forward, with keeping us safe.” “We are und threat right now, said Demings “What President Obama did has nothing to do, moving forward, with keeping us safe. When we pulled out of the Iranian deal, it appears to me we had no plan for any reactions that Iran would have after pulling out of that deal. And so what President Obama did not make us safer or less safe in this situation today.”
“Gabbard: Trump decision of Soleimani Strike ‘Undermines Our National Security,’ by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said President Trump decision to launch the airstrike that killed Iran’s top military commander, Qassem Soleimani last week is “undermining our national security interest.” Gabbard added that the killing of Soleimani was an “assassination” because it was an “illegal and an unconstitutional act of war.” “The Commander-in-Chief needs to make decisions based on what’s the best national security interest of our country,” Gabbard said. “The decision that he made is undermining our national security interest. It was an assassination and this attack was unconstitutional and illegal act of war by this president.”
ICYMI- “Mike Lee: Iran Briefing from Trump Administration was ‘Insulting and Demeaning,’ by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) slammed the administration classified Iran briefing on the strike that killed one of Iran’s top generals, Qassem Soleimani last week, calling the closed-door meeting “insulting and demeaning.” “What I found so distressing about that briefing was that one of the messages we received from the briefers was, ‘Do not debate. Do not discuss the issue of the appropriateness of further military intervention against Iran. And then if you do, you’ll be emboldening Iran,’” Lee told reporters in a heated press conference following the briefing. “I find this insulting and demeaning to the Constitution of the United States.” He added, “It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government to come in and tell us that we can’t debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran. They had to leave after 75 minutes while they’re in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public.” The closed-door meeting conducted by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley in a secure location on Capitol Hill Wednesday, briefed both the House and Senate to provide evidence that the strike on Soleimani was justified and he posed an imminent threat to Americans. Lee characterized the meeting as one of “the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue.”
“Loomer says Frankel voted to “protect the terrorist regime in Iran,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Days before authorities arrested an Iranian national close by President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate carrying $22,000 in cash and an assortment of weapons, including a machete, pickax, and two knives, Republican congressional candidate and activist Laura Loomer all-but, predicted that an Islamic threat was imminent. Loomer’s campaign, via a press release, addressed the recent threatening tweet made against President Trump and Mar-A-Lago by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s close advisor Hesameddin Ashena. Not only did Loomer point to the threat before it occurred during an addressed at the Palm Beach Republican Party monthly meeting, but she called on Rep. Lois Frankel (D) to do what she can in her position as a congresswoman to “secure the lives and property of the citizens” of her congressional district
“Mucarsel-Powell opposes canceled flights to Communist Cuba,” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – The latter half of 2019 may have been overshadowed by the impeachment efforts against President Trump, but most of the year was spent, in some portion, on targeting communist nations like Cuba and Venezuela
“Bilirakis: llhan Omar “should apologize to our heroes” over PTSD remark,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R), who sits on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, openly denounced Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) for complaining that she was “stricken with PTSD” as a result of the recent military engagements and events, including the targeted killing of Iran’s top terrorist leader, Qassim Soleimani. Rep. Bilirakis told The Floridian that the freshman congresswoman needed to apologize to all veterans, who presumably currently live, or lived with PTSD. “That’s terrible,” said Bilirakis “It’s extremely offensive to me, but actually to our heroes. She should apologize to our heroes.”
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!
Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff – Trump has made it clear he wants no trial, no witnesses, no documents, no verdict. He wants the case dismissed, so Americans never know the extent of his efforts to get Ukraine to help him cheat in the election. But the Senators must decide: will they insist on a fair trial?
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -Trump Derangement Syndrome has taken over the Democrat Party presidential candidates. They can’t even give @realDonaldTrump credit for killing a terrorist who murdered Americans. It’s shameful.
Marco Rubio @marcorubio – Another aftershock in #PuertoRico. Unlike a hurricane, earthquakes can go on for days/weeks & are difficult to forecast. My top immediate goal is making sure all emergency aid requested from the federal govt is expedited for delivery.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – Agreed! Now let’s use same policy for #Russia since they interfered in our 2016 elections, they’ve targeted members of the opposition party, they prop up #maduroregime Can you stand up to Putin and Russia? We must put, as you say #AmericaFirst
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets Cancer rates dropped before you took office. Hopefully they keep dropping because Congress rejected your cruel research budgets, which sought billions in CUTS to @NIH and the National Cancer Institute. This is good news despite you – not because of you
Rep. Michael Waltz @RepMichaelWaltz – Iran’s militias in Iraq will continue to attack our bases and #Iran will continue to deny responsibility. We must make it clear we will hold Iran, not just their militias, directly accountable.
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch – 10 years ago, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that killed 200,000 people and leftover 1 million homeless. 10 years later, the recovery continues. We must continue to stand with the Haitian people & support their efforts to restore peace, stability, and full democracy.
“Police in Florida arrest Iranian national carrying knives, machete, and pickaxe,” by Fox 35 Orlando – Lake Mary, Fla.
– Police officers in Palm Beach, Florida have detained an Iranian national who was found to be in possession of several knives, a machete, and a pickaxe.
Officers located the man along the Flagler Memorial Bridge on Friday afternoon, as they were responding to a call about a suspicious person. During the investigation, they determined a vehicle located at Palm Beach International Airport was also tied to the man, and he was carrying approximately $22,000 in U.S. currency.