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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 12.17.21

Florida needs truckers, and Ron DeSantis sweetens the pot.

By Peter Schorsch    

Good Friday morning.

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the highly awaited holiday greetings from The Southern Group.

Always a treat: The Southern Group’s annual Christmas card.

The lobbying firm — officially the top shop in Tallahassee two quarters in a row — releases a Christmas card each year that offers a fun take on the year’s most significant political stories, something always guaranteed to bring a buzz — not to mention a few snickers — throughout Florida’s Capitol.

This year it appears Santa Claus got himself a smartphone as the card features a gloved hand with iconic Kriss Kringle cuffs scrolling through Twitter.

“He sees you when you’re tweeting. He knows when you DM,” the card reads.

The phone in Santa’s hand, of course, is overflowing with messages, many of them from politicians and celebrities, listing what they want for Christmas this year.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is itching for a stocking full of coal, President Joe Biden hopes Santa can change his name to Brandon, and Bucs QB Tom Brady wants the same thing he got last year — another ring.

As ever, the card features genuine well wishes from The Southern Group team.

“We hope your holidays are full of likes, shares, retweets, and truly perfect moments of joy,” it says.


Spotted at the Governor’s Mansion for a “State Leaders Holiday Reception” — Secretary Laurel Lee and former Sen. Tom Lee, Secretary Simone Marstiller, Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Reps. Linda Chaney, Elizabeth Fetterhoff, and Jason Fischer, Meredith Beatrice-Ivey, Beau Beaubien, Adam Callaway, Stephanie Kopelousos, Brad and Deanna McVay, Chris and Gina Spencer, Skylar and Lindsey Zander.


The Reading Rainbow theme doesn’t apply to prisoners. They can’t fly or be anything they want, and, by definition, they can’t go anywhere. They can, however, take a look in a book — and you can help.

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services and the State Library of Florida launched its first-ever Holiday Book Drive on Thursday.

Florida prisons need books.

Through February, the public and make book donations at a dropbox in the main lobby of the R.A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough St. in Tallahassee. The lobby will also be open for donations from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

All books received through the drive will be distributed to libraries within correctional facilities throughout the state, as well as to the library within the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

“Book donations received through the State Library’s Holiday Book Drive will make a positive impact on the lives of Floridians statewide,” Secretary of State Laurel Lee said. “The State Library is honored to collaborate with the Florida Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Children and Families on this invaluable program.”

Drive organizers said prison libraries are clamoring for pretty much anything — yes, that includes the decades-old college textbooks you weren’t able to sell back. If you want to brighten a prisoner’s day, they are craving books in the sci-fi, fantasy and Western genres in particular. Board games, puzzles and movies (G through PG-13) are also accepted.

More information on the drive is available online.


@ElonMusk: Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen

@MarcATracy: An oral history of the afternoon when everyone realized they were probably going to get COVID soon

@harmancipants: Feels like something has changed basically overnight in NYC. COVID wave is here!

@SullyDish: A modest proposal. Make rapid testing kits for COVID as ubiquitous as possible. Approve the Merck COVID pill ASAP and allow it to be sold over the counter, no prescription needed. Give us tools to protect ourselves.

@goni_lessan: COVID UPDATE: Mark O’Bryant, the TMH president, said there were only 3 people in the hospital for COVID today, said it’s the lowest it’s ever been. Omicron in the community? “My guess is there is some.” Said vaccines help in the severity of omicron cases.

@revrrlewis: touch down in Ft. Lauderdale and a man is wearing a shirt that says “the final variant is communism”





@SteveBousquet: If there’s one thing North Florida does not need, it’s another road — especially a toll road. The first thing anybody in South Florida notices when they go upstate is: What nice roads and no gridlock. We have I-10, I-75, U.S. 90, U.S. 27, U.S. 441, many more. That’s plenty.

@JHendersonTampa: To those who expect #UrbanMeyer to return to a top college program after his disastrous @Jaguars experience, consider this. Can you imagine this control freak dealing with the agent of a high school kid under NIL rules?



FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comDec. 17, 2021

Republished with permission