Good Tuesday morning.
First on #FlaPol — Drew Meiner, a longtime staffer to Gov. Ron DeSantis, is joining the team at Capital City Consulting.
“Drew has been a great, long-standing member of our team and we wish him the best in his next chapter. As an avid golfer, I wish him well, hope he stays out of the rough and hits only fairways and greens in his future rounds,” DeSantis told Florida Politics.
Meiner currently serves as a senior adviser to DeSantis but has been working with the Governor since his time in Congress. He also served as a high-level staffer in the Governor’s successful statewide campaigns.
“Working for Governor DeSantis these past eight years has been the honor of a lifetime. Whether it was late nights on the campaign trail or early mornings in the Governor’s office, I’ll always be thankful for the trust he and the First Lady placed in me. I’m proud to consider them friends and will always be Team DeSantis,” he said.
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to join the team at Capital City Consulting. Nick Iarossi and Ron LaFace have established themselves as the preeminent firm in Tallahassee where their expertise and relationships have paid dividends for clients both in Florida and nationally. I look forward to bringing my years of experience in the Governor’s Office to the firm and building on that success.”
Meiner bolsters the roster of one of the most successful lobbying firms in the state. CCC, led by co-founders Iarossi and LaFace, consistently ranks among the top five firms in the state by quarterly revenues.
“As Gov. DeSantis’ longest-standing staff member, Drew has incredible insight into how the Governor and his administration approach governance. His credibility and likability within state government is unmatched and we are excited to bring his talents to serve CCC’s clients,” Iarossi said.
First on #FlaPol — Agriculture Commissioner-elect Wilton Simpson has hired Aaron Keller as the Communications Director at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Keller is a familiar face at FDACS, having served as Press Secretary under former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for three of the Bartow Republican’s eight years in the Cabinet Post.
He most recently served as Communications Director for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
He previously held positions at a handful of other state agencies, including a stint as the Communications and Outreach Manager at the Department of Economic Opportunity and as a Media Relations Specialist at the Florida Department of Health.
Before entering the public sector, Keller worked as a public relations assistant for Tallahassee-based CoreMessage, a full-service communications firm led by Cory Tilley. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in public relations.
Expect more hiring announcements in the lead-up to Simpson’s inauguration Jan. 3.
Here are some other items on my radar:
— Deadly politics: Turns out, politics can kill you. Or, at least, its toxicity is fueling mortality rates among working-age Americans, according to a Washington Post report. In one reported study, researchers found people living in conservative areas disproportionately faced death and illness from COVID-19. Another found that the more conservative a state’s policies, the shorter the lives of its working-age population. There are other trends, too, including the likelihood of states expanding social safety nets, increasing the minimum wage or using taxes to discourage harmful behaviors, such as smoking.
— Biden trumps Trump: The expectation was simple and rooted in history: The party in power in Washington would suffer losses in the Midterm, especially with a President facing a serious popularity deficit and an economy suffering under the weight of high inflation. But in 2022, President Joe Biden and Democrats defied those odds, maintaining (and growing) their majority in the Senate and losing far fewer seats in the U.S. House than anticipated. Biden was the clear Midterm winner over former President Donald Trump, Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz wrote in a weekend analysis. But while Biden is the clear winner, he argues, Trump was the clearer loser. It was less about what Biden did right than what Trump did wrong, and that trend continues as the 2024 presidential cycle draws nearer, setting up a potential rematch between the two. Read more here.
1⃣ — Poll shows most Americans are good with Iowa and New Hampshire first in nation: As calls grow louder to diversify the 2024 Presidential Preference Primary lineup, a new LX News/Morning Consult poll shows a majority of Americans are good to let Iowa and New Hampshire keep their spot at the top of the order, with 65% saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the existing lineup. That’s six points higher than a similar poll taken nearly three years ago, according to NBC.
— The end of the Cold War’s chilling effect on religion: Around the early 1990s, young Americans began falling away from organized religion, a trend that largely coincides with the end of the Cold War. Author David French in The Dispatch correlates the two, based largely on British Sociologist Stephen Bullivant’s book “Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America.” While the Cold War is falling deeper into the realm of the forgotten and more and more American adults came of age in the post-Cold War era, the effects appear to be timeless. French posits that the nation’s struggle against atheistic Soviet Communism led to “an existential struggle that was also inescapably religious.” With no Soviet threat to fuel the continued Christian surge, religious sentiment gave way to the avoidance of extremism, including in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on American soil. All in all, a very interesting read.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@RepBrianMast: In 2 days, Title 42 ends and Border Patrol lose the one tool they have to try and secure the southern border. The Biden administration still has no plan.
Between toy donation drives and check-ins with Santa, the Collins boys are doing their best to stay on the nice list this year! pic.twitter.com/WJ1MpzkjC4
— Jay Collins (@JayCollinsFL) December 19, 2022
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) December 19, 2022
—@apantazi: It’s hard to capture in a pithy quote how much (Judge Marcia Morales) Howard goes out of her way to destroy the Jacksonville City Council’s supposed rationale for its redistricting plan. The Council should be able to recognize thoroughly how low of a regard she has for them.
—@ArekSarkissian: Florida’s Surgeon General makes a thread to hurl a few barbs at federal regulators and COVID mRNA manufacturer Pfizer. He even brings up 8 mice in Pfizer testing, implying the testing was not very broad. Or it’s a nursery rhyme.
Today, we celebrated Cheryl’s 15th anniversary with Team JB! Join us in thanking her for all she does to keep everything running smoothly around here. pic.twitter.com/573PB0lSO6
— Johnson & Blanton (@JohnsonBlanton) December 19, 2022
—@MarissaKabas: if you log off for a few hours, you’ll miss an entire Twitter policy cycle
—@paleofuture: A billionaire losing a “do you like me” poll on a service he paid $44 billion for is just an objectively funny way for this whole thing to end
— DAYS UNTIL —
Military Bowl with UCF Knights against Duke — 8; Cheez-It Bowl with FSU against Oklahoma — 9; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 12; last day to ride Splash Mountain before remodeling — 33; The James Madison Institute’s Annual Dinner — 36; 2023 FAC Access 67 Broadband Summit — Florida Association of Counties begins — 37; State Senators have a 5 p.m. deadline for submitting requests for drafts of general bills and joint resolutions, including requests for companion bills — 38; Bruce Springsteen launches 2023 tour in Tampa — 43; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 59; final performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on Broadway — 60; city of Tampa Municipal Election early voting begins — 69; DeSantis’ ‘The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival’ released — 70; ‘The Mandalorian’ returns — 71; Tampa Municipal Election — 77; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 77; World Baseball Classic finals begin in Miami — 81; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 94; Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ Tour in Tampa — 114; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 129; 2023 Session Sine Die — 136; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 136; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 164; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 213; ‘‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 220; Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 318; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 465; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 521; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 584; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 584; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 626; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 689; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 767; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 864. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,053.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.