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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 12.8.21

Ron DeSantis fires back at Nikki Fried. Image via Colin Hackley.

By Peter Schorsch

Good Wednesday morning.

Let’s begin with an update about one of the best in Florida media.

News Radio WFLA is changing up its morning lineup next year with the launch of “The Ryan Gorman Show.”

Ryan Gorman plans to shake up the WFLA weekday drive-time slot.

Gorman, who has hosted “PM Tampa Bay” since 2018, will host alongside Aaron Jacobson and producers Katie Butchino and James Burlander.

WFLA’s parent company, iHeartMedia Tampa Bay, is slotting the show in the 7-10 a.m. block on weekdays. “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris” will shift to the 5-7 a.m. block. It debuts Jan. 4.

“I’m excited to make the move to mornings and follow Jack Harris, a Tampa Bay and talk radio legend, and bring something unique and different to talk radio. We’re going to cover the biggest stories of the day and have fun doing it,” Gorman said.

“Plus, we’ll feature guests who have the inside scoop on what’s happening in Tampa Bay and across the country and how it will impact you. I’d like to thank the incredible leadership team at iHeartMedia Tampa for the opportunity to host a morning show in my hometown.”

Gorman will continue to host “iHeartRadio Communities,” which focuses on national topics and often anchors coverage of national breaking news on iHeartRadio stations across the country.

“We’ve got some great things happening in the mornings on 970WFLA beginning in the new year,” said Harris. “First, we’ll be expanding the local mornings on News Radio WFLA to five hours, and we’ll also be expanding our news coverage. As always, ‘AM Tampa Bay,’ followed by ‘The Ryan Gorman Show,’ will be a chock-full of information and entertainment.”


The Florida Citrus Mutual Board of Directors announced this week that G. Mathew “Matt” Joyner is taking over as CEO and executive vice president of the Bartow-based organization in April.

Matt Joyner will offer a ‘unique perspective’ on the Florida citrus industry.

“Matt brings a unique perspective and skill set to Florida Citrus Mutual, having worked side-by-side with both Legislators in the halls of Congress and growers in the groves of Florida,” said Mutual President Glenn Beck. “We’re excited and encouraged for the future with him at the helm.”

A seventh-generation Floridian, Joyner earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.

Joyner started his career in the financial services industry before joining the staff of then-U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam in 2001 and made the jump to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services when Putnam took over as Agriculture Commissioner in 2011.

In 2018, he joined Florida Citrus Mutual and spent the last three years working as the organization’s Director of Government Relations.

He will succeed exiting CEO and Executive Vice President Michael W. Sparks, who announced he is leaving after 15 years on the job. Sparks will remain with Florida Citrus Mutual until June 30 to help ensure a smooth transition.

“Mike Sparks has led us through some of the toughest times this industry has ever seen,” said Mutual Past-President Tom Mitchell. “Florida Citrus Mutual and the Florida citrus industry will be forever grateful for his service and leadership.”


Here are some other reads worthy of your time.

? — Analysis suggests media is treating Joe Biden as bad or worse than Donald Trump. Here’s why it’s ‘complete crap’: The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank penned an op-ed over the weekend accusing the media of treating Biden just as bad, if not worse, than Trump, using a “sentiment analysis” data tool. But FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver says the algorithm used is bad. In a Twitter thread Monday, Silver points out the algorithm identified more than 40,000 stories favorable toward Biden that were “just totally random,” some of which had nothing to do with Biden at all. Meanwhile, those articles identified as least favorable to Biden, while “a little bit more on the mark” were “mediocre” at best and included polling stories that reflect voter sentiment, not media sentiment. Further, Silver looked at FiveThirtyEight stories specifically and found “exactly the sort of story that @Milbank says there should be more of — calling out Trump’s attacks on democracy — which was listed as neutral toward Trump. Simply put, Silver surmised “designing good algorithms is hard, but this is an especially bad one.”

? — Perhaps the scariest insider report from the Jan. 6 insurrectionPeter Meijer, a freshman Congressman from Michigan, had already received an unlikely crash course in Democracy post-Trump before Jan. 6, and he had already decided that he would vote to certify the 2020 election results, confirming Biden as the next President. But nothing prepared him for that fateful day. In an emotional retelling in the Atlantic, Meijer describes the day in horrifying detail — the screams, the evacuations, the Capitol Police, the feeling that nothing was under control. But perhaps most terrifying, he describes conversations. Meijer said that it seemed more people were planning to vote against certification after the riot, the exact opposite message Meijer expected folks would want to send. One explained that no matter how he felt, he couldn’t vote to certify because he was terrified of what it would mean for his family. “Remember, this wasn’t a hypothetical. You were casting that vote after seeing with your own two eyes what some of these people are capable of. If they’re willing to come after you inside the U.S. Capitol, what will they do when you’re at home with your kids,” he explained. Others inside the Capitol were heard discussing invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump. Neither of them voted later for impeachment.

✊? — Republicans briefly supported peaceful racial justice protests. Now they don’t: For some, the bigger question here seems, why did they support them (and did they really) in the first place? But broader dynamics meant that brief support among conservative voters for nonviolent demonstrations calling for racial equality, particularly in policing, should never have been expected to last long. An analysis from FiveThirtyEight found that in June 2020, more than half of Trump voters at least somewhat supported peaceful demonstrations. By November of this year, that support plummeted 29 percentage points. For starters, most Republicans responded to polls on the issue, saying they only “somewhat” supported the protests, compared to 73% of Democrats who strongly supported them. Further, most Republicans disagree in general with the reason for the protests overall, rejecting evidence that racial biases exist and, in at least some cases, worrying more about racial discrimination against White people than people in racial and ethnic minorities. And lastly, Biden has since taken office. As FiveThirtyEight correlates, his inauguration has had a thermostat effect on viewpoints — as “warmer positions on racial issues” emerge, Republicans are “growing cooler toward them.”

? — POLITICO launches ‘The Next Great Migration’: The series offers a wide-spanning look at why Black Americans are leaving major cities in numbers reminiscent of the Great Migration of the 20th century and how it could reshape political power for decades to come. Unlike the original Great Migration, which saw Black Americans fleeing the Jim Crow south to friendlier communities with more inclusive opportunities, the new migration saw the opposite. 2020 census data shows that Black residents are fleeing areas known for their dense African American populations, where Black Americans helped shape local and federal politics. The series, part of POLITICO’s Recast newsletter, will break down “the intersection of identity, race, leadership and power in American politics,” with an eye toward how recent demographic changes are restructuring local, state and federal governments.


Breaking overnight — Democrat Tracye Polson and Republican Nick Howland will advance to the February General Election to fill the unexpired Jacksonville City Council term of the late Tommy Hazouri.

Then there were two.

With all precincts reporting in Tuesday’s First Election, Polson took the lead with 28,692 votes, followed closely by Howland with 28,366. Polson had 36.5% of the vote, while Howland had 36.08%.

Republican Howland “Howdy” Russell received 10,837 votes (13.79%) — good for third place. James “Coach” Jacobs took 10,715, in fourth with 13.63%.

Since no candidate took 50% in the First Election, Polson and Howland will move on to the next round. However, Howland appears to be stronger with his base than Polson is with hers.

Howland won 106 precincts, compared to 80 for Polson. Russell won no precincts, while Jacobs took 11 precincts in Districts 7, 8, 9 and 10, which could be seen as a warning for Polson’s citywide appeal.




@lennycurry: Well done @NickHowland15 running a visionary city council campaign in the 1st election. Congrats on making the runoff. Look forward to helping you close with a win in a few months. Vision matters!

@AdamJKucharski: Arguably, the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. Remember: first UK COVID case was identified on 31 Jan 2020 — first death was reported on 5 Mar.

Tweet, tweet:


@AlexNazaryanMatt Gaetz just told me at a news conference that if Republicans win the House in 2022, he will move to install Trump as House Speaker.

@Timodc: Growing up, every story I was told about politics treated the W&M chairmanship as if it were the height of power and influence. Nunes is taking a pass on it to run Friendster for bigots. Congress’ decline in miniature.

@SpencerRoachFL: I’ll be the first to go on record here: 1. Trump will not run in ‘24. 2. (RonDeSantis runs for President regardless. 3. DeSantis would win in a presidential primary against Trump.

Tweet, tweet:


Tweet, tweet:


@MDixon55: If you make a reporter wait eight hours for a statement, then right at deadline ask them to call you rather than sending said statement, then say you can’t use a name but only “spokesman,” you’re going to get an annoyed reporter on the other end I don’t make the rules

@JeremyRedfern… Grapesicles are a great snack. It’s important to focus on your overall health, as some of the major risk factors for COVID-19 include diabetes and obesity. The link to the recipe is right on the @HealthyFla Twitter.

@AlixPMiller: A giant iguana just dropped from a tree, six inches away from my head and then proceeded to fight a rooster. I think that’s enough Key West nature for the day.


FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comDec. 8, 2021

Republished with permission