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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 5.6.22

Ashley Moody gets Walgreens to pay up.

By Peter Schorsch   

Good Friday morning.

Michelle and Peter are back!

The dynamic husband and wife duo have returned to the podcast studio — to bring a brand-new “He Said, She Said” just in time for the 2022 campaign cycle.

This season, their first guest is U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, the St. Petersburg Democrat who is running to unseat incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis. Crist makes a case for why he will win the Democratic Primary and in November.

Michelle and Peter, who previously worked for Crist, talk with their former boss about a kinder, gentler time in Florida politics.

Please, take a few moments to give it a listen — click here.

Check out the triumphant return of ‘He Said, She Said.’


Halsey Beshears has landed a new gig lobbying for the alcohol, restaurant, and hospitality industries.

Gov. DeSantis’ former Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has been hired as the chair of Spiritus Law’s lobbying and government relations practice.

Congratulations to Halsey Beshears on his new gig with Spiritus Law.

Beshears departed the administration early last year, citing personal health issues. Soon after, he became involved in the ongoing Matt GaetzJoel Greenberg probe.

“I am thrilled to be joining a dynamic firm like Spiritus Law, and I am excited to help the firm grow its government relations services,” Beshears said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working closely with the firm’s clients to advocate for sensible short- and long-term solutions for regulatory issues.”

Beshears’ two-year tenure as DBPR Secretary was largely defined by his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including spearheading Florida’s drinks-to-go policy. Lawmakers later enshrined the policy in the Florida Statutes.

“He not only has a wealth of relationships in Tallahassee, but he also has an intimate knowledge of regulatory laws and a unique ability to bring people to the table,” said Robert Lewis, co-founding partner of Coral Gables-based Spiritus Law. “Those are true assets to our clients who are interested in long-term changes and solutions that would allow them to reposition their operations much faster in the event of another pandemic.”


On Thursday, the Florida Chamber of Commerce announced three additions to its executive team, saying the hires would help further its strategic plans.

The new hires are Dr. Ben Tabatabaei, Dave Sobush and Alex Coelho.

The Florida Chamber is staffed up and ready to rumble.

Tabatabaei is an economist with a doctorate in international political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California. He is currently an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and has previously advised businesses and foreign governments on economic matters. He has been tapped as the Chief Economist and Executive Director of the Florida Chamber’s International Center for Economic Development.

Sobush comes to the Chamber from the Tampa Bay Partnership, where he worked as the Senior Director of Policy and Research. In that role, he was responsible for developing data-backed recommendations to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness. He previously worked as a business development manager for Pinellas County Economic Development, where his efforts helped add more than 4,500 new high-wage jobs to the county. He was hired as the Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation.

Coelho’s experience is in the political realm. He was the data director for former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s gubernatorial campaign and performed the same job for the Michigan Republican Party, focusing on voter targeting, polling analysis, and database management. He specializes in identifying and understanding developing trends among populations and demographic groups. He will work as the Chamber’s Director of Data and Analytics.

“The Florida Chamber team is laser-focused on executing our strategic plan and executing a calculated talent strategy that is setting us up to advance our mission, further unite business leaders, and secure Florida’s future the right way,” said Chas Bailes III, the CEO ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and the chair of the Florida Chamber Board.


@KyleGriffin1: Politico-Morning Consult poll: 57% of voters want SCOTUS to support abortion rights, 28% hope it opposes them. 56% of voters believe abortion should be legal in “most” or “all cases.”

@notcapnamerica: Justice (SamuelAlito has canceled all of his public appearances.

@SawyerHackett: The Louisiana GOP just advanced a bill out of committee that says life begins at “the moment of fertilization.” It took 3 days for Republicans to criminalize contraceptives, IVF, and miscarriages.

@AmoneyResists: I have faith that one day we will get to the bottom of why neither women nor abortion are mentioned in a document that was written by 55 men in 1787.

@BLowryOnTV: Increasingly feels like the biggest “movie” this summer is actually coming to Disney+ and (1a) happenstance of timing (May the 4th), but that “Obi-Wan” trailer sure stepped on “Moon Knight’s” punchline.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comMay 6, 2022

Republished with permission 


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