Good Tuesday morning.
Like so many of you, the staff of Florida Politics is exhausted from the events of the last year-and-a-half. I’ve done my best to keep our team’s spirits up with paid Mental Health Days-off and overtime bonuses, but even those can only do so much. That’s why next week, the week leading up to the Fourth of July holiday and traditionally one of the slowest times of the year (cross your fingers), we are going dark, so to speak. The entire staff will be off next week so that they can catch up on taking care of themselves.
We’ll keep FloridaPolitics.com current with stories from The Associated Press and other wires, but “Sunburn,” “Last Call,” “Takeaways from Tallahassee,” “Jacksonville Bold,” and “The Delegation” email newsletters, as well our podcasts will be on hiatus until July 6.
Not only do I hope you will understand why we are doing this, but we also are grateful for your readership and financial support that affords us the ability to hit the reset button.
Converge Government Affairs is now Converge Public Strategies.
The full-service government affairs firm announced this week that it was rebranding with a new name, logo and website to better represent how the firm has grown in the years since it was founded.
“When we launched Converge, we had a vision to build a multifaceted, multistate public affairs firm that was headquartered in Miami,” Converge Public Strategies Chairman Jonathan Kilman said. “Today, in addition to our strong Florida presence, we offer government relations, communications and digital solutions services across the United States. Our new brand reflects the firm we have evolved into — a firm that partners with clients to solve hard problems in the public sphere.”
Converge partner Elnatan Rudolph added, “True to our culture, the website is bold and modern. Like our professionals, the design is equally innovative and professional. Our team is serious and capable of working within old guard institutions but nimble and sophisticated enough to keep pace with a rapidly evolving world. We updated our firm name and design to capture that essence of who we are.”
Converge Public Strategies provides state, local and multistate government affairs services, communications services and digital services to private and public sector clients.
The firm has become a go-to for companies on the leading edge of tech innovation — their portfolio of clients includes flying car company Lilium, driverless delivery company Nuro and dockless scooter sharing platform Revel Transit, among others.
The Miami-based firm has offices around the state, including Jacksonville, Orlando and Tallahassee. And in 2019, the firm opened an office in New York City focused on supporting clients in securing grant funding.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican Governors Association released fresh battleground polling that shows the GOP is heading into the 2022 cycle with the upper hand.
The survey touched on some hot-button issues, finding that Americans “largely reject the main pillars of the Democrats’ agenda, including wasteful spending, open borders, anti-Israel rhetoric, and critical race theory.”
The poll showed the American Jobs Plan, one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities, is underwater 48%-39%. Half of Americans said the country could not afford hefty spending on infrastructure compared to 39% who said it was necessary. And respondents said 51%-45% that the Biden White House is to blame for rising inflation.
The most encouraging lines for Republicans: The GOP wins a generic ballot test 43%-37%, and the gap grows to 50%-40% when the Republican candidate is pitched as someone who would pump the brakes on the Biden agenda. In both cases, the gap is more pronounced among independents.
“The Biden Administration, along with Democrats in Washington and across the country, are out of touch with Americans. Americans don’t want or need more government control of their lives. In fact, they’re sick of it,” said U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the NRSC.
“We’ve seen this as a consistent trend in the polls we’ve conducted over the last few months. American families all want the same things: freedom and opportunity, jobs, safe communities, a great education for their children, less spending, and smaller government — everything that today’s Democrat Party stands against.”
The poll, conducted by OnMessage, sampled 1,200 likely voters across 26 Senate and Governor battleground states. The margin of error plus or minus 2.82 percentage points.
Before you read any further, pause for a second and add Episode 3 of “State of Emergency” to your podcast playlist. Those who caught it on Friday, skip ahead.
In this episode, co-hosts Peter Schorsch and Jared Moskowitz are joined by the “walking TED Talk” himself, Sen. Jeff Brandes.
The trio spends an hour riffing on the biggest news in politics, tech, vacation plans and the pandemic and, in some cases, where those topics intersect.
As always, no subject is off-limits.
Vaccine passports? Check. The “legalize it” movement? Check. Sending backup to the border? Check. And how the Governor could jack up your car insurance premiums by 50% with a stroke of his pen? That’s in there, too.
Congrats to Ann Duncan, Executive Vice President and Head of Occupier Services, Savills, on her engagement to Todd Inman, former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation and a veteran of multiple presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns. The couple met at the 2019 annual meeting of Florida Tax Watch.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
—@ElonGreen: That Tucker Carlson is a “secret” source for reporters is not a surprise and isn’t really news. The real story, which isn’t explicitly mentioned, is that the country’s most powerful reporters cozy up to a famed White supremacist and launder stories on his behalf.
—@AGAshleyMoody: In Florida, we do not tolerate lawlessness, and this is evident as the overall crime rate in our state has now dropped for the 50th straight year. This amazing accomplishment would not be possible without the service and sacrifice of Florida’s brave LEOs.