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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 6.27.22

By Peter Schorsch

Good Monday morning.

As you will see below, we have flooded the zone with coverage of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

However, before that ruling was handed down, a disturbing story broke Friday morning about how “consultants working for America’s largest power company covertly monitored a Jacksonville journalist and obtained a report containing his Social Security number and other sensitive personal information.” The story by Alejandro Ariza and Annie Martin, citing leaked documents, results from a collaborative investigation by the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight.

Nate Monroe was the target of some frightening oppo research. Image via Florida Times-Union.

The journalist discussed in that story is Nate Monroe, arguably the most effective columnist currently working in Florida politics. Like others working in Florida media, it incensed me what had happened to Nate. I also fear that what happened to him may be part of a larger trend in Florida political journalism (for years, my wife has warned me to just assume that when I am out-and-about that someone with an ax to grind — and there are certainly many of those people — is tracking me).

I discuss this and a range of topics with Nate in the latest episode of my podcast.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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I might have been a little tough on our friend Erik Eikenberg.

He did deserve a down arrow in Capitol Directions for using the term “knuckle dragger” in reference to a Black politician. Whether he meant it as a dog whistle or not, that’s what it was.

But that took away from what was a good point: Water storage south of Lake Okeechobee is part of the solution.

We may have been a little hard on Erik Eikenberg. Image via Ricardo Rolon/news-press.com.

There have been many arguments over how to clean up the water heading into and out of Lake O. Southern storage, northern storage, eastern discharges, western discharges.

None of those are a solution on their own, but that doesn’t mean that any of them should be dismissed out of hand. As they say, perfect is the enemy of good. And southern storage is a good solution.

Still, The Everglades Foundation should start workshopping ways to express that without racially charged terms, because context matters, and awful messaging is the enemy of the good, too.

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Many recognize U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan as the powerful Florida U.S. Representative who made a fortune in the private sector and is now the heavy front-runner to be the next Ways & Means chair.

What most people likely do not know is that before “making it big,” Buchanan had to scrap and claw for everything he earned.

In a gripping new campaign ad entitled “Self-Made,” a narrator walks viewers through the story of Buchanan’s blue-collar upbringing, everything from growing up as one of six children in a 900-square-foot home to delivering newspapers “just to put some extra change on the table.”

The second half of the ad focuses on Buchanan’s success story, capturing how he and his wife of 45 years started a business with “$1,500 and a dream.”

While Buchanan is positioned to become one of the most powerful members of the House if Republicans retake the majority, he must win re-election first.

This cycle, he is facing fellow Republican Martin Hyde in the Primary. The controversial candidate has made headlines for verbally assaulting police officers and for calling supporters of former President Donald Trump “bigots.” Buchanan outmatches him in nearly every regard, including fundraising, name recognition and experience.

While Buchanan’s new ad will undoubtedly surprise some of his constituents back home, it will probably do the same with some of his colleagues in Washington, D.C., who only knew one side of his life story.

Watch Buchanan’s ad here:

— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

@VP: I know there are women out there who are afraid. To those of you who feel alone and scared: I want you to know the President and I are fighting for you and your rights. We are in this fight together.

@Annette—Taddeo: I don’t care what Justice (ClarenceThomas thinks. In Congress, I will protect your access to birth control and your right to same-sex marriage.

Tweet, tweet:

 

@NateMonroeTU: Pooling resources among our Florida publications was incredibly helpful and will continue to be vital as we unpack more — and there is more — on how the crackup of an Alabama political consulting firm has exposed dark secrets in Florida politics.

@AntonioGM: “Read the room” is a passive-aggressive way of saying “you should be obsessed with the same current things I am.” There is no collective room anymore. That’s the problem. Humanity has always thought itself living inside a central, indispensable room, and that no longer exists.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comJune 27, 2022

Republished with permission 

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