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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 7.12.21

Richard Branson’s weekend was astronomical. Image via AP.

By Peter Schorsch    

Happy Monday.

We hope you had an astronomical weekend, though if you did, your name is probably Richard Branson and good weekends are the norm. But his weekend was better than average since he was able to spend part of it in zero-g.

His review: “Going to space was more magical than I ever imagined.”

If Virgin Galactic keeps hitting checkpoints, the rest of us might be able to spend a few minutes floating around one day.

Back on terra firma, this weekend saw some normalcy return to the Capitol. For the first time since the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, tourists were able to visit the landmark without having their pictures ruined by an ugly fence.

Another barrier that came down: the one between Pope Francis and the public. The world has been wondering how the 84-year-old has been doing since he underwent major intestinal surgery a week ago. It appears he’s doing A-OK, or at least well enough to pray from a hospital balcony.

Saturday was a historic moment in Charlottesville that all but a certain state Representative can celebrate. The divisive statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was carted away from its prominent location in the city’s downtown and tossed into a storage room somewhere. Here’s hoping it’s a Raiders of the Lost Ark-type situation, and it’s never seen again.

A year ago, sports fans worldwide were, as the Governor put it, “starved for content.” Not this weekend.

Argentina, due in no small part to Lionel Messi, defeated Brazil to win the Copa América. It was a major moment for the all-star player, who has been within striking distance of several trophies with the national team but struggled to seal the deal.

Viewers were also treated to a historic Wimbledon, where Ashley Barty and Novak Djokovic won big.

The win was especially significant for Djokovic — he’s now tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam wins in his career. He could claim the No. 1 spot in career title wins next month at the U.S. Open. If he does, he’ll also complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969.

MMA got UFC 264, which was exciting … although Conor McGregor appeared to break a bone in his leg. So, a good weekend for the fans, a bad weekend for the fighter.

If you had a bad weekend, don’t fret. July 12 marks the start of Shark Week, which means you (and McGregor, probably) will at least have something fun to zone out to for the next few days. Shark Week is also a boon for UF — home to the International Shark Attack File — the only scientifically documented, comprehensive database of all known shark attacks.

Fun fact: Volusia County is the shark attack capital of the world, with 320 confirmed attacks since 1882. For context, that’s more than South Africa has reported over the past five centuries. Happy swimming!


Blaise Ingoglia meets UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

Spotted this weekend in Las Vegas for a six-figure fundraiser for Rep. Blaise IngogliaDoug BellKevin ComererCameron CooperDiana FergusonCorey GuzzoNatalie KatoKelly MalletteBG MurphyRon PierceJonathan ReesTeye ReevesScott RossAndrew RutledgeStephanie Smith, and Derek Whitis.


Americans for Prosperity-Florida has released its annual report cards grading lawmakers on their votes during the Legislative Session.

The free-market advocacy group had some wins in the 2021 Legislative Session. Its priorities included COVID-19 liability protections for businesses, higher production caps for craft brewers, expanding the state’s school choice programs, and permanently so-called cocktails to-go.

There were also some losses, including changes to the state employee pension program, numerous criminal justice reform bills, and a handful of bills that would have ended what AFP-FL believes are “corporate welfare” programs.

But AFP-FL state director Skylar Zander said the Session was a net positive.

“This year, policymakers led Florida forward by making significant reforms to ensure educational opportunity for more students and their families, improving access to quality, affordable health care, and making strides to help our economy rebuild stronger,” he wrote in the report.

The 2021 Legislative Scorecard examines how lawmakers voted on each of AFP-FL’s priority bills — there’s an extensive spreadsheet of votes for those who want to read some fine print.

The report shows more than half the state’s 40 Senators earned either an A+ or an A. Seven flunked. The top scorers were primarily Republicans. Democrats, for the most part, were lucky to scrape by with a C.

The story was the same in the House, where 75 of 120 members earned an A+ or an A. Meanwhile, a dozen or so Democrats received an F.

The organization awarded lawmakers a point “for each vote cast in support of an issue that removes barriers for society or against an issue that creates new barriers.” Committee votes counted with equal weight.

Read the report here.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comJuly 12, 2021

Republished with permission


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