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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 7.30.21

By Peter Schorsch    

Good Friday morning.

Let’s start with some good news about great people — The Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking recently welcomed Sen. Ileana Garcia and Stephanie Smith to its board of directors.

The Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking is a nonprofit direct-support organization created by the Legislature to boost the state’s effort to end human trafficking by providing funding and other assistance.

Garcia was appointed earlier this month by Senate President Wilton Simpson, who commended her sponsorship of two anti-human trafficking bills — now laws — during the 2021 Legislative Session. He said she is a “passionate advocate for victims of these horrific crimes and will be a strong voice in the search for solutions.”

Smith, meanwhile, has an extensive government affairs resume. She is currently the director of government affairs at health care giant Anthem and previously worked at top ride-share company Uber as their senior public policy manager for Florida.

Both industries are integral in rooting out human traffickers — health care workers and drivers are often the people who recognize victims and report suspects.

The appointments come as the Florida Alliance gears up to recognize the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Friday. The UN-backed day, held every July 30 since 2013, is aimed at helping people worldwide reflect on what they can do to curb human trafficking.


More good news — A top-of-Sunburn shoutout to Rep. Fiona McFarland, who welcomed her second child, Robert Michael Melton, born at 7:15 a.m. Monday at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. McFarland and her husband, Matt Melton, announced the birth on Facebook: “We are safely home from the hospital blessed with this healthy and beautiful baby boy. Thank you to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for taking wonderful care of me and my family.” Their first child, Graham Melton, was born in March 2020.


Donald Trump once praised Doug Ducey, today he has a beef with the Governor. Image via AP.

The Republican Governors Association is in disarray. At least that’s what the Democratic Governors Association is saying after Donald Trump put RGA Chair and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on blast during a recent rally.

DGA says it’s just another example of how Republican Governors are “stuck in the middle of an ongoing GOP civil war.” The intraparty fight, centered on the spurious Arizona election audit, has provided enough material for a stand-alone website, so DGA pounced on an apt domain: RGAInDisarray.com.

In the middle of the site’s JibJab-esque banner is Gov. Ron DeSantis. DGA says Florida’s top elected official is also stuck in the middle of the Trump-Ducey beef.

The organization says DeSantis and other ride-or-die Trump supporters face something of Sophie’s choice — stick with 45 and kill their reelection odds, or side with Ducey and shank their conservative cred.

The clocking is ticking, they assert, noting that RGA is under fire from the American Accountability Foundation for accepting contributions from so-called “woke corporations.”

The website asks: “Do these Governors stand with the RGA or with the pro-Trump group bashing Ducey?”

DGA pigeonholed DeSantis, linking to his assertion that people “can’t be cowed by these organizations, or particularly woke corporations, from doing the right thing.”

Then there’s the big, red elephant in the room.

Ducey is one of a handful of major GOP electeds to directly refute the ex-President’s “big lie” on the 2020 election. DeSantis hasn’t, and for a spell, he was reticent even to speak the words “President Biden.”

The Trump-Ducey feud has spawned other infighting, too, DGA said. They point to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s recent statement that “we’ve got Republican Governors across this country pretending they didn’t shut down their states; that they didn’t close their regions; that they didn’t mandate masks.”

The quote could be interpreted as a thinly veiled barb directed at DeSantis, who has been largely successful in branding himself as the nation’s foremost anti-lockdown Governor.


First on #FlaPol — Max Flugrath joins Anti-Defamation League” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — The Anti-Defamation League is bringing on Flugrath as its new Southern Division Director of Communications Strategy. Flugrath, who is currently the Communications Director for Nikki Fried’s gubernatorial campaign, will lead communications for the ADL in 11 states across the South, including Florida, to elevate the organization’s mission of fighting antisemitism, hate speech, and extremism. He will work out of the organization’s Atlanta office. Before joining Fried’s campaign, Flugrath served as her press secretary at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and as communications director for Fried’s successful 2018 election and transition team. “Max will be greatly missed on Team Nikki; he’s been in the trenches with us since 2018, working every day to deliver for Floridians and break the state’s rigged system,” Fried said.


RIP — Please join Florida Politics in sending best wishes to our good friend and Sunrise host Rick Flagg, whose mother passed away last week. Sunrise will take a short sabbatical while Rick attends to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.


@JeffZeleny: “It’s such a shame to squander that blessing,” President (JoeBiden says, reminding Americans that many people across the globe would do anything to get vaccinated.

@AmandaCarpenter: If you got vaccinated and have to wear a mask, it’s not because you got vaccinated. It’s because your neighbors didn’t.

@AOC: Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin — especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bipartisan accomplishment.”

@TarynFenske: … @HealthyFla has been running vaccine PSAs for weeks. More than 11,000 total air spots, on hundreds of channels, in every media market in Florida. 301 of those spots were on Fox News alone … but what a creative & innovative idea!

@SenPizzo: If we’re having a Special Session, I’m inviting Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, to be Doctor of the Day.

@LeaderBookFL: If the Gov wants to talk about freedom & liberty, first on the agenda should be a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body.



Tweet, tweet:


@evamckend: Spotted on the Hill outside of Dirksen! It’s [Carole Baskin] from Tiger King. She says she can’t tell me [who] she’s meeting with. She says to a staffer, “When you called me up, I thought this guy can’t really work for the Senate.”

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comJuly 30, 2021

Republished with permission


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