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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 9.1.21

Charlie Crist makes solid bank in August.

 By Peter Schorsch    

Good Wednesday morning.

First in #FlaPol — Charlie Crist posts $700K for August, with grassroots spike — Crist’s campaign for Governor is touting a solid August fundraising haul. The $700,000 raised last month follows four months of campaigning across the state promoting the theme of “Florida for All.”

The August numbers also represent a 268% increase in the number of small-dollar contributions of $200 or less.

Crist said in a statement Friday: “Floridians across the state are crying out for change as Gov. (RonDeSantis’ heartless leadership has landed our communities and families back in the depths of the pandemic.

“Our campaign’s call for compassionate, level-headed leadership and a Florida for All is resonating with folks from the Panhandle to Key West, and I could not be more humbled by the support we’ve received just four months in.

“These resources will continue to fuel our fight for a better tomorrow, helping us reach Floridians from all walks of life to build the Sunshine State we desperately need and deserve.”


If you’ve got a call, an appointment, or an errand to run at 11:45 a.m., consider pushing it back a few minutes.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has marked that time slot for a statewide moment of silence to recognize the Floridians who died from COVID-19.

Fried, as most know, is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida. As such,

Put aside partisanship for a moment tomorrow to honor those lost to COVID-19.

about half the state may be tempted to brush off her request as an attempt to politicize the pandemic.

If that’s your gut reaction, do your best to shelve it.

Close your eyes and count to 100 in your head if you have to, then move on with your day.

Maybe it’s a purely symbolic gesture, but the raw humanity of the pandemic has too often been lost as the crisis has stretched into a second summer, and stories of new variants, overflowing hospitals and waning vaccination numbers dominate the headlines.

As of Tuesday, nearly 45,000 Floridians had died from COVID-19.

Each one had a family, friends, and a routine. Maybe you didn’t know any of them personally, but they were people.

At 11:45 a.m., try to forget what your voter registration says (for a minute) and remember them instead.


First in Sunburn — Fried is naming Democratic campaign veteran Farah Melendez as her campaign manager in her bid for Governor. Melendez is currently managing Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s reelection campaign and is National Political Director for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA).

Farah Melendez is coming to Florida to shake things up for Nikki Fried.

“Nikki is exactly who Floridians need at the top of the ticket to beat Ron DeSantis,” Melendez says in a statement. “She brings something entirely new to the process and we’re going to build our program around that. It will be unlike any campaign in Florida history — more organized, more talented, more diverse, more multilingual, and importantly, more inclusive of Florida voters.”

In 2019, Melendez built a coalition of reproductive, labor, and pro-democracy groups to create the first-ever national pro-choice standard for Attorney General candidates. In 2017, she launched DAGA’s Women’s Initiative, recruiting women from around the country to run for Attorney General.

“We’re going to shock the nation in 2022,” Fried predicts. “I couldn’t be more excited for a powerful, tested, and dynamic woman to lead this campaign. We are promising something new, and that starts at the top.”


Senate Republicans putting on the Ritz — Top Senate Republicans will be at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples Nov. 8-10. The event is billed as a “Spa & Golf Event,” benefiting the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for GOP Senate campaigns. The invite says Nov. 8 will feature a VIP Dinner, while Nov. 9 will feature spa time and golf along with dinner. More details will be made available closer to the fundraiser date.


Rep. Danny Perez hosted most of the 2018 class of House Republicans in Miami last week for a gathering earlier this month to bolster camaraderie ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session.

Daniel Perez hosts a moment of camaraderie for 2022.

Perez, of Miami, is on deck to become House Speaker in 2024, after Rep. Paul Renner’s term.

He told Florida Politics that the gathering was meant to provide lawmakers an opportunity to spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere before the start of committee weeks and Session.

The two-day event, held Aug. 18-19, also gave attendees a taste of Miami and a slice of Magic City culture to bring back to their home districts — each was gifted a set of dominoes like those often seen in the city’s parks.

There wasn’t a set curriculum. Instead, members participated in a free-flowing conversation on Perez’s goals for his term as Speaker and how those goals could synergize with class members’ own priorities to ensure each member is successful in 2022.

“I loved the opportunity to congregate as a class outside of Tallahassee. While I had to travel the farthest to get there, being with a group of such talented and principled conservatives, led by such a strong Speaker Designate, was well worth the trip,” Rep. Alex Andrade said. “It got me even more excited to serve with Danny and the rest of our team for the next four years.”


They’ve got a new name, but their mission remains the same.

The Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists on Wednesday officially becomes the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthesiology.

The name change is part of a yearlong national rebranding process meant to advocate for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists and advance science within the field.

The shorthand version, of course, remains the same. FANA will continue representing the 5,400-plus nurse anesthesiology professionals in the Sunshine State, as it has done since 1936.

“The administration of anesthesia by nurses began more than 150 years ago and has been an essential part of what CRNAs do in caring for patients in every setting including traditional hospital and obstetric surgical suites, interventional pain management, critical care units, ambulatory surgical centers, and on the front lines,” said John McDonough, one of Florida’s only CRNAs granted permission to use the title “nurse anesthesiologist.”

FANA’s announcement comes alongside a similar change at its parent group, now known as the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology.

The national association unveiled its new logo and core purpose, “CRNA focused. CRNA inspired, during its Annual Congress, held Aug. 13-17 virtually. The AANA’s Annual Congress is the largest educational event in nurse anesthesia.


Tweet, tweet:

@SecCardona: Last week, a court blocked Florida’s blanket ban on universal masking in schools. Districts in Florida & across the country should be implementing masking policies to keep students & educators safe. We’ve also reminded district leaders that federal pandemic relief funds can be used to cover any financial penalties imposed on them by the state as a result of local efforts to protect the health & safety of those on school grounds. We will continue to monitor this situation and stand with parents, students, and the hardworking educators & staff who are doing all they can to have a safe & healthy in-person school year.

@NikkiFried: Two entire Florida counties have shut down schools completely due to COVID-19, and at least eleven are dealing with funding threats for trying to stay open safely. This is Ron DeSantis doing.

@LMower3: The state could speed up the process if they weren’t so worried about political blowback. Records go through multiple reviews for political, not legal, reasons. It boggles my mind that dept. spokespeople, not records custodians, are the ones handling our requests.

@EvanAxelbank: A speaker at a Hernando Schools masks discussion just threatened to “take their rights back” “by force, if necessary.” That is also not our system of government.



@JimHenryTally: Expecting a great atmosphere for FSU-ND at Doak Sunday night. 7400 tix remain, including the 2500 the Irish returned. FSU students have claimed nearly all of their 16K allotment. COVID-19 remains a concern (there will be fans who stay away) but plenty of excitement building.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comSept. 1, 2021

Republished with permission