Leadership in turbulent times
Ubiquitous on cable news channels and documentaries, historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin is the go-to gal for seasoned and reasoned commentary on Presidents past.
The Pulitzer Prize winner will appear at Florida State University on Sept. 12, speaking on “Leadership in Turbulent Times: An Evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin.” Her appearance is part of the Strengthening American Democracy lecture series, sponsored by FSU’s Institute of Politics (IOP@FSU) in collaboration with Opening Nights.
Her topic borrows from the title of her seventh book, published to instant acclaim in 2018. In the book, she analyzes the qualities of leadership by examining the character of four Presidents she has written about in previous biographies — Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Goodwin has proven herself as a leading historian of American Presidents in her decades-long career. Her books serve as a resource for films and miniseries, and she has served as a consultant and been interviewed extensively for documentaries.
Goodwin also has served as an executive producer for History Channel miniseries. The most recent one, “Theodore Roosevelt,” premiered on Memorial Day.
She won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for history for “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.” Her “Team of Rivals” served as the basis for Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American history and the Lincoln Leadership Prize.
She also has received the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the Charles Frankel Prize, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, the New England Book Award, and the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.
Goodwin earned a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and taught government there. She also is a devoted fan of the Boston Red Sox.
The event is set for 7:30 p.m. in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for FSU students who reserve a ticket. To purchase or reserve tickets, visit bit.ly/FSU-DKG2022.
Coming up, the usual assortment of news, intel and observations from the week that was in Florida’s capital city by Peter Schorsch, Drew Wilson, Renzo Downey, Aimee Sachs, Christine Jordan Sexton, and the staff of Florida Politics.
But first …
The “Takeaway 5” — the Top 5 stories from the week that was:
Renatha Francis appointed to Florida Supreme Court … again — As expected, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a second try at appointing Judge Francis to the state Supreme Court Friday, making her the second Black woman to serve on the state’s highest court. Francis, a Jamaican-born immigrant, had been the Governor’s first choice for a vacancy on the court in 2020, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled she was four months shy of having 10 years’ membership in the Florida Bar, which is a constitutional requirement for sitting on the state Supreme Court. With that obstacle out of the way, Francis is set to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Alan Lawson.
Gov. DeSantis suspends Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren — The Governor on Thursday suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Warren over his refusal to enforce bans on abortion and gender-affirming surgery, saying he “has put himself publicly above the law.” DeSantis then named County Judge Susan Lopez as Warren’s replacement. The action was criticized by many groups, who said the action was an abuse of power. Warren likened DeSantis to the “Orwellian thought police,” saying he was “being punished for not enforcing a law that doesn’t even exist.”
Three Florida insurers get ratings downgrade — Insurance rating company Demotech downgraded three more insurers as the state’s property insurance market continues its tailspin. Demotech changed the rating for United Property & Casualty Insurance Co. from “A” — meaning “exceptional” — to an “M” rating — meaning “moderate.” Demotech also withdrew their “A” ratings for Weston Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and FedNat Insurance Co. and didn’t replace them with a new rating. The downgrades could put homeowners out of compliance with their mortgage lenders, forcing them to seek coverage elsewhere.
State halts plans for Northern Turnpike Extension — The state is putting the brakes on the Northern Turnpike Extension, concluding that it makes better sense to make improvements to Interstate 75 than build a new corridor through rural communities. The news is a significant victory for environmental groups and local governments in Citrus, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties that fought against four proposed routes connecting the turnpike at Wildwood to the Suncoast Parkway. The turnpike extension was one of three projects studied by M-CORES — Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance.
Casey DeSantis announces Florida Cancer Connect — The First Lady this week unveiled Florida Cancer Connect, an online initiative that puts information on cancer treatment, caregiver tools, and stories from Floridians who have fought cancer on one website. Casey DeSantis announced the initiative alongside Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller and cancer survivors to launch this initiative. “Our mission with this website is simple — make the cancer battle easier and instill hope in those fighting,” said Casey DeSantis, who was declared cancer-free earlier this year after battling breast cancer.
To the CORE
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration worked with the state departments of Health and Children and Families on expanding an opioid addiction pilot program from Palm Beach County into an added 12 Florida counties.
Dubbed the Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), the program will initially be expanded into five additional counties: Brevard, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Gulf, Manatee, Marion, Pasco and Volusia counties. It is not clear when the program will expand into the other seven Florida counties though at a news conference this week in Brevard County DeSantis said he’d like to expand the program into Citrus, Flagler and Pinellas counties as soon as possible.
The CORE program works with EMTs and medical personnel who respond to overdose emergencies. CORE stabilizes and assesses the patient and develops a long-term treatment plan.
“It is so vital for individuals contending with a substance use disorder to have access to the right array of services that will work for their individual needs,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. “When agencies, stakeholders, and partners alike come together to bolster our state’s system of care, we can ensure that Floridians have access to comprehensive services when they need it most.”
State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo also praised the program’s expansion in a prepared statement.
“Addiction is heartbreaking for all involved, and we ultimately want to help people address the stress traumas that led them to addiction,” Ladapo said. “One day the standard of care will address the trauma and the stress, but until then, we have the evidence-based practices that exist in place. This program is an applied, intensive application to managing addiction through powerful, effective practice that connects people to what they need to get out of the horrific cycle of addiction.”
Moreover, the administration announced it had hired Courtney Phillips to serve as the state’s first Director of Opioid Recovery. Phillips is an adult psychologist currently serving as the Director of Behavioral Health for the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
In her capacity as the Director of Opioid Recovery, Phillips will provide support for the behavioral health system.
“The state of Florida should be proud today to take the lead on systematically tackling the opioid and substance use epidemic with compassion and competent care,” she said. “Our state and communities did not choose this epidemic, but today we choose to treat this medical and psychiatric illness like any other, with access, evidence-based care and lifelong comprehensive treatment.”
There have been nearly 2,000 fatal overdoses in Florida in 2022. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, with the Central Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Team, saw a 72% increase in drug overdose fatalities related to fentanyl last year.