DeSantis charts trip to Illinois – POLITICO – POLITICO

DeSantis charts trip to Illinois

Hello and welcome to Friday.

Ring the bell — Well, looks like another round in the Ron DeSantis v. JB Pritzker row may be coming.

Sweet Home Chicago News reports say Florida’s Republican governor will be on the Illinois governor’s home turf Monday to give a speech to the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.

Timing — DeSantis’ visit to Elmhurst, a western suburb of Chicago, comes just days after Pritzker ripped into DeSantis (although not by name) in his State of the State address in Illinois. Pritzker, who is seen as a potential presidential contender, came to Florida in the summer of 2022, where he zinged DeSantis during the annual Florida Democratic Party fundraising dinner.

Oh look Some are trying to make the governor’s looming trip into a flashpoint of the heated Feb. 28 Chicago mayoral race. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia — one of the frontrunners in the nine-person race — used it to go after Paul Vallas, a competitor who has been endorsed by the police union. Garcia put out a statement where he demanded Vallas “condemn” the union for inviting DeSantis, who he called a “dangerous and xenophobic authoritarian.”

Familiar themes As for DeSantis, it’s not a huge surprise he would get the invitation from a police union. He has repeatedly criticized blue states and Democratic mayors over police funding and last year launched a recruitment program to offer $5,000 bonuses to first-time police officers, including those who move from other states.

Response coming? The question is whether DeSantis decides to directly respond to Pritzker’s remarks, where the Illinois governor referenced “demagogues” who “ban books” and “tells kids they can’t talk about being gay.”

— WHERE’S RON? — Nothing official for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Florida Playbook will not publish on Monday in observance of Presidents Day. We’ll be back on Tuesday.

THE NEXT CHAPTERMatt Gaetz had a hell of a month. What’s next for the Florida Republican? by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout and Jordain Carney: Several colleagues and those in Florida Republican circles anticipate Gaetz could run for governor of the Sunshine State in 2026 after Gov. Ron DeSantis leaves office. DeSantis is expected to run for the White House in 2024. GOP state Rep. Alex Andrade said this week’s news that Gaetz won’t face federal charges is “as close to vindicated to a politician can be” and, along with Gaetz’s recent tangle with McCarthy, could make him a formidable foe in a contested Florida GOP gubernatorial primary.

Doing the mathSome of the calculus depends also on what DeSantis will do. The Florida governor is widely expected to announce that he’s running for president in the spring, and one former Republican lawmaker familiar with Gaetz’s thinking predicted that if DeSantis becomes president, current Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez would finish out his term and run unopposed. But that path changes if DeSantis remains governor and other statewide elected Republicans run to succeed him.

DEMAND — “Rubio calls for Buttigieg’s resignation following Ohio train derailment,” by The Hill’s Stephen Neukam: “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is calling for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to resign after coming under fire for the department’s oversight of the U.S. rail system following a train derailment in Ohio that has spilled toxins into the environment. ‘Secretary Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable,’ Rubio said in a letter addressed to President Biden, urging him to request Buttigieg’s resignation.”

FILED — “Upset by military ‘wokeness,’ Rubio proposes bill to ban many trans people from serving,” by Miami Herald’s Grethel Aguila: “Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is bringing forth a bill that in many cases would bar transgender people from serving in the military. While the proposal outlines a few exceptions, it seeks to disqualify anyone who identifies as transgender and who seeks or has undertaken gender reassignment surgery. A transgender person without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, Rubio’s draft says, can serve under their sex assigned at birth.”

— “Trump warns Scott on Social Security, Medicare: ‘THERE WILL BE NOT CUTS,’” by The Hill’s Alexander Bolton

— “Steube thanks SMH trauma team for treating him after fall from 25-foot ladder,” by Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Earle Kimel

LANDING IN CHICAGO— “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming to speak to Chicago FOP Monday in Elmhurst,” by Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Jeremy Gorner: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, exploring a bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to speak at an invite-only event Monday in Elmhurst to members of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police and potentially deliver some rhetorical political payback to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The Presidents Day visit to a so-far undisclosed location in the Chicago area would represent an escalation of the feud between DeSantis and Pritzker, who has been the focus of some speculation as a potential 2024 Democratic presidential candidate if President Joe Biden does not seek to be nominated for a second term.”

ANOTHER LAWSUITWarren takes legal fight with DeSantis to Florida Supreme Court, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout: Suspended Florida prosecutor Andrew Warren has opened up a second front in his legal battle against Gov. Ron DeSantis by challenging the governor’s actions with the state Supreme Court. Warren late Wednesday night requested the state’s highest court to take “immediate action” and rule that the Republican governor exceeded his authority when he removed the twice-elected Warren from office last August. It may be a long shot bid since the Florida Supreme Court has rejected similar legal challenges in the past.

MORE CRITICISM— “‘Politically-motivated meddling’: Faculty from U.S. universities condemn College Board,” by Miami Herald’s C. Isaiah Smalls II: “More than 1000 African American studies faculty members, administrators and supporters in higher education condemned the College Board’s capitulation to the Florida Department of Education in the creation of the Advanced Placement African American history course. In a letter addressed to College Board CEO David Coleman, the collective called for the current curriculum to be rescinded, resources be made available for students ‘confronting censored AP content,’ to stop making false claims that the current class properly teaches African American studies and to fight ‘widespread efforts by states to censor anti-racist thought.’”

— “The contradictions of Ron DeSantis,” by The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein

STEPPING IN— “Jeffrey Epstein: Legislators file grand jury bills after Post lawsuit, investigation,” by Palm Beach Post’s Holly Baltz: “Two Palm Beach County legislators have filed bills that would allow the release to the public of grand jury documents in the Jeffrey Epstein case that could shed light on why Epstein was charged only with soliciting a prostitute after police found multiple underage victims. The Palm Beach Post, which has sued to get the records unsealed, found in a 2019 investigation that then-State Attorney Barry Krischer crippled his own case before a 2006 grand jury when prosecutors called only one witness and undermined her with her social-media posts.”

REJECTED— “Judge tosses challenge to Florida education law,” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders: “For the second time in less than five months, a federal judge has rejected a lawsuit seeking to block a controversial Florida law that restricts classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor on Wednesday issued a 21-page decision dismissing a revised lawsuit filed by students, parents and teachers, who argued the law is unconstitutional. Winsor ruled that the plaintiffs had not ‘alleged sufficient facts’ to show they had legal standing to challenge the law.”

CARVE OUTS — “Lawmaker meetings, other public spaces stay gun-free under permitless carry bill,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher: “Gay Valimont, a gun control advocate, said she thinks the legislative exception highlights the Republican-led Legislature’s hypocrisy and backs up her view that more guns will not make Floridians safer. ‘They see the worth of not having guns everywhere when it comes to their safety,’ said Valimont, a volunteer state legislative lead with Moms Demand Action, a group advocating for stronger gun laws.”

— “Florida Supreme Court refuses to block execution of death row inmate Donald Dillbeck,” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders

— “Florida lawmakers move to give DeSantis control over school athletics board,” by Tampa Bay Times’ Lawrence Mower

— “State-controlled Disney World government board is ripe for ‘political mischief,’ expert says,” by Florida Politics’ Gabrielle Russon

— “Addiction expert urges House members to address technology addiction among school children,” by Florida Politics’ Isaac Morgan

— “Florida House Republicans won’t rule out new abortion bill this legislative session,” by WPTV’s Forrest Saunders

— “Water quality spending in Gov. DeSantis’ budget again questioned,” by Florida Politics’ Wes Wolfe

SOME DETAILS — “Grand jury in Georgia Trump inquiry sees perjury by witnesses, but no vote fraud,” by The New York Times’ Danny Hakim and Richard Fausset: “A special grand jury that investigated election interference by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia said it saw possible evidence of perjury by ‘one or more’ witnesses who testified before it, according to portions of the jury’s final report that were released on Thursday. The jurors also unanimously rebutted claims of widespread fraud made by Mr. Trump after the 2020 election.”

Response — “Even so, the released excerpts underscored the serious threat the Georgia inquiry may pose to Mr. Trump and his allies. Mr. Trump portrayed their contents differently. In a post on Truth Social on Thursday afternoon, he wrote: ‘Thank you to the Special Grand Jury in the Great State of Georgia for your Patriotism & Courage. Total exoneration. The USA is very proud of you!!!’”

A REQUEST — “Proud Boys seek to subpoena Trump to testify at Jan. 6 sedition trial,” by New York Times’ Alan Feuer: “In a long-shot move, lawyers for five members of the Proud Boys facing sedition charges in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol are seeking to issue a subpoena demanding that former President Donald J. Trump appear as a witness at their trial. The lawyers are hoping to elicit testimony from Mr. Trump that could persuade the jury that he, rather than their clients, instigated the crowd that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR— Alex Berrios, one of the candidates running for Florida Democratic Party chair, has dropped out of the race and endorsed former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Democrats are scheduled to meet next week in central Florida to vote on who will succeed Manny Diaz after Diaz abruptly resigned after Florida Democrats were crushed during the midterms. The departure of Berrios leaves four candidates, including former state Sen. Annette Taddeo.

— “Candidates for Florida Democratic Party chair debate ahead of special election,” by WCTV’s Savannah Kelley

— “Seven members of Congress endorse Christian Ziegler for Florida GOP chair,” by Florida Politics’ Jacob Ogles

PLAY BALL — “What will Florida effectively repealing its name, image and likeness law actually do?” by Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker: “[EJ] Gonzalez can make that targeted call because DeSantis’ signature ended state restrictions on the involvement of schools and coaches. Under the old law — signed in 2020 — teams and employees couldn’t facilitate deals or cause name, image and likeness money to be steered to players. Athletic departments couldn’t connect brands and athletes. Now they can, although teams must still follow NCAA rules (which prohibit paying players directly or using name, image and likeness as recruiting or retention inducements).”

— “Coast Guard stops boat carrying more than 300 Haitians off Cuba,” by’s David Goodhue

— “Saint Leo University to close 8 satellites, cut staff and degree programs,” by Tampa Bay Times’ Divya Kumar

— “Doral smoke from trash fire hit ‘unhealthy’ levels, according to EPA monitoring report,” by Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks

 BIRTHDAYS: Kristin Roberts, chief content officer for McClatchy

(Saturday) State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka … Lynn Hatter, news director at WFSU Public Broadcasting … WPLG’s Glenna Milberg …

(Sunday) Tampa Bay Times’ Emily L. MahoneyCarrie Johnson O’Brion, director of marking and communications at USF St. Petersburg

(Monday) State Rep. Joe Casello


via “Illinois Politics” – Google News

February 17, 2023 at 06:09AM

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