New cases and deaths from COVID in Florida continue to decline

While other states are dealing with increases of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Governor Ron DeSantis appears to have steered Florida through difficult times of COVID cases and deaths. With a 7-day average of 1,500 recent cases among Florida’s 21.5 million population, the state has 95 deaths over a 7-day average.

Palm Beach County had no deaths yesterday and has had a 7-day average of 5 deaths for its 1.5 million population. The county has had 103 new cases over a 7-day average.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis comes to West Palm Beach to discuss mandates and election fraud

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Playing to a supportive crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke mostly about election integrity and mask mandates this morning. DeSantis called on the Florida Legislature to further strengthen the integrity of Florida elections. DeSantis assured the crowd that there will not be any COVID vaccination mandates in Florida.

DeSantis said that if a Florida citizen witnessed ballot harvesting, which is illegal in Florida, and that citizen calls the incident in to a local Supervisor of Elections office, often, nothing happens. DeSantis said, “In Florida, it is Constitutionally mandated that only citizens are allowed to vote in Florida and yet you see examples of people, even though they [poll workers] check that they are not citizens, and they will still be given ballots.”

DeSantis called on the Florida legislature to add an office responsible for instigating election crimes which will employ law enforcement investigators to bring cases to the Florida Attorney General for prosecution.

Today’s press conference follows the announcement by Roger Stone this past weekend that if DeSantis does not do something about election fraud in Florida, then he will run against him in 2022.

DeSantis touted how Florida has one of the lowest if not the lowest COVID rates in the nation and how Florida has added a large number of jobs while other states have lagged in the job category. DeSantis said, “You shouldn’t have to lose your job over these COVID mandates. We need to stand up for people to make their own decisions and we shouldn’t have people lose their jobs over it.”

He also expects passage of a $5,000 signing bonus for out-of-state law enforcement officers who move to and employ themselves in law enforcement in Florida.

Roger Stone suggests he may run for governor against Ron DeSantis in 2022

During an episode of the Stew Peters show this past weekend, Roger Stone stated he is considering a run to be Florida’s next governor should current Governor Ron DeSantis not audit the 2020 presidential election to determine if fraud occurred.

Stone, a long time Libertarian Party registered voter in Broward County, Florida, suggests that there was a large amount of fraud in Florida costing former President Donald Trump votes in the 2020 general election.

Strangely, out of the 15 individuals who have filed to run to be Florida’s Governor, according to the Florida Division of Elections website, DeSantis has yet to file for next year’s election. Those seeking to be on the ballot for the Florida governor’s race have until June 2022 to qualify to be on the ballot for the primary and general elections in 2022.

https://tv.gab.com/channel/realstewpeters/view/roger-stone-to-gov-desantis-audit-617adee0937c79052f9e9868

Special session in two weeks for Florida legislators — focus on jobs and vaccines

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a proclamation announcing that the Special Session to provide protections for Floridians who have lost their jobs or are having their employment threatened because of vaccine mandates will begin on November 15, 2021, and go no later than November 19, 2021. 

“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to 3 jabs to keep your job. In Florida, we believe that the decision whether or not to get a COVID shot is a choice based on individual circumstances, so we are litigating against the Biden Administration and will be passing legislation in this Special Session to protect Florida jobs and protect parents’ rights when it comes to masking and quarantines. The health, education, and wellbeing of our children are primarily the responsibility of parents. As long as I am Governor, parents in Florida will play a strong role in determining what their kids are learning and how they’re treated in school.” 

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis called for this Special Session of the Florida Legislature at a press conference where he was joined by first responders, healthcare workers, airline employees, and Floridians from various other industries who have faced or are facing consequences as a result of vaccine mandates.

Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have also announced a lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates, making Florida the first state to bring a comprehensive legal action against the federal contractor vaccine mandate. “Governor DeSantis has called this Special Session because we must stand up for the rights and liberties of Floridians not only through litigation but also through legislation,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Senate President Simpson and House Speaker Sprowls to provide protections for Floridians of all ages, in the workforce and in the classroom.”  

Governor DeSantis is calling on the Legislature to consider legislation that will:  

  • Protect current and prospective employees against unfair discrimination because of COVID-19 vaccination status and ensure robust enforcement for this protection;
  • Ensure that educational institutions and government entities are prohibited from unfairly discriminating against current and prospective employees, students, and residents based on COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • Ensure that employees improperly denied employment based on COVID-19 vaccination status can be eligible for reemployment benefits and, if needed, ensure that employees injured by a COVID-19 vaccination taken under a company policy are covered by workers’ compensation;
  • Appropriate a sufficient amount of funds to investigate complaints regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates and to take legal action against such mandates, including mandates imposed by the Federal Government;
  • Clarify that the Parents’ Bill of Rights, Chapter 1014, Florida Statutes, vests the decision on masking with parents, not government entities, and that schools must comply with Department of Health rules that govern student health, including rules that ensure healthy students can remain in school; 
  • Limit mandates by school districts on students or employees regarding COVID-19 and related mitigation measures;
  • Provide adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure that Florida law is followed and the rights of parents are honored;
  • Direct the State to evaluate whether it should assert jurisdiction over occupational safety and health issues for government and private employees;
  • Repeal the authority for the State Health Officer to order forced injections or vaccinations under Section 381.00315, Florida Statutes, originally enacted in 2002; and
  • Create as necessary public records exemptions related to complaints and investigations described herein.

 To hear testimonials of employees affected by vaccine mandates, the video of Governor DeSantis’ press conference from Thursday, October 21st, where he called for the Special Session is available for use here, and the video of Governor DeSantis’ press conference from Thursday, October 28th, where he announced a lawsuit against the Biden Administration is available for use here, both courtesy of the Governor’s Press Office.

Fla Governor DeSantis: Florida teachers and principals to receive raise and $1,000 bonus

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

Today, May 26, 2021, teachers, school principals, and superintendents in Baker County, Sarasota County and Okaloosa County joined Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to announce $765 million in funding to support Florida’s teachers. These investments include $550 million to continue elevating minimum teacher salaries, as well as $215 million to provide all of Florida’s eligible public school principals and teachers with $1,000 disaster relief payments.

Governor DeSantis worked with the Florida Legislature to fight for continued funding to support Florida’s teachers through the Florida Leads budget, and for the $550 million to continue to raise minimum teacher salaries represents an additional $50 million over last year’s historic $500 million investment. Over the past year, minimum pay for Florida’s teachers increased by an average of $6,000 from $40,000 to $46,000. Overall, 68 of Florida’s 74 school districts (92 percent) now have a starting salary of $40,000 or higher.

“While most other states locked down their schools, Florida followed the science and opened our schools for in-person instruction, five days a week,” said Governor DeSantis. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our teachers and school leaders Florida succeeded where so many other states failed. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and dedication during this school year and these bonuses are a small way to say thank you on behalf of our state. My thanks also go to Speaker Sprowls, Senate President Simpson, Senator Stargel, and Representative Trumbull for their leadership during the 2021 legislative session to make this funding a reality.”

“Governor DeSantis has proven once again that Florida is the Education State,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “His exceptional leadership and bold vision has taken Florida’s minimum teacher salaries to an average of $46,000, and his focus on celebrating and elevating our educators is unparalleled. The way to ensure that Florida has the best teachers is to outpace the nation in minimum teacher pay and to reward, recruit, and retain the best teaching talent possible. Thank you to the Florida Legislature for heeding the Governor’s request to prioritize our state’s educators.”

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Since day one, Florida’s teachers and first responders have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, working tirelessly to protect our communities and care for our students. The bonus checks that Governor DeSantis proposed, and secured from the Legislature, means a lot to these educators, our first responders and their families who endured through this crisis with them. These heroes are the backbone of our communities and today the Governor sent a clear message that Florida loves and appreciates their hard work and dedication. I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership throughout these challenging times and for putting families first as we work together to move Florida forward.”

“Dedicated teachers across Florida have gone above and beyond over the last 18 months to make certain our students have every opportunity to continue to make learning gains in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “In addition to increases in funds available specifically for teacher salary increases, I hope these bonuses will demonstrate just how much our state appreciates and values the contributions of Florida’s teachers.”

“During this pandemic, we were reminded of the importance of Florida’s teachers to our children,” said Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “While other states kept their schools closed, Florida opened them up and allowed students to return to normalcy. I applaud Florida’s teachers for stepping up and giving students the ability to learn in-person, from the classroom. Thank you Governor Ron DeSantis for these bonuses.”

“We are so proud of the work our teachers have done over the last year, innovating every step of the way,” said Senator Kelli Stargel. “They have had to make so many adjustments and have worked so hard to make sure every child has a chance to learn. This bonus is so well deserved, and along with an increase in our teacher salary increase allocation, demonstrates our commitment to Florida teachers and the service they provide to our state.”

“Ensuring that our children had access to in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic was perhaps the most important task our state faced in the past year,” said Representative Jay Trumbull. “Florida’s teachers and principals went above and beyond this school year under unprecedented circumstances. I would like to thank Governor DeSantis and Speaker Sprowls for their tireless leadership in securing this well-deserved $1,000 bonus for the heroes in Florida’s classrooms.”

Ten have filed to be Florida’s next governor

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

There has been much talk recently of Val Demings, Nikki Fried, and Charlie Crist running up against Ron DeSantis for Governor of Florida next year, yet only Crist has officially filed with the Florida Division of Elections office to run in the 2022 gubernatorial race. Seven Democrats, one Republican, and two with no party affiliation (NPA) have filed for next year’s election to be Florida’s next governor. Qualification to be on the primary and general election ballots will happen in June, 13 through 17, 2022; so some candidates who have filed may not make it through the qualification period. As well, others can file and qualify up to June 17, 2022.

John Mercadante has run against DeSantis in 2018 in the primary receiving .7 percent of the primary vote, and is back again running as the sole Republican in 2022. Unfortunately, we could not find a campaign website for Mercadante, though his personal Facebook page has many photos of him with prominent Republicans, including DeSantis.

Running NPA, are Frank Hughes, Jr. and Kyle C.Gibson. Hughes is a collectivist who wants to “stop the purge of public funds being used for private education.” Gibson has been a Democrat and a Republican, though has been NPA for the last four years. Gibson wants to expand Florida’s government-run education system with more programs, while making Floridians healthier by encouraging an increase in bicycling.

Seven Democrats have filed to run, Charlie Crist, Richard Dembinsky, David Freeman, Jonathan Karns, Amaro Lionheart, Alexander Lundmark, and Timothy Mosley. Mosley nor Lionheart listed a campaign website with their filing paperwork and may cover them soon once we learn more about their campaigns.

Lundmark is focussing on criminal justice and pension reforms for the state while also being a cryptocurrency advocate.

Karns is big on generalities and little on details for what his administration would do outside of a desire to raise the minimum wage which is already set to be $15 per hour in 2026.

Freeman’s campaign website is not up and running yet; however, through his campaign Twitter account, he advocates for “economic fairness” and last month tweeted “Newsflash! Not all #democrats are against the #police#usa#family#religion#military and #capitalism Let’s fight for the #real#dems Our party is being highjacked and no one is noticing! @cnn@msnbc@politico@steveschale@ABC.”

Dembinsky, according to this campaign website, is upset the current governor hasn’t changed out a power pole at a local high school. The only vision he has offered for his 2022 campaign is from 2006 where his website directs you to other websites which are outdated and incomplete..

Crist’s campaign website is up and is uninformative where it is only seeking your money and volunteers. Crist has a long history in Florida and changes positions and policial parties based on what is the best avenue for him to get elected which has worked well for him (he is currently Florida District 13’s U.S. House Rep).

Although it is surprising an incumbent governor would not have filed campaign paperwork by now to run again, it widely thought DeSantis to be considering a 2024 presidential bid. It is speculation why he has not yet filed to run again to continue being Florida’s governor after the 2022 general election as he is popular in the state.

Floridians can now take their cocktails to go from a restaurant

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

Although the bill doesn’t go far enough for most Libertarians, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed Senate Bill 148, allowing Florida restaurants to provide to-go cocktails for customers. An executive order provided a lifeline to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also proved popular and safe. The Institute for Justice (IJ), the Libertarian Party of Florida, and Americans for Prosperity supported the permanent change and applauded lawmakers for giving businesses the freedom to serve Floridians in the way that works best for them.

“Today Floridians can order up a cocktail from their favorite restaurant, take it home, and toast to their new freedom,” said IJ Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson. “Making to-go cocktails permanently available to restaurants and their customers is a sensible step. This reform will help restaurant entrepreneurs and their employees to recover from the pandemic while also providing customers with more options.”

“Alcoholic drinks to-go became an important source of revenue for restaurants that were trying to survive during the pandemic,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This law is an important measure to continue the positive economic impacts of a temporary order. I want to thank the Legislature, but particularly Senator Jennifer Bradley and Representative Josie Tomkow, for being ready and willing to create common sense reforms that got government out of the way and increased opportunity for Florida businesses.”Governor DeSantis signed the bill at Houligan’s Sports Grille, an Ormond Beach-area restaurant that relied on the allowances of the Governor’s prior emergency orders over the past year as an added source of revenue during challenges associated with the pandemic.

DeSantis attacks news media for poor journalism in their coverage of his handling COVID-19 response – and he’s right

Florida’s COVID-19 death rate is lower than the national average — without Draconian lockdowns, unscientific mask mandates, or invasive vaccine passports. To discredit Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporate media has embraced an absurd narrative for the past year, claiming that “Florida is manipulating COVID-19 data to hide the real numbers.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

The single source for this conspiracy theory was a disgruntled former employee of the Florida Department of Health. Though there was zero evidence of data manipulation, partisan media activists did not let the facts derail their false narrative. But yesterday, after reviewing hundreds of pages of public records, National Review published a comprehensive exposé that destroyed this year-long corporate media smear campaign against Governor DeSantis and Florida’s hardworking public health leaders.

Journalists have one job: to report the truth. That so many amplified an obvious lie, solely to score political points, is an indictment of modern journalism.

MEDIA MYTH:

THE FACTS: Rebekah Jones was not Florida’s “COVID-19 data chief,” nor was she a “data scientist.” Jones couldn’t have manipulated data — even if she had been asked to — because, according to National Review, “Jones did not have the ability to edit the raw data. Only a handful of people in Florida are permitted to touch that information, and Jones was not among them. Instead, each day she was given a copy of the data and charged with uploading it into the system in a manner determined by the epidemiological team.”

MEDIA MYTH: “A public health employee predicted Florida’s coronavirus catastrophe — then she was fired.” Alexander Nazaryan, Yahoo News.

THE FACTS: There was never a “coronavirus catastrophe” in Florida. The numbers are in: Governor DeSantis’ policies, protecting high-risk groups while letting Floridians freely live their lives, have proven to be the right approach. If the national COVID-19 death rate was as low as Florida’s, over 50,000 Americans would still be alive today. The real “coronavirus catastrophe” was in New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, where governors sent COVID-positive patients back to long-term care facilities, resulting in thousands of deaths. California also had a “coronavirus catastrophe”: Six months into the state’s tyrannical lockdown, more than 40,000 small businesses had closed. Today, California’s unemployment rate is nearly twice as high as Florida’s.

Corporate media failed to scrutinize negligent pandemic policies in these states, instead elevating outlandish conspiracy theories to attack Governor DeSantis. Sadly, many fell for this deception. According to National Review, “by pointing to her own, privately run dashboard, which shows numbers that make Florida’s COVID response look worse than it has been, [Jones] has caused millions of people to believe quite sincerely that the state’s many successes during the pandemic have been built atop fraud.”

MEDIA MYTH: 

THE FACTS: National Review reported, “As Jones herself confirmed on Twitter: ‘I use DOH’s data. If you access the data from both sources, you’ll see that it is identical.’ She just… displays them badly. In order to increase the numbers in Florida’s case count, Jones counts positive antibody tests as cases.” Per the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), they do not use antibody tests for a diagnostic test. Likewise, Jones claims Florida is hiding deaths because it does not include non-residents in its headline numbers. In fact, Florida reports non-residents under CDC guidelines, which say that individuals should be counted according to their state of residency. To be clear, the data that she claims is “wrong” is the same data that she herself uses on her dashboard. The difference? Jones includes presumed deaths and out-of-state cases that are not, according to the CDC, to be attributed to Florida.

MEDIA MYTH: 

THE FACTS: National Review reported, “The national attention that Jones has received is the result of her insisting that, having learned about her ‘whistleblowing,’ Governor DeSantis used his ‘Gestapo’ and ‘raided’ her house, putting her children in danger. But this, too, is a ridiculous lie… Police did indeed execute a search warrant on Jones. But they did so because a data breach at the FDOH — in which the personal information of 19,000 employees was stolen — was traced back to the IPv6 address that Comcast had assigned to Jones’s house. Governor DeSantis had nothing to do with it.”

Body cam video of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents proves that they patiently waited on Jones for just under 23 minutes, after repeated calls and knocks, until she opened her front door to a non-confrontational encounter. The video “does not appear to show police pointing their guns at anyone in the house.” See the full FDLE release here.

Ultimately, the National Review report concluded that Governor DeSantis and FDOH leadership have been right all along: “There are no ‘whistleblowers’ anywhere in this story. There is no scandal. There is no grand fight for truth or justice.” There is only a corporate media narrative that elevates disinformation at the expense of the truth. That narrative has imploded.

Bill heads to Governor DeSantis’ desk to curb abusive police practices

The Florida legislature passed by unanimous vote HB 7051 and it is awaiting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ signature to put it into law. The bill requires application for employment or appointment as law enforcement or correctional officer to contain specified disclosures; requires background investigation of the applicant to include specified information; requires employing agencies to maintain employment information for minimum period; requires establishment of standards for officer training & policies concerning use of force; requires law enforcement agencies to establish policies for specified use of force investigations; requires investigation to include an independent report; requires report to be submitted to state attorney; requires law enforcement agencies to submit specified data to FDLE; prohibits child younger than certain age from being arrested, charged, or adjudicated delinquent for delinquent act or violation of law.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

The bill intends to enact minimum standards of hiring, training, and performance on a police agency in Florida. It also intends to end the practice of a “bad cop” leaving one police agency only to be hired at another by providing an affidavit requiring an applicant to disclose any pending investigation by a local, state, or federal agency and if applicable, to disclose why they left their previous criminal justice employment.

The bill also eliminates “chokehold” and use of excessive force by law enforcement officers and correctional officers. As well, law enforcement agencies would need to develop and maintain policies regarding use of force investigations concerning a law enforcement officer employed by the agency at the time of the use of force. The investigation must include an independent review by those not employed by the same law enforcement agency.

Also included in the bill is a section called the “Kaia Rolle Act” which keeps law enforcement from arresting, charging, or adjudicating a child seven years or younger for a delinquent act or violation of law. There are other measures available to law enforcement and government agencies when someone is seven years or younger violates state law.

Governor DeSantis signs protectionist agreement making the Seminole Tribe your exclusive bookie for sports gambling in Florida

While Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has made many wise moves since taking office in 2019, some may have a problem with this recent move keeping sports gambling in the state to only be with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Signed earlier today, April 23, 2021, the compact between the State of Florida and the Seminoles offers exclusive rights to sports gambling within the state. The compact also offers the Seminoles exclusive rights to Vegas-style casino games at their facilities.

If the compact goes unopposed by the Florida legislature or found unconstitutional, it will edge out all other competitors in the industry. The State of Florida will get a kick-back of all revenue the tribe generates off sports gambling besides the other aspects of gambling the Seminoles and the State have long agreed upon. Each month the State of Florida will receive anywhere from 10 percent to 13.75 percent of revenue generated from sports betting.

The compact includes many “outs” that could cause the deal to collapse, though it is not expected to happen.

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