Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the Florida Panhandle on Friday to dispense $23 million in infrastructure grants but spent the bulk of his time complaining about the Biden administration and culture war sore spots.
During his 35-minute event in Port St. Joe, for example, the governor spent about seven minutes discussing the grants and handing out checks; the rest was politics.
Later, in Apalachicola, he spent about the same amount of time in total but just four minutes dispensing grants.
The grants include $700,000 for downtown restoration including new water line in Port St. Joe; $652,000 for improvements to prevent sewage overflows in Apalachicola; $1 million to improve two fire stations and wastewater drainage in Panama City; and $1.1 million to improve a senior center and a drainage project in Holmes County.
More details here.
“There’s never been a governor that’s been in the Panhandle communities more than me and we’re proud about that,” DeSantis claimed.
The rest was the standard stump speech DeSantis has devised since announcing for reelection in October: President Joe Biden’s energy policy; inflation; the “defund the police” movement; and immigration policy included.
DeSantis is up for reelection in November; his potential Democratic challengers include U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor now a Democrat; Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried; and state Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami-Dade.
Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Marcus Dixon commented on the appearances in an email to the Phoenix.
“If Ron DeSantis spent even an ounce of his time addressing real issues instead of playing politics and chasing his national ambitions Floridians wouldn’t be suffering from some of the highest housing and health care costs in the entire country,” Dixon said. “DeSantis would be better served thanking President Biden and Democrats for creating 8 million new jobs.”
Friday’s discourse reflected a new development: the Biden administration decision to end Title 42, a public-health policy enacted by the Trump administration which allowed exclusion of asylum seekers as a way to limit transmission of COVID.
“That is a dereliction of duty. That is wrong to not defend our own country’s borders,” DeSantis said.
He defended the “Don’t Say Gay” law he recently signed to sharply limit instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in public classrooms. Critics complain the law will marginalize disfavored minorities.
“We want to make sure our young kids are focused on the core things — learning to read, learning to write, math, science, all these different things that are so important,” he said.
“We want education not indoctrination in the state of Florida,” he said.
“And I don’t really care what the media says about that. I don’t care what very left-wing activists say about that. I do not care what big companies say about that. We are standing strong and we will not back down from that.
State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who hails from the Panhandle, and Department of Economic Opportunity chief Dane Eagle were on hand and praised the governor, too.
In Port St. Joe, DeSantis commented on politics north of the state line, in Georgia, apparently because visitors from that state were among the crowd.
“If Stacey Abrams is elected governor of Georgia, I just want to be honest, that will be a cold war between Florida and Georgia at that point,” he said. “I mean, I can’t have Castro to my South and Abrams to my north. That’d be a disaster.”
–Michael Moline, Florida Phoenix
Yep, ALL on the taxpayers dime. New town almost everyday posing children, teens and unsuspecting adults for his unabashed dribble that he spouts. All the while berating President Biden yet taking as much pandemic relief funds from the President and U.S. taxpayers in his posturing political circus.
GEE! Like no one else ever did. As Truman once said, “show me a rich politician, and I’ll show you a crook”.
They all stump on the taxpayers dime.
@bill. . . Geez! Looks like your childhood missed the lesson. . . “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Should we apply the same warped thinking to things like the atrocities/genocide of Putin’s war in Ukraine?
When we throw moral values like ethics, truth, honesty, integrity, “the Golden Rule” out the window our entire civilization is destroyed!
Deborah Coffey says
Set him straight, Sherry. We can’t have a country like this in which Republicans continue to excuse corruption.
Several points; most of the funds are for studies, planning, etc. rather than any actual constructive activity. His bashing Biden only shows his own insecurities and continual failure to address the needs of the people of Florida. Using public resources to stir the pot of public discord shows how ignorant, uneducated he really is. He should stay home and tent to his sick wife and family rather than concentrating on loosing issues like gas bashing. I wonder how many members of his extended family are gay, trans or bi-sexual.
And there you have it folks; he himself, stated he doesn’t care what anybody says about what he does or more accurately, doesn’t do. Like the article says, maybe this Governor should spend some time telling the people of this state what he intends to do to assist in ridding some problems plaguing the people struggling with rent, etc. But no, he travels all over the state on taxpayer money sprouting his lies and ignorance. I wonder who is paying for these needless lawsuits he is pursuing which will go nowhere? Guess! Day after day, it’s the same BS from this loser, blaming anyone and anything for him not being able to do his job. Isn’t it about time this shallow creature stand up for the people of this state and accept the fact that he is not the Emperor and not everyone is going to bow in front of him. In fact, the only ones doing that are the ones he has in his “pocket” and the folks who just won’t accept the fact that he really has no clue what direction he’s going in. He can’t handle the pressures of running the state, can you imagine the disaster he will create if he ran the country? Get it through your heads, he cares for NOTHING but his own political ambitions, and the dolts are helping him get there. God help us all.
I am waiting for Flaglerlive to run an article based on this new report. Oh wait, that would not be something negative for the Governor who did what was right for the people of Florida and point out that he was right.
National Bureau of Economic Research
Read it and report it accurately.
Pierre Tristam says
The so-called study is the product of Phil Kerpen, Stephen Moore and Casey B. Mulligan. Mulligan was the Trump Administration’s chief economist on the Council of Economic Advisers. He thinks people shouldn’t have sick days and that the Affordable Care Act discourages people from working. Kerpen’s paychecks are nicely padded by Koch money. Moore is a hired gun at the Heritage Foundation, otherwise known as Ginny Thomas’s ashram. The “study” is part of the Fox propaganda talking points of the hour, geared for uncritical warblings and retweets. When you have something more original, let me know.
@maga!!! — suckers. ron apes trump with his pile of Sharpies and the rest his childish imitation of putin’s heel dog. If desantis ever had an original idea — it died of loneliness.
Pandemic, Inc.’ author says financial predators made more than $1 billion off COVID
April 12, 202212:59 PM ET
“When the COVID crisis hit in 2020, the federal government needed far more N95 masks and other protective equipment than it had — so it began awarding contracts to companies promising to provide them, often at a steep mark-up. J. David McSwane, a ProPublica reporter and author of the new book Pandemic, Inc: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick, says a shocking number of those companies had no experience in providing medical equipment.
Indeed, when McSwane and other reporters started combing over the data, they found that two months into the pandemic, the federal government had already handed out more than a billion dollars to companies that had never before had a government contract. “They were just throwing contracts out left and right,” he says.
Many were run by people with a history of fraud allegations – all of them available in public records if anyone had bothered to check.
“The federal government wanted to keep the recipients of those loans a secret, which is just absurd … So we, along with some other news organizations, actually had to sue to get it,” McSwane says. “And, lo and behold, once we did get it and started analyzing it, we found fraud all over the place.”
McSwane’s new book is a colorful account of the many ways unscrupulous operators profited from the nation’s health crisis, and ways the government failed to protect the public from financial predators…”
Thanks Pogo. . . great stuff! Too bad the trump supporters will never even bother to read such a “fact filled” article. Now, that is a subject that is worthy of researching and an expose’ on FL!
Pierre. . . Love It! Just don’t hold your breath waiting for anything other that extreme right winged BS from “that” source.