Winners and Losers of the Week in Florida Politics – Week of 9/26/21


With subdued fanfare, the minimum wage in Florida rose from $ 8.65 an hour to $ 10 on Thursday. By 2026, the minimum should be $ 15 an hour.

That’s five years from now.

For a 40-hour work week, the current pre-tax minimum is $ 400 per week. In many parts of the country, that would barely cover the rent for a small apartment, let alone the true cost of living.

Without Amendment 2, which voters passed last November, the increase would probably not have been possible. Organizations like the Florida Chamber of Commerce against it.

The board argued that it would “force seniors and working families to pay more for necessities such as groceries, clothing and haircuts”.

But here’s the thing. The board ignores the other side of the argument. In fact, they tell the worker bees to stop complaining and how Rick scott would say, “get to work.”

Companies are wondering why so many vacancies are left vacant. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but many have decided that working for meager pay isn’t worth the effort.

It’s a shame it took a constitutional amendment to make this happen, but Florida built its economy on the backs of low-wage workers who made their employers rich. It is high time to balance the scales.

However, some owners get it.

Bay News 9 reported on the co-owner of Disco Dolls, a clothing store, hair salon and art gallery based in Tampa.

Leigh Anne Balzekas said her business has six full-time employees, each making $ 15 an hour.

“Train someone and keep talented people – you do that by paying them fairly,” she said.

What a concept.

Now it’s time for our weekly game of winners and losers.


Honorable Mention – Greg Steube: The 43-year-old Republican US representative from Sarasota brought his A game to the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington.

He was the starting pitcher in the GOP’s 13-12 win, throwing 120 pitches over 5 2/3 innings before moving to third base.

But the bigger story was what he was doing on the plate. He turned it up in the third inning the first pitch he saw back, back, back and GONE! The ball landed on the left and Steube was able to show his homerun trot.

It was the first off-park home run for the game in 40 years.

Fittingly, Steube also got a popup for the final with the tieing run on the base.

Register him!

Almost (but not quite) the biggest winner – The Kennedy Space Center: The news doesn’t get much better. government Ron DeSantis announced plans to build a space satellite factory in the famous center on Florida’s east coast.

It will cost $ 300 million to build and employ 2,100 people. When completed, the factory will have the capacity to produce 1,000 satellites per year.

“This will be the largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world,” said DeSantis.

The satellites that Terran Orbital will produce are called CubeSATs, also known as nanosatellites. They can be smaller than most kitchen toasters, but they are technologically advanced.

The company can quickly manufacture the satellite and customize it to meet the buyer’s specific needs.

“I can’t think of a better place when you have $ 300 million to invest than here,” said Terran Orbital Chairman and CEO Marc Bell called.

DeSantis would definitely agree.

The Biggest Winner – Desmond Meade: Meade became known as the driving force behind the drive to restore the right to vote for felons in Florida. In recognition of his tireless lobbying, he became the 2021 MacArthur Fellow.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago Award is given to “extraordinarily talented and creative individuals” across the country who “show promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments.”

The honor comes with a non-binding “Genie Grant” of US $ 625,000.

Meade’s personal story is one of redemption and perseverance. During his time in the army, Meade became addicted to cocaine, which led to a rampage.

The army dishonorably released him and Meade spent some time in prison. After his release from prison in 2005, Meade checked himself into rehab and set off for recovery, eventually earning a law degree.

He was the driving force behind the 2018 push for Amendment 4, which restored the right to vote for ex-felons in Florida. The voters approved the measure with almost 65%.

“This is huge,” said Meade, the founder, president and executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

He said he would use the scholarship to pay off law school loans and promote the franchise.


Dishonorable mention – Frank Pichel: He wants to become the next Miami Mayor, but his campaign only had a small (OK, big) hiccup.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrested Pichel Friday on charges of posing as a police officer. Pichel spent a few hours in the county jail before leaving a $ 5,000 bond.

The Miami Herald reported that Pichel was accused on Jan.

An off duty Miami-Dade police officer visiting a friend in the neighborhood asked Pichel what he was doing there.

Pichel, according to the arrest warrant, “produced a gold badge and identified himself as a Monroe County police officer.”

The Miami-Dade officer checked the license plate and handed the information over to the Monroe Police Department.

Almost (but not quite) Biggest Loser – John Rutherford: The US Republican representative from Jacksonville is under the microscope for allegedly violating the STOCK Act.

The STOCK Act requires sellers to report individual stock trades between $ 1,001 and $ 15,000 to the house secretary’s office within one month of the transaction.

Rutherford made five such trades in October 2020 but didn’t file a report until February. The business insider reported first.

Rutherford spokesman Alex Lanfranconi Insider told Insider the filing was late, but the Congressman was not fined $ 200.

“All late periodic transaction reports were filed in full and accepted by the House of Representatives with no penalty,” Lanfranconi said.

The moral of the story: You have to do the paperwork.

The Biggest Loser – Marco Rubio: Florida’s senior US Senator again reminded us last week of his fondness for putting his foot in his mouth.

Start with Rubio’s interpretation of President Joe Bidens $ 3.5 trillion spending plan to meet multiple national needs.

“The $ 3.5 trillion Biden Plan is not socialism, it is Marxism“Rubio tweeted.

Yes, really?

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman responded“Ah yes, remember the moving line in the Communist Manifesto: ‘Workers of the world, unite to spend 1.2% of GDP on popular programs over the next decade!'”

Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted: “According to Republicans, everything Democrats do is socialism or Marxism. If I get a turkey sandwich for lunch today, that’s socialism. “

Marxism is considered a social, political and economic philosophy. The application of this philosophy is communism, where the state controls most of property and economic resources.

Bidens Spending plan is neither.

He suggests offering more guaranteed public education to combat inequality, as well as subsidized childcare and paid leave to help more women in the workplace. It would expand Medicare and put more money into fighting climate change.

It also addresses the country’s crippling infrastructure needs.

Rubio should know and probably does all of this. But, damn it, call Karl Marx will scare the Bejeebers from the GOP base, so all is well.

Rubio also made fun of a tip from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use a gender-neutral term in a message about COVID-19 vaccinations.

“COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women” to prevent serious illness, death and unwanted pregnancy outcomes from COVID-19, “the agency said.

Rubio threw himself.

“‘Pregnant women’?” he wrote. “If the @CDC ever detects a pregnant man, I assure you that his vaccination status will not be the main thing he should be concerned about.”

Given the way Rubio often mocked transgender people, the Twitterverse wasn’t kind.

“There are people who have a uterus but identify as male. There are literally people right now who identify and look like pregnant men. Educate yourself, then quit, ”wrote one person.

Another replied, “This is the message you want to run with, not the fact that pregnant people should be vaccinated?”

There was also this cryptic answer.

“What if you were concerned about the growing number of dead bodies in your state instead of breaking apart the wording in the CDC guidelines?”


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