Florida Politics Politician of the Year 2021

Normally here we play a weekly winners and losers of the week game in politics in Florida, but we will stay positive in the Christmas spirit. This time around, we’ll only be declaring one winner of the year because that’s exactly the kind of positive people we are here.

But who can he be?

US senator Rick scott? He’s had brilliant times for sure. A particularly astute move came in his role as chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee. He announced on “Meet The Press” that the The NRSC would actively support all the Republican candidates running for re-election.

This included the US Senator from Alaska. Lisa Murkowski, Who voted to condemn Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial. Trump disowned Murkowski and vowed to campaign for his opponent.

Scott’s promise was a direct rebuke to the former leader, which is just not being done in the Republican Party today unless your name is Liz chaney. Scott scored high on style points there.

Oh, hell, Scott voted against certifying Pennsylvania’s vote in the 2020 election, which is tantamount to approving the Big Lie. Sorry, senator. You are outside.

US senator Marco rubio? There are times when Florida’s senior senator steps up to the plate, especially in Cuba. Subject is in his wheelhouse (his parents immigrated to Florida from Cuba), and he’s still swinging for fences.

He was particularly energetic during the widespread protests in Cuba last summer, and kudos to him for that. He also broke ranks with allies over the lie that thieves stole the 2020 election. Rubio gets a gold star and his choice of a cookie for just doing what was right.

OK, so that’s a low bar, but have you seen what’s going on in politics lately?

We also enthusiastically endorse Rubio’s claim that the GOP needs to change its image.

“The future of the party rests on a multiethnic, multiracial and working-class coalition,” Rubio said in an interview with Alayna treene of Axes.

Oh, damn it, he came back to training denigrating the “awake” corporate culture that imposes rules of fairness, you know.

“Today, American companies regularly use their power to humiliate politicians if they dare to uphold traditional values,” he wrote in a scathing comment from the New York Post.

“Multinational companies are threatening to boycott pro-life legislation. Cowardly sports leagues pull state events who dare to pass laws they don’t like. Companies like The delta parrot has aroused talking points, even as they strike deals with China, giving Beijing legitimacy and funding as it pledges genocide in Xinjiang. “

The “loose sports league” is Major League Baseball because it pulled the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. It followed Georgia’s astonishing and blatant voter suppression law, something Republicans have yet to be “awakened” to.

Sorry, senator. You are outside too.

OK, so how about Gov. Ron DeSantis? Yee-HAW! The Florida cowboy governor leads the polls, sitting in chests full of cash, and he’s done a lot of good populist things this year.

His education proposal includes a second consecutive year of bonuses of $ 1,000 for teachers in the state. He proposed to raise the minimum wage for teachers for the third year in a row, from $ 40,000 to $ 47,500

During the Surfside condo disaster, DeSantis checked the policy at the door and met with the President Joe biden to support survivors and grieving families. It’s a shame that this moment didn’t last.

And while a lot of people criticized many of his legislative goals as supporters and dividers, well, the man got what he wanted, and his base loved it. His riot bill passed and he passed a bill to punish Big Tech for, um, “censoring” conservative voices.

DeSantis has joined the chorus of GOP governors in imposing voting restrictions just in time for the 2022 election. This follows Florida’s hugely successful and smooth election in 2020 because, well… you know.

So he wins the Politician of the Year award, doesn’t he? No competition.

Um no. He’s big, of course, but DeSantis can be a jerk too.

The governor didn’t just sign a bill banning mandatory vaccinations, no. He had to go to Tampa suburb of Brandon to do this. This circus stunt (tee-hee) allowed his followers to continue their college humor attempt to mock Biden.

He continually protests against what he calls top-down interference from Washington. However, it is astonishing that he did not develop the carpal tunnel by signing executive orders that have tied the hands of the mayors of major Florida cities like that of Tampa. Jane beaver, Saint Pierre Rick kriseman, that of Miami Francois Suarez, and Orange County Jerry demings. They were trying to mitigate the virus through mask and vaccine warrants.

DeSantis saw a political opportunity and took the leap. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began, DeSantis clenched his fist against what he derisively called the “FEMA camps.” But since Florida’s response was slow, he was happy to accept (and claim credit for) FEMA-run pop-up vaccine sites in many areas of the state.

This has allowed many more Floridians to get vaccinated than they could have done under strict state control.

Too often DeSantis seems to be auditioning for his next job at the expense of his current one. Naming the vaccine skeptic Joseph A. Ladapo as Surgeon General was a troll against criticism of the governor’s COVID-19 response. It turned the best doc in the state into just another political hack.

No wonder he went through three chiefs of staff this year.

Sorry, Governor. You are outside too.

The same goes for the American representatives. Greg Steube, Matt gaetz, Carlos gimenez, Brian Mast, Bill posey, John rutherford, Daniel webster, Byron donald, Mario Diaz-Balart, Kat Cammack, Neal dunn, and Scott franklin. They all perpetuated the Big Lie by voting against certification for the 2020 presidential election.

Attorney General Ashley moody? No. She certainly made the headlines in 2021, but we are concerned about her tendency to act as a political arm of the governor’s whims.

CFO Jimmy Patronis? He also made headlines, and unlike most of his colleagues on Capitol Hill, he was mostly positive. If he hits the inside right and Convinced In-N-Out Burger (Where You’re here) to leave California, he would have a strong case. Sadly, this opening was just as doomed as its piece to meander the Tokyo Olympics. He did, however, have a solid performance at Surfside.

OK, so who’s gonna be?

Say hello to Florida Politics Politician of the Year 2021: Speaker of the Senate Wilton simpson.

As he prepares for his final turn in this role, you can make a credible argument that he is the most important Senate Speaker of the modern Republican era.

It is not to neglect the Speaker of the House Chris stretches, who has worked well with Simpson and DeSantis on many key issues and, thanks to a large influx of federal dollars, the budgets they crafted have kept Florida’s economy humming even through the COVID-vortex. 19.

Sprows even spearheaded a few political victories. His successful push towards extend Medicaid coverage for new moms two months to a full year was one of the few heartwarming bipartisan victories of the 2021 legislative session. And her book delivery program for young struggling readers is pure common sense.

But Simpson gets the general green light because he wasn’t afraid to show the kind of real leadership that is often lacking in Tallahassee.

Concrete example: do you remember the Ladapo controversy?

The Surgeon General appointed by DeSantis was touring in November to introduce himself to lawmakers. This included a stop at the Democratic senator’s office. Tina polsky, who was recently diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

She asked Ladapo and his assistants to wear masks, but they did not. Finally, she asked them to leave.

When the story broke, Simpson berated Ladapo in no uncertain terms.

“What happened in Senator Polsky’s office was unprofessional and will not be tolerated in the Senate,” the Republican leader wrote in a note to all senators and staff.

“While there is no Senate mask mandate, Senators and staff can request social distancing and a mask in their own offices. If visitors to the Senate do not comply with these requests, they will be invited to leave. “

Simpson is an arrogant Tory who ticks all the right boxes for his party. It can be as tough as a $ 2 steak, but it’s also a gentleman.

You don’t hear much about Simpson’s DeSantis exhilaration because that’s not his style. While he would never confirm it, it seems likely that he worked behind the scenes and soothed some of DeSantis’ rougher edges.

And he gets things done.

Its flagship achievement this year was legislation extending the protection of farmers against nuisance lawsuits. But his pro-farmer stance is hardly shocking (he is, after all, an egg farmer). And his conservative good faith has never been questioned.

But more than most Republican lawmakers, he is a true friend of the environment. Before even taking the hammer, Simpson secured millions for clean-up projects and supported record funding for the restoration of the Everglades and springs.

When it looked like the state would face a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, it made it clear that cuts in environmental spending – especially water quality projects – would not be an option.

Simpson is running for agriculture commissioner in 2022, and his victory is the closest thing to a lock you can have in politics. He has money, score endorsements, a solid reputation. It also that of Donald Trump support. Trump’s name still has a lot of cachet among Republicans, especially in Florida.

Assuming DeSantis wins a second term in 2022, could we see Simpson in the race to succeed him in four years?

Hey, we like to get ahead here.

There is one thing we are sure of, however. Wilton Simpson is Florida Politician of the Year.

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