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January 23, 2022

Florida Emerges as Epicenter of GOP 2024 Primary

The Sunshine State is emerging as the eye of the storm in the early battle for the GOP presidential nomination amid growing speculation that multiple Florida Republicans are gearing up for a 2024 bid.

The speculative list of names includes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R), and former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly hinted at another presidential run.

Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist, told The Hill that it’s “almost guaranteed that a Floridian is going to be the nominee in 2024.”

“Until Donald Trump became a Florida resident, Florida had never had a presidential nominee or VP nominee in the history of the state,” O’Connell said.

“It’s gone from being an important battleground to literally the center of the universe for the Republican Party.”

Despite the speculation, Scott has said that he’s planning on running for reelection in 2024, while DeSantis has said that he’s focused on winning a second term in the governor’s mansion this year.

Still, there have been multiple reports of the growing tension between Trump and DeSantis, stemming from the fact that the governor’s declined to say publicly if he would run for president if Trump does. His omission is conspicuous given that several other would-be contenders have said they would support the former president if he makes another bid in 2024 — including Rubio and Scott.

“I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,” Trump reportedly said of DeSantis.

“There’s the old saying that every senator sees himself as a future president,” one Republican strategist said.

“I think that’s doubly true for any Republican in Florida right now. There are just a lot of really strong personalities that are in the mix.”


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Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary

January 16, 2022

Floridians Tell ‘Woke’ New Yorkers to Stay Out

In Palm Beach, Florida, some parked cars with New York license plates discovered a note on their window, urging them to leave the state if they subscribe to “woke” ideologies.

“If you are one of those ‘woke’ people — leave Florida. You will be happier elsewhere, as will we,” the note reads.

“Residents were concerned about the lack of civility and respect for personal property. We understood that concern and that’s why we started to look into the matter but we determined … it was non-criminal in nature,” said Capt. William Rothrock, the Palm Beach Police Department’s public information officer.

“As uncivil as it may be and not characteristic of our community, it is not a crime.”

Despite the unfriendly message, some Florida residents say that all are welcome.

“I feel like people should be welcomed rather than disregarded like that and being told they can’t come down here,” a Florida resident told Fox News. “Everyone should be welcome anywhere as long as they aren’t causing anyone any harm.”

One local said whoever wrote the message was exercising their First Amendment rights.

“Free speech, First Amendment,” a resident named Debbie told the outlet. “They are not being abusive, they’re not being physical. They are participating in their First Amendment right, and we don’t want them here, we don’t want to turn this state, ever.”

Another Florida-based individual named Gregory told Fox News that he believes the flyers came from someone out-of-state.

“Our governor, [Ron] DeSantis, we love him, most people don’t love him,” Gregory said. “So, I think people are just trying to come down and rile up things here in Florida because we got it together and some people don’t.”


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Floridians respond to flyers telling ‘woke’ New Yorkers to stay out of Sunshine State

January 4, 2022

DeSantis Blasts ‘Lockdown Politicians’ For Vacationing in Florida [Video]

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joked about politicians from states with strict COVID-19 measures who’ve vacationed in the Sunshine State since the start of the pandemic.

The question came during a press conference on Monday after a maskless Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was spotted in Miami at a crowded drag bar over the weekend.

“If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years, I’d be a pretty doggone wealthy man, let me tell you,” DeSantis said. “I mean, congresspeople, mayors, governors, I mean you name it.”

“It’s interesting the reception that some of these folks will get in Florida,” the governor continued, “because I think a lot of Floridians say, ‘Wait a minute, you’re bashing us because we’re not doing your draconian policies, and yet we’re the first place you want to flee to, to be able to enjoy life.'”

“There are probably about a half dozen governors who had restrictions on their people and then were spotted at various points in Florida. Some of it’s been public, some of it’s not been public, but you know people tell me these things,” DeSantis added.

Still, the governor said he’s glad Florida can offer vacationers a semblance of normalcy in difficult times.

“I’m happy though that Florida’s a place where people know they can come and they can live like normal people, they can make their own decisions,” DeSantis said.


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DeSantis jokes about Dems from strict COVID states visiting Florida after AOC spotted maskless in Miami

January 4, 2022

Florida’s COVID-19 Cases Rise 948% in Two Weeks

Florida saw a 948% increase in COVID-19 cases in just two weeks as the omicron variant drives a nationwide surge of infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the seven-day average for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 spiked over 40% in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Airlines canceled thousands of flights amid covid-induced staffing shortages. Last week, America set a new record for COVID-19 infections reported in one day.

Still, some experts believe the omicron surge will “ultimately represent a move toward normalcy, where COVID-19 becomes a long-term reality but causes less devastation,” The Guardian reported.

“I think it’s likely that we’ll see this wave come and go and that the spring and summer will look a lot better than right now looks to us,” said Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s hospital.

“There will be fewer cases, and then again, next fall and winter we’ll see a spike of viral illnesses, coronaviruses, influenza, and others, but that it’ll be more like an endemic cycle.”


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Covid cases rise by 948% in Florida as Omicron drives huge wave across US

December 31, 2021

DeSantis Takes a Stand Against China

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced that Florida will investigate its holdings in Chinese companies and “retake control of its shareholder proxy voting from ideology-crazed investment funds.”

DeSantis’ announcement came after a meeting with two State Board of Administration (SBA) trustees, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody. The three trustees voted to implement several significant policy changes regarding how state funds are spent to “combat woke corporate ideology and malign foreign influence.”

“If you look at how these major companies behave when faced with Chinese disapproval, they censor what the CCP tells them to censor, and we see groveling apologies,” DeSantis said.

“Go back a generation, and the idea of the American elites was, ‘If we allow China into the WTO and give them most favored nation status, that will make China more like us.’ This experiment has failed, and it has endangered our nation’s national and economic security,” he added.

DeSantis said he wants the legislature to make statutory changes to prevent the Sunshine State from using taxpayer dollars to invest in China and bring manufacturing jobs to Florida instead of relying on Chinese goods.

The move also sends a message “to those in corporate America who prop up a genocidal, authoritarian, imperialist regime that they will not do so with Floridians’ money,” DeSantis said.

“A sad reality is that too many federal leaders for too long have been missing in action when it has come to holding China accountable. As Americans got our cheap goods, the Chinese government wasn’t playing by the rules when it came to intellectual property or trade. Meanwhile, they’ve been busy buying influence in Hollywood and Washington,” Patronis said. “Unfortunately, between COVID and the supply chain issues, we’ve seen how reliant our country has become on China.”

Patronis said the decision was “not only good for our country, but it is the financially prudent thing to do for our state.”


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Florida taking action against Communist China and ‘woke’ corporations

December 31, 2021

Latest Smash-and-Grab Burglary Claims Nearly $1m in Luxury Handbags

A Florida luxury boutique was the latest victim of a smash-and-grab burglary, with thieves swiping nearly $1 million worth of handbags.

Virgil Rogers, the owner of Only Authentics in Palm Beach, said 13 one-of-a-kind Hermes bags were stolen after thieves broke the display window in the middle of the night.

Rogers said some of the bags are valued at more than $100,000 each, putting the total value of missing items at almost $1 million.

According to an employee, the most expensive bags stolen were a 40-centimeter green crocodile skin Kelly listed at $89,000 and a 32-centimeter Vert Bosphore Birkin listed at $110,000.

“Because Birkins and Kellys are so exclusive, we provide a way for people to get these bags in a nontraditional way, still giving them an opportunity (to collect),” an Only Authentics employee told the Palm Daily News.

There have been recent reports of similar smash-and-grab burglaries across the nation targeting luxury handbags and other high-end items.

Earlier this month, a man smashed a glass case in a Lamborghini showroom in Chicago, making off with $1 million in watches. In November, an Apple Store in California was the target of a “brazen daytime” smash-and-grab burglary, with four masked suspects grabbing over $20,000 in merchandise before fleeing the area.


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Luxury handbags swiped from high-end Palm Beach store

December 23, 2021

Army Vet Pays Off Past-Due Utility Bills in Florida City

An Army veteran rewarded by the Planters peanut company for being a good Samaritan is continuing his efforts to help others in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Over the past two Christmas seasons, Mike Esmond donated roughly $12,000 to pay off past-due utility bills for people in his Florida Panhandle community.

In March, Planters sent Esmond a check for $104,000 for his good deeds as part of the company’s “A Nut Above” campaign.

Since then, the Army vet has continued to help with past-due utility bills, paying off balances for 677 accounts.

“In other words, I paid everybody’s past-due account for a while, about March to August, like six months straight,” Esmond said. “Nobody that had their utilities, Gulf Breeze utilities, had anything disconnected.”

Esmond has donated more than $96,000 over the past three years.

“I’ve had some older, retired people call me crying on the phone, because I paid their bills, because they live on Social Security, and they don’t know what’s going on,” Esmond said. “So it’s not only families. There’s older single people that you know, are in this predicament also.”

Esmond said he was inspired to help with utility bills because of his economic experience in the 1980s.

“I was raising three daughters and my wife and I would run around at night with this little plug-in electric heater in the rooms trying to give them a little bit of heat,” Esmond said.

And for that reason, Esmond said he’ll likely continue the Christmas donations as long as he can afford to.


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Florida Army veteran pays off past-due utility bills for families ahead of Christmas

December 5, 2021

Parkland Student Arrested after Shooting Threat

A South Florida teenager has been arrested after authorities learned he made a threat against Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a mass shooting that killed 17 people in 2018.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a caller reported seeing the threat late Wednesday night. Officials said the student sent a text message to his classmates in a social media chat room shortly after 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

The threat came one day after a student opened fire at Oxford High School in Michigan.

“I feel like school shooting tmrw (tomorrow). When I sneeze it’s a signal go to the bathroom OK. I hope y’all aren’t snitches,” the text message read, according to an affidavit.

The sheriff’s office said the 17-year-old high school junior was charged with one count of writing a threat to conduct a mass shooting.

The teen’s mother told local media that he didn’t mean it. She said that to him, it was a joke. At the time of the Parkland massacre, she said, they lived in another country that didn’t have gun violence in its schools.

“He’s a normal kid from a normal family and a safe environment. He doesn’t realize the world is not so safe,” she said. “It’s not an excuse for his behavior. It’s just an explanation for his behavior. All threats must be investigated. I understand that.”

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Parkland, Florida student arrested in school shooting threat

November 25, 2021

Brian Laundrie’s Cause of Death Confirmed

In Sarasota County, Florida, the medical examiner confirmed that Brian Laundrie, who was found dead in a swamp last month, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Laundrie was the subject of a widespread search for over a month as investigators searched for clues in the murder of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, during their cross-country road trip. An autopsy found that Petito had been strangled, and Laundrie was listed as a person of interest.

In a news release, the medical examiner said that Laundrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and it was ruled a suicide.

Laundrie’s family’s attorney, Steve Bertolino, said in a statement that the family had been made aware of the autopsy’s results.

“Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.

Richard Stafford, attorney for Petito’s family, said they would have no immediate comment on Laundrie’s cause of death.

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Officials: Brian Laundrie Fatally Shot Himself in the Head

November 15, 2021

DeSantis says ‘Biden’s lawlessness’ is to blame for Jacksonville murder

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Biden administration’s “lawlessness” is to blame for the alleged murder of a Jacksonville man by an illegal migrant.

Authorities say Yery Noel Medina Ulloa pretended to be 17 to gain entry to the US. He is charged with murdering Francisco Javier Cuellar, 46, who took him in.

“Unfortunately there was a tragic situation — one of the illegals that Biden flew in committed a murder in Florida recently,” DeSantis told Sean Hannity of Fox News. “That individual who died would be alive had Biden not been doing this.”

“They don’t tell us when these flights are coming in — these are flights at 2 in the morning. We’re looking at ways to hold these contractors accountable who are basically the instruments of Biden’s lawlessness.”

“If it’s a federal responsibility, what happens when the federal government totally defaults on that responsibility? Are they saying the states have no ability to protect themselves?”

Ulloa pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. He is due back in court on Nov. 20.

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DeSantis blames ‘Biden’s lawlessness’ for alleged murder by illegal immigrant

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