Her opponent raised $16,000.
Republican Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera tapped a broad range of industries to amass $32,000 in her final full fundraising month before the 2022 Legislative Session.
Lawmakers are barred from seeking campaign contributions during the two-month Session. That lull could provide some runway for her new Democratic challenger, South Miami lawyer Adam Benna, to catch up to the incumbent.
As of Dec. 31, Busatta Cabrera held nearly $147,000 between her campaign and political committee, People Above Politics, to defend her House District 114 seat. Benna, who filed to run Jan. 2, has raised roughly $46,000.
Busatta Cabrera’s largest single donation, a $10,000 check, came from Miami-based public relations firm Mata Consulting.
Tallahassee lobbying firm Johnson & Blanton gave $2,500. Fort Lauderdale-based law and lobbying firm Becker & Poliakoff contributed $500.
A few companies from the medical and pharmaceutical sectors showed up for Busatta Cabrera last month. Miami-based health care services company Independent Living Systems donated $2,500. Busatta Cabrera also received $1,000 apiece from Gainesville-based health insurer AvMed, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and HCA Healthcare, which bought 59 urgent care centers in Florida this month.
West Palm Beach-based sugar company Florida Crystals donated $2,500. So did Florida Power & Light parent company NextEra Energy and political committee Floridians for Economic Advancement, which in 2020 contributed to a political committee that funded attack ads against Rep. Daniel Perez.
Busatta Cabrera received $1,000 donations from the Florida Bankers Association, PepsiCo, West Palm Beach-based limestone mining company White Rock Quarries, the lobbying arm of Associated Builders and Contractors and the Deerfield Beach-based automotive company JM Family Enterprises. Busatta Cabrera also netted $1,000 from the Chevron Public Policy and Sustainability Committee, which is responsible for advising the board of directors of the second-largest oil company in the world on “environmental, social, human rights, political, and public policy matters.”
Busatta Cabrera spent just under $4,000 last month. Most of it went to Tampa-based campaign consulting firm Strategic Image Management for a “mass mailout.”
She also paid the Coral Gables accounting firm Fiore CPA $440.
Benna, meanwhile, raised nearly $16,000 last month through Sunshine Priorities, a political committee chaired by Juan-Carlos “J.C.” Planas, a former Republican House member who endorsed Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo for Governor in November.
All of Benna’s December gains came through individual donations ranging from $100 to $5,000.
HD 114 currently spans a sizable portion of Miami-Dade County, including the municipalities of Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and West Miami. Proposed redistricting would shift the district northward to cover Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables and just a small portion of Palmetto Bay.
HD 114 remained in Democratic hands for six consecutive years before Busatta Cabrera flipped it red in 2020. The remapping, if approved, would turn it into something of a tossup district, according to an analysis by Matthew Isbell of MCI Maps.
Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign finance activity through Dec. 31.
Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics contributed to this report.
Maher: Biden Should Be in ‘a More Ceremonial Role’ – After ‘Not Horrible’ First Year, ‘America Has Lost Its Faith’ in Him
On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher argued Democrats should move President Joe Biden “into a more ceremonial role.” Because while his first year was “Not horrible, certainly better than the alternative,” “for some reason, America has lost its faith in Joe.” And “even when Joe does something good,” like the economy, “he seems to get no credit.”
Maher began by saying, “Democrats must thank President Biden for his great service to America, and then move him into a more ceremonial role.”
He continued, “Joe Biden has been president now for a year and a day. The day was pretty good. But the year? Not horrible, certainly better than the alternative, but for some reason, America has lost its faith in Joe. Sometimes that just happens. A new CBS poll has just over a quarter of Americans saying the country is going in the right direction, and the Quinnipiac poll has Biden’s year one approval rating at 33%, the lowest for any president ever, even Trump. 33%. If he were a movie, he’d be listed as ‘certified rotten.’ Now, of course, he’s not, and what’s gone wrong is certainly not all Joe’s fault, but the hard fact is, even when Joe does something good, he seems to get no credit. Our economy is actually pretty awesome considering what we’ve just been through. Wages are up, workers have more leverage, we avoided a recession, stocks just had their best year since 1995. And yet, only 38% approve of his handling of the economy. This is what happens when you lack passionate defenders, as opposed to Trump, who every day shit the bed, and 90% of Republicans blamed the bed.”
Maher added, “And Biden may well have even further to fall. Because there’s no die-hard Biden base. His is a coalition of the unenthused. … When he first got into office, I told you that Biden was like non-dairy creamer: nobody’s first choice, but he got the job done. And he did get the job done, in 2020, when his nation needed him to beat Trump, and he did. But, fair or not, to most people now, it looks like Joe Biden’s get-up-and-go got up and went.”
Maher further argued that Biden should marry former President Barack Obama so he can be back in the White House and run the country.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
Truckers Required to Show Proof of Vaccination to Enter the Country
The Biden administration will not allow foreign truckers from Mexico or Canada to enter the country unless they provide proof of vaccination against the coronavirus.
Beginning Saturday, all non-citizens must show proof of vaccination at all ports of entry and ferry terminals when trying to enter the country.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said:
Starting on January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security will require that non-U.S. individuals entering the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals along our Northern and Southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be prepared to show related proof of vaccination.
These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy.
Before the new mandate, nonresident essential travelers have been allowed entry into the country regardless of their vaccination status. However, United States officials announced the vaccine mandate in October, hoping to incentivize more travelers to get vaccinated.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Covid-19 response and the vaccination program at the White House on August 23, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
The mandate will likely hurt the ongoing supply chain crisis, as unvaccinated truckers traveling from Mexico and Canada will not be allowed entry into the country. The Canadian Trucker Alliance estimates at least 12,000 drivers will not be able to enter the United States due to the mandate.
Canada enforced a similar vaccine requirement for travelers entering its borders on January 15.
Brian Hitchcock, owner of MBH Trucking LLC and interim executive director of the Michigan Trucking Association, expects to lose two-fifths of his revenue due to the United States and Canada’s vaccine mandates. Hitchcock’s drivers travel back and forth from Michigan to Ontario, but only one-sixth of his employees are vaccinated.
“How do you force a mandate on a bunch of truck drivers who have been out there on the front line for 20 months and never asked for anything?” Hitchcock asked. “They were the ones that kept our economy moving and supplies (going), so you never ran out of food.”
Biden’s vaccine mandate will likely hit the automobile manufacturing industry the hardest. Auto Care Association Bill Hanvey warned the vaccination requirement could further strain the supply chain.
In a statement to NBC News, Hanvey said:
Due to the current supply chain issues and chip shortages that the American automotive manufacturers are facing … we believe any additional strains placed on the supply chain have the potential to exacerbate this situation and could cause the demands on both the automotive manufacturers and the aftermarket to rise even further
Doug Betts, president of J.D. Power’s global automotive division, made a similar warning.
By the time you map out the supply chain, it’s just a spider web going everywhere. I would be surprised if there are any (U.S.) cars that don’t have at least one Canadian-based part. Canada is a pretty important part of auto manufacturing. Any part that doesn’t arrive or if there’s something wrong with it, you can’t build it. There’s more points of failure.
Charles Sox, a supply chain expert and University of Cincinnati professor, mirrored Betts’s point. “Automobiles are very complex machines, they have thousands of component parts. It only takes one missing part to stop you from being able to complete that vehicle and sell it,” Sox said.
Report: Detroit Man Accused of Setting Fire to Girlfriend Pregnant with Twins Bonds Out for $5,000
A 41-year-old Detroit man accused of setting fire to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins, has bonded out of a Wayne County jail for just $5,000 after posting ten percent of his $50,000 bond, according to a report.
“Police said Devonne Marsh got into an argument with his girlfriend at their Detroit home off Packard and Outer Drive last Friday, Jan. 14, and he doused her with lighter fluid before setting her on fire,” WJBK reports.
According to the latest reporting from the outlet:
Devonne Marsh was released from the Wayne County Jail Friday morning. According to documents with the jail, he was released from custody just before 11:20 a.m. on Friday. He’s now out on bond with multiple conditions including no weapons, no drug use, and is ordered not to go to their shared apartment.
However, FOX 2 has learned that Marsh has a hold in Macomb County for other charges so while he’s posted bail in Wayne County, he is not currently free.
A man charged with setting his girlfriend – who was 6 months pregnant with twins – on fire, there was shock that his bond was set as low as $50,000 with 10%. Now, for just $5,000, he’s made bail. https://t.co/8PHFtDRtEY
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) January 21, 2022
At about 10:40 on January 14, Detroit Police received a tip “that a woman was being held against her will and tortured,” according to WDIZ. At the scene, officers said they found the 26-year-old pregnant woman, with severe burns to her legs and stomach, lying on a bed in the basement of the home. Officers said she could hardly move.
The 26-year-old is in critical condition with burns to 60 percent of her body, and “It’s not yet known if her babies will survive,” WJBK reports. She is six and a half months pregnant.
“How do you do this to another human being? I can’t – it’s unimaginable,” Commander Michael McGinnis of the Detroit Police Department told WJBK.
“Just incredibly traumatic injuries, I did see pictures and I mean the pain that she must be suffering – I can’t imagine,” he said.
Marsh, 41, was arrested and is charged with “kidnapping/abduction, aggravated/felonious assault and violation of the controlled substance act,” according to WDIZ.
He is a parole absconder with a lengthy rap sheet according to WJBK, including previous charges for guns, assault, and drugs.
“Marsh pleaded guilty in Macomb County Circuit Court to four counts of delivering more than 50 grams of cocaine in 2019 and was sentenced to two years probation,” Macomb Daily reports.
The victim had been too scared to report the abuse she was enduring, and Heaven of Oakland County CEO Aimee Nimeh told WJBK that victims often fear retaliation from their abusers when speaking up.
“Fear is part of the relationship and so absolutely there is fear of retaliation,” Nimeh explained.
She added that victims are often frightened by low bonds.
“The court system can be very overwhelming; the process can be complicated,” she said. “It’s not just that court is a little scary, it’s also that what happens next with that assailant that might be coming out, that might be walking free. How do you stay safe in that situation?”
McGinnis previously said he had hoped Marsh, who ended up making bond, remained in custody.
“We just hope that he remains in custody through the trial process so that the victim can heal without the fear of any kind of retribution from him,” McGinnis said.
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