A digest of the day’s politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.
Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
The Florida Historic Capitol will be lit up blue tonight through next Tuesday in recognition of National Police Week.
Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the ceremonial lighting by issuing a proclamation praising the work of law enforcement officers and highlighting pro-police policies in the state.
“In Florida, we back the blue,” DeSantis said in a news release. “While some states talk about defunding the police, we fund the police and then some because we respect the work they do to keep all of us safe. This week, we honor the men, women, and their families who have dedicated their lives to protecting our communities.”
Notably, DeSantis called attention to the police recruitment incentives package (HB 3) that he signed into law earlier this year.
The Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program provides new officers with $5,000 signing bonuses and provides funding for law enforcement training for both new officers and officers from other states who relocate to Florida.
The legislation also provides law enforcement officers who adopt a child from within the state child welfare system with a $10,000 benefit or a $25,000 benefit for adopting a child with special needs.
The Governor’s decision to light the Capitol blue was welcomed by the Florida Police Chiefs Association.
“The Florida Police Chiefs Association is honored that Gov. DeSantis will help “Paint The Town Blue” and illuminate the Old Capitol complex in blue lights for the entire week as a visible token of support for the dedicated service and courageous deeds of law enforcement officers, and the contributions they have made to the security and well-being of all people,” said FPCA President and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky.
Dembinsky also thanked DeSantis “for his unwavering support for Florida’s law enforcement.”
—“Judge says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional map violates state constitution” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
—“DeSantis needs to get his story straight on inflation” via Peter Coy of The New York Times
—“Florida Democrats struggle to find spotlight in race against DeSantis” via Kirby Wilson and Romy Ellenbogen of the Tampa Bay Times
—“‘Stop being so doom and gloom’: Democrats launch $15M effort to ‘Blue Shift Florida’” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida
—“The Democrats’ Midterm identity crisis” via Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic
—“Why polling about abortion hides the true complexity of what Americans think” via Louis Jacobson of PolitiFact
—“Federal judge dismisses lawsuit over bill to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
—“Teacher pay delays frustrate Florida’s Board of Education” via Andrew Atterbury of POLITICO Florida
—“DeSantis raises more than $10M in April” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
—“Christina Meredith announces run for HD 17” via Wes Wolfe of Florida Politics
—“Social-media regulations expand globally as Elon Musk plans Twitter takeover” via Kim Mackrael and Rhiannon Hoyle of The Wall Street Journal
—“What killed the whales? Two found dead off the Florida Keys, and one towed to a marina” via David Goodhue and Gwen Filosa of the Miami Herald
Quote of the Day
“That’s absolutely my goal and it doesn’t matter how much coffee I gotta drink to make it happen.”
— Leon Circuit Judge Layne Smith, saying he intends to issue a written order on Florida’s congressional map Thursday.
Bill Day’s Latest
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Cotton: Disinfo. Board Was Only Paused Because People Found out, Congress Needs to Ensure Nothing Like It Can Ever Exist
On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) celebrated the pausing of plans for the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board but noted that the pause isn’t permanent and argued that the board “only paused because the American people found out” and Congress should pass legislation “to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Cotton stated, “I’m glad to know that this Orwellian Ministry of Truth is at least paused for the moment, but I think it’s important to realize that it’s only paused because the American people found out about it. The government has no business refereeing disputes engaged in political campaigns or public debates. If you don’t like someone else’s speech, the solution is more speech. It’s not to use the Department of Homeland Security, for goodness sakes, to try to censor or label someone’s arguments in the public sphere. I think the Democrats often believe that disinformation and misinformation are simply facts that reflect poorly on Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. So, again, it’s good that they finally came to their senses and paused this board, but Congress needs to act in the weeks ahead to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
Republicans Cast 150K More Votes than Democrats in North Carolina Primaries: ‘GOP Enthusiasm Way Up’
Republican voters turned out in droves to participate in the North Carolina primaries and surpassed Democrat participation — even though there are more registered Democrat voters in the state.
Analysis of voter data by the Republican National Committee (RNC) after Tuesday’s elections revealed Republican voters cast roughly 150,000 more votes than Democrats 758,637 to 612,645. GOP turnout was “86 percent higher than 2018 and nearing 2020 levels,” RNC Deputy National Press Secretary William O’Grady told Breitbart News.
🐘📈⚡️GOP enthusiasm is way up
With 98% of Pennslyvania primary votes counted, Republicans have HIGHER turnout than Democrats – the first time this has happened in a decade.
With 100% of North Carolina counted, there were nearly 150k more GOP votes cast than Dem votes.
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) May 18, 2022
“GOP enthusiasm is way up,” RNC Communications Director Nathan Brand tweeted Wednesday, referring to the results in both the Pennsylvania and North Carolina primary elections.
Election analysis from the New York Times rendered similar findings, with 759,554 GOP voters participating in the North Carolina U.S. Senate primary and 613,170 Democrats participating in the state’s Democrat U.S. Senate primary. Both Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) and former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Cheri Beasley (D) made clean sweeps in the primaries and will face off in the November general election.
O’Grady noted that “in counties Biden won in 2020, GOP primary votes were 169,210 or 182 percent higher than in 2018.” Former President Donald Trump won the state in 2020 against now-President Joe Biden, though only by a narrow margin of 1.3 percent.
North Carolina Democrat voters were clearly not as revved for this year’s primaries as they were in 2020, when they cast a total of 1,251,389 votes securing the Democrat nomination for Cal Cunningham in the U.S. Senate primary. GOP voters cast 776,291 ballots, slightly more than in 2022, and nominated now-Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) who ended up beating Cunningham in the general election.
While North Carolina still has more registered Democrat voters than Republican voters, registered unaffiliated voters have been growing exponentially over the past few years. In 2016, there were 2,736,124 Democrat voters, 2,099,551 GOP voters, and 2,076,361 unaffiliated voters, according to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections. By 2022, registered Democrats fell to 2,493,492, GOP voters grew slightly to 2,198,612, and unaffiliated voters leaped more than 450,000 to 2,532,944, surpassing Democrats.
As expected, Unaffiliated voter registrants passed Democrats this week to make them the largest group of registrants in NC politics (~7600 more Unaffiliated than Dems). A #ncpol (1/11)
This was a slow build that picked up momentum recently, as the graph below indicates. pic.twitter.com/vXuEsJUarT
— Chris Cooper (@chriscooperwcu) March 19, 2022
The increase in unaffiliated voters is significant and indicative of a larger national trend — independent voters more and more are leaning and voting Republican as the Democrat Party loses itself catering the whims of the far-left. A Gallup poll in January 2022 found that by the end of 2021, the percentage of Democrat-leaning independent voters decreased by five points, and Republican leaners increased by four points.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.
Jankowicz: ‘Ironic’ Disinformation Board Killed by Disinformation
Nina Jankowicz said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board was disbanded because of disinformation.
Jankowicz was supposed to lead the now-dissolved board.
Jankowicz said, “All these sensationalized narratives about what people thought the board was going to do was completely wrong. It was a coordinating mechanism. It was meant to make sure that the very large agency that is the Department of Homeland Security, that people were talking to each other within it. Let me give you an example, FEMA, the agency that handles disasters and environmental issues, would often encounter misinformation about natural disasters. Let’s say an adversary like Iran or China would put out a false narrative like this is how you get out of the city, or this is where you can find disaster aid. That could put people really into danger, their lives into danger. That’s the sort of disinformation and misinformation that we were looking to support the department in addressing, to make sure they had best practices, and most importantly, to protect Americans’ freedom of speech, civil liberties, and privacy while we are doing all that work. So, every characterization of the board that you heard up until now has been incorrect, and frankly, it’s kind of ironic that the board itself was taken over by disinformation when it was meant to fight it.”
She continued, “I’ve been a really nuanced, reasonable person, again, as I said, I briefed and advised both Republicans and Democrats. I admired some of steps even the Trump administration took to combat disinformation.”
She added, “To say that I am just a partisan actor wildly out of context.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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