Ron DeSantis says French would not fight if Putin attacked them


By Brian E. Crowley

One can only wonder what they teach at Yale and Harvard these days. Clearly, the Ivy League schools are not doing a great job of teaching world history. So maybe Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who attended both schools, should not be blamed for basically calling the French a bunch of cowards.

During a news conference today at the University of South Florida, DeSantis began chatting about Putin and the brave citizens of Ukraine. DeSantis described Putin as an "authoritarian gas station attendant."  DeSantis called Russia, "a hollowed out country" except for its energy resources.  Of course, he took a moment to slam President Biden suggesting Putin attacked Ukraine, in part, because Biden pulled troops out of Afghanistan. 

DeSantis, called the Ukrainian war effort "inspiring"  especially the combat efforts of Ukraine's civilians. Then, DeSantis added this gem: "A lot of other places around the world they just fold the minute there is any type of adversity. I mean can you imagine if he went into France would they do anything to put up a fight? Probably not."

Matt tweeted this response: "Jesus. World War I was largely fought in France, the French Resistance was courageous and fearsome and France was one of the four occupation powers in postwar Germany. France is also, along with the US and UK, one of the three nuclear powers in NATO."

Of course, all of this begs the question - why would a Florida governor go out of his way to insult France? Especially at a time when the United States and its allies need to be united in opposition to Putin. 




Florida Democrat announces retirement from Congress

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch announced today that he will not seek reelection. His decision not to run is likely to set off a mad scramble, especially among Democrats in this Palm Beach/Broward district, to replace him.

Deutch, 55,  was a member of the Florida Senate from 2006 to 2010. He replaced Congressman Robert Wexler who resigned in 2010. 

The Palm Beach/Broward congressional district is heavily Democratic and is expected to remain so,after the Florida Legislature completes work on congressional redistricting later this month.

Here is the statement from Deutch:

"After serving the public for more than 15 years, I have decided I will not seek re-election this November. Public service was instilled in me by my father who earned a Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge, and it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Palm Beach and Broward Counties in Congress since 2010. I am incredibly grateful to my constituents for their support and friendship.
"In my seven terms in Congress, I have worked hard and tried to find common ground. I’m proud of my work to make our communities safer from gun violence, strengthen social security and protect our most vulnerable seniors, and ensure Holocaust survivors can live in dignity. I’m proud of the many bipartisan ways we’ve come together - to provide resources for those battling eating disorders, to help seniors at risk of fraud, and to combat climate change. And in a dangerous world, I’ve worked with my colleagues to fight terrorism and rogue regimes like Iran, and to support our military and veterans, including securing recognition for heroic World War II, Korea, and Vietnam heroes who had been denied the honor they deserved.

Continue reading "Florida Democrat announces retirement from Congress" »

Florida GOP leaders have failed

By Brian E. Crowley
Trump is back on Twitter this morning.
He says nothing about the murdered Capitol Police Officer. He says nothing about the violence at the Capitol. He says nothing about the destruction. Instead, he defends them and tells them they will "have a giant voice in the future."
The responses to his tweet are equally disturbing. Sadly, I fear the violence we saw Wednesday from the Trump fringe is just the beginning and not the end.
Dc violence
And even as Florida's GOP members of our congressional cowered under their desks yesterday, few understand today that what they say and do has consequences.
As of this moment, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still has not challenged Trump for inciting the riot. Video of Trump and his family and senior officials watching monitors of the crowd just before he went on stage, demonstrates just how eager they all were for the crowd to take action. And Trump, telling the crowd that he would walk with them to the Capitol (egging others to take action while hiding on the sidelines is typical of bullies), got exactly what he wanted as the rioters rampaged through the Capitol.
Did any of this convince Congressman Matt Gaetz to shut-up. No. Instead, the child-congressman took to the floor not only to falsely protest the election results, but to claim that Antifa had blended in with Trump supporters so they could attack the Capitol.
Congressman, have you no shame? 
And of course, not surprisingly, some of the thugs looting, destroying, defecating the Capitol were Florida "patriots." 
Thank you for being dumb enough to post your pictures on social media. The FBI, Capitol Police, and other investigators appreciate it. Your neighbors may be thrilled to know they live next to someone willing to attack our Capitol. Your employers may take note as well. And if you own a business, don't be surprised if you lose a few customers.
Where was DeSantis? Marco Rubio? Rick Scott? 
This sad, after-the-fact comment from DeSantis, (the same father who used his small child in a build the wall campaign commercial), "In no way have I supported any type of lawlessness or anything like that" is spineless.
And now, a gentle reminder to the mob. You are not "patriots." You are thugs. 
Real Patriots understand why the Founders established a House and Senate. It is there for disagreements to be seriously debated and compromises reached. The Founders did not envision a system in which everyone would leave happy about the results. Our leaders, and the voters who chose them, have failed miserably in living up to those ideals.
Moments ago, Trump tweeted again. He says he will not be going to the inauguration. 
Meanwhile, there are posts from "patriots" threatening even more disruption during the inauguration. 

Will Donald Trump wind up in the coat closet?

By Brian E. Crowley

Some years ago, a New York Times photographer was at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee to cover an event.  As he was walking through the building he noticed a portrait hanging in the back of the coat closet. It was a portrait of a man who was once a leader of the Democratic Party. He was the nominee for president twice. He was a former governor of Illinois from a prominent political family.

Adlai Stevenson II.

Coat Closet


Odds are that few of the folks working at the DNC remembered Stevenson. 

Here is a description of him from Wikipedia:

Noted historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who served as one of his speechwriters, described Stevenson as a "great creative figure in American politics. He turned the Democratic Party around in the fifties and made JFK the United States and the world he was the voice of a reasonable, civilized, and elevated America. He brought a new generation into politics, and moved millions of people in the United States and around the world."[2] Journalist David Halberstam wrote that "Stevenson's gift to the nation was his language, elegant and well-crafted, thoughtful and calming."[3] His biographer Jean H. Baker stated that Stevenson's memory "still an expression of a different kind of politics - nobler, more issue-oriented, less compliant to the greedy ambitions of modern politicians, and less driven by public opinion polls and the media."

Stevenson was the party's presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956. He lost both times to Republican Dwight Eisenhower. He later was our United Nations Ambassador.

So how did this prominent member of the Democrat Party wind up in the coat closet at DNC headquarters?

Continue reading "Will Donald Trump wind up in the coat closet?" »

Panhandle beachgoers lose to Mike Huckabee, Ron DeSantis says pound sand

There was a lot of reaction over the Memorial Day weekend to the controversy over public beach access in Walton County. Let's just say the residents there are quite unhappy.

We received a lot of feedback after talking about the issue on our podcast - High Tops and Politics.

This is an important issue. Beach access is critical not only to Walton County but to all the coastal areas of Florida which count on beach-going tourists. And it is especially important to the economic viability of small counties such as Walton.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet told Floridians to pound sand by going ahead with their "ceremonial" meeting in Israel. 

It is an unnecessary blemish on the record of a new governor who has done rather well during his first months in office. He has won the praise of some Democrats, and the affection of many environmentalists - especially those who care about Everglades restoration.

While the faux Cabinet meeting will soon be forgotten (lord knows what precedent has been sent and it remains disturbing Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody participated), the issue confronting tiny Walton County is not like to go away any time soon.

Public beach-goers are already dealing with private security guards, signs and fences intended to keep them off the "private" beaches of the wealthy.

Here is a video showing deputies chatting with beachgoers about the issue.   

(Note you may have to scroll down a bit on the tweeter feed to see the video but it worth watching).

Mother Jones has an in-depth story about how Mike Huckabee used his political clout to turn the public beach into his private beach. You can read it here.

And below is our podcast chatting about what is happening in Walton County.


First Amendment Foundation and others file suit against DeSantis and Cabinet

In an effort to protect the public's right to know what their government is doing, the First Amendment Foundation and several Florida newspapers have filed suit against the Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet for holding a public meeting in Israel. 

From a First Amendment Foundation release:

Today the First Amendment Foundation, joined by the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times, Gannett, and GateHouse Media have filed a complaint against the Florida Cabinet for violations of the Sunshine Law related to the scheduled Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. In filing the complaint, Foundation President Barbara Petersen said:
"The decision to challenge tomorrow¹s meeting of the Florida
Cabinet was not lightly made - it came after long deliberation and many discussions of both public policy and legal issues. Florida¹s constitution requires that meetings of the Cabinet at which public business is to be transacted or discussed be open to the public. We wish the Governor and his Cabinet success on their trade mission. But as our complaint makes clear, there are legitimate concerns regarding the constitutionality of holding a Cabinet meeting that Floridians cannot attend."
- Barbara A. Petersen, President, First Amendment Foundation
As we reported before here on Crowley Political Report, and during this week's High Tops and Politics podcast. the notion of conducting a public meeting in a foreign country is an affront to the Florida Constitution and Florida citizens. It is especially troubling that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is participating in this charade. As Attorney General she is supposed to be a guardian of the Sunshine Law just like every Attorney General before her.
In a feeble attempt to dodge the law, DeSantis and the Cabinet are now calling it a "ceremonial" meeting. There is no such thing envisioned in the law and the fact is they intend to discuss public issues concerning the environment and emergency management.
Florida citizens have a constitutional right to attend these meetings and to speak at these meeting. Simple watching the meeting on a live stream from 6,000 miles away does not meet either the spirit or intent of the Sunshine Law.
Here is a PDF of the complaint filed by the First Amendment Foundation. (Disclosure: I was once served as a Trustee on the Foundation board.)

Ron DeSantis shares long list of those joining him in Israel

Moments ago, the governor's office released this rather lengthy list of folks joining him on his trip to Israel.....and here it is:


Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the leadership and delegation for the Governor’s Business Development Mission to Israel, which takes place Saturday, May 25ththrough Friday, May 31st. Organized in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the mission includes more than 90 delegation members and serves to strengthen the economic, academic and cultural bonds between Florida and Israel.

“This group of diverse Florida leaders will represent our state and nation proudly on this historic business development mission to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” said Governor DeSantis. “Our delegation includes professionals and experts from a wide range of policy and business areas, representing every corner of our state. During this trip, we will affirm Florida as the most pro-Israel state in the nation and strengthen the bond between Florida and Israel for decades to come.”

Business Development Mission Leadership and Delegation

Continue reading "Ron DeSantis shares long list of those joining him in Israel" »

Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet tell citizens to screw themselves


Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet are saying the Sunshine Law does not matter to them.
Sure visiting Israel is fine...but conducting a Cabinet meeting there is wrong and probably illegal. No Cabinet member should attend the meeting if they care about the rights of Florida citizens.
Here is the agenda for the meeting. 
May 29, 2019
United States Embassy – Jerusalem, Israel
RESOLUTION – ISRAELI-FLORIDA RELATIONSHIP, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet
CLOSING, Governor Ron DeSantis
There is a nonsensical note at the bottom of this otherwise useless agenda that is silly and worthless: *This agenda does not involve the composition of any collegial body consisting of the Governor and Cabinet as a board, commission, or otherwise.
Please, Attorney General Ashley Moody, explain the legal foundation for this meeting. Tell us how it does not violate the Sunshine Law. Please explain what precedent it sets for future meeting not just of this body but of any governmental entity in the state.
Please, CFO Jimmy Patronis and Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, explain your justification for attending this meeting that clearly was not the intent of the Sunshine Law.

Continue reading "Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet tell citizens to screw themselves" »

Ron DeSantis gets a surprise, NRA is unhappy, and locals win one over Tallahassee

Episode 10 of High Tops and Politics is a fun one. A mix of humor and serious discussion. 

Thank you for all the positive feedback. 

Please enjoy and share it with your friends.


Episode 9 from Mojitos to Trump and more.

In this episode of High Tops and Politics, Brian Crowley and Mary Anna Mancuso chat about Donald Trump's visit to the Panhandle, Joe Biden's efforts in Florida, Brad Meltzer's new book about George Washington, South Florida Jeopardy finalists, Florida Man, a Mojito expert, Guess who is on their way to the Democratic Debates, and much more.

Enjoy Florida's best political podcast (iTunes -5 stars)....

And tell your friends.