At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena.
CHAMP: Governor Ron DeSantis
With coronavirus continuing to spread across the state, DeSantis has been the leader that Florida needs.
In a Rick Scott-like fashion, DeSantis has used precaution to combat the ongoing pandemic, issuing executive orders in an effort to curtail COVID-19.
On Tuesday, DeSantis outlined additional measures to quarantine the outbreak and keep it from spreading. The new proactive orders included closing bars, monitoring the gatherings at beaches and restaurants, and recommending remote learning at all Florida colleges for the remainder of the spring semester.
Then, on Friday, DeSantis took additional action, signing multiple Executive Orders aimed at encouraging “social distancing.” The governor first signed an order that directed all entertainment venues and beaches in Broward and Palm Beach Counties to close.
The Executive Order closed movie theaters, concert venues, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms, fitness studios, and beach in both counties.
DeSantis followed this by signing another order directing all restaurants and food establishments within the state to suspend all dine-in food and beverage consumption for customers.
The Executive Order lifted the restrictions that prohibited specially licensed restaurants from selling packaged alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises. The order also banned all on-site dining and required all gyms and fitness centers to close within the state.
DeSantis’ measures drew praise from many in the state, including the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA).
“Governor DeSantis continues to lead and take swift action out of precaution for the safety of Florida residents and visitors,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the FLRA. “Allowing restaurants to stay open for delivery and take-out, while also lifting the ban for alcohol delivery, is critical to supporting Florida’s dining establishments and their employees. We applaud Governor DeSantis for allowing Florida’s hospitality industry to continue to meet the needs of communities across Florida during this difficult time.
The approach taken by DeSantis proves that the Republican is a crisis manager who has made the state safer since being elected. The same, however, can not be said about the next guy…
CHUMP: Andrew Gillum
For the second week in a row, Gillum takes home the dishonorable mention. This one, however, propels Gillum into the clear lead for Chump of the Year after an uncensored nude photo, purporting to be him, started making the rounds in Tallahassee. A censored version was subsequently published by another outlet within hours.
Last week in Miami, we broke the original story that Gillum was found in a highly intoxicated state by Miami Beach Police at a South Beach hotel. He was so impaired he couldn’t communicate with the responding officers, who were primarily focused on trying to help another man present at the scene who allegedly overdosed on crystal methamphetamine.
Gillum released a statement shortly after the story first broke online, claiming that he did not partake of the contents of three baggies filled with what the police believed to contain crystal meth, but instead said he had “too much to drink.”
In the statement, Gillum referred to Dyson as his “friend,” and in a subsequent interview with the Miami News Times, Dyson confirmed the claim, saying he met Gillum about a year ago, but then seemingly contradicted Gillum’s claim that he was in Miami to “attend a wedding celebration.”
“I personally was not celebrating a wedding,” Dyson told the Miami New Times. “I don’t know if [Gillum] was in town for a wedding. He did not mention that.”
Dyson’s comments did next to nothing to corroborate Gillum’s statement, sending out red flags that unlocked Pandora’s Box for the former mayor of Tallahassee.
On Friday, the lid on that Pandora’s Box was blown off when the aforementioned naked picture of Gillum surfaced online.
The picture (NSFW), first published by the Central Florida Post, appears to show Gillum naked and passed out on the floor of a room at the Hotel Mondrian in Miami. The room matches the same room Dyson was found in.
According to the website, “The photo, depicting a man that clearly appears to be Mr. Gillum, is both graphic and sad. The hotel room floor in the photo is a dusty ash wood paneling, which matches photos of rooms advertised on Hotel Mondrian’s website. There appears to be vomit on the towel next to Gillum, another detail confirmed by the police report. According to the third man in the room, who arrived to find Gillum and the male-escort, Gillum was vomiting on multiple occasions. View the photo of a room at the Mondrian and then review it once you see the more explicit photo.”
Today’s bombshell only strengthens the case that Gillum lied to Floridians last week, proving that the embattled Democrat was always the wrong choice for the state.