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
Conservatives received two major victories on Tuesday after the governor filled two vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court with a pair of South Floridians.
Continuing to reshape the court, DeSantis made the announcement at a press conference in Miami that he was naming Miami attorney John Couriel and Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renatha Francis to the state’s highest court.
Francis, 42, is a judge in Palm Beach and will become the first Caribbean-American justice on Florida’s Supreme Court.
“Judge Francis’ story demonstrates that anyone who comes to the United States has an opportunity to make the most of their God-given talents,” DeSantis. “Before immigrating to Florida, she ran two businesses and served as the primary caregiver for a younger sibling in Jamaica. After completing her law degree, she advanced to serve on the Miami-Dade County and then the 15th circuit court. Starting in September, she will serve as the first Jamaican-American to sit on the Florida Supreme Court and I know she will serve our state well.”
Couriel, 41, is a lawyer and former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor based in Miami.
“John Couriel’s life experience has taught him the value of freedom and democratic principles,” said DeSantis.“John has had a very successful career in the private sector and his willingness to serve and lend his intellect and abilities to our state is admirable. He believes in the rule of law and understands the proper role of the courts. I look forward to his accomplishments as a Justice on the Florida Supreme Court.”
In case you missed it, I was pleased to announce Florida’s next Supreme Court Justices … John Couriel, the son of Cuban exiles, and Judge Renatha Francis, the first Jamaican-American to be named to our state’s highest court. pic.twitter.com/g2FaFbZM18
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 27, 2020
The Miami-Dade appointees will replace two other justices from South Florida — Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck — who were selected to serve on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President Donald Trump.
CHUMP: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
Continuing to politicize the COVID-19 pandemic for political gain, the queen of “hold my beer” was at it again this week, targeting DeSantis while pushing a narrative that his administration asked a “data scientist” to manipulate numbers so Florida could reopen.
Appearing on MSNBC, Fried accused DeSantis of being deceptive, expressing unfounded doubts about the state’s COVID-19 data based on the now thoroughly debunked allegations made by Rebekah Jones.
“I’ve got a 90yr old grandmother & a mother who just went through a year of cancer & chemo. I’ve got to make sure the data is correct to advise them to go out in public & the same thing when we are talking about about opening back up Universal, Disney & the cruise line industry.” pic.twitter.com/26HmJXmIbJ
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 23, 2020
Of course, this wild theory promulgated by Fried was quickly debunked last week, proving that Jones was as much a martyr as Jussie Smollett.
Rather than stopping there and calling it a (bad) week, Fried continued to attack DeSantis after a Florida Cabinet meeting. After the forum, she tried to loosely link the 2,300 deaths caused by the virus on DeSantis all because her office was “left in the dark.”
The last time the Florida Cabinet met in February, there were zero #COVID19 deaths in Florida.
Today, over 2,300 Floridians have died.
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 28, 2020
This pandemic isn’t over. We still have questions that need answers.
And I’ll keep asking them.https://t.co/5kRwAf5Yvg
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 29, 2020
In reality, Fried’s constant pandering and insatiable desire to increase her political stock at the expense of others resulted in her being placed in the DeSantis doghouse.
At this point, we’ve forgotten how many times Fried has taken home the dishonorable mention. For her sake, and the entire state, we hope she’ll give it a rest and focus on helping Florida’s economy recover.