Proposed Florida Vote-By-Mail Restrictions Scaled Back, But Opponents Not Swayed

Dennis Baxley

A key Senate panel Wednesday amended a controversial bill imposing a range of restrictions on the state’s vote-by-mail (VBM) laws but did not vote on the measure after an exhaustive debate.

The Senate Rules Committee ran out of time before it could issue a verdict on Senate Bill 90 during a fiery marathon meeting that began with an hours’-long fracas over a proposed bill preempting local governments from regulating ports in areas “of critical state concern.”

Committee chair Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, concluded the meeting without calling for a vote on SB 90, saying the panel could take up the measure in its Friday meeting or next week. The bill was not on panel’s Friday agenda as of Thursday afternoon.

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Illegal Immigrants Repeatedly Denied COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida: Report

COVID Vaccine

Undocumented immigrants in Florida have been routinely denied access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

A valid Florida driver’s license or government-issued I.D., utility bill or rental agreement is required to receive the vaccine, the Herald reported. Other undocumented immigrants who worked as essential workers across the U.S. haven’t been able to receive the vaccine, though some local governments are advocating for other proofs of residency so they will have access.

“What we feel is that they don’t want immigrants vaccinated,” Doris Mejia, an undocumented immigrant living in Florida told the Herald. “They see us as less, yet we work the most.”

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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DeSantis Slams Critical Race Theory, Says Florida Schools Will Exclude ‘Unsubstantiated Theories’ from Curriculum

During a press conference in Palm Harbor, Florida on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that his administration is banning “Critical Race Theory” from being taught in Florida schools.

The governor made the announcement while describing a new civics education initiative aimed at teaching students “foundational concepts” in America, rather than “unsubstantiated theories.”

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Over 100 Arrested at Miami Beach Spring Break Celebrations

A spring break celebration in Miami Beach, Florida led to over 100 partygoers being arrested over the weekend after a crowd became unruly, with two police officers being injured, as reported by CNN.

The incident took place on Friday night, where a crowd allegedly began surrounding and taunting a group of police officers. The Miami Beach Police Department’s official Twitter account described the crowd as “disorderly,” and said that pepper balls were used to disperse the crowd as dozens were arrested.

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After Defying COVID Groupthink, Big Tech Censors, DeSantis Hosts CPAC as Rising GOP Star for 2024

When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis takes the stage to deliver a welcoming address at the Conservative Political Action Conference on his home field in Orlando Friday, it will be as a fast-rising force in the conservative movement and an increasingly plausible and popular contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.

DeSantis will be followed in the spotlight on the first full day of CPAC 2021 by a succession of marquee GOP names vying to woo the party’s conservative base at the movement’s signature annual gathering of the tribes. Among them will be potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls and aspiring heirs to the leadership of their party’s populist conservative wing, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri, respectively.

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Early Vote Count Passes 2016 Total with 11 Days Until the Election

Over 50 million Americans have voted early with 11 days remaining until Election Day, far surpassing the 47 million early ballots cast in 2016.

While nearly every state has begun early voting, Texas, California and Florida lead the way, with 6.3 million, 5.8 million and 4.2 million ballots cast in each state, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

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Florida USPS Worker Accused of Stealing Mail-in Ballots

A Florida US Postal Service worker is accused of stealing a mail-in ballot, dozens of political flyers and 4 prepaid debit cards in a scheme that may have started nearly two years ago, federal authorities said Monday, the The New York Post reports.

Crystal Nicole Myrie, “embezzled letters, postal cards, and mail which came into her possession intended to be carried or delivered by her,” according to a criminal complaint.

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University Told Student Groups Not to Gather, but Allowed Black Lives Matter Protest

A free-speech group has repeatedly warned the University of South Florida about the unfairness and unconstitutionality of its coronavirus guidelines.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation has now sent three letters to the public university in Florida, warning it about problems with both its approaches to student gatherings and coronavirus tracking and reporting.

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Trump To Seniors: I Will Protect, Defend, and Fight for You With Every Ounce of Energy I Have

President Donald Trump traveled to Fort Myers, Florida Friday to give a speech focusing on health care costs, Social Security and other issues that impact senior citizens. In his speech, the president sought to reassure elderly voters, who have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, that he cares about them, and is doing do everything he can to protect and defend them.

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Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Brad Parscale Hospitalized

Police were called to the Florida home of Brad Parscale Sunday after the well-known Trump campaign operative allegedly threatened to harm himself.

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich told The Sun Sentinel that the “encounter” was brief and without additional incident.

“We went out and it was very short. We went and got him help,” the police chief said.

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In the Final Weeks Leading to November, Biden’s Lead in the Top Six Battleground States Narrows

Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in six of the most competitive battleground states as both candidates amp up their fundraising efforts and place multimillion dollar ad buys just over seven weeks out from the election, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review.

In 2016, Trump pulled off an upset win after flipping Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Now, those three states, in addition to Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, are likely to decide the winner of November’s presidential election.

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Billionaire Mike Bloomberg to Spend at Least $100M to Help Biden in Florida

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is committing at least $100 million to help Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the crucial battleground state of Florida.

Bloomberg’s late-stage infusion of cash reflects Democrats’ concerns about the tight race in a state that is a priority for President Donald Trump. A victory for Biden in Florida, the largest of the perennial battleground states, would significantly complicate Trump’s path to reaching the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure a second term.

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This Group Within Florida’s Latino Community Overwhelmingly Supports Trump, Poll Finds

President Donald Trump is winning the Cuban vote by large margins in one of the most contentious counties in Florida less than three months before Election Day, a new poll published Tuesday found.

Cuban-Americans in Florida’s Miami-Dade County support Trump over Biden by 38 points, according to a Bendixen & Amandi International poll. The poll, conducted Sept. 1 to Sept. 4, found the former vice president narrowly behind overall Hispanic voters in the county, with Trump leading 47% to 46%.

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Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Brace for Record 2020 Turnout, Won’t Say When Election Results Will Be Available

Election officials in three battleground states wouldn’t say when the U.S. can expect the results from November’s presidential race, and an official in a fourth state said the timing is uncertain.

Numerous news reports have indicated that election results could take a week to return due to the coronavirus pandemic and an increased reliance on mail-in ballots. Accuracy and timing will be especially crucial in the battleground states that will likely determine whether President Donald Trump will serve another term or be ousted by former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Reports of a Surge in Coronavirus Cases in Texas Infants is False, Official Says

A viral report of a sudden surge of coronavirus cases in infants in a single county in Texas is inaccurate, a local official said on Saturday.

On Friday, the top health official for the Corpus Christi area said at a press conference that the county currently has 85 cases of newborns with coronavirus.

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Floridians Mark President Trump’s Birthday with Flotillas, Caravans

Trump supporters in Florida were celebrating the president’s birthday Sunday with caravans, flotillas and parades throughout his adopted home state.

In Palm Beach County — home of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort — separate caravans of trucks, motorcycles and boats were riding along highways and the intercoastal waterway at various times in the morning. The organizers were part of the president’s Florida re-election effort.

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Florida, Georgia Would Happily Play Host to Republican National Convention If It Leaves North Carolina

After President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten pulling the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, N.C, other southeast states with Trump allies as governor have offered to host the convention.

The GOP convention is scheduled for late August in Charlotte. North Carolina entered phase two of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic last week under Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been cautious in lifting restrictions.

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Al Qaeda Linked To Deadly Shooting At US Military Base In Florida, Investigators Say

The Saudi national who shot three Americans at a military base in Pensacola, Fl., in December had been in contact with Al Qaeda before the attack, according to law enforcement officials.

Cell phone evidence links Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force cadet who trained at the Naval Air Station Pensacola alongside American military officials, to the terrorist organization, according to government officials who spoke with the New York Times. The FBI discovered cell phone communication between Alshamrani and an Al Qaeda operative from before the December 2019 shooting spree.

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Trump Clashes with 3M After Accusations That Foreign Countries Are Getting Face Masks First

President Donald Trump warned 3M on Twitter Thursday night that it will “have a big price to pay” after the company was accused of various wrongdoings surrounding its production of N95 respirator masks.

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A Florida Police Officer Was Investigated for Liking Facebook Comments Critical of Tlaib and Omar

A Florida police officer who was in the running for chief of his local department was temporarily suspended last week after the Miami Herald outed him for liking comments on Facebook that were critical of U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).

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Florida House to Investigate Infiltration and Meddling by China in State-Funded Cancer Research Center

The Florida House will investigate “Chinese meddling in taxpayer-funded research” following a series of resignations at the Moffitt Cancer Center, a research nonprofit created by the Legislature in 1981 at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Asks Supreme Court to Define ‘Completion of Sentence’ in Felon-Voting Dispute

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the Florida Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion on whether convicted felons must pay all fines and fees before their voting rights are restored under Amendment 4, the November 2018 ballot measure approved by 64.5 percent of state voters.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Anti-Sanctuary Bill Into Law

by Jason Hopkins   Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law Friday that bans “sanctuary cities” in the state, fulfilling a pledge he made while on the campaign trail. DeSantis — at a ceremony in the Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners alongside Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz —…

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Official Tells Florida Democrats to Expect Recount in 2020

  The new voter protection director for Florida Democrats told party activists on Saturday that they should assume there will be a recount during next year’s presidential election. “We are going to be prepared,” Brandon Peters (pictured, foreground) told a packed room of Democratic activists at the state party’s Leadership…

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Florida Officials, Congressional Delegation Demand FBI Disclose Election-Hack Details

by John Haughey   Russian hackers gained access to voter information files in Washington County, a sparsely populated Republican-dominated Panhandle county, where 77 percent of its 11,000 votes cast in the 2016 presidential election went to Donald Trump. The revelation was reported by The Washington Post Thursday night, citing two…

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By the Numbers: Florida’s Osceola County Posts 16th Highest Foreclosure Rate in First Quarter

  One in 290 properties in Osceola County, Florida started the foreclosure process during the first quarter of the year – the 16th highest foreclosure rate among U.S. counties with at least 100 foreclosures nationwide, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of property data. Osceola County’s foreclosure rate was…

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Urged to Sign Turnpike Plan by Business While Environmentalists Virulently Oppose

by John Haughey   A bill approving a decade-long, multi-billion dollar plan to extend three toll roads into rural “corridors” was formally sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday as opponents intensified demands he veto the measure and launched a week of scheduled protests. DeSantis has 10 working days to veto…

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DeSantis Signs School-Choice Bill Creating Florida’s First Tax-Funded Voucher Program

by John Haughey   It took combative committee hearings and marathon floor debates to overcome “third rail” resistance to expanding Florida’s school choice voucher program, but none of that rancor was evident Thursday at a private Miami Gardens school where Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the hard-fought bill into law. “I…

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Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis Set to Sign Cost-Reducing Drug Importation Bill

by Evie Fordham   Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears set to sign a bill creating a program to import prescription drugs from Canada after the Republican-backed legislation passed the state Senate. The bill passed the GOP-controlled Florida House 93-22 on April 11, reported The Associated Press. The Washington Examiner characterized the legislation…

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Indiana’s Senator Mike Braun Wants to Get Congress Out of a Rut by Taking Away a Prized Cash Cow

by Evie Fordham   Republican Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, co-sponsor of a recently introduced bill banning ex-members of Congress from lobbying Congress, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview that his bill would help get Congress out of a “rut” — but he’s not expecting the legislation to gain…

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The Battleground State Report Talks ‘Rise of the Socialist Dictator’ and How Florida Could Move to the Red Column

On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy and Dough Kellett – a one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication rollout discussed the recent rise in socialist dictatorship in Venezuela which evidence has produced an obvious escalation…

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Florida’s Universal Education Choice Moment

by Lindsey M. Burke   Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the state legislature intends to establish Equal Opportunity Scholarships designed to end the current waiting list on the tax credit scholarship program – a move the Republican chief executive supports. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship – which provides scholarships…

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Florida Commissioner Who Criticized Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib Reprimanded by Colleagues

A Florida commissioner who suggested that Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) might “blow up Capitol hill” was publicly reprimanded by her colleagues during a Wednesday night meeting. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub’s recent comments were the subject of a Wednesday night meeting, where her…

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Commentary: City Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub Discovers Telling the Truth about Muslim Politicians Is Now a Crime

by George Rasley   Florida’s Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub recently called for the removal of U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, with a petition on Facebook saying, “a Hamas-loving anti-Semite has no place in government!” and calling her a “danger.” Commissioner Lima-Taub is right about Rep. Tlaib,…

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As Exhaustive Parkland Report is Released, Father of Victim Seeks Accountability

Andrew Pollack, the father of a teenage girl who was killed in a school shooting in Florida last year, was appointed to the state Education Board by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott. Scott appointed Pollack to the board Friday. Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of 17 people killed at a…

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Police Officer Deaths on Duty Increased in 2018, Report Finds

by Neetu Chandak   A preliminary report released Thursday found U.S. police officer deaths on duty increased by 12 percent in 2018 from 2017. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a non-profit dedicated to making police officers’ work safer, found 144 police officers died between Jan. 1 and Dec.…

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Soros Org Gave $500K to Activists Who Accosted Pam Bondi at Movie Theater

by Peter Hasson   The left-wing activist group that accosted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at a movie theater in June received half a million dollars in 2017 from an organization funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros in 2017, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal. Organize Florida,…

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