“Mike Bloomberg plans to spend at least $100 million in Florida to help elect Democrat Joe Biden, a massive late-stage infusion of cash that could reshape the presidential contest in a costly toss-up state central to President Trump’s reelection hopes,” the Washington Post reports.
“During his final two years in office and for several months afterward, former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) paid a Miami dentist and childhood friend with no political experience nearly $400,000 for political consulting,” the Miami Herald reports. … And since losing his seat last November, he’s spent thousands of dollars from his leadership PAC — called ‘What a Country!’ — on wine and high-end restaurants. … Now, Curbelo’s friend, JP Chavez, is his business partner in a communications and public affairs startup venture called Vocero LLC.”
A new Mason-Dixon poll in Florida finds voters are nearly evenly divided on if President Trump should be re-elected, with 46% saying he should be replaced, 45% saying he should be re-elected and the remainder unsure.
“Tuesday is a historic day in Florida. Under an amendment passed by the voters in November, as many as 1.4 million former felons are regaining the right to vote. The referendum overturned a 150-year-old law that permanently disenfranchised people with felony convictions,” NPR reports.
A new CNN/SRSS poll in Florida finds Andrew Gillum (D) holds a wide 12-point edge over Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) in the race for governor, 54% to 42%. In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leads Gov. Rick Scott (R) by five points, 50% to 45%.
“He’s easily dislikable. I don’t think anybody could spend a lot of time with him and walk away feeling inspired or encouraged or believe that he in some way knows what it means to to live their life. They realize they can’t package him in that way.”
— Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D), telling the Tampa Bay Times that rival Ron DeSantis (R) is “a uniquely unlikeable candidate.”
The state of Florida has paid more than $11 million over a 30-year period to settle hundreds of cases that alleged that state workers were sexually harassed by supervisors and co-workers, or were forced to work in a hostile work environment, reports the Associated Press.
New York Times: “More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane, landing at airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa, and the port in Fort Lauderdale. Nearly half are arriving in Orlando, where they are tapping their networks of family and friends. An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31… Large numbers are also settling in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas.”
“Followers of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have spent weeks anticipating that Wednesday would be the ‘Great Awakening’ — a day, long foretold in QAnon prophecy, when top Democrats would be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring and President Trump would seize a second term in office. … But as President Biden took office and Mr. Trump landed in Florida, with no mass arrests in sight, some believers struggled to harmonize the falsehoods with the inauguration on their TVs. … Some QAnon believers tried to rejigger their theories to accommodate a transfer of power to Mr. Biden. Several large QAnon groups discussed on Wednesday the possibility that they had been wrong about Mr. Biden, and that the incoming president was actually part of Mr. Trump’s effort to take down the global cabal.”
“So how will Donald Trump’s presidency be remembered by history? We already know the answer: He oversaw a disastrous response to a global pandemic, because of which more than 400,000 Americans died on his watch. … That’s it. That’s his legacy. And if he gets a second line in the history books it will be this: He incited an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol which led to a second impeachment. … Anyone who tells you that Trump will be remembered for the economic expansion of the first three years of his term is a fool.”
Politico: “Thirty-two percent of Europeans say that after electing Donald Trump president in 2016, Americans can no longer be trusted, according to a new poll. … Germans were most distrustful of Americans, with 53 percent of respondents saying they either strongly agreed or agreed that a post-Trump America couldn’t be relied upon. Only Hungarians and Poles were significantly more likely to disagree with that statement than agree with it.”
As President Trump prepares to leave the White House, 47 percent of Americans say he will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history, according to the latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.
Washington Post: “Five prominent anti-vaccine organizations that have been known to spread misleading information about the coronavirus received more than $850,000 in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, raising questions about why the government is giving money to groups actively opposing its agenda and seeking to undermine public health during a critical period.”
President Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, a major batch of clemency actions that includes white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others but — as of now — is not expected to include Trump himself, CNN reports.