RPOF Newsletter 10/7/2021

Chairman’s Message

Prayers for First Lady Casey DeSantis

After Governor DeSantis’ statement on First Lady Casey DeSantis’ condition, there was an outpouring of prayer and encouragement from Floridians across the state and political spectrum. Thank you to all who have reached out to the Governor and First Lady. Please keep them in your prayers.


Chairman Joe Gruters was on Facing South Florida with mainstream journalist Jim Defede to discuss Florida flipping red in voter registration, Covid policies, the Governor’s race and bills during the upcoming legislative session. 

“It’s the Governor and the leadership that sets those policies that creates the environment for people to want to move here and be able to register as Republicans because they want that freedom and liberty that everyone else enjoys,” Gruters said, explaining why so many more people are registering as Republican. 

Watch the entire interview here:https://miami.cbslocal.com/video/6060095-facing-south-florida-1-on-1-with-state-sen-joe-gruters/


Defending freedom never ends as Democrats mobilize the FBI against parents

After the Department of Justice took the astonishingly anti-American step this week of mobilizing the FBI against dissenting parents who speak at school boards, Governor DeSantis showed again what a defender of freedom looks like.

The Governor tweeted that “Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation. Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”

The principles in the Bill of Rights seem entirely lost on today’s Democratic leadership: Disagreement is not harassment and protesting is not terrorism. Florida law already prohibits harassment, and state law enforcement is perfectly capable of responding to crimes in Florida.

Governor DeSantis has made it clear that he will continually stand up to the authoritarianism that is running amok in Washington, D.C., and defend Floridians’ rights.

Read more here: https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/ron-desantis-doj-merrick-garland-schoolboard/2021/10/06/id/1039325/


The Feds have admitted that Governor DeSantis’ decision to put seniors first was the right approach to vaccine distribution.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report Wednesday finding that “efforts to prioritize and vaccinate” those 65 and older “helped prevent hundreds of thousands of new COVID-19 infections and tens of thousands of deaths among seniors” and “directly correlate[s] to saving lives.” 

“As the COVID vaccines first became available, I made it clear that in Florida we were going to put Seniors First to make sure the most vulnerable received the protection they needed,” Governor DeSantis said. “Following Florida’s lead, earlier this year the federal government reversed course from prioritizing younger populations for vaccinations to recommending that states prioritize seniors age 65 and older. When I decided to put Seniors First, the data clearly showed that prioritizing vaccines for seniors would save the most lives. It was the right thing to do, and I am glad to see the federal government has continued to acknowledge this reality.”

The HHS study analyzed the estimated reductions in COVID infection, hospitalization, and death for seniors in the 20 most populous states through the end of May. At that time, only four of those states had higher senior vaccination rates than Florida and the study estimates that in Florida Seniors First reduced senior infections by 17,000, hospitalizations by 6,700, and deaths by 2,400. The full study can be found here.

Florida currently has the highest vaccination rate in the Southeast and one of the highest senior vaccination rates in the country. Over 4.5 million seniors have chosen to get vaccinated in Florida. 

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/10/06/florida-was-right-the-federal-government-admits-governor-desantis-decision-to-put-seniors-first-was-the-correct-approach-to-vaccine-distribution/


Governor DeSantis says the Washington D.C. dysfunction and congressional inaction are beginning to have impacts on all types of transportation projects in Florida. The failure to pass a timely authorization to fund the Federal Highway Administration has resulted in halting federal support for construction on federal highway projects as well as furloughing most of the agency’s employees.

While Congress continues to fail to do its job, the Florida Department of Transportation is continuing to work on transportation projects because any undue delay on these projects will directly impact hundreds of thousands of Floridians. However, work that is currently being done on these projects will not receive federal funding or support, and may not be reimbursed – forcing Florida taxpayers to cover for the ineptitude of Washington.

“Yet again, the delays in Washington are impacting the lives of Floridians,” Governor DeSantis said. “It is unacceptable that Congress or the Biden Administration would use highway construction as a bargaining chip and leave Florida taxpayers to foot the bill. This is even more proof that the Democrats in leadership don’t want to help people, they don’t want to get anything done, they just want to follow a political agenda.” 

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/10/01/dysfunction-in-washington-d-c-impacts-transportation-construction-projects-in-florida/


After alerting the City of Gainesville of their possible violation of the vaccination passport ban in Florida, the Florida Department of Health received a response that the City of Gainesville had rescinded its employee vaccine mandate. This reversal also follows an Eighth Judicial Circuit Court temporary injunction preventing vaccine mandates for city employees.

“In May, I signed SB 2006 to empower Floridians – not elected politicians – to take charge of their personal health decisions,” Governor DeSantis said. “We are not going to allow our first responders and government employees, many of whom have been on the front lines for over a year and a half, to be cast aside by local politicians’ mandates. This reversal by the City of Gainesville is a victory for liberty.”

“Floridians have the right to make their own decisions regarding the health of themselves and their families,” said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/10/01/following-leadership-from-governor-ron-desantis-city-of-gainesville-reverses-illegal-employee-vaccine-mandate/


Enterprise Florida leader Jamal Sowell is leaving his post to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He’s a true American hero who served in the Marine Corps and then successfully served our great state –– doing yeoman’s work getting our economy through the pandemic. He is a great example for all Floridians and Americans, putting country first. 

“While I have served in Afghanistan as a Marine Corps Officer and now continue to serve as an officer in the Navy Reserve, I still feel compelled to the call of service,” Sowell wrote in his resignation letter to Governor DeSantis.

Sowell praised DeSantis, a U.S. Navy veteran, for his leadership and handling the state’s economy during the pandemic.

Read more here: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-enterprise-florida-leader-leaving-20211004-qxzaxxeelnaabpsv3kclbs2iqu-story.html

Washington, D.C.

Fox News recently reported on Val Demings willingness to embrace the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party. Below is an excerpt:

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida continues her embrace of far-left Democrats in her bid to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, holding a fundraiser on Monday hosted by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot, who succeeded in making Chicago one of the largest sanctuary cities in the country, has repeatedly sparked the ire of local law enforcement during her more than two years as mayor. Earlier this year, she signed a measure removing all exceptions that allowed police to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The congresswoman herself repeatedly voted against provisions in the Democrats’ hotly contested $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would prohibit illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds from obtaining legal status. 

Demings, who served as one of seven managers in then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, announced in June that she was throwing her hat in the crowded ring of Democrats, including former Rep. Alan Grayson, in the hopes of defeating Rubio next November.

Since then, she has aligned herself with several progressives while also condemning the Rubio campaign’s attempts to label her a socialist.

Read more here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/val-demings-hard-left-democrats-florida-senate


Governor DeSantis said President Biden’s catch-and-release immigration policy is intentional, during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. The Governor said that if Florida’s lawsuit can end catch-and-release, it may result in the Biden administration being “forced to actually do the right thing for a change.”

The Governor said: “We have people from over 100 hundred nationalities that are making their way to Mexico, making their way to the southern border, because Biden’s made it clear, if you just get here, we’ll put you on a bus, we’ll put you on a plane, we’ll send you all over the fruited plain. So we have Americans having a hell of a time getting out of Afghanistan. And yet if you just come illegally, you basically get put on your way to communities all across the country. 

It’s a choice that they’re making. This is intentional. And if our lawsuit succeeds and they have to end catch-and-release they may be forced to actually do the right thing for a change.”

Watch the full interview here: https://www.foxnews.com/media/ron-desantis-hannity-biden-border-crisis-catch-release

Social Media Highlights

REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state and you are integral to making that happen.