Top Three Takeaways – November 18th
- Florida’s a huge story but not the story today. What a difference it makes to have the right people in the right places. I’m speaking specifically of the Supervisors of Elections in Broward and Palm Beach County. That was my first takeaway two weeks ago today. Why am I repeating myself? Two weeks to the day that a record number of Floridians voted in the middle of a pandemic every election result in the state of Florida was certified without incident. Prior to the election, you may recall my mentioning that I was more confident in Florida’s elections than I’d been at any time previously. I wasn’t kidding and know you know why. When you have the right people in the right places, problems have a way of going away. I’ll point out the reason we had the right people in these posts is due to our former governor and current senator Rick Scott who appointed Peter Antonacci in Broward and our current governor Ron DeSantis who appointed Wendy Sartory Link.
- With each having less than two years in their roles, they took two of the three largest counties in Florida, which literally hadn’t run a smooth general election cycle since the 90’s and fixed them. Completely. How big of a feat is this in context? Consider this October 26th article from the Sun Sentinel entitled: Who is Peter Antonacci, the Republican in charge of presidential voting in overwhelmingly Democratic Broward County? Aside from the politically charged headline here’s the opener to the article: Performing in the perpetual circus of Florida elections, Peter Antonacci is swinging on a trapeze — while juggling flaming torches above a pool of alligators. Each move he makes is scrutinized by packs of lawyers, watched by the media and analyzed by politicians. The slightest mistake could tar his decades-long career in government, bring national embarrassment to Broward County — and could even affect who becomes the next president. Instead, no one outside of Florida knows the name Peter Antonacci, as it should be. In fact, I’d be willing to bet half of Broward residents don’t know his name. Now we have to hope Joe Scott, the incoming election’s supervisor in Broward is no more notable than Antonacci. Fortunately, in Palm Beach County, voters were wise enough to keep Wendy Link around. It’s incumbent upon all of us to demand the level of transparency and reforms in the process we’ve had in both counties going forward.
- The hallmark of any good leader is evaluating who the right people are for appropriate jobs. In government it’s especially important because it’s literally our money and our future at stake. Governor DeSantis has taken plenty of heat for his coronavirus response, specially delegating the most restrictive policy decisions to local officials and most recently by banning local governments from taking punitive action to enforce mask mandates. Let’s consider something for a second. Aren’t we supposed to be free in this country? Isn’t that what separates from most of the rest of the world? Is Governor DeSantis really a bad governor because he’s errored on the side of liberty and personal responsibility rather than the heavy hand of exerting executive authority over our lives? Seriously? It’s easy for some to forget he had record setting high approval ratings prior to the pandemic and his effective leadership is literally in large part responsible for the most successful election cycle in Florida history – despite the pandemic. But it doesn’t stop there. Two of his first three Supreme Court Justices have already been promoted. Jeanette Nunez is a highly effective Lt. Governor. The bottom line is the key to DeSantis’s success has been putting the right people in the right places. He literally knew better than the voters in Broward and Palm Beach County who should be running elections in each county. But then again both counties voted for Andrew Gillum as well... Perhaps his critics in South Florida should remember the time nine months ago when they approved of his leadership. In context it’s been pretty great. And with the state session’s Organizational Planning underway for 2021, his leadership during a time of recession will be critical for the future of our state’s economy for years to come. The guy is clearly not perfect but we’re lucky we have him.
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