The Far Right Is Taking Over Florida School Boards, Thanks in Part to Dark Money

Republicans are claiming a massive victory after a number of Florida school board candidates — who enjoyed unprecedented support from right-wing groups and politicians — won their races Tuesday. In total, five school boards in the state flipped to conservative control, including Sarasota County, which will now have a 4-1 conservative majority, and Miami-Dade, which will become the nation’s largest school district to be overseen by elected conservatives. Many of the candidates received endorsements and campaign support from right-wing activist groups like Moms for Liberty and the 1776 Project PAC — founded in 2021 explicitly to support right-wing school board…

DeSantis Suspends Prosecutor Who Said He Wouldn’t Enforce State Abortion Law

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended a state prosecutor who promised not to prosecute individuals over the state’s newly enacted 15-week abortion ban. DeSantis suspended 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Andrew Warren on Thursday. Shortly after, the Florida governor made a statement in Tampa, which is near the attorney’s area of jurisdiction. DeSantis accused Warren of “neglect of duty” and of being incompetent in performing his job. Under Florida law, state prosecutors can only be removed by a governor under certain conditions, including those two criteria. DeSantis’s executive order cites the fact that Warren had joined prosecutors across the…

Sobering Predictions Before The Rise of British Populism

By Rob Woodward: This article was published in February 2019, when Theresa May was Prime Minister, before the pandemic and before Johnson’s populism and subsequent dramatic fall from grace. I just wanted to remind our readers of some things that have happened that people have forgotten because the scandals under Boris Johnson just got ever […] The post Sobering Predictions Before The Rise of British Populism appeared first on TruePublica.

State Audit Reveals Florida Undercounted COVID Deaths by Thousands

An audit released by the state of Florida on Monday suggests that information that the state released to the public during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic was inaccurate and incomplete. The report, conducted over the past year by the Florida Auditor General, examined the state’s COVID-19 response from March to October 2020. The audit reviewed a sample of tests from three separate state-run facilities in its investigation — and ultimately came to the conclusion that data on case and death counts frequently went unreported, and that the state often failed to adhere to protocols regarding the virus. State-contracted…

Weeks Before Abortion Ban, DeSantis Vetoes Millions in Birth Control Funding

For the second time in two years, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) has vetoed millions of dollars in funding that would have gone toward making birth control accessible to low-income Floridians. DeSantis vetoed a total of $3 billion out of the $110 billion budget that the state legislature sent him last month. Of the $3 billion he slashed, $2 million would have provided individuals with low incomes the opportunity to obtain long-acting, reversible forms of contraception, including intrauterine devices (IUDs), which are effective for up to 10 years, and Depo-Provera injections, which last for around three months, among others. DeSantis issued…

DeSantis’s Next Move in War Against Trans Kids Is Banning Gender Affirming Care

Far right Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration is moving to ban transgender youth and Medicaid recipients from accessing gender affirming care in Florida in an extreme escalation of Republicans’ war on transgender people. On Thursday, state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo sent a letter to the governing body that oversees doctors in Florida, requesting that it “establish a standard of care” that would implement anti-trans guidelines issued by state health officials earlier this year. The guidelines, which were nonbinding when they were first released, say that, despite the findings of major medical, psychiatric and pediatric groups, transgender children should not be able…

Florida School Board Reverses Plan to Censor “Don’t Say Gay” Page in Yearbook

A Florida school board has decided that photos depicting student-led protests against an anti-LGBTQ law in the state will not be censored from a high school yearbook, reversing an action from the county superintendent. A page of the Lyman High School yearbook, located within the Seminole County School District, showcased how students left classrooms earlier this year to voice their collective opposition against HB 1557. Opponents of the legislation called it the “Don’t Say Gay” to highlight how it stifled conversation in classrooms. The bill, which has since passed and become law (though it is not yet enforced), bans teachers…

Florida Man Demands Ban on Bible in Schools Using DeSantis’s Own Law Against Him

A political activist and atheist in Florida is using a contentious law that allows residents to object to teaching materials in public schools to request that the Bible be banned from classrooms and school libraries throughout the state. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 7 (sometimes called the Stop WOKE Act) into law earlier this year. DeSantis and other right-wing lawmakers have pushed for the law and others like it as a means to ban LGBTQ content in schools as well as to restrict educators from teaching about racism throughout U.S. history in classrooms. More than 200 books have been…

“Don’t Say Gay” Bills Aren’t New. Some States Have Had Them for Decades.

Originally published by The 19th. Earlier this month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law House Bill 322, colloquially dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, restricting public school teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ history or people in public elementary schools. It stood out for two reasons: Alabama was just the second state to pass such a law in 21 years, after Florida passed a similar measure in March. But more significantly, Ivey had just signed a repeal of a similar law the previous year. At least 20 states have introduced “Don’t Say Gay” laws this year, which have made waves around…

Activists Promise Action After Florida Legislature Passes “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

On Tuesday, activists promised action after the Florida legislature passed a bill that aims to restrict discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms throughout the state. The Parental Rights in Education bill, which LGBTQ activists and allies have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, passed in the Florida Senate by a vote of 22 to 17. Two Republican senators crossed the aisle to join all Democratic lawmakers in the chamber in voting against the legislation. The bill, which previously passed in the state House of Representatives, is now headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. In past statements, DeSantis…

Miami Police Gave Out Fliers With Website Selling Trump Merch at Traffic Stops

Police have been handing out department-made fliers advertising a website selling Donald Trump merch to drivers at traffic stops in Miami-Dade County, the Miami Herald recently reported. The fliers included a link to a website — miami-dadeclerk.com — where people with traffic citations can pay off fines or register for driving school. But the first instance of the link on the flier was missing a hyphen, even though the correct link was included later in the flier. People who visited the incorrect link were redirected to an online store with Amazon links. The page, at findsale.com, advertised items including pro-Trump…

DeSantis Press Secretary Suggests Dems Staged Recent Nazi Rallies in Orlando

Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), suggested on Sunday — contrary to all evidence — that the white supremacist rallies held in Orlando over the weekend were staged. On Saturday, neo-Nazis gathered on a street in a suburb of Orlando and on an interstate overpass, holding up anti-Semitic signs and displaying Nazi symbolism while shouting slurs at passing cars. Pushaw questioned the authenticity of these demonstrations, baselessly claiming that the neo-Nazis could be Democrats trying to make her boss and other Republicans look bad. “Do we even know they’re Nazis? Or is this a stunt…

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