The TAKE with Rick Klein
This week’s debate in the Florida legislature could be confusing to anyone familiar with traditional relationships and battle lines in modern politics.
Led by a governor with national ambitions, Republican after Republican has castigated a business giant with more than half a century of history in the state. It was left to Democrats to defend a giant corporation that has long been at the heart of the Sunshine State’s tourism industry.
The move is set to culminate Thursday with a vote at Florida House to strip the Walt Disney Co. of the special governance structure under which it has operated since 1967. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.
Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision was touted as payback for Disney’s decision to oppose the new law banning the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation in lower elementary grades. But he is not isolated within a GOP whose relationship with big business has evolved rapidly at least since the Trump era.
Lawmakers in Texas, Georgia and elsewhere have threatened to take action against entities including Dell Technologies, Coca-Cola, Delta, American Airlines and Major League Baseball after speaking out against new voting restrictions. In addition to taking on Disney this week, DeSantis pointed to Florida pension funds holding shares on Twitter, threatening to hold that company’s board members “accountable” for their handling of the proposed pension. takeover of Elon Musk.
This is a far cry from the days when the government of the day. Rick Perry, R-Texas, happily bought blue state radio ads inviting businesses to come to his business-friendly state. Some Democrats are trying to take advantage of the GOP’s reverse script; Gov. Jared Polis, D-Colo., tweeted this week that his state would welcome Disney and Twitter if they felt attacked by “Florida’s authoritarian socialist attacks on the private sector.”
Some Republicans say their hands have been forced by the “wake-up call” in big business that lets them weigh in on issues they know little about. Yet even the backlash has consequences for how parties define themselves through heated debates and beyond.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
The power of an endorsement from former President Donald Trump was not enough to keep a former Trump administration official on the ballot in a Tennessee congressional race.
Morgan Ortagus, who served as State Department spokesman during the Trump presidency, was kicked out of the GOP primary ballot for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district following a vote by the party’s executive committee, which said Ortagus had not voted in enough previous state primaries. Ortagus had only recently moved to the state. Two other contestants were also disqualified.
“I am a bona fide Republican by their standards, and frankly, by any metric,” Ortagus said in a statement accusing establishment Republicans of cutting her congressional bid short. “I’m even more disappointed that party insiders within the Tennessee Republican Party don’t seem to share my commitment to President Trump’s America First policy. As I’ve always said, I think voters in Middle Tennessee should choose their representative – not establishment insiders in the party.”
It comes as another Trump-backed candidate, incumbent Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, has been put on the defensive as she prepares to testify under oath in a Georgia courtroom on Friday. A legal challenge seeking to prevent his name from appearing on the ballot has been filed by a group of voters who cite the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment which prohibits anyone who has sworn an oath and has “engaged in the insurrection” to hold federal office. .
Both are signals that an endorsement from Trump does not guarantee a smooth sail to the general election.
The COUNCIL with Alisa Wiersema
Michigan State Democratic Senator Mallory McMorrow is in the national spotlight after being baselessly accused of wanting to ‘groom and sexualize kindergarteners’ in a recent fundraising email sent by another state senator, Republican Lana Theis. The fallout coincides with politically charged debates about schooling that are emerging in state legislatures across the country.
Although the two lawmakers represent different parts of the state and are not campaign opponents, Theis faces a primary challenger in his district and appears to lean into extreme rhetoric to fend off opposition. As the Detroit Free Press reported, his campaign email referencing McMorrow claimed that “kids are being molested in our schools” and that “progressive mobs” are “trying to steal the innocence of our children.” .
In a fiery floor speech earlier this week, McMorrow defended herself. She explained that she first wondered why Theis decided to call out her name, before concluding, “I’m the biggest threat to your hollow and hateful scheme. Because you can’t pretend that you target marginalized children in the name of ‘parental rights’ if another parent stands up to say ‘no’.”
“So who am I? I’m a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mother who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery, redlining or systemic racism means teaching children to feeling bad or hating each other for being white is utter nonsense,” McMorrow said.
“We are not responsible for the past. Nor can we change the past. We cannot pretend that it did not happen, or deprive people of their very right to exist,” she said. added.
The heated situation unfolded against the backdrop of broader political developments in Michigan as the state’s Republican Party seeks to nominate candidates for a statewide slate of offices this weekend. The nomination process is already exposing rifts within the party, and it remains to be seen whether the kind of rhetoric Theis has embraced will be supported more broadly by candidates for leadership positions as the campaign season heats up.
NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight
13. It’s the number of important Republican Senate primaries that FiveThirtyEight is watching closely as we prepare for the start of primary season. With President Joe Biden’s approval rating mired in the 1940s and the GOP already ahead in wildcard polls, Republicans only need to win one seat to take control of the Senate. And as FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley writes, the GOP already has a number of Senate races in its sights, ranging from key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia to even more trending states. red like Ohio, where the Republican nominee will help determine the party’s direction.
ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. “Start Here” begins Thursday morning with ABC’s Rick Klein on the political fight over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ redistricting card. Next, ABC’s Ibtissem Guenfoud breaks down everything you need to know about the French election. And, ABC’s Sony Salzman explains a New Jersey medical mystery involving dozens of cancer cases. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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