RPOF Newsletters

RPOF Newsletter – February 11, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

February  11, 2021 

Breaking News: Biden Administration Considering Domestic Travel Restrictions?

While in Charlotte County today, Governor Ron DeSantis made strong comments in reaction to a report, quoting an unnamed White House official who is suggesting that the Biden Administration is considering imposing domestic travel restrictions on Americans and Floridians.

Here is what Governor DeSantis said:

“I think it is an absurd report. It would be unconstitutional, unwise, and unjust. And if you think about it, restricting the rights of Americans to travel freely throughout our country, while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southwestern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce.

We will oppose it 100 percent, it would not be based on science, it would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida.”


Chairman’s Message

Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s COVID vaccine distribution process is so efficiently run that the response time from a phone call from community leaders to shots in the arms of residents at a pop-up site can be implemented almost in real time.

Governor DeSantis has repeatedly stated his appreciation for elected leaders, health officials, emergency management officials and frontline workers  at the state and local levels who are working together to ensure the highest number of seniors get vaccinated. This week Governor DeSantis spoke at a Venice pop-up vaccination site that clearly demonstrated this type of successful collaboration.  Venice is a community with a high percentage of older Floridians that was in need of an extra boost.

The three-day site began operating on Wednesday and will administer 1,000 vaccines per day through Friday, February 12, for a total of 3,000 vaccines for Florida’s seniors in the Sarasota County area. 

To watch the Governor’s event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7FyQ1nXtfI


Covid-19 Update

Governor DeSantis announced additional COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state of Florida through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The sites will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines on Friday at 490 pharmacy locations across 52 counties. The State of Florida secured these retail partnerships and collaborated to identify strategic locations for each store to ensure maximum reach.

“Florida is proud to partner with Walmart and other retailers, including Publix, to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Governor DeSantis said. “Through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, we look forward to reaching more Floridians and ensuring that all eligible residents who want a vaccine are able to receive one. We will continue to utilize strategic partnerships and identify innovative ways to get more shots in arms and put Florida’s Seniors First.”  

In Florida, Publix Super Markets, Walmart/Sam’s Club and Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más) pharmacies were selected to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Publix – 593 locations
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club – 119 locations
  • Winn-Dixie – 43 locations

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/02/09/governor-ron-desantis-announces-additional-covid-19-vaccination-sites-at-walmart-and-publix-locations-throughout-florida/


Florida Update


The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), a caucus of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), announced that our Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez will serve as the committee’s chairman through 2021.

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez is recognized by Floridians and her peers for being a leader, helping the RSLC shatter fundraising records, which paved the way for Republicans to deliver key victories in 2020, including in North Carolina and Utah. Her leadership in Florida also helped increase Republican majorities in both of Florida’s legislative chambers. She will be instrumental as the organization now shifts its focus to the 32 elections across the country in the next two years.

We are proud of Lieutenant Governor Nuñez, Florida’s first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor, for all her hard work and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all Floridians. 

Read more here: https://rslc.gop/rlga-announces-florida-lieutenant-governor-jeanette-nunez-as-chairman/


Disney may consider moving its headquarters operations to Florida from California, where the company is struggling to reopen its theme parks. The potential move makes Disney the latest in a growing number of companies considering moving some or all of their operations out of California, which has some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country.

Over the course of the pandemic, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has lambasted California’s handling of the pandemic, calling the rules in place “arbitrary.”

“We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record. Our health and safety protocols are all science-based and have the support of labor unions representing 99% of our hourly cast members,” Chapek said. 

It’s a tragedy that several states such as California continue to crush their businesses and their people when states like Florida have been open since late spring and show no worse Covid numbers than the closed states.

Read more here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/exodus-california-disney-florida


CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke with Fox and Friends about how California businesses are eager to come to Florida, the state with a “whopping 0% income tax.” Of course, the latest company talking about making that move is Walt Disney, a decision that would be huge for both the company and the state of Florida.

Patronis continues to keep working to keep Florida open, something that New York City restaurant owners are finding enticing. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has kept New York closed for so long that many are losing their businesses, where cities like Miami have been open at 100% capacity since October.

Patronis also recently spoke with The Floridian about running for re-election and how he will not shy away from his support of former President Trump and the efforts that he has made here in Florida. Heading into re-election means he isn’t willing to back down and will not go down without a fight.

Watch his full interview here: https://floridianpress.com/2021/02/patronis-ready-for-reelection-says-he-wont-shy-away-from-his-loyalty-to-trump/


RPOF Newsletter – February 4, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

February  4, 2021 

Message from Chairman Joe Gruters

Florida GOP unified in taking on Big Tech censorship. Led by Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican leadership stormed onto the offensive to protect Floridians from Big Tech, calling them “monopoly communications platforms” whose economic interests are “not in the public interest” during a speech announcing new legislation. 

The “Transparency in Technology Act” would increase technology transparency in Florida, particularly as it relates to Big Tech firms like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Google/Youtube. 

“In Florida, our message to Big Tech is loud and clear. Big Tech companies have long since abdicated the protection of consumers for the pursuit of profit and we can’t allow Floridians’ privacy, voices, or livelihoods be violated or diminished,” Governor DeSantis said during a press conference announcing the proposal. “When it comes to elections, Big Tech shouldn’t be in the business of censoring or de-platforming candidates, but rather, voters should be able to make that choice independently. Floridians should be able to choose which content to consume and which to ignore, because I want to preserve Florida’s rich, diverse public discourse and not allow corporate-owned, content managing outlets to dominate our voices.” 

Joining the governor at the announcement were Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senate President Wilton Simpson along with the bill sponsors, Senator Danny Burgess and House Commerce Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia.

Republican leadership across the board is supporting this proposal. 

Read more and see the Governor’s interview here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-big-tech-crackdown-florida

And here: https://www.theblaze.com/news/desantis-legislation-crack-down-on-big-tech

Every few years the media trots out a well-warn tact — the GOP is divided! This year the Miami Herald started the fake-out with this tweet from its Tallahassee bureau chief: “Florida GOP faces a divided party, and the uncertainty of redistricting so it is turning to a tactic it knows best: advancing conservative bills that energize the base — but sidestep imminent challenges.” 

The story then lists the bills, except they aren’t at all divisive. For instance, the article calls HB 1, the anti-rioting legislation, “politically divisive.” But nearly two out of three registered Florida voters support it, including more than half “strongly supporting” it. Even 4 in 10 Democrat primary voters support it. 

The story also lists the proposal above by Governor DeSantis and GOP leaders in the Legislature that would protect Floridian’s privacy and free speech options. That will also likely be popular. The media is getting the GOP divided shtick exactly wrong again. Popular bills with bipartisan support are not politically divisive. They are unifying.

COVID-19 Update

More and more Publix stores are administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. Governor DeSantis announced the addition of Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas to the list of counties where Florida Publix pharmacies are administering the COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total number to 325 in 23 counties. 

“My administration remains laser focused on making the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to seniors through our partnership with Publix,” said Governor DeSantis. “With the addition of Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas counties now administering vaccines, we are able to continue our ever-expanding mission to support Florida’s seniors.”

For a list of all vaccination sites at Publix locations in Florida, go here. https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/assets/publix-pharmacy-covid-19-vaccine-fl-store-list.pdf


The state of Florida will be sending 4,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to reopen a vaccination site in The Villages, Governor DeSantis said this week. This site, which will now be permanent, will be in addition to the permanent vaccination site at the Wildwood Community Center, also in Sumter County.

To watch the Governor’s announcement, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RQg6SHzc2k&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=GovernorRonDeSantis

Florida Update

Governor DeSantis announced that more than $92 million that will be available to local governments through the Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Relief Program.

The CDBG-CV program is designed to help local governments prepare, prevent, and respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Program activities must be critical to the area and primarily benefit low- and moderate-income residents. 

“As Florida communities continue responding to and recovering from the pandemic, this funding will provide local governments and their communities with vital support,” said Governor DeSantis. 


The final signing of Florida’s $90 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grant was announced by Governor DeSantis this week. This announcement was applauded by Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello, NASA, the Federal Highway Administration and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, as well as space industry partners at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

“We are preparing for future growth, facilitating local commerce, and ensuring economic vitality for Florida’s booming Space Coast all while encouraging space freight mobility,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.


Governor DeSantis announced that $75 million has been awarded to 30 communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Critical Facility Hardening Program. The program allows local governments to increase the resiliency of critical facilities that serve a public safety purpose for local communities. 

“While we continue to help communities recover from the impacts of major storms in recent years, we also need to prepare for future storms,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “This funding will be central to that preparation and make these communities more resilient.”


Governor DeSantis made two new judicial appointments to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Orange and Osceola Counties. 

Judge Gisela Laurent, of Winter Garden, has served on the Orange County Court since 2017. She previously served as Sole Practitioner at the Laurent Law Firm. Laurent is the first female Hispanic judge to be appointed by a Governor to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law.

Joshua Mize, of Winter Park, has been the Owner of Mize Law since 2018. He previously served as an Associate at Morris, Manning & Martin. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law.


Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis notified Florida Clerks of Court that the Department of Financial Services intends to audit certain clerks for their involvement with Penn Credit, a debt collection vendor that has come under federal scrutiny for allegations related to public corruption.

To narrow the scope of the audit, the Department has requested all Florida Clerks of Court self-report within 30-days on whether Penn Credit was an approved vendor. 

Read more here: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=5777


RPOF Newsletter – January 21, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

January  21, 2021 

Message from Chairman Joe Gruters

Welcome home, President Trump. Florida is ready to have you here full time. On behalf of Florida Republicans, I want to thank you for pushing so hard for policies that put America and Americans first.

You will be remembered long after you leave office for your enormous accomplishments, including remaking the federal judiciary with over 230 Constitutionalist appointees, creating Space Force, massive deregulation, energy independence, operation Warp Speed for the vaccines, multiple Mideast peace agreements, driving our economy to record highs, exposing China and Big Tech and securing our border.

And the best is yet to come!

So now we look forward, knowing that the freedoms and foundations of the most exceptional nation on earth rest on our shoulders. They are ours to carry and defend. We are the voices for our cherished American rights. We are the voices for the hard-working Americans aspiring for better lives for themselves and their children. We fight for the American Dream to remain alive. It does not die on our watch.

And in looking forward, we see the Republican Party of Florida in a very strong position going into 2022 Midterms. Our standard bearer Governor Ron DeSantis is a proven, effective and principled leader, the best governor in the nation who understands and defends the basic freedoms of Floridians. His response to the pandemic is now widely seen as the path other states should have taken last spring and are finally beginning to. He is a leader among leaders and we are fortunate to have him heading our Party in 2022.

We have closed the registration gap on Democrats and intend to overcome them by November 2022 and have a majority Republican Florida! This is very doable and working together in all 67 counties we can make it happen. We have more Republicans in Congress, more Republicans in the state Senate, more Republicans in the state House and we will be getting at least two more Congressional seats for 2022.

The future for the Republican Party of Florida is bright, but only because we are all pulling together, defending the Republic, defending a bright future for our children against the forces of leftist socialism that would tear down everything.

Annual Meeting

It was a great meeting as Governor DeSantis gave a dynamic update. 

“Republicans around the country are looking at the State of Florida for leadership,” Gov. DeSantis said. “We will be undeterred in our defense of freedom — the freedom of Floridians to work, to send their kids to in-person school, and to enjoy the blessings of a beautiful state. With your help and hard work, we will be successful today, tomorrow and into the future.”

In a strong show of unity, members also heard from Republican leaders including Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Congressman Mike Waltz, Congressman Byron Donalds and Congressman Matt Gaetz.

Members also reelected Chairman Joe Gruters, Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler, Treasurer Mike Moberly, Secretary Kristy Banks, Assistant Secretary Clint Pate and Assistant Treasurer Jeremy Evans. All were unanimous votes.

Florida Update

President Trump granted deferred enforced departure to Venezuelan nationals for the next 18 months as one of his last acts in office, a move long sought by Floridians Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who argued it was wrong to force Venezuelans to return home while Nicolas Maduro remains in power.  

“The Trump Administration has taken a significant and much-needed step to help Venezuelan nationals residing in the U.S.,” Rubio said in a statement.



The COVID vaccination rollout continues to be a success despite limited supplies of the vaccine. Governor DeSantis highlighted Florida’s strong momentum on vaccinating seniors age 65 and older. Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Governor DeSantis has put Florida’s Seniors First and the results are proving the effectiveness of his efforts.

Florida was the first state in the nation to vaccinate more than 500,000 individuals 65 years of age or older and is one of only three states to administer vaccines to more than one million people. Florida continues to have the highest percentage of vaccines administered to seniors 65 and older, with vaccinations in that age bracket accounting for nearly 65% of total vaccinations in the state.

“Florida remains steadfast in our commitment to putting Seniors First and the numbers speak for themselves,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/01/20/florida-leads-the-nation-in-vaccines-for-ages-65-with-seniors-first-approach/


Florida surgeon general reassures Floridians. Most recently, Florida’s Surgeon General Scott Rivkees urged the federal government to increase shipments of coronavirus vaccines to the Sunshine State where we have a large population of seniors who are facing the greatest risk of illness and death from this horrible virus. Dr. Scott Rivkees also shared a message of hope and reassurance with Floridians that their turn will come!

“The message is this: We will get to you,”

~~ Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida Surgeon General 

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/seniors-florida-coronavirus-pandemic-1e63239e1724958fcb9245e63e593364


Florida continues to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to establish COVID vaccination sites at an additional 137 Publix locations, Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week. New vaccination sites will be established at Publix pharmacies throughout six counties: 

  • 67 in Palm Beach County;
  • 32 in Lee County;
  • 22 in Brevard County;
  • 7 in Charlotte County;
  • 7 in Martin County; and
  • 2 in Monroe County.

These vaccination sites are in addition to the 105 Publix locations announced in the past two weeks, for a total of 242 Publix locations in 18 counties.  

Three new state-run COVID sites have been launched by the Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management: the Marlins Stadium in Miami; University Mall in Tampa; and the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville. All three sites will be open seven days a week and will offer the vaccine to all individuals 65 years of age and older, as well as frontline health care workers.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/01/19/governor-ron-desantis-announces-additional-covid-19-vaccination-sites-at-publix-super-markets-3/

Governor DeSantis is targeting “vaccination tourism,” creating a set of guidelines to stop people who are just visiting the state from getting vaccinated.

At separate news conferences Tuesday, Governor DeSantis said he wants to ensure the state’s COVID vaccine supply is being directed to Florida residents. “That can include people who live here half the year, but it’s not for people just visiting,” the governor said during an appearance in Rockledge.

 Read more here:

To get text alerts and updates regarding from Governor Ron DeSantis on the state’s COVID-19 efforts text FLCOVID19 to 888777.


RPOF Newsletter – November 19, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

November  19, 2020 


This afternoon Governor Ron DeSantis provided the public with an update about the state’s COVID-19 distribution plan and new therapeutics that will protect Florida’s most vulnerable residents.

I am so proud that our Governor has continued to show remarkable leadership both in Florida and nationally during these extraordinary times. His number one priority has always been protecting Floridians and his swift actions have saved tens of thousands of lives starting with Florida’s most vulnerable populations.

Governor DeSantis has been a true leader and has set a national example that should be recognized.

In the video below from Governor Ron DeSantis, he highlights the two, much talked about vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna, and the plan to distribute the vaccines to five Florida hospital systems. There will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available – 25 million from Pfizer and 15 million from Moderna.

The RPOF applauds Governor DeSantis and his dedicated team for their tireless efforts during the pandemic on behalf of Floridians

The video update and text of the message from Governor DeSantis is included below.

Chairman Joe Gruters
Republican Party of Florida


Governor Ron DeSantis Provides Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan & New Therapeutics

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis provided an update regarding Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, as well as new therapeutic treatments that are available to those most vulnerable to the virus. Florida is prepared to distribute vaccines pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Watch the Governor’s update by clicking the image below or clicking HERE.  

Today’s update follows the Governor’s recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he met with U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, Operation Warp Speed Director for Supply, Production and Distribution Paul Ostrowski, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Robert Kadlec and Director of the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Dr. Stephen Redd. 

Text from Governor DeSantis’ video message as written is provided below:

Hello, this is Governor Ron DeSantis.

This month has brought promising news regarding therapeutics and vaccines to combat COVID-19.

The State of Florida has been working to procure the new treatment for our hospitals and has also made plans to assist in the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine, which we believe will be delivered relatively soon.

I’ve also been able to meet with key officials involved in Operation Warp Speed in Washington and have been able to get key questions answered for the state of Florida.

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the vaccines, and rightfully so, it’s important. But I think the new therapeutic developed by Eli Lilly, and is approved for emergency use by the FDA, is also very significant. 

The treatment is a monoclonal antibody cocktail. It is administered through an IV. It takes about an hour for the IV to be administered, and then an hour to observe the patient afterwards. It is best used for people who are at high-risk of severe complications from COVID-19. 

The key is to deliver the IV as soon in the infection as possible. This will be people who show up to an emergency room, are developing symptoms but are not yet at a critical state, where they would be in an intensive care unit.

Data from clinical trials found a 70% reduction in hospitalized patients who utilized this treatment. We also know that a similar cocktail is being developed by the company Regeneron. That is currently pending before the FDA for emergency use authorization. We think that may also come in the relatively near future. Of course, that would also mean more supply of this particular treatment for folks.

We surveyed all hospitals in Florida to determine demand. We sent that information to the federal government and the Health and Human Services department used that information and have now sent over 3,000 doses of the treatment directly to hospitals. This has arrived just within the past few days, and they plan on sending a similar amount every week for the foreseeable future.

I’ve spoken with several hospital CEOs and I’m pleased to report that many have already received the treatment and are moving forward administering the treatment.

We are going to continue to work with hospitals and other providers to ensure that qualifying individuals have access to this treatment.

Now, the vaccine news has been particularly heartening that has come out in the last couple weeks. Since July, we in the state of Florida have been actively planning and preparing for vaccine distribution, including by purchasing necessary supplies. 

To date, we have purchased 5 million syringes, 5 million needles and 5 million alcohol swabs.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported vaccines with 95% effectiveness. Those will hopefully within the next few weeks receive FDA approval. The Pfizer vaccine is one that needs to be stored in negative 70-degree temperatures.

The state of Florida has identified 5 different hospital systems who can store the vaccine at those temperatures and administer that to the qualifying individuals.

The Moderna vaccine can be used in normal refrigeration and does not require those extreme low temperatures. That will potentially provide more flexibility.

Right now, the best estimate that the federal government has is that by the end of December, pending FDA approval, there will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available. 25 million for Pfizer and 15 million for Moderna. Each individual requires two doses. That would mean there will be enough vaccine for 20 million Americans by the end of December.

The good thing about this is millions of doses are ready to ship as we speak. As soon as the FDA approves, they will then go out within the next 24 hours. We expect our hospitals, hopefully, to receive these within the next 3 to 6 weeks. It is all contingent on when the FDA approves.

Shortly thereafter, or maybe even at the same time that hospitals are receiving the vaccine, both CVS and Walgreens will also begin receiving the vaccine to administer to residents of long-term care facilities, who are of course our most vulnerable citizens when it comes to COVID-19.

So far, nearly 2,000 long-term care facilities have registered so that they can start getting their residents vaccinated as soon as the vaccine arrives.

As we move forward, my administration is going to continue to work hand in hand with our federal partners, and we will provide you updates as soon as we have them.

In fact, I was just in Washington, D.C. meeting with the secretary of HHS and the director of the CDC to ensure that the State of Florida is fully prepared to distribute the vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Our goal is to make all safe and effective COVID vaccines available to Floridians who want them, but the state will not mandate that Floridians take these vaccines. That is going to be the choice of each and every Floridian.

I do believe that these breakthroughs represent probably the greatest rays of hope that we have seen since the pandemic began. They offer the prospect of saving thousands and thousands of lives, and to potentially bring this pandemic to an end. 

Thank you all for all you have been doing. I know it has been tough. We are going to keep working hard to support everyone.

God bless you all.



RPOF Newsletter – October 30, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

October 30, 2020 

President Trump roused a crowd of thousands in a Tampa rally Thursday afternoon outside Raymond James Stadium, matching the enthusiasm of Floridians — some of whom had been gathering since before sunrise — with his own unparalleled enthusiasm for America and Americans. The case for another four years has never been stronger. The giant rally swamped the embarrassingly small, subdued “drive-in” gathering that Joe Biden held later in Tampa.

The timing of Thursday’s rally was perfect as the President pointed out the Third Quarter GDP numbers that were released just hours earlier exceeded even sky-high expectations at 33.1 percent growth. That translates into millions of jobs returning and hope for families and businesses across the country. The amazing part of this V-shaped economic rebound is that it is being done with the large economic engines of California and New York still mostly shutdown.

President Trump was introduced by First Lady Melania Trump and joined by Governor Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez and RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters.

It was a great Monday night as the Republican Senate approved President Trump’s third Supreme Court Justice appointment, and Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in two hours later by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. This is what Republican leadership looks like. Efficiently, without loud histrionics, getting the work of the nation done and making sure the Supreme Court will rule on the law and Constitution as it is supposed to — not on the personal policy preferences of unelected Justices. 

In brief remarks after her swearing in, Barrett reiterated the importance of judicial impartiality while serving on the court. “It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preference…(it would be a) dereliction of duty to give in to them,” she said. “This separation of duty is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government.”

ACB is the real deal, in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and other great Constitutionalists. She will do the nation proud. 

The full court press continues with Gruters and Vice Chairman Ziegler criss-crossing the state, walking and door-knocking with energetic and committed Republican volunteers and candidates sprinting to the Nov. 3 finish line. They will be in West Palm Beach today, Sarasota on Saturday and Miami on Sunday. Republicans in Florida refuse to cede any ground to Democrats anywhere. We’re fighting for every vote because we’re fighting for our nation’s future.

Earlier this week, the RPOF leaders traveled to Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Lake and Clay counties, seeing real momentum among the hundreds of enthusiastic Republicans they worked with. They also were with Donald Trump, Jr. at an event in Duval County.

Gruters spoke before Ivanka Trump’s speech in Sarasota Tuesday to a huge crowd gathered at Nathan Benderson Park’s world-class rowing facility. Congressmen Greg Steube and Vern Buchanan also spoke at the event.

Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the state of Florida has been awarded $5 million in funding to create a new pilot program, Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development.

The pilot program will address the health and economic impacts of widespread substance and opioid misuse, addiction and overdose. Funding will provide a full array of wrap-around services including recovery and supportive services, career training and employment services to participants directly impacted by the opioid epidemic. 

“The opioid crisis continues to be a public health concern in Florida,” Governor DeSantis said. “We are grateful to U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia for partnering with Florida to implement this pilot program.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/27/governor-ron-desantis-and-first-lady-casey-desantis-announce-5-million-awarded-from-the-u-s-department-of-labor-to-combat-opioid-crisis/

Governor DeSantis announced the appointment of John Davis as Secretary of the Florida Lottery. 

“John has extensive experience in the public and private sectors and is involved in his community, donating his time and talents to help kids and vulnerable Floridians succeed,” Governor DeSantis said. “His business focus and passion for student-success will serve him well as he takes over this important department.”

Davis, of Orlando, is Executive Vice President of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. Previously, was President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida. John also serves on the Florida A&M University Law School Dean’s Advisory Council. A native of Pahokee, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University where he was a standout safety of the Seminole football team.


During a meeting of the Children and Youth Cabinet, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a statewide partnership with T-Mobile to provide over 600,000 Florida families 100GB of internet per year over the next five years.

This partnership seeks to ensure Florida families have internet access to supplement the hard work in the classroom and coincides with T-Mobile’s Project 10Million. Project 10Million is a national campaign to increase internet connectivity to millions of student households at no cost to them by offering free wireless hotspots and free high-speed data with the goal of making it available to Florida K-12 students who participate in the national school lunch program for low-income families.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/27/first-lady-casey-desantis-announces-partnership-with-t-mobile-project-10million-to-provide-students-free-internet-access/

President Donald Trump Update

After her swearing in as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett gave a short speech reaffirming her belief in judges setting aside their personal preferences when ruling on cases. 

“The confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate. And perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give in to them. 

“Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people. This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government…A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty — the rule of law must always control.”

“She is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars,” Trump said.  

Read more here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/without-any-fear-or-favor-amy-coney-barrett-vows-to-uphold-constitution-at-supreme-court-swearing-in-ceremony 


Over the past three years, construction crews have installed 90 miles of border wall and almost 40 miles more of a parallel, back-up wall in the Yuma border patrol region, one of the busiest areas for illegal border crossings. And it’s had a real impact in slowing the crossings.

Agents suspect that when the coronavirus pandemic passes and they are no longer able to immediately return illegal immigrants south of the border, as they have been able to, more will attempt to sneak into the U.S. With so many miles of new wall in place, Border Patrol’s head of the Yuma region, Anthony Porvaznik, thinks his agents now actually stand a chance at holding the line.

“We’re much better positioned right now to deal with that traffic when they do come than we have been in the past,” Anthony Porvaznik said.

Read more here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/in-western-arizona-over-a-hundred-miles-of-new-border-wall-is-getting-results


It’s worth remembering that American leaders from both parties stood down to China for 40 years. The Chinese Communist Party broke the rules on global trade, allowed Chinese firms to steal technology from American companies, and in turn destroyed entire sectors of the American economy.

The corporate class and its chosen “experts,” turned a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses and crackdowns on speech. Washington politicians fell in line: Just open America’s markets to China, they said, and the CCP will change its ways and become a responsible global citizen as it grows richer and stronger.

They were wrong. Under President Trump, America is fighting back.

Read more here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600daily/




RPOF Newsletter – October 23, 2020


A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis will be joining President Donald Trump on his campaign stops in Pensacola and the Villages today!

Join Us: Pensacola |  The Villages

October 23, 2020

With less than two weeks to go, the polling gap has closed rapidly in Florida. Multiple polls are now showing that Florida is within the margin of error for either candidate, which gives President Trump the momentum. But it’s a dead heat, making every Republican vote all the more critical to ensuring that Florida remains red.

The Florida GOP’s ground game successes are now well-established in the Florida media. Democrats, recognizing the urgency of their deficit, are struggling to catch up, having only begun tentative door-knocking two weeks ago.

Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics tweeted: “If @RealDonaldTrump wins Florida again, a lot of credit has to go to @JoeGruters and the ground game he has put together. Great story about that blocking and tackling from @MitchPerry18.” 

Read the story here: https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/politics/2020/10/20/canvassing-in-a-swing-state-during-a-pandemic?cid=share_twitter#


Republican Party of Florida General Counsel Ben Gibson did a great job explaining why voters should vote no on Amendment 3 during WESH 2 TV debate this week: “Most people think it just opens up primaries. It doesn’t…it abolishes party primaries.”

Watch Ben Gibson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfoaFgAWVFA&feature=youtu.be


Republicans continue to win Florida on the ground. On Saturday, RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters and Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler will be part of an Early Voting Rally in Sarasota  County. The RPOF is urging all counties to hold these events to crank up early voting.

After that, they will continue the ground attack by walking and door-knocking in counties around the state, as Republicans have been doing for many months now. Part of the message will be encouraging Republicans to vote early.  

NO on A3More media around the state have come out in favor of Amendment 3 to abolish party primaries, making it all the more important for every Republican to vote No on Amendment 3 and to let everyone else know that if it passes it will ultimately limit their choices in a General Election and make Florida look more like California.

Amendment 3 is a gateway for more big PACs and backroom powerbrokers to squeeze out grassroots Republicans. Remember, it is the system California uses — a one-party state rapidly becoming a shell of its former self. No on Amendment  3.

Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said during an appearance at Jacksonville Classical Academy this week that schools should not shut down again. DeSantis said the “physical, mental and social well-being of our kids required us to provide them with the option of in-person learning.”

School unions challenged the July reopening order, but an appeals court ruled in favor of Governor DeSantis, whose administration argued that families should be given the option of having their children learn in person or online.

“Going forward, whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table,” Governor DeSantis said. “They don’t do anything to mitigate COVID. But they do cause catastrophic damage to the physical, mental, and social well-being of our youth. Let’s not repeat any mistakes of the past.”

Read more here:  https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/desantis-florida-school-closures-should-be-off-the-table


The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a nearly $5 million emergency grant to implement a Crisis Counseling Program to help Floridians respond to the behavioral health impacts resulting from the pandemic.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will provide crisis counseling services through Florida’s network of 2-1-1 crisis helplines, helping people in need of mental or behavioral health counseling and referrals.

“Governor DeSantis and I are grateful for the opportunity to increase access to critical behavioral health services,” First Lady Casey DeSantis said. “Through this program, one-on-one counseling will be readily available to those in crisis, ensuring they have the resources and support they need to address their own specific needs, recover fully, and begin to move forward with purpose.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/19/first-lady-casey-desantis-and-department-of-children-and-families-announce-nearly-5-million-emergency-grant-for-crisis-counseling-program/


President Donald Trump Update


President Trump has been keeping his promise to secure our borders and fix America’s broken immigration system, creating a more orderly process and helping American workers.

So far, more than 370 miles of new border wall is complete. At the same time, President Trump’s administration is arresting, prosecuting and deporting violent criminals, stopping the flow of illegal drugs, and closing loopholes that help smugglers and hurt our citizens. Apprehensions for illegal immigration dropped 70% between last May and this August. And during the past fiscal year alone, U.S. law enforcement seized more than 100,000 pounds of cocaine, 83,000 pounds of meth, 2,700 pounds of fentanyl, and more.

“The refugee system — set up to provide refuge for victims of war and persecution who had nowhere else to go, often on an explicitly temporary basis — had long since become a racket,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd writes. “It provided prestigious jobs in Washington for ‘resettlement experts’ and taxpayer money for glorified slumlords, while generating massive fallout for unsuspecting American communities. Today the system has finally been returned to its proper role.”

Read more here: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/border-immigration-trump-brandon-judd


A record economic recovery is under way and picking up steam. Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust Advisors, wrote in Real Clear Politics: 

“There is nothing normal about the 2020 recession. Massive nationwide shutdowns of ‘non-essential’ businesses caused real GDP to drop at a 31.4% annual rate in the second quarter, the biggest drop since the 1930s. However, as we expected, a V-shaped recovery is being traced out. On October 29th, in ten days, we expect a report that says third quarter real GDP rebounded at a 33.4% annual rate.

“We may make some minor adjustments to this forecast when new reports on business investment, inventories, and international trade are released, but the third quarter will still be one of the largest jumps in output the US has ever experienced.

“That said, the sharp rebound in Q3 is a testament to the underlying strength of the US economy before the shutdowns happened, combined with the seemingly unlimited ingenuity of American people. Twenty years ago, without the technology we have today, there is no way the US could have rebounded as quickly as it did in the third quarter. Moreover, the US entered this government-mandated recession with the highest incomes and lowest poverty rate we have ever recorded.”

Read more here: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/10/20/massive_v-shaped_recovery_testament_to_strength_of_economy_144491.html 

RPOF Newsletter – October 1, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters
October 1, 2020
THANK YOU, RECs! You all have really come through with historic poll-watcher representation, gathering poll watchers in every county. This is imperative in this election and you recognize it. There is still time and need to sign up more, however. You can do so here: 
If Tuesday night’s presidential debate showed anything, it showed that America needs a strong President at this moment, a President who will fight for American rights, American jobs and American hopes for a better future, dispelling the false dystopian narrative of America that is being created by the left. And in addition to battling Democrats, he must do it against the media colossus and the levers that move our culture. That means being forcefully assertive is the only option, and that’s what we saw from President Trump.
Not too surprisingly, the President ended up debating both Biden and moderator Chris Wallace, who repeatedly failed to follow his own rules of asking a question and letting the candidates answer. Wallace continually interrupted President Trump, in a way he did not with Biden.
So the President faced a two-on-one debate — which he undoubtedly will in the next two debates, also — requiring him to frequently insert himself in order to balance the stage. But this is just the assertive President the country needs right now, one who will: go after violent Antifa and BLM agitators creating carnage in our cities; support our law enforcement officers maintaining order; continue the wise economic policies that are leading to the Great American Comeback with 10 million jobs in the past few months; rapidly pursue treatments and vaccines for COVID; push back on Chinese expansion and cheating; constantly pursue peace in the Middle East, which impacts the world.
America needs a fighting president for Americans — not a president for anti-American radicals, monied special interests and Washington lifers. That’s what they have in President Trump. 
Saturday will be a full day of campaign walking and door-knocking. RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters and Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler will be walking in Manatee County at 9 a.m., beginning at Headquarters at 3027 Manatee Ave West, Suite C, Bradenton. Next we will walk Orlando at 1 p.m. (location TBD) and then in Osceola County at 4 p.m., gathering at 1818 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee.
NO on A3 Update: As media around the state begins to come out in favor of Amendment 3 — naturally — it becomes all the more important for all Republicans to vote No on Amendment 3 and to let everyone else know that it will ultimately limit their choices in a General Election and make Florida look more like California.
Amendment 3 is a pathway for more big PACs and backroom powerbrokers to squeeze grassroots Republicans out of the equation. Remember, it is the system California uses — a one-party state rapidly becoming a shell of its former greatness. No on Amendment 3.
Governor Ron DeSantis Update
Florida is receiving 6.4 million rapid antigen tests from the federal government to help the state protect nursing home residents and to check schoolchildren for the coronavirus, Gov. DeSantis said Tuesday.
“It’s an exciting day in terms of rolling out something new that I think will make a difference in our coronavirus response and particularly for our most vulnerable populations,” the Governor said at BayCare’s Morton Plant Hospital.
Results can be achieved in as little as 15 minutes, DeSantis said. During a news conference, a DeSantis aide was tested, and his result came back negative.
Read more here: 
Governor DeSantis held a roundtable of healthcare experts from around the country recently and they all advocated for a return to a “normal” life for young people.
Stanford University Professor of Medicine Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, Harvard University Medical School Professor of Medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff, and Stanford University Professor of Structural Biology Michael Levitt were the key healthcare experts and leaders in their fields. The link below is a transcript of the virtual roundtable.
President Donald Trump Update
America has already conducted far more COVID tests than any other nation on Earth — more than the entire European Union and more than all of Latin America combined.
Now, President Trump has announced that his Administration will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care COVID tests in the coming weeks. This action will more than double the total number of tests already performed in the United States.
“Fifty million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities, which we’ve always promised to do, including 18 million for nursing homes; 15 million for assisted living facilities; 10 million for home, health, and…hospice care agencies; and nearly 1 million for historically black colleges and universities,” the President said.
Another 100 million rapid tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools as quickly and safely as possible. 
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote a column in Townhall that explains President Trump’s healthcare plan for all Americans.
“If there’s one thing Americans need to know about the healthcare plan President Trump unveiled last week, it’s this: The president is delivering more choice, lower costs, and better care for every American, whatever their healthcare needs or however their healthcare is paid for.
“The previous administration’s attempt to fix our healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), focused primarily on a tiny slice of American healthcare: the individual insurance market. President Trump’s plan goes much further, in addition to taking numerous actions already to lower costs and open up new options in the individual insurance market. His healthcare plan is for everyone—and it’s already delivered real results.”

RPOF Newsletter – September 21, 2020

Democrats are so worried about losing Florida that they appear to be resorting to financial measures to influence or induce someone to vote, which would be illegal in Florida. Democrat Michael Bloomberg had already pledged to spend $100 million in Florida. But he’s also now saying he will pay off the remaining debt of felons so they will be eligible to vote. The actions are questionable enough that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.  

Politically what all this shows is that Democrats do not trust their ground game in Florida, or the enthusiasm of their voters. Nor should they. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday shows likely Florida voters now favoring Trump over Biden 51% to 47%. That’s a big swing from two months ago.

You can read more here: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/2020-election/fl-ne-trump-biden-florida-poll-september-post-abc-20200923-sqw7fydsovhnvfdcjb5bg7humu-story.html

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Florida’s ground game is roaring along and the enthusiasm level for re-electing President Trump and Republicans is soaring. A Politico story out this morning reports: “…a concerted drive by President Donald Trump’s Florida campaign to register voters has helped cut the state’s long-standing Democratic advantage to fewer than 185,000 voters, a gap of just 1.3 percentage points.”

You can read more here: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/24/florida-republicans-voter-registration-surge-420936

Saturday campaign walking and door-knocking in Polk and Seminole counties. RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters and Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler will be meeting at the Winter Haven Repubican Headquarters, 1800 6th St NW, Winter Haven at 9 a.m. At 11a.m., the Polk County Trump car parade starts at the Headquarters. 

Then Gruters and Ziegler will head up to Sanford to walk and door-knock with Jason Brodeur and Republican volunteers in his Florida Senate race. They will meet at the Brodeur Campaign office at 1276 Upsala Road, Sanford, at noon.

NO on A3 Update: As media around the state begins to come out in favor of Amendment 3 — naturally — it becomes all the more important for all Republicans to vote No on Amendment 3 and to let everyone else know that it will ultimately limit their choices in a General Election and make Florida look more like California.

Amendment 3 is a pathway for more big PACs and backroom powerbrokers to squeeze grassroots Republicans out of the equation. Remember, it is the system California uses — a one-party state rapidly becoming a shell of its former greatness. No on Amendment  3.

CHECK OUT: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. We need to share the Republican message around the state and you are an integral part of making that happen.

Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis announced new legislation Tuesday to stop violent assemblies and protect law enforcement. The “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act” creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies.

“Our right to peacefully assemble is one of our most cherished as Americans, but throughout the country we’ve seen that right being taken advantage of by professional agitators, bent on sowing disorder and causing mayhem in our cities,” said Governor DeSantis. “I will not allow this kind of violence to occur here in Florida. The legislation announced today will not only combat rioting and looting, but also protect the men and women in law enforcement that wake up every day to keep us safe.”

“Peaceful protesting is a constitutional right, but looting and disorderly rioting are not,” said Senate President-Designate Wilton Simpson. “I commend Governor DeSantis for his commitment to public safety.” 

“Violence and destruction are the tools of terrorists, not reformers,” said House Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls. “I’m proud to stand with Governor DeSantis to say that in Florida we will respect the right of people to protest peacefully while defending the rule of law.” 

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2020/09/21/governor-ron-desantis-announces-the-combatting-violence-disorder-and-looting-and-law-enforcement-protection-act/


Florida will distribute $2 million in CARES Act funds for rural county school districts to bolster their mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the distribution during a roundtable this week with state health care and education officials, along with superintendents of rural county school districts. Districts will be able to submit applications to cover services including broadband access, telehealth and expanded counseling staff.

Of the 13,317 deaths among Florida residents with COVID-19, only 35 have been among people younger than 25, and of the 42,543 hospitalizations, 1,608 have been in that age group. But the pandemic has taken a toll on children in other ways, she said. 

Read more here: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/368779-casey-desantis-announces-2m-in-mental-health-funding-for-rural-county-schools


President Donald Trump Update

The U.S. Justice Department has branded Portland, Seattle and New York City as “Anarchist Jurisdictions” that may lose federal funds.

“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” Attorney General William Barr said. 

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,’’ Barr said. “It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/09/21/nyc-branded-an-anarchist-jurisdiction-targeted-for-defunding-doj/


President Trump virtually addressed the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he explained how America is leading the global fight against an invisible enemy that has claimed countless lives in 188 countries:

“In the United States, we launched the most aggressive mobilization since the Second World War. We rapidly produced a record supply of ventilators, creating a surplus that allowed us to share them with friends and partners all around the globe. We pioneered life-saving treatments, reducing our fatality rate 85 percent since April.

“Thanks to our efforts, three vaccines are in the final stage of clinical trials. We are mass-producing them in advance so they can be delivered immediately upon arrival. We will distribute a vaccine, we will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic, and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace. 

Further, the President told world leaders: “As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Read more here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600daily/ 

RPOF Newsletter – September 15, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters
The election is less than 50 days away and we are in a full-court press to ensure President Trump is returned to the White House for another four years. The Democratic Party and the left are proving that they will throw everything at us in Florida.
The latest is that former New York City Mayor and failed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is shoveling $100 million into these last 49 days into Florida. That can buy an enormous amount of pro-Biden, Trump-bashing ads throughout the state while also funding their weak ground game and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Democrats realize the importance of our state and are willing to try to buy the election, because they sure cannot win it on the merits or efforts of their grassroots in support of a listless Joe Biden. The AP reports just how much Bloomberg alone, worth $60 billion, is willing to spend to defeat President Trump:
“Bloomberg transferred $18 million from his presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee, and transferred its offices in six key swing states to the local Democratic parties there. The businessman has contributed $500,000 to Voto Latino to help register Latino voters, $2 million to the group Collective Future to help register African American voters, and $2 million to Swing Left, a group focused on electing Democrats in swing districts. One of the groups he has founded and funds, Everytown for Gun Safety, has committed to spending $60 million on elections this cycle, and Bloomberg himself has pledged another $60 million to support Democrats in House races.”
All this means we need to redouble our efforts. Our grassroots workers are our best weapon and we have created a far superior ground game with door-knocking and more. But we must execute it with a fervor the next 49 days, never taking our foot off the accelerator until we have victory! 
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of voting NO on Amendment 3 to maintain the integrity of the Republican Party in Florida. The Amendment destroys Republicans’ ability to choose our candidate for office and could leave only two Democrat options on a ballot in the General Election. Share widely the importance of this NO vote on Amendment 3.
Governor Ron DeSantis Update
Governor DeSantis announced Friday that bars in Florida will reopen on Monday, but they must start at 50 percent capacity for this step. At the end of June, bars, pubs and breweries that don’t serve food were required to close down.
On Thursday evening, the secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced that Governor DeSantis rescinded the DBPR Amended Emergency Order, which means bars and other alcoholic beverage vendors may resume sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Monday, as long as they comply with the parameters of Phase 2 of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s recovery.
As average daily COVID-19 case increases hover just under 3,000 over the last week, Florida is moving closer to a number cited by health experts as a standard for reopening.
Many experts say safely moving forward with reopening should be done when the state dips below a positivity rate of 5 percent, averaged over a two-week period. 
When a massive data dump this week from a national lab is removed from the equation, Florida is averaging about 5.6 percent positivity over the last 14 days for new cases in Florida residents, according to data from the state health department. 
Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (Department) has completed the necessary technology changes to begin paying the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program benefits to eligible Floridians. This program, authorized by President Trump, provides additional benefits for individuals who are eligible for Reemployment Assistance for weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020.
“We thank President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for providing this relief to Floridians during this time of need,” Governor DeSantis said. “These additional funds will provide critical support to Florida’s unemployed workforce due to COVID-19.” This means the DEO is providing an additional $300 per week to eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants.
Florida economic development and tourism leaders are applauding Governor DeSantis’ support of VISIT FLORIDA’s new in-state marketing campaign to help Florida’s tourism industry and economy recover from COVID-19.
“This new intrastate marketing campaign is the latest step we’re taking to help get people back to work,” Governor DeSantis said. “While the pandemic is not over, and safety remains paramount, we encourage Floridians to venture out of their homes to enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer.”
Leaders from Disney, Universal, Sea World, the Restaurant and Lodging Association and many more commended Governor DeSantis for his actions.
President Donald Trump Update
The President has announced 20 additions to his list of qualified potential Supreme Court nominees. The 20 men and women he named are committed to the American ideal of impartial rule of law — a value that makes our country exceptional.
“Apart from matters of war and peace, the nomination of a Supreme Court justice is the most important decision an American President can make,” President Trump said.
The new names on President Trump’s list include distinguished Federal judges as well as legislators with a long history of fighting for our Constitution, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
President Trump has made it a top priority to promote a clean and healthy environment for the American people with policies that are promoting economic growth, while still maintaining standards that allow Americans to have among the cleanest air and water in the world.
While America has become the world’s number one producer of oil and natural gas, our nation has continued to successfully cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. And President Trump negotiated the historic USMCA, which contains the strongest environmental protections of any trade agreement in history.
On Wednesday, September 9, President Trump was nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in brokering the Abraham Accords, bringing about the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and marking a major step toward a more peaceful Middle East.
This historic diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is the most significant step toward peace in the Middle East in more than a quarter of a century. This nomination comes amid widespread international support for the peace accords and optimism that the region finally may be turning a corner.
By uniting two of America’s closest partners in the region — something many said could not be done — this agreement will create a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous Middle East.
Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, submitted the nomination. He told Fox News: “For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees.”
President Trump announced on Tuesday, September 8, a decade-long ban on oil drilling off the full coast of Florida, plus Georgia and South Carolina. Announced during an appearance in Jupiter, Fla., the move represents a victory for drilling opponents in Florida, where fear of oil slicks fouling the beaches has run high for decades among people in both political parties.
“In a few moments I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic Coast as well as the coast of Georgia and South Carolina,” Trump said at the event. The current moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico expires in 2022.
Vote NO on Amendment 3 in November 
Voting NO on Amendment 3 is critical to the future integrity of the Republican Party in Florida. The Amendment destroys Republicans’ ability to choose our candidate for office and could leave only two Democrat options on a ballot in the General Election. 
But the backers of this Amendment are conducting a deceitful campaign, proven by the duplicitous ads that are now running on Facebook. Click Here for a must-read story that shows how underhanded the Amendment and its backers are: 
More Floridians are seeing through the Amendment 3 scam. Here’s a report from the Palm Beach Post about how black leaders are seeing it as a back door for powerful special interests:
“Black members of the Florida Legislature are sounding the alarm about a proposed constitutional amendment they argue would weaken minority voting strength and give special interests more power to determine who gets elected.
“Amendment 3 would end Florida’s closed primary system, allowing voters of any party or no party to vote for candidates of their choosing in primary elections. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would proceed to the general election. 
Amendment 3 is for the backroom powerbrokers, cutting out grassroots Republicans. Maybe it’s enough to point out that it is the system California uses — a one-party state with no small amount of corruption. It’s not for Florida. No on Amendment 3. 
Important points to remember about Absentee Ballots, aka Vote by Mail:
  • Florida’s Absentee Balloting (also known as Vote by Mail) is safe and secure and has been used in Florida for many years, as President Trump has said. 
  • It is important to note that Florida’s system requires a registered voter to initiate and follow a process requesting the ballots, and there have been no significant issues with this system in Florida.
  • But Florida does not have or support all-mail voting, or universal mail-ins, being discussed in other states, which President Trump and the RPOF staunchly oppose.

RPOF Newsletter – August 10, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters


In some great news, we’re continuing to win the registration war.

When former President Barack Obama won Florida in 2008, Democrats had a voter registration advantage of more than 500,000. The Republican Party of Florida has steadily cut that lead down, dropping it to about 259,000 in 2016 when President Trump won and is now down to 240,000 people, according to new data posted online last week by the Florida Division of Elections.

Read more here: https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2020/08/06/florida-democrats-aimed-to-register-1-million-voters-by-now-they-didnt-come-close/ 

Because we Republicans vote in higher percentages than Democrats, this sets a foundation for Florida becoming a more red state as we continue moving forward on this front.

On top of the voter registration successes, the Republican Party of Florida is gearing up like never before to deliver Florida into the Trump re-election column. The election depends in large part on Florida. That’s why you’ve seen so many visits by the president and the vice president, and you will see more. Florida is ground zero and there is intense energy and passion around the state to re-elect the President and Republicans down ballot. 

Right now, we already have 180 staffers on the ground across the state, which is a tremendous increase from the 62 we had during the 2016 campaign. And I’m fully participating in this ground game by walking and door-knocking precincts every Saturday in different locations around Florida.

This past Saturday Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler and I were in Lake County with Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Lake County Chairman Walter Price and Lake County State Committeeman Ralph Smith and a large group of volunteers. In the afternoon, I was in Gainesville going door to door with Alachua County Chairman Ed Braddy and State Committeewoman Raemi Glenn, along with many others. Then I spoke at the Headquarters opening with Sumter Chairman John Temple, Sumter State Committeeman John Black and State Committeewoman Marina Woolcock.

This Saturday I will be in Miami door-knocking from 9-11 a.m. Then we’ll be in Hendry County from 1-3 p.m. and Glades County from 4-6 p.m. If you want to get involved, sign up at http://armyfortrump.com as we walk across Florida!


Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis held a roundtable discussion on the importance of youth sports in reopening schools during COVID-19. During the discussion held at the University of North Florida Arena in Jacksonville on Thursday, DeSantis said children need sports now more than ever because the COVID-19 pandemic has isolated them and increased mental strains.

“Understanding discipline, understanding hard work, the mentorship that you get from coaches is really, really important to the development of our young people,” he explained. The Governor also pointed out that not opening schools would mean many youth may not be able to go to college because of a lack of a sports scholarship.

Governor DeSantis was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and coaches from around the state. They said it is also critical to have boys and girls sports available to seniors who are thinking about life after high school and want to earn college scholarships.

Read more here: https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/education/desantis-education-commission-in-jacksonville/77-1f651ecb-460b-407a-9ba2-5b43e26ca874

Governor Ron DeSantis announced late last week the formation of Florida’s Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. Members of the task force develop guidelines on how to safely allow family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities. Visitation at these facilities has been prohibited since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The last four and a half months have been difficult for all Floridians, especially our residents in long-term care facilities and their families,” Governor DeSantis said. “I look forward to the ideas that arise from this task force on how we can continue our mission to protect the vulnerable while allowing for the much-needed human connection of spending time with family and friends.”

Members of the Task Force include:

  • Mary Daniel, Caregiver
  • Mary Mayhew, Secretary, Agency for Health Care Administration
  • Richard Prudom, Secretary, Florida Department of Elder Affairs
  • Dr. Scott Rivkees, State Surgeon General, Florida Department of Health
  • Gail Matillo, President and CEO, Florida Senior Living Association
  • Emmett Reed, Executive Director, Florida Health Care Association
  • Michelle Branham, Vice President of Public Policy, Alzheimer’s Association


President Donald Trump Update

While in Ohio, President Trump signed an executive order to expand “Made in America” production, bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States and ensure that our citizens have access to the life-saving medicines they need. This order comes crucially “as we fight this battle against the invisible enemy from China,” said White House Director of Trade & Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro.

The new order will: Establish “Buy American” rules for Federal Government agencies; Strip away regulatory barriers to domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing; Spark the manufacturing technologies needed to keep drug prices low and move more medicine production onshore.

President Trump signed the order while visiting a Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Clyde, Ohio. In January 2018, President Trump challenged years of one-sided trade practices by imposing tariffs that stopped American washing machine manufacturers, including Whirlpool, from getting unfairly undercut by Chinese imports. After President Trump took action, Whirlpool’s Clyde plant alone was able to create 200 new jobs for U.S. workers.

 Enthusiasm remains strongly on the side of President Trump and Republicans. The Trump Campaign, the Republican National Committee and authorized joint fundraising committees announced $165 million raised in July — not only a record for the month, but also more than the total raised in any single month of 2016. That brings the total raised in this election cycle to more than $1.1 billion, with $300 million cash on hand. 

The RNC has invested in the largest field and data operation in party history, recently announced the hiring of 300 new staffers, bringing the total number of Trump Victory staffers to 1,500 — double the Biden/DNC operation. The Trump Victory team includes a grassroots army of 1.8 million Americans. 

“The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, providing reassurance that the labor market has kept up some of its post-lockdown momentum. The numbers were better than anticipated. Economists had forecast an addition of around 1.5 million jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 10.6 percent from 11.1 percent last week.”

 The economy has added more than 9 million jobs in the past three months, beating economist predictions three months in a row.

Read more here: https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2020/08/07/u-s-economy-adds-1-8-million-jobs-in-july-unemployment-rate-fall-to-10-2/


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