DeSantis exercises executive power with eyes on White House

Suspension of an elected Democratic prosecutor. Prohibition of sex discrimination against minors. Extends “Don’t Say Gay” laws to high schools.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has used judicious use of nominees, the board and the state constitution to factor elements of his aggressive conservative agenda as he builds towards his prospective presidential nomination. exercised executive power to promote.

This approach demonstrates the Republican willingness to use his office to score political victories and punish political opponents, even as Republican-dominated legislatures accelerate his proposals through state legislatures. It also showcases the meticulous style that underpins his brash public persona and offers hints as to how he could rule if elected president.

For DeSantis, the unilateral move is part of his broader powers as the elected chief executive officer of Florida. He won a resounding re-election last fall when he campaigned with a number of conservative policies that revitalized the state’s Republican base and helped ensure that Democratic counties such as Miami-Dade were reversed. I have it.

“The results of the November election represent a testament to our collective efforts over the past four years. Shows ” session of the year. “Boldness is on our side in this endeavor. We have much to achieve.”

A spokesman for the governor said DeSantis had put together a full description of his powers after taking office to ensure he could effectively carry out his agenda, adding that many of his policies were adopted by Congress.

DeSantis gained national support through his resistance to mass lockdowns due to the coronavirus, and has since cemented his position as a Republican agitator by being at the forefront of the country’s culture wars. rice field. He plans to officially launch his candidacy for the White House after the state legislature ends its regular session in early May.

Meanwhile, DeSantis is increasing his out-of-state travel with visits to presidential battleground states. It’s on the move and this will give him an extra boost before announcing his candidacy.

DeSantis is seen as former President Donald Trump’s strongest Republican rival, but the road to the presidential nomination may not be easy. I endorse Trump after becoming the first ex-president. The move by the Manhattan, New York district attorney puts Republicans, including DeSantis, in the awkward position of defending Trump against what they claim are politically motivated charges.

These headwinds make DeSantis’ activities in Florida all the more important.

One of his signature policies is to ban classroom teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, or in an age-unappropriate manner, with opponents calling it “homosexual”. Please don’t say that.” DeSantis didn’t initially promote the law, but has defended it in Florida and beyond as part of his fight against what he calls the “awakened” brainwashing of children in schools.

This year, lawmakers appear poised to extend the ban to eighth grade, so the DeSantis administration has quietly submitted an administrative proposal to state education regulators.

The bill, introduced by the State Department of Education, led by DeSantis’ appointees, will be considered later this month by the State Board of Education, an agency appointed by the governor. No legislative approval is required.

DeSantis declined to comment on the proposal, directing the question to school board member Manny Diaz Jr., who clarified confusion over existing legislation and reinforces that teachers must not deviate from existing curricula. He said he intended to

The governor took a similar approach last year when he and his administration’s health department campaigned against gender-affirming care for minors and urged state health regulators to ban the treatment. I got

The ban, which was approved by two state commissions and went into effect this year, bans gender reassignment surgery and puberty prevention therapy for minors. DeSantis-appointed Florida Surgeon General Joseph Radapo says the treatment is experimental and dangerous for children.

Brandon Wolfe, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida, warned that DeSantis could take similar actions if he were to become president.

“The very same way he perverted and weaponized state agencies and state commissions in Florida, you can imagine he would do the same at the federal level,” said Wolfe. What is potentially more dangerous than Donald Trump is that DeSantis actually knows how government works.”

Jamie Miller, former executive secretary of the Florida Republican Party, said it was difficult to predict what kind of president DeSantis would become, but said the governor’s policies had wide support last fall. .

“Our entire system is based on carrying out the will of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority,” said Miller, referring to the governor’s nearly 20% re-election win.

DeSantis’ plans almost never met any real obstacles in Florida. The Democrat has no power at any level of state government, and his policies often stand up to legal challenge if cases are brought to the region’s conservative courts of appeal.

Yet, as his ongoing feud with Disney shows, the governor has proven willing to engage his office against dissent.

The company drew ire last year after it criticized a “non-gay” law. As punishment, DeSantis pressured lawmakers to give him control over the boroughs Disney oversees at its theme park facilities.

But before a series of new DeSantis appointees took control of the district, Disney’s board of directors passed a covenant that stripped incoming members of most powers, slowing the governor’s retaliation.

Determined to hold onto one of its key political victories, DeSantis sent another appointee, the Chief Inspector General, to investigate the actions of the Disney board and vowed further revenge against the company. .

One of DeSantis’ most high-profile uses of executive power came last year when he suspended Tampa-elected Democratic prosecutor Andrew Warren. It uses a provision in the state constitution to allow governors to remove officials for incompetence or dereliction of duty.

In the executive order, DeSantis cited Warren’s signing of a statement that he would not pursue criminal charges against anyone seeking or providing abortion or sex reassignment treatment as the primary reason for the suspension.

DeSantis said, “If he materially breaches his oath of office, if he acts above the law, he is in violation of his duties, neglects his duties, and demonstrates his inability to carry out those duties.” Suspension .

Warren soon filed a federal lawsuit to get his job back. A judge ruled that DeSantis violated the First Amendment and the Florida Constitution by removing Warren, but that the federal court did not have the power to reinstate him. Warren is appealing this decision.

“He loves talking about the Florida free state, but unless you agree with everything Ron DeSantis says, you’re not free,” Warren said in an interview. He tramples both the letter and the letter of the law and seeks to punish those who disagree with him.”

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/desantis-flexes-executive-powers-while-eyeing-white-house DeSantis exercises executive power with eyes on White House

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