His efforts to politically make prospective voters happy is coming against efforts by local officials to deal with a big spike in virus cases…and other things…
The discord between the governor and some local officials is such that one mayor — a Republican — has even started referring to DeSantis as a “dictator.”
DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw pushed back against the governor’s critics, saying it was “ridiculous for anyone to call Governor DeSantis a dictator.”
“Since when do dictators prioritize individual rights over the unchecked expansion of government power?” said Pushaw, adding that DeSantis has the right to use “executive power” if “local officials overstep and infringe on individual rights.”
Much of the recent hostility has centered on efforts by DeSantis, a possible GOP candidate for president in 2024, to prevent local governments from implementing coronavirus restrictions, including mask and vaccination mandates and occupancy limits. Some school officials are openly defying his ban on mask mandates, to which DeSantis has threatened to withhold their salaries.
DeSantis’s efforts to block them from deciding how to protect their residents during the pandemic is just the latest insult in a 2½-year and historically bad relationship with Tallahassee.
Even before the pandemic, local officials say, DeSantis and his allies in the Republican-controlled legislature had worked to gut powers cities and towns had been granted under home rule.
Although the trend of lawmakers in Tallahassee overriding local authority began long before DeSantis took office in 2019, the governor has overseen a rapid expansion of those so-called “preemption laws,” including barring cities from regulating firearms, blocking them from requiring more affordable housing, and overriding local ordinances on tree removal and proposed bans on sunscreens and lotions to protect ocean coral….
DeSantis is up for re-election soon and spoken off as the possible guy to knock Trump out of the 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination….
‘ALL politics IS local, eh?’
image…Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is flanked by U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at a news conference Aug. 5 in Hialeah, Fla…Joe Raedle/Getty