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DeSantis again brings Pritzker’s family into political attack

Monday, May 15, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Peoria Journal-Star covered Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ trip to the area

DeSantis brought a crowd of roughly 1,150 Republicans to the event at the Peoria Civic Center, plus protesters and the New York Times. While he did not announce an anticipated run for president while in Peoria, he did use a roughly 42-minute speech to take shots at Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and levy a barrage of verbal jabs at Democrats, while also lauding his accomplishments as governor of Florida.

“I’m a little disappointed your governor said I wasn’t welcome in Illinois,” DeSantis said in response to remarks made by Pritzker ahead of his arrival. “Because I seem to remember when he was locking down this state, he sent his family to live in my state and live in our freedom.”

We talked about this months ago

Um, they were in Florida before the stay at home order was issued and then sheltered in place (his kid goes to college there). Did they know what was coming? Probably. Not saying it was the case with them, but I had friends down there who were miserable during the spring. The beaches and pools were closed. The restaurants and taverns were shuttered. And then summer hit and COVID zoomed as people retreated indoors to avoid the Florida heat and humidity. I put off visiting the Sunshine State to the fall, when cases were rising in Springfield as people went back inside and Florida’s dropped because people could enjoy the outdoors again.

Natalie Edelstein from the Pritzker campaign…

The governor and his family live in Illinois. As you know, they have one daughter who attends the University of Miami. If this pathetic, repeated lie about someone’s child is the best thing the GOP can come up with to campaign on, then it tells you everything you need to know about their ideas for the future.

* Back to the PJ-Star

Peoria Congressman Darin LaHood cracked a similar joke at Pritzker’s expense saying, “you know it’s a sign we’re having a good Lincoln Day when J.B. Pritzker is tweeting and crying that Ron DeSantis is not welcome in Illinois.” […]

During his speech, DeSantis frequently criticized Illinois laws and policies, including the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois tax rates, and criminal justice reform. DeSantis specifically mentioned Florida’s lack of an income tax and said “you should try it sometime.”

“We have to reject the weaponization of the criminal justice system, this is being driven by woke ideology,” DeSantis said. “We reject the idea that you defund law enforcement, we reject the idea that you tolerate rioting and looting and disorder. We reject soft on crime policies like abolishing cash bail and releasing prisoners from jail early.”

Back to Edelstein…

“Inviting a failed governor who is at war with Donald Trump to keynote one of your largest events is emblematic of today’s Illinois GOP,” said JB For Governor spokesperson Natalie Edelstein.

“Republicans are too busy fighting each other to get out of their own way and solve the issues facing working families. While they celebrate banning books and picking on LGBTQ+ kids, Illinois Democrats will continue to win elections and build a state where everyone is free to be who they are.”

* Dave Dahl

State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) was part of a private pre-event with DeSantis.

“He set his agenda out when he first ran for office, and he has accomplished everything,” Rezin said. “So now he is on his second set of accomplishments. He works to govern. I think that is what’s missing in politics today: leaders who really appreciate and work on governing for their state.”

* Meanwhile, the Florida legislature passed a bill to allow DeSantis to run for president

In addition, the bill would amend Florida’s resign-to-run law to resolve legal ambiguity surrounding DeSantis’ expected presidential run. Currently, Florida law requires public officials running for another office that overlaps with their current term to submit a resignation from their current office before running. This resignation is irrevocable, meaning even if a candidate were to run and lose, they would still have to resign their office. The bill would instead explicitly exempt candidates running for president from this requirement, a change that would allow Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to run against former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 without resigning his governorship.

The bill passed and was enrolled on April 28, but hasn’t yet been sent to the governor’s desk for whatever reason.

* More…

    * Tribune | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tells Peoria crowd that Biden’s reelection would leave U.S. ‘unrecognizable’: More than 1,100 tickets were sold for the event at various levels, starting at $85, and an estimated $240,000 was raised by the two county organizations, organizers said. The ticket sales eclipsed last year’s event, when 700 people attended a speech by another potential 2024 presidential contender, former Vice President Mike Pence.

    * Politico | DeSantis takes anti-woke show to Illinois: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday doubled down on his attacks against “woke” policies in big business, saying he will soon sign legislation to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion language “from all our public institutions.” … A large portion of his speech zeroed in on business policies: Along with attacking DEI language, he criticized the investment strategy that addresses environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), calling it an effort to “weaponize corporate power.” And he poked at Walt Disney Co., which opposed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law last year. “They don’t run the state of Florida. We run the state of Florida.”

    * WCBU | Progressive groups protest Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Peoria visit: As of 4 p.m. Friday, the protest saw between 60 and 70 people spread between both locations. No counter-protesters appeared throughout the day.

    * Press Release | ACLU of Florida Statement on 2023 Legislative Session: These bills included banning abortions after six weeks, creating an unaccountable private police force for the governor, reintroducing unconstitutional non-unanimous juries for death penalty recommendations, censoring and intimidating students and faculty for engaging in speech with which lawmakers personally disagree, further prohibiting conversations related to LGBTQ+ people and their lives in schools, limiting immigrants’ ability to live safely in Florida, suppressing free speech, and allowing medical professionals to deny medical services due to personal beliefs. … “All Floridians and all Americans should be outraged by how easily the legislature stripped people of their rights, focusing their efforts on censoring our classrooms, controlling people’s bodies, limiting our right to vote, and creating the Governor’s own personal army by diverting over $100 million in taxpayer dollars to build, equip, and train a Florida State Guard of 1,500 people to serve at the sole discretion and direction of the governor, including an armed specialized unit with the authority to apprehend and make arrests.”


  1. - Demoralized - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 10:56 am:

    ==We have to reject the weaponization ==

    Look in the mirror. You are weaponizing Florida government against anyone who dares cross you.

  2. - Norseman - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    One can’t help but laugh hysterically when the MAGA GOP complain about the weaponization of something by the Dems. DeSanitis has weaponized Florida government against doctors, public health workers, teachers, minorities, marginalized groups and Mickey Mouse.

  3. - Jerry - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    In Florida the Gubbamint tells you how many kids you can have, how to raise them, what books you can read, and what companies can say.

    That’s not Conservative.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    * he will soon sign legislation to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion language “from all our public institutions” *

    Wait, isn’t the GOP so dead-set against “cancel culture?”Straight.Up.Bigotry. The veneer of restraint is finally gone, after all the years of fear and hatemongering in the GOP and right wing universe.

    Also, it may play well in Florida, but other former GOP states are moving in another direction, namely Georgia and Arizona.

  5. - High Socks - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:14 am:

    Yes we all want to “live in your freedom” Ron. Dude is weird.

  6. - Jocko - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:16 am:

    Ron is doing his best Sarah Palin impression. Get re-elected, then take your act on the road.

  7. - Sir Reel - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:16 am:

    Yeah Desantis has accomplished much, like skyrocketing homeowners insurance rates, dumbing down education, making sure his unqualified cronies are paid well, and more.

  8. - Betty Draper’s cigarette - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:20 am:

    Funny thing Florida has been rated the country’s third most dangerous state recently. Illinois didn’t make the list.

    11 Most Dangerous States In The U.S. In 2023, According To WalletHub Data Maria Valencia- March 15, 2023

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    The simple?

    Repeat everything DeSantis says now if he becomes the nominee in a vigorous, attacking, “educating” way in the swing states that has Trump support only for the cult leader and not the whole cult, then let’s argue merits.

    Let him talk. Let him say each and every vile thing he’s done as governor, wants to do to America, and educate after… as the nominee… what real dangers “Florida-ing” America will bring.

    DeSantis going after Pritzker isn’t Turing votes, it’s solidifying bias that already exists.

    Amplify the rhetoric to the ownership of DeSantis, trying to find winning policy and politics as a nominee with these horrific thoughts… and not being named Trump.

  10. - 48th Ward Heel - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    Florida has an entire Illinois government-in-exile down there, and it’s at least as delusional and unhinged as the Cuban expats. Dennis Byrne won’t stop writing us letters about how much happier he is down there; last year he sent an entire book. This is the second time DeSantis has been up here this year. We don’t even think about you, Ron.

  11. - Nick Name - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:26 am:

    What do you do when you’re the minority party in Illinois? You invite an out-of-state governor who is so offensive, you guarantee you will continue to be the minority party indefinitely.

  12. - Red Ranger - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:37 am:

    —We don’t even think about you Ron—-

    Ahhhhh, there is a post on the states biggest political blog that has had 17 comments in about 30 mins. Try again.

  13. - JB13 - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    Again with the “failed governor” nonsense.

    He won his election in a once swing state, and Florida is now just as Republican as Illinois is Democrat.

    Who wrote this stuff? Trump?

    Anyway, to the substance: “JBP has one daughter who attends school in Florida.” What an adorable half-truth.

    If Florida was such an absolute hellhole, why would the great hero of the pandemic, who only follows the science, have allowed his family to remain there, rather than bring them back home where it was “safe?” What kind of a father would allow his children to face the risk of death or a lifetime of “long Covid” disability?

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    ===What kind of a father would allow his children===

    Last I checked, she’s over 18. I’d advise against it, too, but she was hounded out of state by people like Proft.

  15. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:41 am:

    Why would JB choose to own a multi million dollar property and choose to educate his child in such a “failed state”?

  16. - Excitable Boy - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:43 am:

    Here’s what freedom looks like in Florida.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:44 am:

    The political problem, running apples to apples with governors is that each state has nuance that either is amplified good or amplified bad to any other state or states.

    DeSantis needs to win Michigan that just rolled back RTW, and Pennsylvania, and Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina…

    … all states battling culture wars where “Florida” thinking isn’t a majority thought.

    The goal of the exercise is make DeSantis talk and talk and talk… and let his own words after a convention do the heavy lifting.

    Going after Pritzker is to the petty cult, nothing more.

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    ===choose to educate his child===

    This is why you have little hope of ever getting out of permanent time-out.

  19. - Hahaha - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    In a large, diverse, purple state, Desantis won reelection against a former Governor and sitting Congressman by 20 points.

    In a large, diverse, and deep blue state, JB Pritzker won reelection against an underfunded downstate farmer and far right state Senator by 12 points.

    The commenters here can pretend Florida is some regressive backwards place that is embracing RD’s “fascism” or they can live in the real world where he is a highly competent and popular Governor. For whatever reason, the usual smart, nuanced, and informed political commentary just flies out the window here when it comes to national politics.

  20. - JS Mill - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:05 pm:

    =If Florida was such an absolute hellhole, why would the great hero of the pandemic, who only follows the science, have allowed his family to remain there, rather than bring them back home where it was “safe?”=

    I don’t know. Why does trump and his kids manufacture all of the garbage he sells in China?

    And that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    For all the freedoms desantis talks about, he is sure restricting a lot of them. The go p seems bent on an authoritarian society that talks about the great patriotic struggle while doing everything in its power to stifle freedom.

    Once again, anything they say is a confession in the form of an accusation. Up is down.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:22 pm:

    === In a large, diverse, purple state===

    This is intellectually dishonest, as the GOP Cult politics in Florida is designed to maximize old, angry, white voters, voters found in “The Villages” that support Trumpkin ideals, and gave a map to winning Florida statewide on appeasement of these voters.

    === In a large, diverse, and deep blue state===

    This is both intellectually dishonest and a tattle on one’s self.

    The cult GOP thinking with the likes of Bailey being rejected is part and parcel *OF* the diversity that makes voters reject the GOP, not the state “Blue” for its own sake.

    Lil less FoxNews.

    === For whatever reason, the usual smart, nuanced, and informed political commentary just flies out the window here when it comes to national politics.===

    Narrator: He/She was talking about individual states.

  22. - Candy Dogood - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    === Did they know what was coming? Probably. ===

    With the COVID-19 pandemic anyone who was familiar with the playbook that had been in place since the Bush Administration would have been caught of guard at how quickly things progressed, but in terms of a political decision it is pretty damned if you do damned if you don’t since no matter what the decision made is, it’s a decision that is public.

    The Republicans would have complained about what the Governor’s family did no matter what they did.

    ===I think that is what’s missing in politics today: leaders who really appreciate and work on governing for their state.===

    Is this the same State Senator who opposed public safety measures and then was upset when people in her community died because of a lack of those safety measures being adhered to?

  23. - low level - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:39 pm:

    ==no income taxes==

    Yes. And FL has sky high property taxes

  24. - Demoralized - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    ==And FL has sky high property taxes==

    And homeowner’s insurance.

  25. - Southern Dude - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    === And FL has sky high property taxes=

    Um, Illinois property taxes are higher according to multiple sources…

  26. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    Florida has sky high property insurance not taxes

    That is one thing to be angry about at the Villages but not much else

  27. - Arsenal - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    == Again with the “failed governor” nonsense.==

    We’ll stop saying it when he stops failing.

    == Why would JB choose to own a multi million dollar property and choose to educate his child in such a “failed state”?==

    To paraphrase Office Space, “Why should JB have to move? Ron is the one who sucks.”

  28. - don the legend - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==That is one thing to be angry about at the Villages but not much else==

    LP, I can only conclude you are under age 55 or you would move there ASAP.

  29. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    =Florida has sky high property insurance not taxes=

    Just looked up a comparable home in Tallahassee to mine. I pay $1,000 a year more. Sky higher?

    I’m sure that by the time you figure out homeowners insurance its a total wash (But, I bet I’m ahead).

  30. - Jerry - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 2:23 pm:

    If some readers and commenters of this blog think the guv’mint telling you what books you can or cannot read, or think being retaliated against by the gubbamint for criticizing it is good policy…why not move there?

  31. - Proud Sucker - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    “…choose to educate his child in such a “failed state”?”

    You are presuming his daughter had no say in where she attends college? That’s a very 1950’s take.

    We did not perceive that it was a failed state when she selected Miami. Let’s ask her if she plans to live there post-graduation. That is the most important question.

  32. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    I would never move to Florida but it’s a nice place to visit

    Only 35% of the population of the Villages works full time and it is one of the lowest poverty areas in the country so what do they really have to be angry about?

  33. - Roadrager - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 4:12 pm:


    Only 35% of the population of the Villages works full time and it is one of the lowest poverty areas in the country so what do they really have to be angry about?==

    The TV usually tells them from 7 to 11 Eastern on weeknights.

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