Nikki Fried Brings Personalized Message to Florida TaxWatch, Shares Stage with GOP Firebrands

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki fried – a Democratic candidate for governor of Florida – faced a decidedly skeptical (and mostly Republican) crowd on Wednesday night.

Florida TaxWatch supporters gathered in Tallahassee for the annual Taxpayer State Dinner, a noisy rally where cheers erupted whenever a speaker congratulated the outgoing president. Ron DeSantis as the “greatest governor in America”.

Fried, who is contesting DeSantis’ re-election, has emerged as the only Democrat elected to the program. She has done her best to brag about her accomplishments during a single tenure with the Florida firm in terms of business success. She helped usher in the birth of the Florida hemp industry, marketed local crops through Florida Fees, and raised the Citrus Industry, an agricultural institution that gives Florida a myriad of tasty identities: from orange on state license plates to name the stages after the citrus legends.

And whatever political beef she rides on the election campaign, she has promised TaxWatch supporters to welcome the contribution of budget watchdogs.

“Ensuring that government is efficient and fiscally responsible is a sacred responsibility of every elected official,” Fried said.

Of course, during the meeting, his post served as an outlier in many ways. For the most part, the elected officials who take the stage promise above all freedom; low taxes came next.

Palm Bay Republican Randy good delivered a familiar critique of “government-run schools,” praising DeSantis for evisceration of the common trunk and criticizing the federal government for sending money for education at the time of the pandemic “to reopen schools that were already open”.

As the executives of Florida TaxWatch promised surveillance On the injection of $ 8.8 billion of federal money into the state budget this year, Fine suggested that even the watchdogs had underestimated how much had arrived. Back to the start of the pandemic, including funding from the Republican Donald trump administration and democrats Joe biden administration, well over $ 15 billion had come for schools alone.

While Fried said the state should be grateful to Biden for his continued leadership on funding, most lawmakers seemed to wince at the arrival of the money. Fine said the government would fire him, except that would only mean that the revenues went to blue states like New York and California.

Senator Jason Brodeur, a Republican from Lake Mary, said he fought for years against the mindset of spending dollars primarily on areas of weak leadership.

“Who gets the most funding? The communities that need it most, ”he said. “Why are they in need? They have been the most irresponsible with their funding.

But he also expressed optimism about the government’s role in modernizing Florida if it can show leadership and look past the “parade of horrors” that predict only negative outcomes.

Most lawmakers have shouted at DeSantis, praising individual decisions and saying it has built a reputation in Florida as a state that puts freedom first.

representing Stan mcclain, a Republican from Ocala, recounted a visit to Texas, where locals told him, “You have the greatest governor; can you share it with us as chairman? McLain recalled. “I said ‘Not yet.'”

But lawmakers also said there were challenges for the state to overcome.

Senator Jeffrey Brandes, a Republican from Pinellas, praised Florida reopenings and a libertarian response to the pandemic, even as he devoted much of his time criticizing state prisons. His focus on the government’s shortcomings was presented through a conservative budget lens. He explained how prison overcrowding left a reserve of inmates in county jails, enough to fill two state jails if there was room. He also lamented the litigation environment in Florida, which suffered 8% of natural disasters in the United States but produced 80% of insurance claim litigation.

“We have things we need to talk about and challenges we need to face,” he said.

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