Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 17th 2018


Winners & Losers 7/2/15

Ashton Hayward
Pensacola’s strong mayor joined the wave of conservative Republican leaders calling for the removal of Confederate flags from public property on June 25 when he ordered the replacement of the Confederate flag with the state of Florida flag in the city’s five-flag displays. Escambia County quickly followed his lead. The reaction from those who see the flag as part of their heritage has been loud and angry. We hope the mayor, Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Commission will hold firm.

U.S. Supreme Court
The highest court in the land made two landmark decisions in June. The court upheld the insurance subsidies offered by Federal exchanges established under Obamacare. The Supreme Court also ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, forcing 14 states to join dozens of others—including Florida—where the unions have already been declared legal. In the 5-4 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that marriage is “essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations,” “sacred to those who live by their religions” and offers “unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm.”

Saenger Theatre
“The Grand Dame of Palafox” has been selected as a 2015 Prime Site Award winner by Facilities Magazine. Prime Site Awards are based on the voting of those in the industry directly involved in site selection—booking agents, promoters and talent buyers.

Rick Scott
Florida taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1.5 million in legal fees because of the governor’s unsuccessful effort to force welfare applicants and tens of thousands of state workers to submit to random drug tests. A federal appeals court ruled in December that the state’s mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was an unconstitutional. The state last week paid  $600,000 to the Florida Justice Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which represented a single father who sued the Department of Children and Families over the welfare drug-testing law.

Rick Scarborough
Early last week, the Texas pastor said he would “Burn, if necessary” to stop the Supreme Court from legalizing gay marriage. Twenty-four hours after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, Scarborough explained that he wasn’t really going to set himself on fire. He was just using the words of a Christian spiritual to rally the troops. Yeah, right.

Florida Cabinet
With no acknowledgment of guilt and little discussion, the Florida Cabinet has agreed to settle an open meetings lawsuit that will cost taxpayers more than $225,000 in legal fees. By accepting the deal, the Cabinet agreed to pay $55,000 in attorney’s fees to those who brought the lawsuit and institute reforms to the Cabinet meeting procedures. Three members of the Cabinet paid at least $173,098 to defend against the open records lawsuit.