MidPoint: Sen. Jeff Brandes On Florida Politics & Policies

Libertarian Sen. Jeff Brandes, the most interesting Republican in Florida politics, is leaving the Florida Senate due to term limits. He joined us to discuss his passion for policy over politics, and his post-office plans for a policy “Do-Tank,” The Florida Policy Project to focus on criminal justice reform, property insurance, transportation, and housing affordability.

MidPoint: DeSantis’ “Anti-Woke” Investments of State Funds

Gov. DeSantis announced a new “Stop Woke” policy to bar investments of State funds in companies or funds that adopt Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. Florida will no longer consider using issues like climate change or racial justice awareness to influence investments by rating a company’s values. Adam Hattersley, candidate for Florida Chief Financial Officer, and State Rep. Andrew Learned discussed this new policy and Florida’s refusal to divest from Russian investments, and how this may impact Florida’s finances and pensioners’ retirements.

MidPoint: Are Russian influence agents operating in local politics?

New federal criminal charges against Alexandr Ionov, a fugitive Russian national, allege a malign foreign influence operation in St. Petersburg, FL elections. Noted national security journalist Marcy Wheeler, aka @emptywheel, and Prof. Golfo Alexopoulos, Dir. of the Russia Institute at the University of South Florida discuss the larger geopolitical implications of these criminal charges and their historical precedents.