The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Thursday, May 25, 2023

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DeSantis launches pres. bid in botched Twitter announcement

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s unorthodox Twitter announcement of his 2024 presidential run didn’t go quite as smoothly as he had hoped last night.

Democrats were quick to respond following the botched announcement, with President Joe Biden’s Twitter campaign posting a link for people to donate to his campaign, adding, “This link works.” DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement to Axios “In true Ron DeSantis fashion, his presidential launch was quite literally not ready for primetime. Welcome to the race for the MAGA base, Ron!”

Meanwhile, the state Republican Party is celebrating the entrance of DeSantis into the presidential primary. And GOP Vice Chair Evan Power made clear the party isn’t choosing sides between DeSantis and former President Donald Trump. Power says his party is focused on keeping Florida a red state in the upcoming presidential cycle.

Just hours after officially filing, DeSantis signed SB 7050 an elections bill that in part, clarifies that Florida elected officials can remain in office while running for president. It was sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson. The bill also cracks down on voter registration groups, increasing the maximum fines groups could face for violating laws and shortening the window to turn in applications. Voting rights advocates say the law is intended to disenfranchise Black and Hispanic voters.

DeSantis’ war on higher education

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers have mounted an “unparalleled” attack on higher education, aided by “cowardly” college and university administrators who have failed to push back – those are the findings of a new report released Wednesday by one of the nation’s top faculty groups.

The report produced by the American Association of University Professors, calls the attack on academic freedom in Florida a “politically and ideologically driven assault unparalleled in U.S. history.” The Tampa Bay Times reports the findings are based on interviews with more than 40 faculty members and a former school president. It was authored by a committee of seven professors outside the state who were charged with investigating Florida’s recent actions regarding higher education.

Among other things, the report finds that DeSantis and the Legislature engineered a state takeover at New College of Florida “as a test case” to serve as a “blueprint for future encroachments on public colleges and universities across the country.” And, it advises the national academic community to oppose the changes “tooth and nail” warning that “What is happening in Florida will not stay in Florida.”

Scholars sound alarm on hunger crisis at USF meeting

Scholars and experts met at the University of South Florida on Wednesday to sound the alarm on the global hunger crisis. This comes as global hunger becomes a bigger issue post-pandemic.

TECO customers fight back against rate hikes

Last night Tampa Electric Company held its annual shareholder and analyst call, where executives answered questions about high electric bills and solutions to public health troubles. The Sierra Club organized a listening party for community members, who were not pleased with what they heard.

Information from the Florida Public Radio network, News Service of Florida and Associated Press was used in this report.

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