Thursday, November 30, 2023

ANNALS OF DeSANTISTAN: Ron DeSantis, once yoked to the Koch Network, is now trashing it (A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics, November 28, 2023)

Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski wrote of Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS that "his once dominant presidential campaign is reeling on the ropes like a spent heavyweight in the 14th round of a prize fight." 


TRUMP called DeSANTIS "Ron DeSanctimonious."

Is DeSANTIS's failing campaign God's judgment upon bigots and bullies?  

When I first observed parvenu pompous politician RONALD DION DeSANTIS in 2012 Congressional primary debate, I thought DeSANTIS was an alien implant from the KOCH BROTHERS.  

Having kissed their behinds for a decade, the inauthentic insolent RON DeSANTIS is now persona non grata with the KOCH crowd.   

Allegedly, Tucker Carlson called him a "fascist" after a home visit when DeSANTIS was mean to Carlson's dog.   (Footnote: As former Assistant County Executive Jerry Thomas Cameron learned, being mean to dogs is not a good career move.  Illegally designated a Special Magistrate by County Executive Michael David Wanchicik, Cameron in 2015 ordered the execution of a little 15 pound dog, Cyrus, falsely claiming the dog was "dangerous.") 

Query: Is bumptious bully RON DeSANTIS now too fascist for fascists, too kooky for the Koo Klan, the family of the founder of the John Birch Society, which the late Firing Line host and National Review founder and editor William F. Buckley, Jr. condemned as nuts? 

How the mighty mouth of the South hath fallen. As my mom would say, "time wounds all heels." From Florida Politics: 

Ron DeSantis, once yoked to the Koch Network, is now trashing it

The Governor hasn't always blasted them as tools of the 'establishment.' But then Nikki Haley happened. 

Six years ago, in his race for Governor, Ron DeSantis took heat from both his Primary and General Election opponents for being too close to the Koch Network.

Support from the conservative powerhouse group was essential for the former three-term Congressman.

DeSantis worked hard for the Kochs’ backing even before getting into the Governor’s race (winning the unofficial Koch primary against Putnam endorser Richard Corcoran, who went on to work as DeSantis’ Commissioner of Education and now as the New College President).

The network endorsed him before the Primary.

Even then, DeSantis-supportive direct mail went out from affiliated groups despite the Republican National Committee urging donors to divest from Koch’s efforts.

Spokespeople for Adam Putnam and Andrew Gillum made hay of the cooperation, one of many boosts for DeSantis in races he wasn’t expected to win.

A fiery news release from Putnam spokesperson Meredith Beatrice, who has gone on since to work in a variety of roles in the DeSantis administration, asked if “D.C. DeSantis (was) taking Koch money illegally in an attempt to hide his support for weak borders and anti-American trade policy.”

“The anti-(DonaldTrump, open-border Koch group backing D.C. DeSantis isn’t reporting the source of $300K in contributions. This appears to be another attempt from D.C. DeSantis to cover up his betrayal of President Trump,” Beatrice added.

“D.C. DeSantis is choosing to be a puppet of the open-border, anti-Trump Koch brothers and turning his back on President Trump who recently slammed the Koch brothers, calling them a ‘total joke’ and saying they are ‘against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.’”

Later in the year, the Florida Democrats got into the act on behalf of Gillum.

“If Ron DeSantis wins, the Koch Brothers and their special interest agenda will own the Governor’s mansion — and that’s why they are spending big in this race,” asserted FDP spox Kevin Donohoe.

DeSantis weathered the storm, of course, and the political arm of Americans for Prosperity backed DeSantis for re-election in 2022.

“AFP Action volunteers across the state are ready to turn out to support his re-election,” a spokesperson promised.

In between the campaigns, there was interstitial support. In 2021, the Governor got a glow-up in an Americans for Prosperity spot with a six-figure ad buy dedicated to championing school choice, thanking DeSantis for signing the school voucher bill (HB 7045) and encouraging him to continue supporting vouchers.

That was then, this is now.

Whatever collaborative synergy existed between the Governor and the group was destroyed Tuesday, as rumors that the group would break from DeSantis and endorse Nikki Haley as the candidate who can “win the Republican primary and defeat Joe Biden next November” instead.

Since the endorsement went public, DeSantis’ political operation went ballistic. On Tuesday evening, the Governor said it in his own words, expressing an opprobrium for the group’s absence in recent years.

“I think that their network has taken certain positions that are conservative. Some that are not,” DeSantis said during an interview on Newsmax, where Eric Bollingasked about the “Koch Brothers” backing Haley.

He argued that Americans for Prosperity “supported open borders” and that “Nikki is … very weak on immigration,” and so “that gives her some synergy with that group.”

DeSantis said that “in someone like Nikki,” Americans for Prosperity sees “somebody that’s going to be more aligned with establishment interests.”

The Governor’s statement in a very friendly interview with no particularly tough questions — a Bolling staple — comports with that from his campaign earlier Tuesday.

“Like clockwork, the pro-open borders, pro-jail break bill establishment is lining up behind a moderate who has no mathematical pathway of defeating the former President,” read a prepared statement from DeSantis’ Communications Director Andrew Romeo. “Every dollar spent on Nikki Haley’s candidacy should be reported as an in-kind to the Trump campaign. No one has a stronger record of beating the establishment than Ron DeSantis, and this time will be no different.”

A cynic might respond that if the Koch Network is the “establishment,” this Governor has walked beside them far more than beating them until this very moment when his once dominant presidential campaign is reeling on the ropes like a spent heavyweight in the 14th round of a prize fight.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


Anonymous said...

Dogs are more loyal than Republicans are to one another. Just no real values going on there when you're simply an advocate of trickle up economics and empty suit government AkA "government theatre." Wave flag and threaten someone..then go home and sit on fat ass.

Anonymous said...

With sad sack Republicans, it's always money and far right social politics over science, progress, and the greatest amount of good for the most people. A grand ignorance and insult to humanity these people are. Backed by the lowest intellectual common denominator, they impose themselves on everyone else. They impose their stupidity upon America.