Who Is Ron DeSantis and his Political Positions
Want to know who is Ron DeSantis? Ron DeSantis is an American politician who has served as the 46th governor of the state of Florida since 2019. Before being elected as the governor, DeSantis represented Florida's 6th district from 2013 to 2018 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ron DeSantis graduated from Yale University with honors and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he earned a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer. During his active-duty service, Ron deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi and the rest of Al Anbar province. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and the Iraq Campaign Medal (see the full list of metals at the bottom of this article). Governor Desantis also served as a federal prosecutor, where he targeted and convicted child predators. He was elected to Congress in 2012 and advocated for congressional term limits and a balanced budget amendment. He also spearheaded oversight efforts to expose malfeasance in the IRS and in agencies involved in abusing their authority during the manufacturing of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory. Congressman DeSantis was also a leading champion for America’s veterans and helped enact reforms to the VA and place an emphasis on mental health. Governor Ron Desantis is married to Casey DeSantis, an Emmy Award winning television host. Together, they’re the proud parents of their daughters, Madison and Mamie, and their son, Mason.
Deeper Look into who is Ron Desantis
Ron DeSantis was born in Jacksonville, Florida and spent most of his childhood in Dunedin. A native Floridian with blue-collar roots, Ron worked his way through Yale University, where he graduated with honors and became the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he earned a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer. JAG officers typically serve as legal advisors to the command in which they are assigned. Their functions include providing legal advice and assistance in a wide variety of practice areas, as well as serving as prosecutors and defense counsel in courts-martial. During his active-duty service, Ron deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander, supporting the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi and the rest of Al Anbar province. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and the Iraq Campaign Medal (Scroll down to the bottom for a complete list of metals and awards). He returned to the U.S. a year later and was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as a Special Assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida, a position that he held until his honorable discharge in 2010. DeSantis was first elected to Congress in 2012, defeating his then Democratic opponent Heather Beaven. During his tenure, he became a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and was an ally of President Donald Trump. DeSantis was known to frequently criticize Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He also briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016, but later withdrew when incumbent senator Marco Rubio pursued reelection. During his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, DeSantis emphasized his support of Trump and won the Republican nomination in August. He then chose state representative Jeanette Nuñez as his running mate. The close results of the general election between DeSantis and the Democratic nominee, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, triggered a machine recount. DeSantis was later certified as the winner with a 0.4% margin of victory. During the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, DeSantis was known for resisting imposing restrictions such as face mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and vaccination requirements. Later in May 2021, he signed into law a bill that prohibited businesses, schools, cruise ships, and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination. In March 2022, DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Act, called the "Don't Say Gay Law" by its opponents, which prohibits instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in public school classrooms from kindergarten to grade 3. In terms of his family life, Ron met his wife Casey on a golf course near Jacksonville and the rest is history. Ron and Casey DeSantis have been married since 2009 and are the proud parents of three children, Madison, Mason, and Mamie. The DeSantis’ are also the first family with young children in the Governor’s Mansion in over 50 years. Casey has accomplished a great deal on her own right, becoming a champion for fighting cancer in the State of Florida, helping to secure $100 million in recurring funding for cancer research and care in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Budget. Declared cancer free by doctors in February of 2022 herself, First Lady DeSantis travels the state visiting with patients to draw attention to the importance of early screening and to provide support and hope to families affected by cancer. In honor of her work devoted to this issue, the Florida Legislature recently renamed the Florida Consortium of National Institute Centers Program the “Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program.” Currently, DeSantis is running for reelection in the 2022 Florida gubernatorial election against the Democratic nominee, Charlie Crist.
Ron DeSantis Political Positions
Governor DeSantis has said that the debate over how to reduce the federal deficit should shift emphasis from tax increases to curtailing spending and triggering economic growth. He often supports a "no budget no pay" policy for Congress to encourage the passage of a budget. He believes the Federal Reserve System should be audited. In the wake of the alleged IRS targeting controversy, DeSantis called for IRS commissioner John Koskinen's resignation for having "failed the American people by frustrating Congress's attempts to ascertain the truth". He co-sponsored a bill to impeach Koskinen for violating the public's trust. Citizens Against Government Waste, a conservative think tank, named DeSantis a "Taxpayer Superhero" in 2015. DeSantis supported the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require that regulations that have a significant economic impact be subject to a vote of Congress prior to taking effect. DeSantis introduced the Let Seniors Work Act, which would repeal the Retirement Earnings Test and exempt senior citizens from the 12.4% Social Security payroll tax, and co-sponsored a measure to eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits. DeSantis sponsored the Transportation Empowerment Act, which would transfer much of the responsibility for transportation projects to the states and sharply reduce the federal gas tax. DeSantis has opposed legislation to require online retailers to collect and pay state sales tax. DeSantis voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He said the bill would bring a "dramatically lower tax rate", "full expensing of capital investments", and more jobs to America. As a result of a significant increase in gas prices, DeSantis would announce on November 22, 2021, that he would be temporarily waiving the state's gas tax in the next legislative session in 2022.
DeSantis opposes federal education programs such as No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top, saying that education policy should be made at the local level. DeSantis introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act, which would allow states to create their own accreditation systems, in 2016. In an op-ed for National Review, he said his legislation would give students "access to federal loan money to put towards non-traditional educational opportunities, such as online learning courses, vocational schools, and apprenticeships in skilled trades". In June 2021, DeSantis led an effort to ban the teaching of critical race theory in Florida public schools (though it had not been a part of Florida public school curriculum). He described critical race theory as "teaching kids to hate their country", mirroring a similar push by conservatives nationally. The Florida Board of Education approved the ban on June 10. The Florida Education Association criticized the ban, accusing the Board of trying to hide facts from students. Other critics claimed the ban was an effort to "politicize classroom education and whitewash American history". On December 15, 2021, DeSantis announced a new bill, the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act, which would allow parents to sue school districts that teach their children critical race theory. The bill is designed to combat "woke indoctrination" in Florida businesses and schools by preventing instruction that could make some people feel that they bear "personal responsibility" for historic wrongdoings because of their race, gender or national origin, preventing instruction that teaches that individuals are "inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.", and preventing instruction that teaches that groups of people are oppressed or privileged based on their race, gender or national origin. He said of the bill: "No taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or hate each other." DeSantis signed three education bills into law on June 22, 2021 and suggested that state colleges and universities could lose funding if they were found to promote "stale ideology" and "indoctrination". He offered no specific examples of students being indoctrinated by Florida higher education institutions.House Bill 233 requires institutions to annually “assess the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution using a survey adopted by the State Board of Education", while House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 1108 introduce new requirements for civics education, including lessons on the "evil of communist and totalitarian regimes". Critics of the laws, including the Florida Education Association, claim they will have a "chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom" and that the bills were designed to intimidate educators and suppress the free exchange of ideas. DeSantis announced that Florida would replace the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) test with a system of smaller tests scattered throughout the year on September 14, 2021. He said the replacement would be three tests for the fall, winter and spring, each smaller than the FSA. Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran agreed with the decision, calling it a "huge victory for the school system". The new system is to be implemented by the 2022–23 school year. DeSantis signed a bill (SB 1048) ending the FSA testing on March 15, 2022. The new bill mandates a "progress monitoring system" that tests students three times a year, at the beginning, middle and end of each school year. The Florida Education Association criticized the bill, saying it failed to reduce the standardized testing done on students or "eliminate the big make-or-break test at the end of year." Corcoran praised the bill, saying the monitoring caters to students, gives teachers more easily available data, and is "much more helpful to parents, and most importantly, it's beneficial to students". On March 22, 2022, DeSantis signed into law bill SB 1054, which requires students entering high school starting in the 2023–24 school year to take a financial literacy course. Florida is the largest U.S. state to mandate a financial literacy course. On May 9, 2022, DeSantis signed House Bill 395, mandating that schools observe the traditional Soviet October Revolution Day on November 7 as Victims of Communism Day by devoting 45 minutes to teaching about communism, the role of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and other communist leaders in history, and "how people suffered under those regimes".
DeSantis has called himself a "Teddy Roosevelt conservationist". During his 2018 gubernatorial run, he said that he did not deny climate change's existence, but did not want to be labeled a "climate change believer", adding, "I think we contribute to changes in the environment, but I'm not in the pews of the global warming left." In 2019, DeSantis signed an executive order that included a variety of components relating to the environment. These included a promise to spend $2.5 billion over four years on restoring the Everglades and "other water protection", and the creation of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, an Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency, and a Chief Science Officer. DeSantis supports banning hydraulic fracturing. On July 10, 2020, he announced that Florida would spend $8.6 million out of $166 million received by the state from a legal settlement between Volkswagen and the United States Department of Justice relating to emission violations to add 34 charging stations for electric cars. The stations would be along Interstates 4, 75, 95, 275 and 295. On June 16, 2021, DeSantis signed into law House Bill 839, which bans local governments in Florida from requiring gas stations to add electric car charging stations. On June 21, 2021, DeSantis signed into law House Bill 919, which prohibits local governments from placing bans or restrictions on any source of electricity. Several sizable cities in Florida at that time (Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Dunedin, Largo, Satellite Beach, Gainesville, Sarasota, Safety Harbor and Miami Beach) were setting goals to get all their energy from renewable sources. The bill was described as similar to those in other states (Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona and Oklahoma) that passed laws preventing cities from banning natural gas hookups.
DeSantis opposes gun control. He received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. He generally opposes firearm regulation, saying, "Very rarely do firearms restrictions affect criminals. They really only affect law-abiding citizens." After the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, DeSantis expressed his support for hiring retired law enforcement officers and military veterans as armed guards for schools. He disagrees with legislation Governor Rick Scott signed that banned bump stocks, added a mandatory three-day waiting period for gun purchases, and raised the legal age for purchases from 18 to 21. He has expressed support for measures to improve federal background checks for purchasing firearms and has said that there is a need to intervene with those who are exhibiting warning signs of committing violence instead of waiting until a crime has been committed. In November 2020, DeSantis proposed an "anti-mob" extension to the preexisting stand-your-ground law in Florida that would allow gun-owning residents to use deadly force on individuals they believe are looting. It would also make blocking traffic during a protest a third-degree felony and impose criminal penalties for partaking in "violent or disorderly assemblies".
DeSantis opposes efforts to defund the police, and as governor has introduced initiatives to "fund the police". In September 2021, DeSantis introduced a $5,000 signing bonus for Florida police officers in a bid to attract additional out-of-state police recruits.
DeSantis has a "0" rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his voting record on LGBT-related issues and legislation. In 2018, he told the Sun-Sentinel that he "doesn't want any discrimination in Florida, I want people to be able to live their life, whether you're gay or whether you're religious." In January 2019, less than a week after taking office, DeSantis issued a nondiscrimination order for state employees reiterating former governor Scott's order; the order included race, age, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital status, and disability, but had no protections for sexual orientation or gender identity. Equality Florida strongly criticized DeSantis, with the organization's senior political director saying that it was "deeply disappointed to see that LGBTQ employees and contractors have been left out of the governor's executive order". Scott had pledged to sign an LGBT-inclusive order as governor, but did not follow through on the grounds that proper federal protections existed. In June 2019, DeSantis's office issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting at the Pulse nightclub, a gay bar where 49 people were killed and 50 others were injured on June 12, 2016. The proclamation did not include any reference to the LGBT community, sparking criticism and accusations that DeSantis may have intentionally omitted it from the message. DeSantis later reissued the proclamation with revisions including mentions of the LGBT community, and a spokesperson said the earlier omission was an error by DeSantis's staff. On June 1, 2021, DeSantis signed the Fairness in Women's Sports Act (SB 1028). It bans transgender girls and women from participating and competing in middle-school and high-school girls' and college women's sports competitions in Florida. The law took effect on July 1. In February 2022, DeSantis voiced his support for the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, often called the "Don't Say Gay" law by its opponents, which would prohibit instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in school classrooms from kindergarten to grade 3. He said it was "entirely inappropriate" for teachers and school administrators to talk to students about their gender identity. DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 28, 2022, and it took effect on July 1.In response to The Walt Disney Company's opposition to the bill, and amid an ongoing feud between DeSantis and Disney, DeSantis suggested that the Florida legislature revoke Disney World's special self-governing privileges over its 25,000-acre (10,000-hectare) property—privileges granted to the company in 1967. On April 22, 2022, he signed a bill to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to self-govern its district, by June 2023. In March 2022, DeSantis signed a proclamation stating that runner-up Emma Weyant was the "rightful winner" of the women's 500-yard freestyle NCAA Division I championship, after the race had been won by Lia Thomas, a trans woman. DeSantis criticized the NCAA for allowing trans women to compete in women's events.The proclamation was a symbolic one, as governors do not have the power to alter the results of college sporting events. In April 2022, DeSantis's Department of Health released new official guidance advising that neither social transition (reported by NBC as "pronouns, hair and dress in accordance with their gender identities") nor medical transition or puberty blockers be allowed for transgender teenagers. In June 2022, DeSantis's Department of Health ordered gender-affirming health care banned for Medicaid recipients of all ages and issued a request to the state medical board that it be banned for transgender youth regardless of Medicaid status.
Reproductive rights and abortion
DeSantis opposes abortion and has denounced Planned Parenthood. DeSantis agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., saying, "This case does not concern the availability or legality of contraceptives, and individuals can obtain and use these as they see fit. The question is simply whether the government can force the owners of Hobby Lobby to pay for abortifacients in violation of their faith." On April 14, 2022, DeSantis signed into law a bill that bans elective abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, shortening the period of viability from 24 weeks. The law permits termination of a viable pregnancy if at least two physicians certify that it is necessary to avert a "serious risk" to the pregnant woman's physical health or that the fetus has a "fatal fetal abnormality", but does not permit elective termination of viable pregnancies resulting from rape, human trafficking, or incest, or permit termination of viable pregnancies that pose a risk of psychological (but not physical) affliction. The statute prohibits partial birth abortion, experimentation on fetuses, and harming infants born alive during or immediately after an attempted abortion. It also enforces previously enacted minimum health and safety standards for third-trimester abortion and standards for humane and sanitary disposal of fetal remains that had not been enforced due to U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Abortion providers found in violation of the statute's provisions can be charged with up to a third-degree felony. The provisions generally apply only to physicians who perform abortions, but any health care employee of an abortion provider can be charged with a felony for failure to report violations. The statute also requires that physicians obtain verbal, in-person, informed consent from the woman at least 24 hours before the termination of a pre-viable pregnancy. Informed consent requires the physician to inform the woman of the procedure's nature and risks as well as the risks of carrying the pregnancy to term. The physician is required to verify by ultrasound the fetus's probable gestational age. Except in cases where abortion is sought due to rape, incest, domestic violence, or human trafficking, the physician is also required to offer the woman an opportunity to view the live ultrasound images and hear an explanation of them, which the woman may decline. In medical emergencies that preclude compliance with the informed consent requirements, physicians can forego them if another physician corroborates the abortion's medical necessity or, if a second physician is unavailable, they document the necessity in the patient's medical records. The law was expected to go into effect on July 1, but a state judge blocked its enforcement, ruling that the Florida Constitution guarantees a right to privacy that renders the law unconstitutional. After DeSantis appealed the ruling, the law went into effect on July 5, pending judicial review. Floridians anticipated a state Supreme Court decision on the law's validity. Before the Supreme Court of the United States issued its Dobbs decision holding constitutional the Mississippi law that inspired Florida's, the Supreme Court of Florida had cited the privacy argument to invalidate a similar state law. Although Dobbs overruled Roe v. Wade's holding that privacy rights secured a federal right to abortion until viability, that decision concerned the scope of an unenumerated right held to be implicit in the U.S. Constitution's broader guarantees of liberty or due process. By contrast, Florida's right of privacy is explicitly enumerated by Article I, Section 23 of its Constitution. The 1980 privacy amendment does not contemplate abortion specifically or health measures generally, but state courts have held that it protects expressions of personal autonomy—including abortion— notwithstanding other constitutional provisions in which the government has a compelling state interest, such as prohibition of assisted suicide.In 2012, 55% of voters defeated a ballot measure that would have repealed this amendment and would have prohibited state subsidies for abortion. Pew analysts expected the Court to decline to invalidate the law because DeSantis appointed four justices to the Court, installing a conservative majority on the bench. The case's outcome remains uncertain and contentious because it would require the Court to follow the U.S. Supreme Court in overruling a previous decision holding that privacy rights secure abortion rights. The facts of the cases are similar and state Supreme Courts are generally bound to follow federal Supreme Court precedent where applicable, but national legal advocates for abortion rights have argued that Florida's enumerated right of privacy meaningfully differentiates the cases. DeSantis has disputed the privacy arguments advanced by amicus briefs filed for appellate review of the Florida law, declaring at a press conference, "These are unborn babies that have heartbeats, they can feel pain, they can suck their thumb. And to say the state constitution mandates things like dismemberment abortions, I just don’t think that’s the proper interpretation."
In response to social media networks removing Trump from their platforms, DeSantis and other Florida Republicans pushed legislation in the Florida legislature to prohibit technology companies from de-platforming political candidates. A federal judge blocked the law by preliminary injunction the day before it was to take effect, on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment and federal law. When Twitter suspended DeSantis administration critic Rebekah Jones' account for violating rules against spam and platform manipulation, DeSantis's office applauded the decision, calling it "long overdue".
Term limits and pensions
DeSantis opted not to receive his congressional pension, and filed a measure that would eliminate pensions for members of Congress. After introducing the End Pensions in Congress Act, DeSantis said, "The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington has evolved into a ruling class culture." DeSantis supports a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that U.S. representatives would be limited to three terms and senators to two. As of 2022, he has served three terms as a U.S. representative.
DeSantis expressed support for the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative after it passed in November 2018, saying that he was "obligated to faithfully implement [it] as it is defined" when he became governor. After he refused to restore the voting rights for felons with unpaid fines, which voting rights groups said was inconsistent with the results of the referendum, he was challenged in court. The Florida Supreme Court sided with DeSantis on the issue, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit also sided with DeSantis in a 6–4 ruling. In April 2019, DeSantis directed Florida's elections chief to expand the availability of Spanish-language ballots and Spanish assistance for voters. In a statement, DeSantis said "It is critically important that Spanish-speaking Floridians are able to exercise their right to vote without any language barriers." DeSantis instructed Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to investigate allegations of voter fraud perpetrated by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after he announced a $16 million investment to pay off the financial obligations for felons so they may vote ahead of the 2020 presidential election in Florida. The allegations asserted Bloomberg had broken the law by offering incentives to vote. After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election and refused to concede while making false claims of widespread voter fraud, DeSantis and other Republicans proposed changes to restrict voting rights in Florida. DeSantis called for eliminating ballot drop boxes, as well as limiting voting by mail by requiring that voters re-register every year to vote by mail and requiring that signatures on mail-in ballots "must match the most recent signature on file" (rather than any of the voter's signatures in the Florida system). The changes to mail-in voting were notable given that Republicans had traditionally voted by mail more than Democrats, but Democrats outvoted Republicans by mail in 2020. According to a Tampa Bay Times analysis, DeSantis's signature match proposal could have led to rejections of his own mail-in ballots due to changes in his signature history over time; voting rights experts argued that the signature matching proposal could be used to disenfranchise voters whose signatures varied over time.
DeSantis has received the following awards during his military career:
- Fleet Marine Force Warfare Officer Insignia
- Bronze Star
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
- Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Expert Marksmanship Medal for pistol
- Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
- Sharpshooter Marksmanship Medal for rifle
Now you know Ron DeSantis. For more information, visit: https://rondesantis.com/
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Category: American Politicians
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