OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
As speculation continues around a possible presidential campaign by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, he just made an announcement that could be a step in the direction of his campaign starting.
The popular governor and his wife, Casey DeSantis, will appear at the Republican fundraiser at the “Feenstra Family Picnic” which is being held by Rep. Randy Feenstra in Sioux Center.”
“In Iowa, like Florida, freedom is valued, parents’ rights are protected, and faith comes first,” the governor said to Fox News. “Congressman Feenstra is a strong conservative with a record of delivering results, and I’m happy to support him.”
And Rep. Feenstra, who is holding the fundraiser for the Republican House Ways and Means Committee, praised Gov. DeSantis.
“While liberal states shut down their economies, forced businesses to close, and kept our kids out of the classroom, Governor DeSantis championed freedom and common sense. Florida — like Iowa — are clear examples of what strong conservative leadership can deliver for our country,” he said to Fox News.
Fox News reported:
Feenstra’s prior two “family picnic” fundraisers hosted former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s widely expected to launch his own 2024 bid, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, whose presidential campaign has struggled to get out of Trump’s shadow.
A source familiar with planning the event clarified that DeSantis’ invitation did not constitute an endorsement for 2024, but suggested that it signaled the Florida governor was very much still a possible White House contender. The source referred to Feenstra as a “power broker” in Iowa politics.
“If you want to win in Iowa, talk to Randy Feenstra, because he is well liked,” a source said to Fox News. “In the state of Iowa, as potential presidential candidates come through… Randy wants to be an ambassador to everybody and explain what’s important to Iowa. You know, Iowans want a secure border. They want wasteful spending slashed and cut. They want someone that understands agriculture… I think Governor DeSantis represents that, and Randy certainly wants to welcome him and introduce him to Iowans who share those same values.”
This month DeSantis’s administration criticized the Biden administration for proposing new regulations that would prevent schools from enforcing bans on transgender males participating in girls’ sports, vowing to reject it.
Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. released a statement in response to the proposed regulations, stating that Florida will never tolerate them.
“This is a sad, pathetic attempt from a completely inept administration to force their woke worldview on the rest of us,” Diaz said. “Since Joe Biden can’t get Congress or the Supreme Court to rubberstamp his radical gender ideology, he’s resorted to bullying America’s students through the federal bureaucracy. Good luck – this won’t fly in Florida.”
“We will never allow boys to play in girls’ sports,” he noted further. “We will fight this overreach tooth and nail. And we will stop at nothing to uphold the protections afforded women under Title IX.”
The Biden Administration is now trying to force states to allow boys to play in girls’ sports. @SenMannyDiazJr’s response? “Good luck — this won’t fly in Florida.”
Full statement from Commissioner Diaz below. pic.twitter.com/CNEhpHpWOY
— Alex Lanfranconi (@AlexLanfran) April 6, 2023
According to Biden’s Department of Education, schools that receive federal funding cannot impose a complete ban on biological males participating in girls sports, but they can exclude them on a case-by-case basis, the Daily Wire noted.
“The proposed rule … recognizes that in some instances, particularly in competitive high school and college athletic environments, some schools may adopt policies that limit transgender students’ participation,” the education department said.
But, the proposal would allow schools “the flexibility to develop their own participation policies,” the department’s proposed rule added.
“Sex-related criteria” must meet two standards: First, they must be related to an “important educational objective,” and second, they must also “minimize harms” to the trans-identified student. For instance, preventing sports-related injuries would be an example of an “important educational objective,” the rule notes.
Last year in North Carolina, a female high school volleyball player suffered severe head and neck injuries after being hit by a volleyball spiked by a trans-identifying player, highlighting the risks that girls face when playing with biological males in sports.
Another example of an “important educational objective” is “fairness in competition,” the rule states.
“Fairness in competition may be particularly important for recipients in some sports, grade and education levels, and levels of competition,” said the department.