Billy Townsend remembers Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s servile devotion to Trump while he was president. Now DeSantis is positioning himself to run for President against the old fool in 2024. But Ron D. has a serious liability: his continued friendship with a corrupt lobbyist for the charter industry.

DeSantis…banished Ralph Arza in 2018 from the sight of his campaign with much public dudgeon, for a pretty good reason: Ralph is a convicted criminal witness tamperer kicked out of the Legislature for making drunken, threatening, racial-slur filled phone calls. Ralph also happens to be director of governmental affairs for the Florida Charter School Alliance (FCSA) and chief political hit man for the Florida charter school industry…

Since DeSantis appointed Richard Corcoran, Ralph has been acting as the de facto second in command at the collapsing DeSantis Florida Department of Education, which has been run by disgraced, outgoing Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Corcoran once told me face-to-face he considers Ralph a “friend.”

Ralph is also a crucial figure in the ongoing DoE/Jefferson/MGT consultant bid-rigging scandal. Four of Ralph’s relatives worked for the Academica-owned charter school that Sen. Manny Diaz and Richard Corcoran forced on Jefferson County before it quit. And Ralph was present for no good reason during a potentially corrupt official meeting last fall, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald. Full rundown of Ralph’s still not fully explained role in it here.