Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Tampa Bay-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge settled a more than 2 ½-year-old federal lawsuit brought by a company that does radio ratings.
The case, filed by Nielsen Audio, was reported settled Friday after mediation last Monday, court dockets show. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and the case was closed by U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore of the Middle District of Florida’s Tampa Division.
Bubba, born Todd Alan Clem, and his Bubba Radio Network had been sued for “fraud, violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, tortious interference with contractual and business relations and conspiracy,” an amended complaint shows.
The complaint blamed Bubba and his company for “purposeful efforts to manipulate the radio audience estimates and station rankings … by, among other things, paying members of the Nielsen Audio survey panel to distort the radio audience estimates in their favor.”
Bubba “is a radio personality who appears regularly on a nationally syndicated radio show including in Tampa, Florida on WBRN Bubba 98.7 FM and in other markets,” the suit said.
He was last in the legal news in mid-2016, when the Florida Supreme Court disbarred three Florida lawyers who had represented him after they faced accusations of orchestrating the arrest of a rival attorney, The Associated Press reported.
Those lawyers were partners in a firm that represented him in a slander suit brought by another radio personality, Todd “MJ” Schnitt. During the trial in 2013, Schnitt lawyer C. Phillip Campbell was arrested on a DUI charge.
Reports later surfaced that Bubba’s attorneys conspired to set up Campbell to get arrested, having encouraged their female paralegal to go undercover and drink with Campbell at a downtown Tampa bar.
“Marco Rubio to push paid family leave this week” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times
“Rick Scott declares state of emergency over algae bloom” via Victoria Ballard of the Sun Sentinel
“Jeff Greene says Democratic opponents ‘not electable,’ generate ‘no excitement’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Adam Putnam in new ad: ‘Deport violent criminals now’” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
“Brian Mast to Army Corps: Use Emergency Measures to Prevent Lake Discharges” via Nancy Smith of Sunshine State News
“Pension fund keeps positive streak alive” via Lloyd Dunkelberger of the News Service of Florida
“Scary green monster attacks South Florida” via Julie Hauserman of the Florida Phoenix
“Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood tops off guitar-shaped hotel” via David Lyons of the Sun Sentinel
“Windshield lawsuits drop statewide; now barely a blip in South Florida” via Ron Hurtibise of the Orlando Sentinel
“Banning the beach? Locals start enforcing new access law” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“The state has also maintained consistently low debt and pension liabilities that compare well with other Aaa-rated states.” — Moody’s Investor Service, which gave Florida a top-level credit rating, citing the pension fund as a sign of the state’s fiscal responsibility.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was created after the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, will begin a three-day meeting. That’s at 8:30 a.m., BB&T Center, Chairman’s Club, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.
The Legislative Committee of the Florida Commission on Ethics is expected to discuss the commission’s legislative recommendations. That’s at 9 a.m., 325 John Knox Road, Tallahassee.
The Florida Public Service Commission will take up a series of issues, including a proposal for a new 689 area code in parts of Central Florida. That’s at 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.
The Public Service Commission will hold an internal-affairs meeting to discuss a draft report about hurricane preparedness and restoration efforts of electric utilities. Also, the commission will review an annual report about competition and trends in the telecommunications industry. That’s immediately following the 9:30 a.m. commission meeting, Gerald L. Gunter Building, 2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee.
Gov. Rick Scott will host a “Let’s Get to Work” rally in his campaign for U.S. Senate. That’s at 2:30 p.m., Crystal Chevrolet, 1035 South Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa.
Democratic candidate for governor and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will open his campaign’s new Miami-Dade office, adding to offices in Tallahassee and Broward County. That’s at 4:30 p.m., 16190 NW 27th Ave., Opa-locka.