Drew Wilson, Author at Florida Politics - Page 3 of 97

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

Bob Gualtieri endorses Jeremy Bailie for HD 69

Republican Jeremy Bailie picked up an endorsement for his House District 69 campaign from Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri on Monday.

“I’m pleased to offer my support for Jeremy Bailie in his campaign for the Florida State House of Representatives, District 69,” Gualtieri said. “I’ve seen the dedication that he has to protect our community, including supporting our first responders.”

“Jeremy will be a strong voice for our community in Tallahassee and make sure our first responders have the tools and resources to keep our community safe.”

The Gualtieri endorsement comes after a recent nod from Pinellas County Commissioners John Morroni as well as Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty and Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke, among others.

“I am honored to have the support of Sheriff Gualtieri,” Bailie said. “Sheriff Gualtieri is a well-respected leader on many issues that affect our community including school safety, immigration reform, mental health, juvenile justice, and the list goes on. I look forward to working with him in the Legislature to give our law enforcement the tools to keep Pinellas County safe.”

Bailie is one of two Republicans running for HD 69, the other being Ray Blacklidge. Also running are Democrats Jennifer Webb and Javier Centonzio.

HD 69 is currently held by Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters, who is exiting the House before hitting term limits to run for a seat on the Pinellas County Commission.

Through the end of January, Blacklidge led the field in fundraising and his February activity should help him keep that advantage, though Webb has surpassed him in cash on hand.

He raised $9,292 last month for a to-date total of $103,839 raised and $58,432 cash on hand. Through the same date, Webb had raised $80,439 and had $72,300 in the bank, while Centenzio had raised $33,635 through the end of last month and had about $26,000 on hand.

Bailie’s February campaign finance report is not yet available through the Florida Division of Elections, though he had raised $35,659 as of Jan. 31 and had $28,612 in the bank.

Nick DiCeglie adds $10K for HD 66 campaign in February

Republican Nick DiCeglie was the top fundraiser in the House District 66 field last month with $10,560 raised.

The February report brings the Pinellas County businessman’s campaign total to $90,354, with $72,216 on hand.

The new money came in across 29 contributions, including a half dozen for the primary campaign maximum of $1,000.

Max donors for the month included ASG Consulting Group, RSG Consulting Group, Florida Farm PAC, FTBA Transportation PAC, LEMA Construction and accounting firm Sams IV.

Expenditures for the month totaled $2,114 and included a $1,000 payment to Jacksonville-based Political Capital for fundraising consulting and a $998 payment to Tallahassee-based Supernova Digital Communications for social media consulting.

Though DiCeglie posted the highest total for the month, he trails Republican primary opponent Berny Jacques in overall fundraising. The pair are competing to take over for termed-out Republican Rep. Larry Ahern.

Jacques added $1,175 in February and spent $8,291 between his campaign and committee, Protect Pinellas.

The St. Petersburg attorney finished the month with $138,545 in total fundraising since entering the race in March 2017, and had $100,701 in the bank.

Jacques’ February money came in through seven contributions, all to his campaign. Top contributors for the reporting period included Samuel Bright and Sandra Hutton, each of whom gave $500.

Spending included more than $7,000 in payments to Gainesville-based Data Targeting Research for printing and consulting work, with $700 paying for accounting costs through Robinson Hanks Young & Roberts and $500 heading to campaign staff.

Also running for HD 69 are Democrat Alex Hereen and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann.

Hereen raised $3,556 in February and spent $3,939, leaving him with about $5,600 in the bank, while Bachmann reported just $345 in contributions since filing for the seat in August.

HD 66 is a safe Republican district. It covers part of western Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

Poll: Voters want school board term limits, unsure of other CRC proposals

Florida voters want term limits for school board seats, but aren’t as enthusiastic about public money heading to churches or open primary races according to a new poll on proposals being considered by the Constitution Revision Commission.

Polling outfit Clearview Research surveyed voters on three CRC proposals –  Proposal 4, Proposal 11 and Proposal 43 – and only found Prop 43 with healthy support.

“It is important to recognize that most ballot items begin at their highest point and tend to have a downward trajectory as opponents’ messages most often have more ‘stickiness’ than supporters’ messages. Further, it is vital to remind readers that these items must score above 60% in the general election in order to be amended to the Florida Constitution,” said Clearview Research president Steven Vancore.

Prop 43, which would give school board seats the same 8-year term limits faced by Florida lawmakers, scored 68 percent support among those polled, with 44 percent saying they would “definitely vote yes” and another 24 percent saying they were leaning toward supporting the measure.

Only 11 percent said they would definitely vote against the proposal if it were on the ballot, while another 13 said they were a soft no.

Support for Prop 11 came in at 58 percent.

The proposal would open up primary elections if all the candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will be opposed only by write-ins. Primary elections where the winner would be opposed by a candidate of a different political party or a candidate running without a party affiliation would remain closed.

Most of the 58 percent of likely voters in favor of the measure only gave soft support, though 28 percent said they were firmly in favor of such an amendment.

The definitely and probably no camps each accounted for 13 percent, while 16 percent of those polled said they were unsure.

While behind the threshold for passage, Clearview said Prop 11’s starting position was “relatively solid.”

Prop 4 would remove the section of the Florida constitution barring the use of public money in aid of any church, sect, religious denomination, or religious institution.

It was the only measure in the survey that came in underwater.

“We toyed with wording it in the affirmative (“allows government to use public money in aid…”) however, we chose to take a more conservative approach and stick to the actual language as proposed and in review of the CRC staff analysis,” Clearview said.

All told, 41 percent of voters said they would vote for the measure, with 26 percent saying they were firm supporters, while 51 percent said they were against the proposal, including 18 percent who said they would definitely vote no.

Just 8 percent said they were unsure.

Clearview said, as worded, Prop 4 stands “virtually no chance of attaining the 60 percent threshold.”

The Clearview Research poll contacted 750 likely Florida between March 1 and March 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.58 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

As in the firm’s survey of the Rick Scott v. Bill Nelson U.S. Senate race, the poll estimates 41 percent of voters in November will be registered Republicans and 39 percent will be Democrats.

Two state attorneys come out in support of Marsy’s Law

State Attorneys Katherine Rundle of the 11th Circuit and Andrew Warren of the 13th Circuit said Monday they were in favor of a Constitution Revision Commission proposal that would put a victims’ bill of rights in the state constitution.

Known as “Marsy’s Law,” Proposal 96 would require victims to be told about their rights as well as services available to them, and would add updates on criminal proceedings, meetings with state attorneys before plea deals are handed out, and the ability to be attend and speak during court proceedings to the list of rights crime victims have.

The proposal is named after MarsaleeMarsyNicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

“Those things found in our state constitution speak to the values of Florida. Elevating rights for victims of crime to a constitutional level, the same level where those accused and convicted of crimes find their rights, is something we should all support,” Rundle said, who has been a State Attorney since 1993.

“I respect the constitutional rights that exist for those accused of crimes. At the same time, the prosecutors and staff in my office deal with tens of thousands of victims every year, none of whom ask to be thrust into the criminal justice process. The victims are all aware that there are many constitutional rights for the person accused of a crime, and it’s about time here in Florida that victims know that they are protected with constitutional rights of their own,” she continued.

Warren echoed the same sentiments in a letter addressed to CRC Commissioner Timothy Cerio, who is sponsoring the proposal.

“Every year, more than half a million Floridians are victims of crime, with nearly one hundred thousand being victims of violent crime like murder, rape, and robbery,” Warren wrote. “The trauma of being a victim quietly extends beyond visible physical injuries or financial loss. Victims endure anxiety, fear, and perhaps most importantly, shaken confidence in both the goodness of humanity and society’s ability to protect them from harm. Because crime victims often endure life-changing events and continue to thrive despite these hardships, they are truly survivors.”

“We must affirm our commitment to supporting victims during their most vulnerable moments by enshrining their rights in Florida’s Constitution. The Constitution is our state’s most sacred document, identifying and preserving our most cherished principles, and victims’ rights deserve a place among our declared values. “

Victims rights are spelled out in all but 15 states, including Florida.

A poll conducted last year found 85 percent of Florida voters were in favor of adding victims’ rights to the state constitution.

Chip LaMarca adds $24K for HD 93 campaign in February

Republican Chip LaMarca raised another $24,325 for his House District 93 campaign last month, putting him at $194,000 in total fundraising since he filed in October.

“As a lifelong resident of Broward County, I am excited for the opportunity to represent our dynamic community in the Florida House and believe our campaign’s momentum is growing every day,” LaMarca said.

“Working together, we can achieve real change that improves the lives of all Floridians. I am committed to keeping our economy strong, protecting our pristine beaches and quality of life, and equipping students with a high-quality education that prepares them for success. Broward families will always come first with me.”

LaMarca, currently a Broward County Commissioner, is one of four candidates vying to replace termed-out Republican Rep. George Moraitis in the Broward County district.

He faces Democrats Emma Collum and Stephanie Myers as well as no-party candidate Kelly Milam.

LaMarca’s February money came in across 58 contributions, including a dozen for the campaign maximum of $1,000.

Max donations last month came mostly from businesses, including York Security Solutions, Interstate Recycling of Florida, All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Kaufman Lynn Construction and KD Construction. LaMarca also received a check from lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group.

February spending measured in at $2,568, including nearly $1,500 for communications services through Fort Lauderdale-based Smarter Story and $987 for photography services through Downtown Photo.

LaMarca’s campaign account had $191,305 on hand heading into March.

Collum is in the No. 2 spot in the race with $65,795 raised and $37,339 on hand on Feb. 28, followed by Myers with about $9,500 on hand. Milam has not yet filed a campaign finance report.

HD 93 includes the municipalities of Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Lighthouse Point, Pompano Beach, Lauderdale By The Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale. It is a reliably Republican district.

Rick Scott leads Bill Nelson in new poll of possible U.S. Senate race

A new poll of the 2018 U.S. Senate race shows Gov. Rick Scott with a two-point lead over Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

The Clearview Research poll contacted 750 likely voters by phone between March 1 and March 7 and found Scott with a 43-41 advantage with 15 percent undecided.

Where the poll differs with other recent head-to-heads is the turnout model, which estimates Republicans will make up 41 percent of the electorate, while Democrats take a 39 percent share and no-party and third-party voters make up the rest.

“A few recent polls released to the media have shown samples that seem to anticipate more Democrats voting than Republicans,” said Steve Vancore of Clearview Research. “While that could possibly be the case, we see little evidence for it at this time.”

The poll shows Scott with a 50-36 lead among white voters and a 48-41 lead among Cuban Hispanic voters, while Nelson holds a dominating 72-12 lead among black voters and leads 40-32 among non-Cuban Hispanic voters.

Scott also holds the edge among voters aged 35 and older, while Nelson wins the 18-34 age bracket by 7 percentage points. The poll estimates the under-35 age group will make up about 13 percent of the electorate in November.

Scott’s edge falls well within the margin of error for poll, which is set at plus or minus 3.58 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Still, the poll is one of a very few to show Scott with a lead over Nelson, who is running for his fourth term in the Senate.

Other polls have either shown the two in a dead heat, or shown Nelson with a slim lead.

Clearview says the two-point advantage for Republicans is consistent with the past few election cycles.

In 2016, Republicans outpaced Democrats at the polls by 0.6 points, a first in modern history for a presidential race, and in 2014 there was a four-point turnout margin on election day.

The 2014 election, also a midterm, is the most comparable to the 2018 election.

Other recent polls have given Democrats a better share of turnout.

“Historically, Republicans have enjoyed a turnout advantage in midterms, but with the current mood of the country, and a large number of Republican retirements, Democrats are optimistic about an impending blue wave,” said Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF, in a February poll release.

Despite claims of a “blue wave” in 2018, and some evidence of its existence in special elections since 2016, Clearview also points to new voter registrations in the Sunshine State, which show more Republicans signing up to vote than Democrats.

The polls only matter if Scott files for the seat, which he’s remained coy about.

Scott said after the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped Sunday that it’ll be another few weeks before he announces his “future plans,” though most have had him penciled in for the contest for more than a year.

Count Nelson in that group. The incumbent lawmaker has been sending out campaign fundraising emails for months foretelling Scott’s candidacy, and in the post-Parkland CNN town hall, he dogged Scott’s non-appearance at every opportunity.

Here is the full polling document:

Results of Florida poll from Clearview Research by Peter Schorsch on Scribd

Pasco police back Mike Moore’s county commission bid

The Fraternal Order of Police announced on Monday endorsed Republican Mike Moore for re-election to the Pasco County Commission.

William Lawless, president of Pasco County FOP Lodge 29 Labor Unit, said it gave him “great pleasure” to endorse Moore, who is running for second term on the commission.

“We are grateful for your support of public safety. You have been a strong voice for not only law enforcement officers, but all public safety personnel in Pasco County. Your strong leadership has brought more opportunities and a more prosperous life for our members and their families. We value your professionalism and commitment to both the citizens of Pasco County and those who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to make sure Pasco is a safe place to live”

“Thank you again for your commitment to public service, public safety, and our members.”

Moore was first elected to the District 2 seat on the Pasco County Commission in 2014. He filed for re-election to another four-year term in April 2017, and has since secured endorsements from a host of state and local officials, including Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson.

Democrat Kelly Smith is currently the only candidate challenging Moore in his re-election bid. He has raised more than $185,000 for his campaign compared to about $6,000 for Smith.

“I am honored by the endorsement of Pasco County’s Fraternal Order of Police,” Moore said. “These dedicated women and men put their lives on the line each and every day to serve and protect our community and keep each of us safe and secure.  I am honored to have their support and endorsement and am grateful for their service and commitment of each and every woman and man who wears the badge, and their families, who sacrifice greatly for our community.”

The election is Nov. 6.

Kayser Enneking announces 15 local endorsements for SD 8 campaign

Democratic Senate District 8 candidate Kayser Enneking announced a bulk endorsement from local officials in the Gainesville-based district currently held by Republican Sen. Keith Perry.

On the endorsement list were Alachua County Commissioners Hutch Hutchinson and Chuck Chestnut, Putnam County Commissioner Chip Laibl, Alachua County School Board members Gunnar Paulson, Eileen Roy, Rob Hyatt, and Gainesville City Commissioners Helen Warren, Adrian Hayes-Santos and David Arreola.

“We deserve leadership in education, healthcare, and environmental protection,” Hutchinson said. “We need Kayser Enneking to represent our community and our values in Tallahassee.”

Enneking also picked up support from former Gainesville Commissioners Susan Bottcher, Thomas Hawkins, and Warren Nielsen, as well as former mayors Jean Chalmers and Paula Delaney.

“I am proud to have the support of so many outstanding public servants here in our community. They work tirelessly to help make sure our children get a quality education and to keep our city and county growing in the right direction,” Enneking in a press release. “It speaks to the growing momentum of our campaign that so many wonderful leaders are backing my campaign and vision for making life better for Florida families.”

Enneking is running against Olysha Magruder for the Democratic nomination in SD 8. Perry is currently the only other candidate running for the seat.

Through February, Perry led in fundraising with $261,000 raised and $233,000 on hand in his campaign account, while Enneking had raised $189,000, including $10,000 in loans, and has about $153,000 in the bank.

Magruder is in a distant third on the fundraising trail with $11,431 raised and $6,130 on hand.

SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties as well as the northern half of Marion County and is one of a handful of districts that became more favorable to Democrats after districts were redrawn ahead of the 2016 elections.

Despite voting for Barack Obama twice, the seat tilted toward Donald Trump in 2016 by less than a point. That cycle also saw Perry score a four-point win over former Democratic Sen. Rod Smith.

Free market fights end in wins for 2018, AFP-Florida says

Americans for Prosperity-Florida, the free market fighters, are celebrating a long list of legislative accomplishments as the 2018 Legislative Session comes to an end.

Among their top priorities this year was a bill to allow direct primary care contracts, SB 80, and the House education package which includes a requirement that teacher unions to have at least 50 percent of eligible members pay dues.

“As Floridians continue to suffer under the restrictions of Obamacare, the passage of Direct Primary Care will expand access to quality care by removing third parties from the doctor-patient relationship. This will ensure Floridians receive the care they need from the providers of their choice,” said AFP-FL state director Chris Hudson.

“And the passage of HB 7055 makes Florida the third state in the country to embrace common sense labor reforms and further expands our state’s reputation as a leader in education choice. Ensuring that teachers have a greater say in who represents them is a paramount right that all workers deserve; and our kids deserve every chance possible to achieve their educational goals.”

The group also celebrated the lack of a funding increase for state economic incentives arm Enterprise Florida and the the defeat of “corporate welfare” proposals, such as the bills to create a new film and television program funding pool (HB 341/SB 1606).

“We commend Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron for delivering common sense solutions to issues that continue to make the Sunshine State the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Hudson said.

“We hope that Governor [Rick] Scott acts quickly to make these key policies law and we will work diligently to communicate across the state for citizens to contact their elected officials as we begin our annual accountability efforts.”

Other bills the group praised were SB 4, which included language from the campus “free speech” bills, and SB 1392, “which includes the most robust and transparent data collection in order to promote and guide common sense criminal justice policy.”

Email insights: Gwen Graham blasts ‘devastating cuts to schools’

After going into overtime on the 2018 Legislative Session lawmakers passed an $88.7 billion budget Sunday, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham said it doesn’t measure up when it comes to school funding.

She lays the blame on the man she’s looking to replace in the governor’s mansion.

Rick Scott‘s first priority as governor was to cut more than $1 billion from public schools — and in 8 years, while the governor and Legislature have spent our tax dollars on their pet projects and special interests, they have failed to fully restore funding for Florida’s schools and students,” Graham said in a Sunday email.

“Adjusted for inflation, per-student funding will be less under Rick Scott’s last budget, than when he took office. He ceded control of public schools to Richard Corcoran and the most extreme members of the Legislature who have siphoned money away from students to line the pockets of the education industry.”

Per-pupil funding was at $6,897 in the 2010-11 budget Graham is citing. That budget was crafted during Gov. Charlie Christ’s tenure and lasted through the first six months of Scott’s first term.

Scott’s first budget had per-pupil funding of $6,217 and subsequent budgets have yet to cross the 2010-11 line when inflation is taken into account, let alone the higher 2007-08 budget which featured per-pupil funding of $7,126.

Graham said if she is elected in the fall that “change is coming.”

“This will be the last Florida budget to underfund public schools. As governor, I will restore our promise to public schools by ending high-stakes testing, ending the degrading system of school grades, and ending the lottery shell game,” she wrote.

“We will restore funding from Rick Scott’s devastating cuts, pay teachers what they deserve, and ensure every child has access to a quality public education.”

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