Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.
Coming in January: The biennial INFLUENCE 100 — the top influencers in Florida politics.
The 100 most influential Floridians in state politics will be revealed in the forthcoming edition of INFLUENCE Magazine.
Set to debut during the week of January 22, the winter edition of INFLUENCE Magazine will profile the 100 people who leave the biggest footprints in Florida politics, but are not in elected office.
From lobbyists and major donors to academics and journalists, the INFLUENCE 100 has become the benchmark for recognizing Florida’s political elite.
Think Fortune 500 just for Florida’s influence industry.
Right now, we are accepting nominations for who should be considered for inclusion in the INFLUENCE 100. We also are looking for panelists to serve on an ad hoc selection committee.
The bar has been set pretty high for this list. We’re talking about Shad Khan … John Morgan … Melissa Stone … Jeff Vinik territory here, so aim high with your suggestions.
Again, this is a list of influencers, not elected officials, so you won’t see Rick Scott or Buddy Dyer. But it could include politicians out of office such as, say, Dean Cannon.
Please email me at Peter@FloridaPolitics.com with your suggestions.
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— FROM THE WEEKEND: TERRIE RIZZO WINS FLA. DEM. CHAIR RACE —
“Terrie Rizzo elected Florida Democratic Party chairman, replacing Stephen Bittel” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida — Rizzo, 70, who chairs the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, was the favorite headed into the vote, a position bolstered by Sen. Bill Nelson‘s endorsement … Because he’s the Democrat’s only statewide elected official and has a tough 2018 re-election fight, he was seen as having a tremendous amount of influence over the results. Despite the slight drama, though, Rizzo ended up beating [Stacey] Patel 830-291, a margin that grew during the vote in Orlando after Alma Gonzalez, a chair candidate and Hillsborough County State Committeewoman, dropped out of the race and threw her support behind Rizzo. “Florida Democrats are organized, energized and taking on Donald Trump, Rick Scott and the GOP,” said FDP spokeswoman Johanna Cervone in a statement.
“Behind the scenes, Bill Nelson team pressured FDP chair candidate out of race” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida — Monica Russo, president of the SEIU Florida, said she was contacted by Pete Mitchell, a longtime Nelson operative, and pressured to leave the race. Mitchell has worked as chief-of-staff in Nelson’s Senate office and has helped lead the senior senator’s political team. “He called, and it was a somewhat aggressive tone,” Russo [said]. “I’ve known Pete for a long time. So, it kind of caught me off guard.” Mitchell denies that the call was used to dissuade Russo from getting out of the race. He said he was trying to explain to her the difficulties of running because, though she is a longtime Democratic activist, she is not an elected party leader, which is a requirement for running. “The only think I was trying to communicate to her in the experience I have had, when you have not met that eligibility requirement it can get pretty messy,” Mitchell said. “I wanted her to just be aware.” As part of her campaign, said Russo, she wanted to change party rules to make candidates like her eligible to receive votes. That effort failed, so she withdrew from the race.
Scoop — “Johanna Cervone to leave Florida Democratic Party for University of Miami” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics — The state party’s communications director is leaving her post to work at the University of Miami, where she will be the executive director of communications at the Office of President Julio Frenk. Cervone was hired in March to expand the state party’s press outreach, soon after ousted Chair Stephen Bittel was elected to lead the party.
— L’ AFFAIRE LATVALA —
“Senate President: Sexual misconduct inquiry not slowing down process” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida — Joe Negron stuck closely to comments he’s already made about the investigation and the charges, which have rocked the Capitol and caused what one Republican senator called “paralysis” in the upper chamber. Negron, headed into his second and final legislative session as the man with the gavel in the Senate, disagreed that the drama has eclipsed all other business in the Senate. “That’s not what I see. I’m visiting with senators constantly and talking about projects. There are bills being referenced,” he said. “A lot of bills have been filed. Committee meetings are moving forward. Some bills have been voted down. Some bills have been voted up. So, I think that the people’s business is being done. And we’re going to let the process that’s set forth in our rules move forward and then there will be a resolution.” Negron reiterated that he wants individuals who’ve been the victim of sexual harassment to come forward.
“Matt Gaetz won’t be witness in state Senate’s ‘sham’ sex-harassment investigation“ via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida — Gaetz has refused to speak with an independent investigator examining sexual harassment complaints against a fellow Republican, Florida Sen. Jack Latvala, because he doesn’t believe it’s being conducted in good faith. “The Florida Senate’s ‘investigation’ into Senator Latvala is a sham. I will not validate it by participating,” Gaetz wrote in a Nov. 30 letter, obtained by POLITICO, to Gail Holtzman, the independent investigator hired by Sen. Joe Negron. “The Florida Senate isn’t serious about investigating Senator Latvala or protecting those he has harmed,” Gaetz said. “Accusers know it. Senators I’ve spoken with know it. And so do I. Sad!” A spokeswoman for Negron, who launched the investigation, did not respond to questions for comment.
“Latvala accuser sued by former colleague for defamation” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics — A witness for Sen. Latvala in a sexual harassment case against him sued his accuser for defamation Friday. Lily Tysinger, a 22-year-old Senate staffer, claims Perrin Rogers spread lies about her having sex with colleagues and that she was mentally ill, which Tysinger says damaged her reputation. Perrin Rogers’ lawyer called the claims against her client a “complete lie.”
“Latvala’s star witness in sex-harassment case is a campaign supporter” via Alexandra Glorioso and Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida — … who attended one of his gubernatorial campaign kickoff events in potential violation, his accuser’s attorney says, of Senate employment policy. Latvala denied that his supporter, Tysinger, was a campaign volunteer and said she didn’t break Senate rules that limit an employee from attending campaign functions because his Aug. 16 Panama City kickoff event occurred after regular work hours. Tysinger’s attorney also denied wrongdoing.
“Andrew Gillum questions Senate Democrats’ silence on Latvala” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics — Gillum says that may be because of the institutional structure and the nature of relationships in the Senate, but he says that Latvala’s “attack dog” tactics are why he should resign. “What you have in the Florida Senate is a lot of close relationships, a lot of folks who know each other, and a real unwillingness to enter into the divisive fray of having a colleague step down,” said the Tallahassee mayor, following an appearance at Tampa’s Oxford Exchange. “These are uncomfortable positions all the way around for everybody, but it does require leadership … I’ve been most disheartened by what appears to have been a full-on intimidation and attack dog approach when it comes to the victim.”
“Brian Hughes dropped a dime” via Peter Schorsch
— CAPITOL INSIGHT —
“Joe Negron backs aid for agriculture industry” via the News Service of Florida — Without putting a price tag on the state’s contribution, Senate President Negron appeared to favor tax cuts and mitigation measures rather than loans. He pointed to major damage sustained by citrus growers but also said assistance should go to other parts of the agriculture industry. “I do think the effect of the hurricane was so catastrophic to the citrus industry that it merits the government, the state government, partnering with the industry to make sure that they can continue to thrive,” Negron said during an interview. Negron said Sen. Bill Galvano, who is slated to become the next Senate president, and Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Denise Grimsley, are expected to work on the issue.
“Legislators continue to battle with state colleges over local control” via Ali Schmitz of TCPalm.com — “State” colleges could become “community” colleges once again, and only 20 percent of their students could pursue four-year bachelor’s degrees, under a 2018 session bill. The bill (SB 540) also would shift oversight to a new 13-member, governor-appointed panel that could lessen local control. The proposed enrollment cap is even more restrictive than a bill that failed in the 2017 session, which would have imposed a 15 percent limit on baccalaureate students. Gov. Scott sided with state colleges when he vetoed that bill earlier this year. He said he thought it would “impede” progress at state colleges. President Negron supports the new bill as part of his plan to make Florida universities a “destination” for high-performing students across the country. It isn’t an attack on state colleges. The goal is to make sure state colleges aren’t straying too far from their core mission of providing vocational education and associate degrees, Negron said, noting state colleges don’t have the same resources as universities.
“Obscure Florida law prompts need for fantasy sports legislation” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — Fantasy sports advocates have said their hobby is a game of skill and shouldn’t be considered gambling. There’s one sticking point with that position in Florida: A state law prohibits betting on games of skill, making it a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. But a state senator backing a bill to exempt fantasy sports from state gambling regulation says “the ambiguity and breadth of that statute is the whole reason we need a bill in the first place.” Three fantasy sports bills so far have been filed for the 2018 Legislative Session.
“Bill would punish car theft victims” via Lisa Gartner and Zachary Sampson of the Tampa Bay Times — State Rep. Wengay Newton filed House Bill 927, which would make it a second-degree misdemeanor to leave your car unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and taking the key from the car. Sen. Perry Thurston Jr. filed matching Senate Bill 1112. Under Florida statute, a second-degree misdemeanor is punishable with a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. “Juveniles are crashing into people, killing themselves,” said Newton. “I look back at the beginning and say, but for the keys being left in the vehicle and this crime of opportunity prevailing itself, we wouldn’t have stolen cars and these crashes.” Newton said his proposal would go beyond running cars to include unlocked cars with the keys left inside, something the current statute doesn’t cover. “What I’m trying to do is close this floodgate of a crime of opportunity that is permitting these juveniles to get access to cars,” Newton said. He said he did not include adult thieves as part of the bill because more thefts are committed by teens — a belief that is true locally, but not necessarily elsewhere in the state. But Newton’s proposal was not received well by local law enforcement. “No,” was St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway’s reaction to the text of the bill. “They’re already a victim, and we’re going to charge you now? People won’t report it, or they’ll lie to us.”
“House bill says train conductors, passengers cannot be auto accident witnesses” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — A new Florida House bill says that train conductors and passengers are not, for the purposes of crash reports, auto accident witnesses. While that may seem obvious, current statute leaves that concept open for interpretation. HB 959, filed by Jacksonville Republican Jason Fischer, revises current law to make explicit that people on trains are not considered passengers for purpose of making crash reports. To that end, a conductor of a train is not a driver of a motor vehicle. A passenger of a train is not a passenger of a motor vehicle. And a train is not a motor vehicle.
Assignment editors — Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat, will hold a news conference on SB 56, a bill to make diapers and adult incontinence products exempt from state and local sales tax. “The average child uses around 2,800 diapers in their first year, costing nearly $1,000,” according to a news release. “Exempting diapers from sales tax will save the average parent $50-$70 per year. Twelve other states have enacted similar legislation.” The event is at 10 a.m., Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, Multipurpose Room, 1401 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.
— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —
“Richard Corcoran steps into sanctuary city ‘dust up’ ” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — House Speaker Richard Corcoran elbowed into a social media “spat” between Adam Putnam and Andrew Gillum about immigration, saying they’re both on the wrong side of the amnesty debate. “Ironic to see a dust up between these two on immigration, since they’ve both supported #amnesty for illegal immigrants. Call it amnesty or sanctuary cities, both defy our rule of law and make the nation (and Florida) less safe. #TwoSidesOfTheSameCoin,” Corcoran tweeted last week. Corcoran is widely expected to jump into the governor’s race after the 2018 Legislative Session.
Tweet shot and chaser:
First in Sunburn — Ashley Moody announces statewide finance team — Moody’s campaign for Attorney General released its finance committee consisting of nearly three dozen leaders from throughout the state. “It’s humbling to have the support of so many business, civic and legal leaders from around Florida. Each and every individual on our finance team is not just accomplished professionally, but well-respected in their community,” Moody said. On the team: Carlos Alfonso, Brian Ballard, Rodney Barreto, Bennett Barrow, Glen Blauch, Dean Cannon, Doug Cone, Mike Corcoran, Bill Edwards, Elizabeth Marie Fago, Blake Fletcher, George Gainer, Robert Gidel, David Heekin, Jim Holton, Bill Horne, Jim Horne, Justin Kaplan, Cody Khan, Frank Kruppenbacher, Ron LaFace, Rhea Law, George LeMieux, Roberto Martinez, Randall McElheney, Paul Mitchell, Paul Perez, Ed Pozzuoli, Wayne Rosen, Domingo Sanchez, William Merrill Stainton, Trey Traviesa, Dr. Peter A. Wish, Jordan Zimmerman.
“Did Democrat for Congress split with campaign manager over #MAGA posts or strategy?” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald — Democratic congressional candidate and Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez says she and her Republican campaign manager quietly parted ways after he trolled liberals on social media and continued working for a man whom she accused of unwanted sexual advances. Citing philosophical differences, Rosen Gonzalez, who is running for the 27th Congressional District seat held by retiring Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, says Pedro Diaz resigned last month from her campaign. She said they split “because he would not step down” from the Miami Beach Commission campaign of Rafael Velasquez, though Diaz said their dispute was over campaign strategy. “The only reason we parted ways was really strategic differences. I don’t think it had anything to do with Rafael or anything else,” Diaz said. Rosen Gonzalez accused Velasquez in late October of exposing his penis to her, and said Diaz resigned about a week later, just before Velasquez lost his election.
First in Sunburn — A key endorsement in HD 66 primary — Republican Nick DiCeglie will announce today that City of Seminole Mayor and former Speaker Pro- Tempore of the Florida House of Representatives, Leslie Waters has endorsed his campaign for state Representative.
Wait, what? — “Blogger challenging Nick Duran wants her online handle on the ballot” via Florida Politics — Duran is facing a primary challenger, Nancy Lee, in his re-election bid for House District 112, but that name is merely a front for her true identity: “GENIUS OF DESPAIR.” In a letter sent to the Florida Division of Elections late last month Lee, who also ran for HD 112 in 2016, requested that her blogging handle be added as her official nickname in the state’s database of candidates. And consistent with all true geniuses, especially those on the internet, Lee made sure her request was in all caps. “I HAVE BEEN USING THE NAME GENIUSOFDESPAIR ON MY BLOG EYEONMIAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM FOR AT LEAST 11 YEARS. 16,215 PEOPLE HAVE VIEWED BY PROFILE AND SEVEN AND ONE-HALF PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED AT OUR BLOG WITH MY NAME BEING GENIUSOFDESPAIR/NANCY LEE. SO, I REQUEST THAT “GENIUS OF DESPAIR” BE INCLUDED AS MY NICKNAME WHEN RUNNING FOR STATE REP. DISTRICT 112,” Lee wrote. Notable by its absence, however, was any evidence showing seven and one-half people had looked at “GENIUSOFDESPAIR/NANCY LEE.” It remains unclear how Lee would know a half person had viewed the webpage.
Deadline for campaign finance reports — Financial reports for state political candidates and committees through Nov. 30 are due today.
— STATEWIDE —
“Three months after Irma, counties and cities pick up the last of the storm’s debris” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel — Monday marks three months since Hurricane Irma blew into Central Florida on Sept. 11 with gusty winds that toppled trees and shook loose several million cubic yards of branches and limbs. The taxpayer-funded cleanup, hampered initially by a shortage of emergency debris-removal crews, is nearly done, area officials say. Once hopeful of finishing the job by Thanksgiving, “we’re now shooting for Dec. 15,” said Frank Yokiel, project manager for Orange County Public Works. The city hopes to be reimbursed for most of its pick up and disposal expenses by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which announced in September it would repay 90 percent of eligible expenses. But most county governments in Central Florida, all of which have spent millions more than Orlando, worry it could take years for FEMA to repay them.
“Ex-rep. Dwayne Taylor sentenced to 13 months prison, 18 months supervision” via Frank Fernandez of the Daytona Beach News-Journal — Saying he had dishonored the state and fueled skeptics who doubted the honesty of politicians, a judge sentenced former Florida representative and ex-Daytona Beach city Commissioner Taylor to 13 months in federal prison, followed by 18 months supervised release for using campaign money for personal expenses. Because of its location, the judge suggested that Taylor do his time at Coleman, a low security prison in Sumterville … U.S. District Judge Carlos Mendoza also ordered Taylor to begin paying $62,834 in $300 monthly installments once he is released from prison. Mendoza said the evidence was overwhelming against Taylor and even included videos, including video showing Taylor withdrawing money from ATMs with his campaign debit card and depositing it into a personal account with a personal debit card. The judge also said that Taylor took “extraordinary steps” to try to conceal his crime in actions that could have formed the basis for additional charges. “This is a sad day for all of Florida and certainly for those who believed in you,” Mendoza told Taylor.
“Nonpartisan elections rejected for Orange County officials” via the News Service of Florida — Ruling that such issues are governed by state law, an appeals court rejected a voter-approved change that called for Orange County constitutional officers to be chosen in nonpartisan elections. Voters in 2014 supported revamping the Orange County charter to include nonpartisan elections for the clerk of circuit court, comptroller, property appraiser, sheriff, supervisor of elections and tax collector. Constitutional officers filed a lawsuit, and a circuit judge rejected the change, concluding that the issue was “pre-empted” to the Legislature. A three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal said the circuit judge correctly struck down the change to nonpartisan elections.
“Mysterious ‘white plague’ threatens South Florida coral reefs” via The Associated Press — Called white plague, white blotch and other names, depending on the pattern of damaged or destroyed tissue, the disease has infected more than 20 South Florida coral species from the Middle Keys through Palm Beach County, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection … On the reefs running from mid-Miami-Dade County through Martin County, scientists have observed a 35 percent loss of reef-building coral. “The reef is in a state of emergency,” said Jennifer Stein, South Florida marine conservation coordinator for the Nature Conservancy. “It needs a lot of attention, a lot of research, a lot of focus, especially with this disease.” The disease arose during a worldwide, three-year coral catastrophe called bleaching, in which unusually warm ocean water led many corals to expel the piece of algae that provided them with color and gave them a source of nutrition through photosynthesis. Although coral can recover from bleaching, the ordeal weakens them and makes them vulnerable to disease.
— D.C. MATTERS —
“Arrests of undocumented immigrants rise in Florida amid Donald Trump crackdown” via Aric Chokey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — After declining for years, arrests of undocumented immigrants have nearly doubled in a region overseen by federal immigration officials in South Florida. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Miami office reported taking 6,192 people into custody this year across Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That’s up from 3,524 last year, according to agency figures … Deportations also swelled by 20 percent. According to the data, the Miami office reported 7,100 removals this year compared with 5,600 last year. The Miami office’s Acting Field Director Michael Meade pointed to a Jan. 25 order from Trump as the driving force behind the uptick. The order rolled back the Obamaadministration’s directives that said ICE should prioritize apprehending undocumented immigrants with criminal histories and those who came to the U.S. after January 2014.
“No surprise Bill Nelson not among early stampede calling for Al Franken to leave Senate” via Ledyard King of USA TODAY — The three-term senator from Florida has always been proud of the deliberative nature of the Senate and the sense of camaraderie, even between members of rival parties. And he respected Franken enough to have him as the headliner for a November fundraiser at the Tampa-area home of former gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink to bolster Nelson‘s 2018 re-election bid. Franken’s appearance at the fundraiser was promptly canceled when the sexual misconduct allegations against him began surfacing. The two also had teamed up on various bills in past years, including measures aimed at expanding agricultural aid, improving veterans’ benefits and, last year, speeding up the development of vaccines and treatments against the Zika virus, a key issue for Florida.
“Taxpayers paid $220K to settle case involving Alcee Hastings” via Stephanie Akin of Roll Call — Winsome Packer, a former staff member of a congressional commission that promotes international human rights, said in documents that the congressman touched her, made unwanted sexual advances, and threatened her job. At the time, Hastings was the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, where Packer worked. Hastings has called Packer’s charges “ludicrous” and in documents said he never sexually harassed her. The 2014 payment to settle the case involving Hastings was not apparently included in a breakdown of payouts to settle discrimination complaints against House lawmakers from the past five years released last month by the Office of Compliance, which approves the payouts. That total included only one payment to resolve a sexual harassment claim — $84,000 paid to settle a complaint against Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold.
Assignment editors — Congressman Matt Gaetz will deliver remarks at the grand opening of the new Sunterra Wellness medical marijuana dispensary in Pensacola. Event begins 10 a.m. at Sunterra’s Pensacola Wellness Center, 5046 Bayou Boulevard, Unit A, in Pensacola.
Assignment editors — U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Kathy Castor will hold a media availability at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa to remind constituents the open enrollment period for healthcare.gov ends Friday, Dec. 15. Event begins 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital (BayCare Health System), Medical Arts Building Auditorium (Room 3), 3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tampa.
— OPINIONS —
“A ‘Fight Club’ grand jury is right call” via the Miami Herald editorial board — A grand jury is being asked to investigate conditions and practices in the state’s juvenile lockups. That’s a welcome action from Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle. In the past, grand juries have shed light on horrible injustices in our community and across the state. Let’s hope this sets the course for a similar resolution. The decision comes two months after the Herald published its six-part series, Fight Club, which documented abuses within Department of Juvenile Justice detention centers and residential programs. This probe should end the careers of abusive employees — unwittingly financed by taxpayers — who are supposed to be caretakers but turn into state-paid abusers. The Miami Herald series will give them plenty of fodder. Let’s hope it translate to substantive changes in the state’s juvenile justice system.
“Nursing home bill of rights deserves support” via Sun-Sentinel editorial doard — This time the battleground is at the Constitution Revision Commission … Proposal 88, by Commissioner Brecht Heuchan, belongs on the November 2018 ballot. It guarantees the right of nursing home and assisted living residents “to be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity.” It mandates “a safe clean, comfortable and homelike environment that protects residents from harm and takes into account this state’s challenges with respect to climate and natural disasters.” It guarantees “the right to access courts and a jury system that allow for a speedy trial and relief and remedies, without limitations.” It also forbids facilities from asking patients, or others acting on their behalf, to waive those rights. Proposition 88 is meritorious. It’s open to question — a proper issue before the Revision Commission — whether there should be reasonable limits on lawsuit recoveries from nursing homes. But there’s nothing to be said for allowing the industry to continue to try to close the courthouse doors.
— MOVEMENTS —
“Ethics panel approves settlement in Doug Holder case” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — The Florida Commission on Ethics has approved a settlement with former state Rep. Holder to resolve an ethics complaint that he filed “inaccurate” financial disclosures in 2010-14. A spokeswoman said the panel OK’d the agreement unanimously at its Friday meeting. Holder, a Sarasota County Republican, will pay $6,500 in civil penalties. The 50-year-old Holder, now a lobbyist, served in the House 2006-14. He ran unsuccessfully in 2016 to succeed GOP state Sen. Nancy Detert, losing to fellow Republican Greg Steube. Holder had admitted to filing inaccurate financial disclosures and later filed corrected disclosures, according to documents filed with the commission.
Strategic Digital Services is hiring — After a new rebranding, adding staff and moving to a 3,000 square-foot office in 2017, Strategic Digital Services (SDS) — the Tallahassee-based political data modeling and analytics shop run by co-founders Joe Clements and Matt Farrar — is launching a nationwide search for a new graphic designer. The company offers a competitive salary, a great company culture and the ability to work on some “really cool” projects. According to the call for applications: “The trust and confidence of our colleagues and clients is the secret sauce of our business, and we are grateful for your support.” To apply, visit strategicdigital.services/
New and renewed lobbying registrations:
Joshua Aubuchon, Mark Delegal, Andrew Marcus, Holland & Knight: Applied Underwriters
Paul Bradshaw, Southern Strategy Group: M H Corbi
Ron Pierce, Edward Briggs, Natalie King, RSA Consulting Group: Barnes&Noble Education, National Association of College Store
Dean Cannon, Mary Kim McDougal, Chris Spencer, Todd Steibly, Robert Stuart, GrayRobinson: Pasco County Schools, School Board of Levy County
Christopher Carmody, GrayRobinson: Lake Monroe Waterfront Downtown Sanford CRA
Sharon Jean Merchant, Michelle Damone, The Merchant Strategy: Palm Beach Point Property Owners Association
Spotted: Tanya and Gus Corbella at the Renaissance Vinoy in St. Petersburg. They were in town for the Florida Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Gala celebration, which featured a performance by Sting.
— FIRST LOOK: THE SSG XMAS CARD —
Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the highly awaited holiday greetings from Southern Strategy Group. Every year, the SSG Christmas card offers a fun take on the year’s biggest political stories, something always guaranteed to bring a buzz — not to mention a few snickers — throughout Florida’s Capitol.
This year’s card is as subtle as it is funny:
— ALOE —
Congrats to Brooke and Drew Heffley on their gorgeous wedding at Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville, Georgia.
More congratulations to Cory Guzzo and Libby Whitley on their nuptials.
Happy birthday belatedly to our great friend, Richard Reeves, as well as Garrett Blanton, Justin Hollis, Nicole Krassner, and Beth Lerner. Celebrating today are Houston Barnes and our man in Compass Lake, Sven Davis.