Peter Schorsch, Author at Florida Politics - Page 7 of 286

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, Florida Politics, Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of the quarterly INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, SaintPetersBlog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

David Richardson’s congressional campaign has $500K third-quarter haul

State Rep. David Richardson announced Wednesday that he will report raising over $500,000 for his bid in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in the third quarter, his first since filing.

More than 90 percent of the 2,400-plus donors who contributed to the Miami Beach Democrat last quarter gave less than $200 dollars. The campaign added small-dollar donors who pitched in $25 or less made up 80 percent of the take from July through September.

“I’m honored to have received such tremendous support from a broad spectrum of Democrats. I’m especially pleased that we have been able to touch grassroots supporters and progressive activists so early in the race,” Richardson said. “In just 82 days our supporters came out when we needed them most in order to help us demonstrate strength in our critical first fundraising quarter.”

The biggest donor in those first 82 days was Richardson himself, who loaned his campaign $250,000. The successful accountant has loaned his past campaigns money and, unlike some other candidates, has demonstrated a willingness to spend those dollars.

Richardson is running to replace longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election in 2018.

Her decision led to a wave of candidates filing for the race, including seven Democrats.

Final reports for the third quarter aren’t due to the Federal Elections Commission until Oct. 15 and none of Richardson’s primary opponents, chief among them state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, have released information on their fundraising efforts.

While Richardson’s own report is not quite finalized, his campaign estimated he will report about $441,000 cash on hand.

Last Call for 10.3.17 – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Historical sidenote time: It’s a tradition of the Constitution Revision Commission to do a caricature of all the commissioners as a keepsake.

The last one, of the 1997-98 panel, shows each of the members with a text “bubble” over their heads, summing up their main interest in amending the state’s governing document. A similar one was done for the 1977-78 members.

Retired lawyer Martha Barnett, who was a Holland & Knight partner, sat on the ‘97 commission. Her caption reads, “Just building support for my income tax proposal, Mr. Chair.”

Barnett, appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles, said she still has her copy of the commission caricature in a frame.

I treasure it more than I do the photograph I got of our commission,” she said in a Tuesday phone interview. “Whoever did it ‘got’ us more than the photo … Every (individual caricature) really tells something unique about that person.”

One might also be done of the 2017-18 commission. “We don’t currently have plans but it is something we may consider,” CRC spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice said.

Florida is unique among states in that its constitution allows for a panel to meet every 20 years, “examine the constitution, hold public hearings and … file its proposal, if any, of a revision of this constitution or any part of it.” Its committees are meeting this week in the Capitol.

Evening Reads

— “After Puerto Rico trip, Florida Democrats strike nonpartisan tone” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

— “Pam Bondi, staff go to Nevada to aid victims” via Jim Turner and Tom Urban of the News Service of Florida

— “Florida response shows familiar sides on gun debate” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

— “A call to arms: One bill prohibits assault weapons sales; others loosen gun control” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat

— “Two days before execution date, death row inmate speaks out” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times

— “CRC panel focused on constitutional rights starts narrowing focus” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

— “Report: Florida could offer sports betting in 7 years” via NBC-2.com

— “Nonprofit consultant Rob Panepinto announces run for Orange County mayor” via Stephen Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

— “How many Palm Beach mansions does a Wall Street tycoon need?” via Julie Reynolds of The Nation

— “Ballard Partners forms strategic alliance with European lobbying firm Alber & Geiger” via Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack.” —President Donald Trump, on the ground in Puerto Rico Tuesday, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights 

Wake Up Early?

The state Office of Supplier Diversity will host an event to help small-business owners better understand and seek state and local government contracts. It starts at 8:30 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, Building 3, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.

Three committees of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission are scheduled to meet:

— 9 a.m., Ethics and Elections Committee, 110 Senate Office Building;

— 10 a.m., Legislative branch Committee, 301 Senate Office Building;

—  2 p.m., Executive branch Committee, 401 Senate Office Building.

All are in the Capitol, Tallahassee.

The Florida Commission on Offender Review is scheduled to meet and discuss numerous parole cases related to crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s. That’s at 9 a.m., 4070 Esplanade Way (in the satellite state office complex in Southwood off Capital Circle Southeast), Tallahassee.

The Florida Board of Pharmacy is scheduled to meet in Orange County at 9 a.m., Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Dr., Orlando.

The state Agency for Persons with Disabilities will help host an event to recognize 10 businesses as “Florida Exceptional Employers” because of their histories of hiring and retaining people with disabilities. It begins at 9:30 a.m., City Commission chamber, Tallahassee City Hall, 300 South Adams St., Tallahassee.

Sen. Linda Stewart and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, both Democrats, will unveil proposed legislation to ban assault-style weapons in Florida at a news conference. That’s at 11 a.m. at the Orange County Courthouse, 425 N. Orange Ave., Orlando.

The Task Force on Involuntary Examination of Minors will discuss issues related to the use of the state’s “Baker Act” for minors. It’s at 1 p.m., Department of Children and Families, 1317 Winewood Blvd., Building 6, Tallahassee. The call-in number is (888) 670-3525 and the participant code is 9592874884.

The Florida Supreme Court will hold a ceremony to swear in new attorneys. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga is expected to administer the oath. That’s at 2:30 p.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 South Duval St., Tallahassee.

Is Adam Putnam indirectly in bed with Germany’s far-right?

In his bid for Florida governor, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has noticeably leaned right, a not-too-unsurprising move to appeal to base voters in a political landscape dominated by Donald Trump.

But aligning himself with the ad agency behind the unprecedented win for Germany’s far-right populist party? That is beyond the pale.

According to recent campaign finance reports, Putnam paid Austin-based Harris Media more than $76,000 for advertising.

According to the Washington Post, Harris – founded in 2008 by Vincent Harris – was on board with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which entered Parliament after the nation’s Sept. 24 elections. Harris was in charge of the populist group’s successful online advertising blitz.

As a result, AfD became Germany’s third biggest party, taking 13.3 percent of the total vote, with much of its support in the country’s former communist east side. The Guardian reported on German commentators calling the anti-Angela Merkel vote a “seismic shock” for the nation.

Stateside, Harris made its conservative bona fides with such firebrands as Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz, most notably working on the Texas Republican’s successful 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate.

In Florida, Harris had coordinated then-candidate Rick Scott‘s online communications in 2010 during his first bid for governor, going as far as opening a Tallahassee office and hiring Scott’s daughter, Allison Guimard, as vice president.

Moving to the right may be understandable for a primary race. But getting in bed with Harris Media and Germany’s radical far right? Say it ain’t so, Adam Putnam.

Ballard Partners forms strategic alliance with European lobbying firm Alber & Geiger

First it was Washington D.C., now it’s Europe.

Ballard Partners, the Florida-based government affairs firm with strong ties to President Donald Trump, has formed an international strategic alliance with Alber & Geiger, a political lobbying powerhouse in the European Union, in efforts to leverage both firms’ governmental expertise in their respective countries.

Ballard Partners is led by Brian Ballard, an early supporter of Trump who is also a regional vice chair of the Republican National Committee, where he helps leads the party’s fundraising.

In January, Ballard opened a Washington outpost of his lobbying operation and staffed it with a team with extensive ties to Trump and Republican-controlled D.C.

Susie Wiles was Trump’s senior adviser and Florida strategist. Dan McFaul previously served as legislative director and deputy press secretary for Congressman Joe Scarborough and staff member for the Trump transition team.

Another key member, Otto Reich is the former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela and served as special envoy for western hemisphere under President George W. Bush.

But don’t attribute the Ballard expansion to just the Trump presidency.

“It wasn’t ‘Oh, Donald Trump got elected president. Let’s go to Washington,’” Ballard told the Tallahassee Democrat. “We did a thorough analysis to see if we could add value to our clients … People realize the impact the firm had in shaping the Trump’s Florida campaign. That’s why folks are calling us.”

In its first quarter of operation, Ballard Partners brought in more than $2.3 million in compensation from federal clients, which include Amazon, Sprint and Uber.

The firm also represents Turkey and the ruling party of Albania.

Seeking to do more business with European interests is likely why Ballard has struck a partnership with Alber & Geiger, which has offices in Berlin, Brussels, London and Washington, D.C.

“Ballard Partners and Alber & Geiger share an unwavering dedication to the needs of our clients and a proven ability to influence top governmental decision makers, so our new strategic alliance is a natural next step for our firms,” said Ballard. “Our clients with international interests will benefit significantly from Alber & Geiger’s expertise and contacts in the EU, and we are pleased to form this mutually-beneficial partnership with such a reputable company.”

Alber & Geiger’s team combines former top EU officials, leading EU politicians and high-profile EU attorneys to represent clients’ interests on the highest diplomatic and political levels in Brussels and member states’ capitals.

The firm’s chairman, Siebert Alber, previously served as vice president of the European Parliament and advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The firm’s managing partner, Dr. Andreas Geiger, also touts an impressive career with notable positions including European President & CEO of U.S. lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates in Brussels and head of the EU Law Center for Ernst & Young.

“By aligning our two firms, we will be further equipped to continue helping our clients achieve their legislative and diplomatic goals,” added Geiger.

Andrew Gillum hires new finance director to ramp up fundraising

Andrew Gillum added a new finance director this week, as the Democrat gubernatorial candidate looks to spark fundraising after losing ground to opponents Gwen Graham and Chris King.

Akilah Ensley heads to the Gillum camp from Invictus Strategy Group, a political and nonprofit fundraising consulting shop she founded. Her past experience also includes a stint as deputy director of major gifts at the Truman National Security Project.

“Our campaign is thrilled to add Akilah R. Ensley, a nationally-recognized leader in Democratic politics and nonprofit causes, as our new finance director,” said Gillum communication director Geoff Burgan.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Gillum campaign, including numerous statewide campaigns in the Southeast. With the Democratic primary under a year away, her addition comes at a critical time, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be leading the charge as we run a strong people-powered campaign to take back Florida.”

Ensley does arrive at a crucial time.

While the Tallahassee mayor got off to a strong start on the fundraising trail, recent contributions — both to his campaign and his committee, “Forward Florida” — have slowed somewhat.

In March, his first month in the race, he brought in $241,000 for his campaign and another $428,000 through his committee.

After the initial excitement wore off, numbers dipped, but by the three-month mark, Gillum had raised $1.2 million. However, after the specter of an FBI investigation into the City of Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency, fundraising began to slow.

Gillum is not a target of the investigation, but his proximity to the case may have had a chilling effect on fundraising. An earlier investigation over the mayor’s use of city email software for campaign messages — although cleared of any wrongdoing — also hasn’t helped.

The campaign’s lowest point came in July after two weak fundraising months, which led to the loss of several high-level campaign staffers. Momentum slipped even further from Sept. 1 through Sept. 26 when the committee raised just $6,000, according to the Forward Florida website,

By August, the most recent month with full data available, contributions dropped to $75,000 combined, while spending came in at more than $125,000. Heading into September, Gillium had about $600,000 on hand, compared to about $2.5 million in the bank for Graham’s campaign and committee, $1.5 million on hand for King’s two accounts.

St. Pete Polls survey: Rick Baker slightly leading Rick Kriseman

Alright poll trolls, get ready to pounce.

The latest survey from St. Pete Polls of the city’s mayoral race has Rick Baker slightly ahead of Rick Kriseman, although statistically-speaking, the race is a virtual tie.

Baker received 46.0 percent of those surveyed Monday night while Kriseman garnered 45.3 percent. Just under nine percent of voters are unsure about who they support.

Baker, a former mayor who remained popular years after leaving office, led Kriseman in every public poll conducted during the primary phase of the campaign. In fact, St. Pete Polls final pre-election survey had Baker beating Kriseman by seven points.

But Kriseman wound up beating Baker by 69 votes, with both candidates garnering about 48 percent of the ballots in the non-partisan race.

The dead heat, with neither candidate capturing more than 50 percent of the votes, has forced a Nov. 7 runoff.

After Kriseman’s surprising first-place finish, his supporters took to social media to savage St. Pete Polls, even though the firm’s tracking of the race was mostly accurate. Election results showed Baker winning the early voting period, but Kriseman taking Election Day. Because St. Pete Polls’ final survey was conducted a week before the election, it did not account for Kriseman’s last-minute surge.

This is the first public poll of the race conducted after the city, like the rest of Florida, was impacted by Hurricane Irma. Campaigning by both Kriseman and Baker had all but been suspended during the week before and after the devastating storm hit the state.

The poll has a sample size of 1,012 voters, with a 3.1 percent margin of error. St. Pete Polls’ Matt Florell notes in the methodology that the results of this poll were weighted to account for proportional differences between the respondents’ demographics and the demographics of those who voted in the primary.

This poll was not commissioned by Florida Politics.

Breaking down the numbers, it would appear Kriseman is now firmly in command of the black vote, leading that demographic 46 to 38 percent. For much of the primary, Kriseman trailed Baker among black voters. But the recent controversy about President Donald Trump’s remarks in response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — and Baker’s refusal to say whether he had voted for Trump — have almost definitely hurt the Republican candidate.

Baker’s support from the black community also may be undercut by an endorsement former President Barack Obama gave to Kriseman the Friday before the election.

There’s an interesting phenomenon happening in the male/female numbers. Kriseman is leading Baker among men, while the former mayor is leading the incumbent among women. The leads are not huge — just four or five points in each case — but they defy traditional assumptions about men identifying with the more conservative candidate and women rallying to the Democratic-leadning candidate.

In advance of the 2018 elections, Democrats have targeted not only the St. Pete mayoral race but a key special election in Miami-Dade to replace former Sen. Frank Artiles, a Republican who was forced to resign in April after a profanity- and racially-tinged tirade at a private club near the Capitol.

Last week, Democrat Annette Taddeo defeated Republican Jose Felix Diaz for that Senate District 40 seat.

Content from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

AHCA extends premium deadline for KidCare families

State health agencies are relaxing premium deadlines this month for the state’s KidCare programs, giving the many low-income families in the system a little room to breathe post-Irma.

The Agency for Health Care Administration announced the extension along with the Florida Department of Health Children’s Medical Services (CMS) and Florida Healthy Kids Corporation in a Monday press release.

AHCA said families with a KidCare beneficiary who live in one of the 48 counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration as eligible for individual assistance will have until the last day of the month to pay October’s premium.

Upon payment, families will have KidCare coverage restored back to Oct. 1.

The counties FEMA lists as eligible are: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union and Volusia.

KidCare provides free, subsidized or full-cost health coverage for Florida children through one of four programs, depending on their family’s income and household size.

AHCA said extension applies to MediKids, which covers children from 1 to 4 years old, and Florida Healthy Kids for children ages 5 through 18. The CMS Managed Care Plan, which covers the state’s most medically complex children from birth to adulthood, is also included.

Florida KidCare also oversees Florida children enrolled in Medicaid, though Medicaid recipients do not pay a monthly premium for coverage.

KidCare says most participants are not charged a premium for coverage, and those who are typically pay between $15 and $20 a month. Florida KidCare accepts premium payments online, and charges a convenience fee for the privilege, but as of Monday night there was no information regarding the deadline extension on the website’s front page or any of the stops leading to the online payment page.

Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics – 10.3.17

Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.

Florida’s elected officials reacted on Twitter to the Las Vegas shooting that left 59 people dead and wounding more than 500. Here’s a selection:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson): “Thoughts & prayers are with the victims of this horrific attack. At some point we, as a society, have to stand up and say enough is enough.”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio‏ (@marcorubio): “I’m praying for all the victims, their families, and our first responders in the #LasVegas #MandalayBay shooting.”

Gov. Rick Scott‏ (@FLGovScott) “.@FLAnnScott and I are praying for Las Vegas and all the innocent lives senselessly taken.”

Attorney General Pam Bondi (@AGPamBondi): “Heartbreaking news out of Las Vegas — praying for the victims, their families and our country.”

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (@adamputnam): “Terribly saddened to wake up to news of so many killed & injured in Las Vegas. Prayers for all at the scene, their families & loved ones.”

CFO Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis): “50 lives are lost, 200+ are injured and countless families are changed forever. Praying for all involved in last night’s Las Vegas shooting.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran‏ (@richardcorcoran): “Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the victims and families of the tragedy in Las Vegas. #PrayForLasVegas”

“Rick Scott orders flags at half-staff for Las Vegas shooting victims” via Florida Politics – Gov. Scott Monday has ordered flags at half-staff “in honor and remembrance of the victims of the act of violence committed in Las Vegas during the late-night hours of Oct. 1.” The U.S. and state flags will be flown at half-staff “at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida,” according to a statement from his office. “The flags shall be lowered immediately and remain at half-staff until the expiration of the President’s national directive until sunset on Friday.” “Ann and I are praying for Las Vegas and all the innocent lives senselessly taken in this tragic attack,” Scott said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to every family impacted by last night’s shooting.” President Donald Trump‘s proclamation is here.

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— THERE’S ALWAYS A FLORIDA ANGLE —

Accused Las Vegas gunman previously lived in Central Florida, brother says” via David Harris and Michael Williams of the Orlando Sentinel – “An asteroid just fell out of the sky,” said Eric Paddock, 57, who lives east of Orlando. “We have absolutely no [idea] why in the world he would do something like this.” Paddock said his brother sold his 2-year-old house in Viera, north of Melbourne, and moved away partly to escape Florida’s humidity. He lived in a retirement community in Mesquite, near the Arizona border, The Associated Press reported. Like his son, Stephen Paddock’s father also had ties to crime, gambling and Las Vegas. Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, who sometimes went by Patrick Benjamin Paddock, was a bank robber who was put on the FBI’s most-wanted list in 1969. A former garbage-disposal salesman and serviceman, according to a 1960 article by the Arizona Republic, he was arrested in Las Vegas that year and tried to run an FBI agent over with his car before he was captured. He made the list after escaping from a federal prison in La Tuna, Texas, on Dec. 31, 1968, having served eight years of a 20-year sentence. The FBI at the time described Hoskins Paddock as a frequent gambler and avid bridge player. He had a wife and four children in Arizona, officials said in 1969.

Vegas gunman was gambler, ‘trusting,’ Brevard neighbor says” via Eliot Kleinberg, Julius Whigham II and Olivia Hitchcock of the Palm Beach Post – Retired hotelier and corporate pilot Don Judy was surprised in 2013 when he went to welcome Stephen Paddock, his new neighbor at their community near Melbourne on the Space Coast. Paddock told him he was a professional gambler who traveled back and forth to Las Vegas, as well as a real-estate speculator. Right away, he said, the man handed him a house key and asked him to check on his home periodically. “That was strange because that was only our first meeting,” Judy told The Palm Beach Post … Judy said Paddock “never said anything about guns” and that the only time Judy saw anything close to anger was when the neighborhood management firm refused to give Paddock a gate pass he could transfer between the different rental cars he’d arrive in. He was denied, meaning he needed to register each car separately. “He said, ‘Dang it. They won’t give me a pass.’” He also said that when Paddock first gave him the house key, he told him, “‘Listen. I’ve bought all this new stuff. Shop-Vac, ladders, tools. If you need anything, feel free to come over.’ I thought, ‘Wow. The guy’s very trusting.’

Kathy Castor: Too many suffer from ‘our country’s gun violence epidemic’” via the Tampa Bay Reporter – “I am shocked and saddened by the horrific act of gun violence in Las Vegas. I am praying for the victims and their families and know many across the Tampa Bay area are doing the same. Day in and day out, too many American families suffer the consequences of our country’s gun violence epidemic. Certainly, we can come together to pass common-sense safety requirements such as background checks and limits on civilian use of military-style weapons, and to enforce the laws on the books. The sorrow that I and so many around the country feel for the innocent men and women whose lives were cruelly cut short by this heartless act of domestic terrorism is immeasurable. We will never allow these acts of terror to control us – but after so many lives lost around our country for so long by public acts of gun violence, we must ask ourselves why this is allowed to continue. We owe it to the victims of these horrible acts of gun violence to take steps that will ensure more innocent lives are not lost to future tragedies.”

Pride Fund blames legislators for lack of gun controls” via Terry Roen of Orlando Rising – The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence chastised lawmakers for failing to ensure citizen’s safety following the shooting in Las Vegas. Another day, another deadly shooting in America,” said a statement released by Jason Lindsay, executive director and founder of the Pride Fund. “Last night’s massacre is another reminder that no one is safe when access to guns is so easy. We’re heartbroken and horrified for those involved as well as the community as a whole.” The nonprofit supports requiring background checks for all gun sales, prohibiting suspected terrorists from purchasing guns and high-capacity magazines, preventing those convicted of hate crimes from purchasing guns, undertaking federally-funded research on gun violence, and restricting access to assault weapons, like the ones used in Sunday night’s shooting “No other country faces the daily onslaught of shootings and murders that the United States does, where 93 people are killed every day by gun violence,” the statement said. “For too long, lawmakers have failed in their responsibility to ensure the public safety by not taking action.”

— “How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter” via Abby Ohlheiser of The Washington Post

— “Las Vegas shooting: Orlando-area doctor hid in store closet for an hour” via Naseem S. Miller of the Orlando Sentinel

— “Two Sarasota women witness horror during Las Vegas shooting” via John Rogers of WFLA

— STORMS —

Puerto Rico is getting a surge of aid, governor says” via Richard Fausset of The New York Times – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told reporters that over the next two days, more than half a million barrels of diesel fuel and nearly a million barrels of gasoline would reach Puerto Rico. The fuel is badly needed to power emergency generators and to distribute food and other supplies across the island. Rosselló said that the Defense Department had increased its footprint on Puerto Rico to 6,400 people, from roughly 4,600 two days earlier, with more coming, and that other federal agencies were also sending more staff to aid in the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria … The Trump administration’s response to the disaster has become a heated political issue. Some Puerto Rican officials, including the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, have made televised pleas for a faster and more robust response. Others, like the governor, have spoken more positively about federal efforts.

Rick Scott declares emergency amid Puerto Rico crisis” via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida Scott issued the executive order for all 67 counties to help accommodate people who relocate to Florida due to Hurricane Maria. The executive order includes a series of steps to help prepare for an influx of people from the U.S. territory. For example, it allows the suspension of state laws, rules and orders that could be tied to the emergency and designates Wesley Maul, interim executive director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, as coordinator of the state’s response to the crisis. Also, it directs that public shelters be made available at the request of local emergency-management officials and allows pharmacists to dispense up to 30-day emergency supplies of prescriptions to evacuees. The order allows “sufficient funds’ be made available from unappropriated surplus funds and the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund. It also bars businesses from selling or renting “at an unconscionable price” supplies, equipment or provisions related to the emergency.

Puerto Rico exodus begun; groups struggling to help” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – Monday morning there was a line through the parking lot at the Puerto Rico Family Response Center in Orlando: Puerto Rican families waiting for it to open to offer relocation help in Florida, and LatinoLeadership Inc. President Marytza Senz, who is running the ad hoc center, said she also took 40 calls by 7:30 a.m. That’s in addition to the 150 or more calls that came in over the weekend, she said. “We are overwhelmed,” Senz said … Gov. Scott announced that the state would be opening Puerto Rico disaster relief centers at Orlando International Airport and in Miami to help the still-unestimated number of islanders who are or will be fleeing to Florida … Other agencies are gearing up too, along with various churches and civic groups. Yet coordination and red-tape management are already adding to more fundamental problems, like families who once had decent lives showing up in the Sunshine State not just without paperwork, but in some cases without an extra set of clothes. LatinoLeadership and the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have established the Puerto Rico Family Response Center at LatinoLeadership’s modest and hard-to-find center at 8617 E. Colonial Dr.

More than 8,000 stand in line for emergency food assistance from Hurricane Irma losses” via Jason Ruiter of the Orlando Sentinel – The center for Lake and Sumter counties opened Saturday — the first in Central Florida — and will take applications through Wednesday. More than 8,000 people signed up by Monday afternoon. Food for Florida will open locations Saturday at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee and Oct. 21 at Orlando Live Events in Casselberry and Camping World Stadium in Orlando, where officials expect about 10,000 applicants a day. Each center will be open for five days. Bill D’Aiuto, regional director for the Florida Department of Children and Families, which is handling the program, said there were “a lot of tears of joy” at the Leesburg site from people who will receive benefits to help them get back on their feet after Irma. “We’ve heard from some that this is the first help they’ve received since the storm,” he said.

Curfew lifted in Florida Keys three weeks after Hurricane Irma” via The Associated Press – Monroe County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said in a news release that sheriff’s deputies will be actively patrolling residential neighborhoods and keeping an eye out for suspicious people and suspicious activity. Officials in the Keys have also reopened to visitors three weeks after Irma devastated the island chain. Airline and cruise ship traffic has returned to Key West and traffic is flowing on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway.

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— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —

“Gambling amendment now has 600,000 signatures” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – A proposed constitutional amendment aimed at limiting gambling’s expansion in the state now has more than 600,000 signatures, its backers said Monday. Voters in Charge, the political committee behind the amendment, said it’s “over halfway towards its goal of gathering 1.1 million signatures in order to reach the required number of 766,200 valid petitions to appear on the 2018 General Election ballot.” As of Monday, Division of Elections records show the “Voter Control of Gambling” amendment officially has 274,282 verified signatures. “Tens of thousands of Floridians are signing our petition each week and we are on track to accomplish our goal of securing enough signatures for ballot placement by year’s end,” said John Sowinski, chairman of Voters in Charge.

Andrew Gillum hires new finance director to ramp up fundraising” via Florida PoliticsAkilah Ensley heads to the Gillum camp from Invictus Strategy Group, a political and nonprofit fundraising consulting shop she founded. Her past experience also includes a stint as deputy director of major gifts at the Truman National Security Project. “Our campaign is thrilled to add Akilah R. Ensley, a nationally-recognized leader in Democratic politics and nonprofit causes, as our new Finance Director,” said Gillum communication director Geoff Burgan. “She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Gillum campaign, including numerous statewide campaigns in the Southeast. With the Democratic primary under a year away, her addition comes at a critical time, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be leading the charge as we run a strong people-powered campaign to take back Florida.” Ensley does arrive at a crucial time. While the Tallahassee mayor got off to a strong start on the fundraising trail, recent contributions — both to his campaign and his committee, “Forward Florida” — have slowed somewhat.

Democrat Lauren Baer announces run for CD 18” via Ali Schmitz of TCPalmBaer, a Democrat from Palm Beach Gardens, announced her run for Florida’s District 18 congressional seat … occupied by Republican Rep. Brian Mast. Baer served as a senior adviser for Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She also advised former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. She currently works as a consultant for the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Her key issues include job creation and economic policies that “preserve and expand the middle class,” environmental issues, improving public education and health care. If Baer wins, she would be the second person in American history to be in a same-sex marriage while in Congress. She and her wife, Emily Meyers, have an 11-month-old daughter.

Meanwhile … “Dave Aronberg won’t seek Brian Mast seat” via Aronberg ended speculation that he might be induced to challenge Mast. “I’m focused on the opioid epidemic and a number of important issues as State Attorney, and so I have no intention of running for any other office in 2018,” Aronberg told The Palm Beach Post.

Attack mailers target House candidate Yvonne Fry” via William March of the Tampa Bay Times –The attacks on Fry seek to tar her as a “liberal” in the conservative district, citing her support for a referendum on the Go Hillsborough transit tax proposal, her supposed opposition to oil and gas fracking in Florida, and her opposition to a proposal by the Legislature for a referendum on increasing the homestead tax exemption. Fry’s campaign consultant, Brock Mikosky, blamed [opponent Lawrence] McClure‘s consultant, Anthony Pedicini, for the attacks, but suggested McClure must have known about them. Pedicini, who has extensive ties to the state Republican Party and GOP legislative leadership, has been linked in the past to the use of outside committees to attack political opponents. McClure denied any knowledge of the attacks and said he considered them inappropriate. But Pedicini didn’t specifically deny Mikosky’s accusation. “The Yvonne Fry campaign needs to stop lying about things,” he responded via text message, declining to answer further questions. McClure said he intended to question Pedicini about that but hadn’t done so by mid-week.

Second Democrat files to take over for Bill Hager” via Florida PoliticsJames Bonfiglio, an Ocean Ridge resident, filed paperwork to run for the Palm Beach County district on Sept. 18. He joins Ryan Rossi, who filed May 1, in the Democratic Primary for the race. Bonfiglio graduated from the Loyola University School of Law in 1979 and was admitted to the Florida Bar shortly after, according to his website for his law firm. Also running for the seat are Republicans Matt Spritz and Tommy Zeichman, who are both attorneys.

Bob Rommel draws NPA challenger in House District 106” via Florida PoliticsKristopher Knudson, a resident of Marco Island, filed for the seat in late July … through the end of August he had raised $150 for his campaign … $50 of that money came from Laura Knudson, who lists her occupation as “waitress/wife to candidate” on the official finance report. The other $100 came from James Corley, a retiree from Champaign, Illinois, who also appears to be close with Knudson. Despite the 27-year-old candidate’s only two contributions coming from friends and family, his campaign lists a $5.20 expenditure for accepting a donation through fundraising support company Stripe.

— “Jack Miles endorses Stockton Reeves in HD 47 race” via Scott Powers of Orlando Rising

— D.C. MATTERS —

Congressman duped into holding sham hearing for Ukrainian TV” via Betsy Woodruff and Andrew Desiderio of The Daily Beast – Former Rep. Connie Mackreached out to the office of Rep. Ron Estes — a freshman lawmaker who won the special election to replace CIA Director Mike Pompeo — to reserve a room in the basement of the Capitol for an event on the Ukrainian banking sector … the fake “hearing” was broadcast in full on Ukraine’s NewsOne and described to viewers as the “U.S. Congressional Committee on Financial Issues.” But not a single member of Congress attended. The network teased the “shocking details” about the “highest levels of corruption in the NBU,” referring to the National Bank of Ukraine. Panelists at the event included Sergiy Taruta, a former politician in Ukraine, Oleksandr Zavadetskyi, a former NBU employee, and James Woolsey, the former CIA director under President Bill Clinton who also served as an adviser to President Trump’s campaign. A pamphlet handed out to attendees was evaluated by a Ukrainian fact-checking website as having “mostly correct” data about the NBU but “manipulated in almost all occasions.” Estes’ office told The Daily Beast that the congressman had nothing to do with the event, and that they reserved the room “as a courtesy” for Mack, who is now a registered lobbyist at Liberty International Group, “to host an event on allegations of corruption in Ukraine.” An Estes spokesman added that the office policy for booking rooms has been updated to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Rick Scott, Florida delegation continue to push against the Maduro regime” via Kevin Derby of the Sunshine State News – Appearing at the 2017 Latin American Summit … Scott announced he would bring out a proposal for the Legislature to vote on early next year ensuring state agencies do not do business with companies working with the Maduro regime. This is not the first time Scott has proposed the state government should not work with supporters of the Maduro regime. In the meantime, on Capitol Hill, a proposal backed by a key South Florida Republican offering aid to the Venezuelan people continues to build momentum. U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel the top Democrat on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who used to chair that committee, are championing the “Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act” which would make the State Department and USAID Administrator provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people. The proposal would also make the American ambassador to the U.N. push that body for assistance for the Venezuelan people. Engel and Ros-Lehtinen have the support of nine other members of the Florida delegation as Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis and Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrats U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Darren Soto and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are co-sponsoring the proposal.

Behind ‘grassroots’ campaigns over Airbnb, millions of industry dollars” via Chris Kirkham of the Wall Street Journal – The stakes are high: Closely held Airbnb has a $31 billion valuation … and has more than doubled its worldwide listings over the last two years. The hotel industry stands to lose market share as Airbnb continues to grow. A Morgan Stanley report last year found that nearly half of Airbnb users surveyed said they had substituted Airbnb for a traditional hotel during their travels in the last year. While many top hotel executives have sought to downplay the threat posed by Airbnb, the industry’s lobbying group has sharpened its attack and developed publicity campaigns with affordable housing advocates and other neighborhood groups to sway policy makers. Meanwhile, Airbnb has organized residents who use the platform to show up at local hearings, where they stress how it provides them crucial supplemental income. “As far as the resources going toward this issue, I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson. Troy Flanagan, vice president of state and local government affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said its relationships with local advocates are “partnerships in a coalition setting,” while Airbnb’s approach is to flood city and state government with professional lobbyists. “Just by the sheer number of corporate employees and lobbyists they have walking in city halls and state legislatures, they’re up there with Wal-Mart,” he said.

— STATEWIDE —

Assignment editors – Gov. Scott will address Florida business leaders starting at 9 a.m. at the Gulf Power Economic Symposium at the Baytowne Conference Center, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. in Miramar Beach. At 3 p.m., the governor will then visit volunteers in Orlando at the American Red Cross distribution warehouse at 2200 Consulate Dr. in Orlando.

OJ Simpson’s lawyer blasts Pam Bondi as ‘stupid,’ says Simpson definitely coming to Florida” via Christopher Spata of the Tampa Bay Times Simpson‘s lawyer Malcolm Lavergne is outraged with Florida Attorney General Bondi, blasting her as “possibly the stupidest person on the planet’ … “What a complete stupid b—-. F— her,” Lavergne said in an incensed interview … “She has zero standing to even talk about Mr. Simpson’s case. She’s the attorney general, she has nothing to do with it. It’s virtually a foregone conclusion that Simpson will be moving to Florida when he chooses and once Nevada approves it. That’s handled by the Nevada Division of Parole and Florida department of corrections, not the attorney general.” Lavergne said Simpson plans to live in a private location in Nevada for probably the next few months before requesting transfer to Florida. Lavergne argued Simpson has a right to move to Florida under the rules of the Interstate Compact, which says states must automatically accept transfers if certain criteria are met, such as the offender being a resident of the receiving state, having family in that state and having means to support themselves.

Pam Bondi urges collaboration at human trafficking summit” via Terry Roen of Orlando Rising Bondi stressed the importance of global collaboration to end sexual slavery during opening remarks at Florida’s Human Trafficking Summit in Orlando. “If we don’t tackle this worldwide, we’ll never solve the problem,” Bondi said. “This is a transnational crime and a worldwide problem.” Bondi spoke to an audience of more than 500 attendees that included law enforcement, service providers, human trafficking survivors, health care professionals, educators, legislators and community leaders during the summit at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Bondi urged corporations, businesses, hospitals and schools to train their employees and students about how to recognize human trafficking. She pointed to an Uber driver that noticed in his rearview mirror that an older man and young girl did not look right. His call to law enforcement ended a human trafficking ring, she said. Uber is now training its 40,000 drivers on the signs of sexual coercion and abuse.

What Mike Grissom is reading –Enterprise Florida could give employee pay raises” via the News Service of Florida –  President and CEO Pete Antonacci advised members of the agency’s Finance and Compensation Committee of recommended increases as a way to keep employee salaries competitive with the private market. “Salary adjustments were recommended for retention and marketplace competition purposes,” Enterprise Florida spokesman Nathan Edwards said in an email. The proposal must still go before Enterprise Florida’s Executive Board, which has not set a date for its next meeting. Antonacci … previously recommended against using a bonus program that was approved under his predecessor. In August, Scott sent a letter to the members of the boards of directors at Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA outlining his opposition to employee bonuses at both agencies. “Employees are the key to success in any organization,” Scott, who serves as chairman of Enterprise Florida board, said in the letter. “But, after a long legislative session where the spending at these organizations was greatly debated, I do not believe that employee compensation should include bonuses at this time.”

Tallahassee gets more time to ready Scott Maddox records for FBI” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat – The city of Tallahassee has asked the FBI for more time to produce thousands of pages of documents involving communications of City Commissioner Maddox and some of his closest former and current associates. City Attorney Lew Shelley said the FBI granted the request. The subpoena, issued Sept. 6, asked that the records be delivered to a federal grand jury meeting at the U.S. District Courthouse in Tallahassee or to the FBI’s local office. “The city attorney has been in conversation with the FBI and the FBI has agreed to extend the time to provide the documents requested by the subpoena,” Shelley said in an email. “The city attorney will be in further conversation with the FBI at the end of the week as to when the documents will be provided.

— “Beach bigwigs gave $200k to a shadowy PAC. Now, they want a refund.” via Nicholas Nehamas, Joey Flechas and David Ovalle of the Miami Herald

Florida has 40 of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.” via Sarah Elsesser of the Palm Beach Post – WalletHub looked at 515 cities across the United States and compared them based on 15 key measurements including population growth, unemployment rate and income growth. Out of the 515 cities, 40 of them were located in Florida, the studied reported. Lehigh Acres came in third on the overall ranking. Fort Myers (7), Cape Coral (15) and Boynton Beach (19) made the cut for the Top 20, according to the study. WalletHub also broke down more specific rankings – such as highest poverty rate decrease and highest job growth – and Fort Myers was on both of those lists.

— CAPITOL INSIGHT —

Assignment editor: Senate President Joe Negron and DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein will visit the Caulkins Water Farm Expansion in Martin County on Tuesday, then hold a press conference to discuss its expansion from its existing 413 acres to 3,200 acres. That’s 10 a.m., at 14100-15484 SW Citrus Blvd., Palm City.

“Constitutional panel moves two public proposals” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) on Monday moved forward on two public proposals to amend the state’s governing document: One to close the “write-in loophole,” and another to repeal a provision on high speed rail. The next chance for commissioners to directly sponsor public proposals will be on Oct. 17, during another meeting of the full Commission. Commissioners also adopted a recommendation from their Rules Committee to extend the public filing deadline to this Friday because of Hurricane Irma … At Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Sherry Plymale sponsored a public proposal turned in by former lawmaker and now Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. It would open primary elections to all voters in which a major-party candidate has only write-in opposition … Also, Commissioner Carolyn Timmann sponsored another public proposal to remove subsequently repealed language in the constitution that mandated a high-speed rail system in the state.

Happening today – CRC panels at work – Two committees of the CRC will hold meetings, beginning with the Declaration of Rights Committee at 9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building in the Capitol. The Judicial Committee meets at 1 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building in the Capitol.

“Rob Bradley seeks to beef up Florida Forever” via Florida Politics – The Fleming Island Republican filed a bill (SB 370) in the state Senate to put $100 million a year into the Florida Forever land acquisition fund. The Department of Environmental Protection has asked for $50 million for Florida Forever in next year’s state budget. The current 2017-2018 state budget included nothing for the program. “As a conservative, I believe in absolute fidelity to the Constitution,” Bradley said in a statement. “I am filing this bill because the Constitution demands, and the overwhelming majority of Floridians who voted for Amendment One in 2014 demand, that we protect the natural resources of our state.” The bill appropriates funds under Amendment One, passed in 2014, that mandates state spending for land and water conservation. Bradley chairs the chamber’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation committee.

Proposal seeks to ensure nursing home air conditioning” via the News Service of Florida – Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Chairman Rene Garcia filed the measure … It is the second Senate bill seeking to address the air conditioning issue, which has drawn national attention since the Sept. 13 deaths of eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Four other residents subsequently died. Garcia’s bill … would require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have emergency power sources and fuel supplies that would last at least four days. To meet that requirement, facilities could store generators and fuel supplies on-site or contract with companies that could provide them in a “timely” manner when requested. The bill also would require the Florida Public Service Commission to ensure that electric utilities prioritize restoration of electricity to medical facilities with 50 residents or more, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

“Grower asks state for edible cannabis rules” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Surterra Wellness, the Atlanta-based company with medical cannabis dispensaries in Tampa and Tallahassee, on Monday asked the state to let it begin offering edible products in Florida. Voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical cannabis, and lawmakers passed legislation in June to implement the amendment. That bill allows patients to use cannabis pills, oils, edibles and “vape” pens with a doctor’s approval, but it bans smoking. Florida law requires the state’s Department of Health to determine “any shapes, forms” edible products can take and what other ingredients they can contain. No medical marijuana provider can offer edibles after the rule goes out.

Happening today – Board of Governors committees meet in Lee County – The Florida University System Board of Governors’ Facilities and the Budget & Finance Committees will meet beginning 9 a.m. at Florida Gulf Coast University Cohen Center, 10501 FGCU Blvd. South in Fort Myers.

Public Service Commission meets, workshops – The Florida PSC will hold a regular meeting, followed by a workshop about electric utilities’ 10-year site plans beginning 9:30 a.m. At the Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way in Tallahassee.

— MOVEMENTS —

“Senate Victory names new executive director” via Florida Politics – Longtime Democratic operative Josh Weierbach has been bumped up to the executive director gig at the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, still colloquially known as Senate Victory, the fundraising panel to elect D’s to the Senate. It’s chaired by Sen. Jeff Clemens. Weierbach, 30, has been Senate Victory’s political director for two years and came through big time during the SD 40 special election last week, which saw Annette Taddeo flip the seat in a surprise 4-point victory over Jose Felix Diaz. His socko performance under pressure in that hard-fought Miami-Dade contest earned him plenty of praise, with one insider describing him as an “air traffic controller and always one of the coolest heads in the room.” In 2015, FloridaPolitics.com named Weierbach one of its “30 under 30” rising stars of Florida politics, saying at the time he “is no armchair quarterback, disinterestedly watching elections play out from afar: He spends his time on the front lines of Florida politics.”

Jason Altmire’s new book, ‘Dead Center,’ out today via Florida PoliticsAltmire, a Democrat and former Pennsylvania congressman, said Bill Nelson, Kathy Castor, Ted Yoho and Vern Buchanan are mentioned in the book, which includes a discussion about Florida’s ban on campaign contributions during legislative session. “The introduction to the book focuses on the extreme political reactions to the Pulse nightclub shooting,” he told Florida Politics. “I also highlight the great work done by the Bob Graham Center at UF.“ The Amazon link is here and info about the book can be found on his website, www.jasonaltmire.com. Altmire, a Keystone State native known as a centrist Democrat, represented western Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District.

On this week’s edition of The Rotunda – Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks out on the city’s mysterious FBI investigation that he says is making a direct impact on his campaign for governor. The Rotunda host Trimmel Gomes also travels back in time with Democratic Senator-elect Annette Taddeo to her early pledge to never give up after losing three previous elections. Democratic Consultant Steve Schale weighs in on the latest political storms and victories. Plus Gomes looks into a new report that claims Florida’s Public Service Commission has been “Captured” by the utility industry. Ben Wilcox, research director of Integrity Florida and a co-author of the report discusses the reports’ findings.

Happy birthday to Sen. Travis Hutson.

Last Call for 10.2.17 – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

No longer a lawmaker, Jose Felix Diaz says he’s now back to being a full-time lawyer—and dad.

The Miami-Dade Republican spoke to capital correspondent Jim Rosica after Monday’s meeting of the Constitution Revision Commission. Diaz, a former state representative, was appointed to the body by Speaker Richard Corcoran when he was still in the House.

The 37-year-old attorney lost a special election to succeed former Sen. Frank Artiles in Senate District 40 last week. Diaz lost by a roughly 51-47 margin to incoming Democrat Annette Taddeo, who’ll be sworn in next Tuesday.

“Right now, my immediate focus is re-establishing my legal practice, working as a member of the Constitution Revision Commission, and spending a lot more time with my kids,” said Diaz, father of two sons. “This weekend, we took them to Disney … Maybe we’ll take them to some spring training games.”

When Diaz realized he had lost, “I was at peace with it immediately,” he said. “It was my first (political) loss, so it’s an unusual feeling … We obviously knew going in that it was a (district) (Donald) Trump lost by 16 points” last year.

But Diaz says he feels like he “left it all on the field,” a sports saying meaning to give it all one’s got. “As soon as I lost, I started getting a lot of calls from people with suggestions as to what I should do next. Right now, thinking again about running for office is a long way off.”

For now, he’s getting back into practicing law at the Akerman law firm, where he handles local government matters, including zoning and land use permitting cases.

“I have enough clients to keep me busy for a while,” Diaz said. “The last couple of months have set me back on billable hours, so it’s an opportunity to catch up. I’m going to focus on being a better lawyer and an even better father.”

Evening Reads

Gun stocks up after Las Vegas shooting” via Paul La Monica of CNN

Accused Las Vegas gunman previously lived in Central Florida, brother says” via David Harris and Michael Williams of the Orlando Sentinel

Vegas gunman was gambler, ‘trusting,’ Brevard neighbor says” via Eliot Kleinberg, Melanie Mena and Olivia Hitchcock of the Palm Beach Post

Las Vegas shooter’s former neighbors in Viera: ‘He seemed normal’” via Tess Sheets and Wayne Price of Florida Today

Las Vegas shooting reminds Orlando of Pulse massacre” via Jeff Weiner of Orlando Sentinel

Florida will open three disaster aid centers for Puerto Rico’s evacuees” via Steve Bousquet and Patricia Mazzei of the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau

Curfew lifted in Keys 3 weeks after Irma” via the Associated Press

Behind ‘grassroots’ campaigns over Airbnb, millions of industry dollars” via Chris Kirkham of the Wall Street Journal

Tallahassee gets more time to ready Scott Maddox records for FBI” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat

Tom Petty, rock iconoclast who led the Heartbreakers, dead at 66” via Kory Grow of Rolling Stone

Quote of the Day

“The fact that he had those kind of weapons is just — where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background or anything like that. He’s a guy who lived in a house in Mesquite and drove down and gambled in Las Vegas.” —Eric Paddock of Orlando, Fla., brother of alleged Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, in a Monday interview with CBS.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights 

Wake Up Early?

The Declaration of Rights Committee of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission is scheduled to meet. That’s at 9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol, Tallahassee.

The Facilities Committee and the Budget & Finance Committee of the State University System Board of Governors will meet in Lee County. The meeting is 9 a.m., Florida Gulf Coast University, Cohen Center, 10501 FGCU Blvd. South, Fort Myers.

The Legislative Committee of the Florida Commission on Ethics is scheduled to meet 9 a.m., at Commission on Ethics headquarters, 325 John Knox Road, Tallahassee.

Sen. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican, is expected to discuss the importance of financial literacy during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a VyStar Credit Union branch at a high school. The ceremony begins 9:20 a.m., Fletcher High School, 700 Seagate Ave., Neptune Beach.

The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a regular meeting, followed by a workshop about electric utilities’ 10-year site plans. It is at 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.

Senate President Joe Negron and DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein will visit the Caulkins Water Farm Expansion in Martin County on Tuesday, then hold a press conference to discuss its expansion from its existing 413 acres to 3,200 acres. That’s 10 a.m., at 14100-15484 SW Citrus Blvd., Palm City.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is scheduled to deliver remarks at the sixth annual Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute’s (CHLI) Trade and International Affairs Symposium. That’s at 1 p.m., The Embassy of Canada, 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

The Judicial Committee of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission is scheduled to meet. That’s at 1 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol, Tallahassee.

The Florida Board of Pharmacy is scheduled to meet in Orange County. The meeting is 1:30 p.m., Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Dr., Orlando.

The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine is scheduled to hold a conference call at 4:30 p.m. The call-in number is (888) 670-3525, and the participant code is 660 748 5549.

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