Adam Putnam – Page 4 – Florida Politics

Gwen Graham gets Bob Butterworth’s backing in governor’s race

Bob Butterworth, Florida’s longest-serving Attorney General, has endorsed Gwen Graham for Governor, her campaign announced Monday.

Butterworth, whose tenure lasted from 1987 through 2002, cited Graham’s plan to hold drug companies accountable for fueling the opioid crisis.

“Gwen Graham is the only candidate for governor who has put forward an actionable plan to hold drug companies accountable and to end the opioid epidemic. Gwen understands Florida can’t arrest our way out of this crisis. The state must stop it at its source,” Butterworth stated in a news release issued by Graham’s campaign. “Just as Florida led the nation in taking on big tobacco, Gwen isn’t afraid to take on any industry or special interests and she will lead our state in taking on the drug companies fueling addiction in Florida.”

As the state’s top cop, Butterworth led Florida’s lawsuit against the tobacco industry, which set a national example and resulted in an $11 billion settlement for the state. In addition to four terms as Attorney General, Butterworth also served as Broward County sheriff, a judge, and secretary of the Department of Children and Families.

Graham faces former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park businessman Chris King in the Democratic primary contest. The leading Republicans are U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“Bob Butterworth has dedicated his life to protecting equal justice and Florida families. I’m honored to have his endorsement,” Graham stated. “As governor, I will stand up to the corporations and special interests harming our state. I will sue the drug companies, protect Florida’s children and take on the NRA to pass common-sense gun regulations.”

In twilight of their time in office, daylight emerges between Rick Scott, Adam Putnam

Governor Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are in the twilight of their current tenures.

Putnam wants to replace Scott and has been vocal in criticisms of Scott policy.

Putnam vowed to bring back the drug czar position that Scott eliminated after he took office in 2011, although the commissioner was quick to point out that Scott didn’t “drop the ball” on the drug war in the Sunshine State, opioid crisis notwithstanding.

Putnam said he couldn’t have signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act as it was, though he added that if he were to be elected Governor, the self-proclaimed “NRA sellout” would enforce the law that has led to a lawsuit from the gun group, and a ritual defenestration of House Speaker Richard Corcoran for pushing the gun control bill through.

Florida Politics asked Scott about Putnam’s deviations from administration policy, including whether he regretted cutting the drug czar position (a question he sidestepped).

“With regard to the opioid crisis,” Scott said, “it’s horrible what happened. We have so many people who have lost their lives over it. I have a family member who has struggled with addiction.”

“I want to thank Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron because they stepped up. They made sure we had $65 million in the budget this year to deal with the opioid crisis. We passed a good bill that I was proud to sign, that’s hopefully going to stop as many people from being addicted and provide services,” Scott said.

“Last year we passed legislation that increased the penalties for those that are trafficking in these drugs,” Scott added.

Despite Putnam’s critiques of the “school safety bill,” Scott said (as he did last week when we asked him) that he was “proud of what [he] signed.”

“I told the Legislature to give me a bill that will provide for law enforcement officers. They did. I said give me a bill that will provide more mental health counselors in schools. They did. I said give me a bill that’s going to harden our schools. They did,” Scott said.

“I said give me a bill that will say that if you’re struggling with mental illness or you’re threatening yourself or others, that you don’t have access to a gun. They did,” Scott added.

“I’m proud to have signed that bill and I’m going to continue to fight to make sure it’s implemented,” Scott said.

Of course, the school safety bill has led to one potential candidate for Governor — House Speaker Richard Corcoran — being pilloried by the NRA.

FP asked Scott if the NRA should lay off of Corcoran, and whether he was worried that the gun lobby would come after him in potential future political endeavors.

“Well, I want to thank the Speaker, because the school safety bill wouldn’t have passed without the Speaker’s hard work. The money for the opioid crisis wouldn’t have been in there without the Speaker’s hard work,” Scott said.

“The bill that I got to sign to restrict the number of days that a doctor could prescribe opioids wouldn’t be there without Speaker Corcoran,” Scott continued. “I think that we had a great Session, and the Speaker and Senate President did a good job.”

Scott more or less sidestepped the question about the NRA targeting Corcoran, perhaps deliberately conflating NRA members with the NRA political operation.

“With regard to the NRA, I’m an NRA member. I was an NRA member before I became Governor, and will be an NRA member when I’m out of this job,” Scott said.

“Some NRA members like the bill. Maybe some don’t like the bill. I think it’s a good bill for our state, and responsive to what happened in our state,” Scott said.

Joe Henderson: Some GOP leaders dancing around gun issue

Some of the state’s leading Republicans are finding their new dance steps a little tricky to master.

Many of them, including outgoing House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, have long pledged support for the National Rifle Association and, by association, its no-compromise stance on the Second Amendment.

But Corcoran drew the wrath this week of NRA uber lobbyist Marion Hammer for his role in passing recent gun restrictions.

Now, Putnam kind of tap-danced his way around the question of whether he would try to repeal that law if he is elected governor.

Putnam has been considered by many the GOP front-runner in the governor’s race, although unabashed NRA supporter Ron Desantis has pulled ahead in some recent polls.

Gun control will be one of the main issues in the upcoming election for both the governor’s mansion and the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and likely challenger Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott also drew the NRA’s wrath by signing the gun control measure but doesn’t appear to have a serious challenger for his party’s nomination.

Leading Democratic candidates all are pushing for even tighter regulations on gun sales in Florida, which is no surprise. They don’t court the NRA’s support anyway, and after the slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School public opinion is shifting toward stronger laws.

Putnam has called himself a “proud NRA sellout” and opposed the restrictions pushed by Corcoran and signed by Scott. He said as governor, he would not have signed the bill.

But as A.G. Gancarski reported for Florida Politics, Putnam dodged the question when asked if he would work to repeal the law if he is elected.

“We’re going to enforce the law. I mean, that’s what governors do. You enforce the laws that are on the books,” Putnam said before ending the interview.


Well, yeah, that’s true. Governors are supposed to enforce the law. But that wasn’t the question, was it?

Sure, it would be popular with the NRA and hard-line primary voters for Putnam to say that law has to go, but he has higher ambitions than winning the nomination.

So, it’s a big political risk to say “You’re gol-darned tootin’ I’ll work to repeal that law” because those who favor stringent restrictions would feed him that for breakfast, lunch, bunch, dinner and late-night snacks – kind of like they’ve done with his NRA sellout line.

For what it’s worth, Putnam stopped using the “sellout” label following the Parkland murders.

But Corcoran is doing his version of the Tallahassee two-step as well.

After being slammed by Hammer this week for what she called his “betrayal,” Corcoran sent a letter to the Constitutional Revision Commission saying he had “grave concerns” about a proposal under consideration to let voters decide whether to ban the sale of assault-style weapons.

Apparently, a majority of CRC members agreed. The proposal was rejected.

Was Corcoran’s olive branch enough to get back in the NRA’s good graces?

Apparently not yet.

After saying plenty earlier this week, Hammer hasn’t spoken publicly about this.

For now, all we have to go on is that she feels he betrayed the NRA.

Groveling may eventually be involved.

Marion doesn’t dance.

If elected governor, Adam Putnam won’t commit to repealing gun control bill

Adam Putnam did not support the efforts of Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran to enact the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act. The Republican gubernatorial candidate has also went on record during a TV interview he would “likely not” have signed the bill.

Yet despite taking to NRA TV this weekend to once more condemn the legislation, Putnam will not commit to working to repeal the legislation if he is elected governor.

Putnam noted that he was “very public in [his] concerns about elements of the bill [he] disagreed with.”

“Raiding the law abiding citizens trust fund, raising the age [of gun purchase] to 21, and the extended waiting period. And with the press corps’ help, everyone knows where I am,” Putnam said.

We asked if Scott should have vetoed the bill, in order to push forth a more NRA-friendly product in a Special Session.

“What I have said is I would have worked with the Legislature to include many of the things they included on mental health, securing our schools to create a safe learning environment,” Putnam said.

“I do have concerns about some provisions of it,” Putnam continued, “and had I been governor, I would have worked with the Legislature to produce a bill that I could sign.”

We asked Putnam if he would change the law were he elected governor.

He didn’t say yes.

“We’re going to enforce the law. I mean, that’s what governors do. You enforce the laws that are on the books,” Putnam said, wrapping the interview.

Adam Putnam calls for return of statewide drug czar – a reversal of Rick Scott policy

If Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam becomes Governor, expect the “drug czar” position to be revived to lead the state’s battle with opioid addiction.

For the record, that would be a reversal of current policy.

In 2010, incoming Gov. Rick Scott was cutting costs, so he eliminated the Office of Drug Control, which was formed when Jeb Bush was in office.

Putnam, speaking at an opioid roundtable in Jacksonville, floated the drug czar concept. 

“I have asked this question every time I’ve been in an audience with folks where the focus of attention has been on how to solve the opioid crisis,” Putnam said.

“That’s included law enforcement, clinicians, medical professionals, and there seems to be pretty close to unanimous support that someone needs to be the quarterback, because the opioid crisis and its response touches virtually every agency of government, from health care to practitioners to the insurance providers to the law enforcement and prosecutors and judicial system,” Putnam added.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a reinvention of the old drug czar,” Putnam said, “but we need a coordinator of the response to this crisis.”

We asked if Scott had dropped the ball in phasing out the position.

“No! I don’t believe that Gov. Scott dropped the ball. He proposed a very aggressive response to the opioid crisis and the Legislature picked it up and passed it,” Putnam said.

“We all know that our work is never done. We’re in better shape today because of what Gov. Scott has done. We’re looking for the next steps,” Putnam said, “because clearly this isn’t a problem that’s going away overnight.”

We asked Putnam about President Donald Trump’s call, made in a recent speech, to execute serial drug dealers.

Putnam ruefully smirked, then fielded the question.

“Well, look, we need to be as aggressive as we possibly can. We need to be constantly reviewing the laws, the sentencing guidelines, to make sure that these drug dealers who are killing our kids are meeting the full consequences of their actions,” Putnam said.

“Many times you have these drug dealers in prison who have killed people,” Putnam added. “Whether that’s what they were prosecuted for or not, that’s the net effect of their action.”

“That’s a federal issue, and we’ll see how that plays out,” Putnam continued. “Here in Florida, I’m focused on listening to folks who are on the front lines every day, and we’re looking for ways to give them the resources and the tools to eradicate this scourge in our state.”

Adam Putnam: ‘Opioids are eroding our state from within’

In a campaign capacity in Jacksonville Wednesday afternoon, Agriculture Commissioner and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Adam Putnam helmed an opioid roundtable.

Putnam heard about Jacksonville’s own efforts on this front, as the city deals with an overdose crisis that has led to action on the local level.

But even with that action, the problem is crippling the city, impacting law enforcement and medical professionals, even as the main killer — fentanyl, a synthetic opioid — is becoming more readily available to more demographics.

The city has an opioid treatment program; the goal of the six-month, $1.5 million pilot is a simple “reduction” in overdoses, recidivism, and death.

Fentanyl — and diluted acetyl fentanyl — is the major issue locally, with the diluted analogue potentially lowering the user’s tolerance and possibly creating another overdose death crisis down the road.

Another complicating factor that could rear its head in the coming months: the current use of fentanyl to cut cocaine.

Local Medical Examiner Valerie Rao told Putnam that the morgue was being expanded; this is something that is happening in Palm Beach also, Putnam said.

Putnam noted that the opioid crisis is an issue statewide, with law enforcement especially concerned about budget impacts, treatment, and the tools needed for prosecutors to build cases.

“It’s a multi-headed monster and it’s eroding our state and our communities from within,” Putnam said, noting the Jacksonville program is well-regarded, a tool that could “rescue a generation from opioids.”

Crack and meth have been issues in the past, Putnam noted, though opioids have overtaken meth on the “interstate corridor.”

“This is different,” Putnam said, than previous drug waves, and requires different solutions.

Jacksonville’s program director, Dr. Raymond Pomm, noted that many patients would rather die than get off their drugs.

One woman called her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor right before taking “her last bag,” Pomm said, with a request: “Don’t let my son see my body.”

Pomm noted the risk of OD has gone down in recent months, but the problem is “messy,” and diluted acetyl fentanyl is adding to the problem. Acetyl fentanyl is still more potent than heroin.

“It only expands the problem, and the potential problem is even worse,” Pomm said, noting that cocaine is laced with fentanyl now.

“We’re starting to see people OD on fentanyl through cocaine. We’re starting to see it on methamphetamine, marijuana. It’s being put in everything,” Pomm said.

Pills led people to heroin and the fentanyl issue, Pomm said. With cocaine and marijuana, Big Pharma is not to blame.

But because fentanyl can be used to cut everything, it’s an equal opportunity killer, targeting all demographics.

Mac Heavener of the state attorney’s office noted a paradox: dealers cut the contraband historically to maximize profits, but when cut with fentanyl, potency increases along with profit.

A mother of an overdose victim named Derek Patrick described his downward spiral from pain pills in his college football locker room to “shooting up … rehab … jail.” He cleaned up, got back into college football, then relapsed and overdosed. And he was found dead in his dorm room.

“He was never prescribed pain pills. They were shared easily. They were everywhere,” she said.

A representative of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office noted that the drugs come in via mail from outside local jurisdictions. Some can be intercepted, but putting charges on someone for receipt of contraband is a different matter.

One participant from the law enforcement world noted that unlike cocaine dealers, who change their numbers frequently, heroin dealers don’t change their numbers. And many of the users “like fentanyl … like teetering on the edge of death.”

“If they get pure heroin, they aren’t happy,” he said, hoping there would be grant money for better software to break phone encryption.

“These patients know they’re going to die and still take the risk,” a participant from the medical community said.

Putnam’s trip to Jacksonville comes at a time when his campaign is besieged on all sides.

Even this visit to Jacksonville got pushback from the Florida Democratic Party.

“Adam Putnam has been in office for twenty years and consistently opposed solutions that would help Floridians suffering from substance abuse get the care they need,” said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe.

“From opposing Medicaid Expansion to supporting Trumpcare,” Donohoe continued, “Putnam has spent much of his political career fighting policies that would help Floridians get the care they need. Only a career politician like Adam Putnam would have the nerve to host a roundtable about the opioid crisis while opposing policies that would actually address this epidemic.”

After Mark Foley tweet, unearthed video shows Adam Putnam’s Dennis Hastert ‘problem’ won’t go away

A decade-old interview with CNN is showing Adam Putnam’s past may be a little harder to shake in his bid for Florida Governor.

The recently unearthed video shows then-Congressman Putnam defending his “friend and mentor” Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican House Speaker in history.

At one time, Hastert was one of America’s most powerful politicians, but now the Illinois Republican is a felon, branded a “serial child molester” by the judge who found him guilty of illegally structuring bank withdrawals for hush money to a former student he sexually abused.

Among the allegations against the former Yorkville High School wrestling coach include molesting students, some as young as 14 years old, frequently during practices and events such as camping trips, often under the guise of giving “a massage.”

After serving 13 of a 15-month sentence in Federal prison, Hastert was forced to undergo counseling for sex addiction and pay $250,000 in fines. He has kept a low profile since being released into a halfway house last year.

Putnam’s extensive history with Hastert is being revisited once again in the wake of a tweet Friday of a photo of the gubernatorial candidate with Mark Foley, the disgraced Florida congressman who stepped down a dozen years ago for sending sexually suggestive texts to teenage boys.

Putnam and Foley (shown chatting up Donald Trump Jr.) were attending the Republican Party of Palm Beach County’s Lincoln Day Dinner last week at Mar-a-Lago.

Becoming the youngest person ever elected to Congress in 2001, Putnam quickly rose through the Republican ranks, thanks in large part to Speaker Hastert’s tutelage.

“He really caught the Speaker’s eye,” fellow Florida Republican Rep. Clay Shaw told The Weekly Standard in 2006, without a hint of irony.

“He has a very good manner with members,” Hastert praised Putnam at the time. “He has the ability to talk to them and communicate with them, and the ability to do that with the press.”

Within five years of his election, the conservative Putnam was serving as chair of the Republican Policy Committee, one of most powerful positions in GOP House leadership. In 2006, Hastert sent Putnam as his point man to speak with U.N. officials, including U.S. allies, about strategies for building a coalition toward actions to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The relationship between Hastert and his protege only grew closer during their time in Congress. Hastert appointed Putnam to lead key efforts, including crafting energy policy. In 2004, the Speaker tapped Putnam — 29 years old and serving his second term — to keynote Hastert’s annual spring fundraiser in Aurora, Illinois, speaking to a crowd of 1,500 supporters.

And, as POLITICO noted in 2008, Putnam developed as Hastert’s top confidant and beneficiary: “Hastert at one point tapped Putnam to serve as his eyes and ears for rank-and-file members, and the Florida Republican inherited his top staff from the longest-serving GOP speaker in House history.”

Roll Call notes that Hastert even sold his prized vintage fire truck to Putnam, a piece of “campaign equipment” used for campaign events and parades, for $23,000.

By 2009, Putnam also emerged as the prime heir to Hastert’s legacy.

“Putnam stayed close to the speaker throughout Hastert’s tenure and hired many of his former aides when the Illinois Republican relinquished his post atop the party when the GOP lost control of the House after the 2006 elections,” POLITICO wrote.

These qualities that attracted the Speaker’s attention were in full display in the CNN interview, where Putnam staunchly defended his friend who the day before had apologized for not doing more in the House to punish Foley, telling reporters: “The buck stops here.” CNN was reporting on calls for Hastert to step down.

Hindsight being 20/20, Putnam’s defense now sounds a little awkward: “First of all, the Speaker dedicated his life to being a teacher, a coach, a role model and mentor for children and high school students for his entire life.”

Looking back, that statement is more than a little disturbing.

But the CNN interview was far from the first (or last) time Putnam would stand tall on Hastert’s behalf.

According to US Fed News, after Hastert announced in 2008 he would not seek re-election, Putnam issued a lengthy statement praising the accomplishments of his friend and mentor.

“Ever the coach at heart, he was never anything less than generous with his time and genuine in his concern for the viewpoints of his colleagues — both Democrat and Republican,” Putnam wrote. “I look forward to working with him over the next 16 months to address the highest priorities of the American people, and wish him, his wife, Jean, and their entire family nothing but the best.’”

Ron DeSantis’ campaign touts poll showing him on top

The Republican gubernatorial campaign for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is touting new poll results from Gravis Marketing Tuesday morning that show he has taken the lead.

The same poll also is being cited by the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum as it shows him moving up into second place on the Democrats’ side.

Both party races are tight and the vast majority of likely voters are still undecided, according to the poll.

“What’s clear from every poll we’ve seen since the president endorsed Ron DeSantis for governor, is that Ron is trending up and Adam Putnam is trending down,” DeSantis’ Campaign Press Secretary David Vasquez said in a news release issued by the campaign. “It’s clear Florida conservatives want a proven leader who has the support of the President and not a career politician who’s beholden to special interests.”

The survey was conducted from Feb. 26 through March 19 of a random selection of 2,212 likely voters across Florida. Gravis is reporting a margin of error of 2.1 percent.

The poll put DeSantis in the lead on the Republican side with 19 percent, followed by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Putnam at 17 percent and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has not entered the Governor’s race but is expected to, at just 3 percent. Sixty percent of Republican voters said they were uncertain whom they would vote for.

On the Democratic side, the poll put former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine atop the Democratic field with 13 percent support, followed by Gillum with 11 percent, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee with 9 percent, and Winter Park businessman Chris King with just 2 percent. Another 64 percent of Democratic voters were uncertain whom to vote for.

DeSantis’ camp notes that Gravis Marketing Managing Partner Doug Kaplan said that on the GOP side “DeSantis has gained in each poll.”

Gwen Graham says she’d support local governments defying 2011 gun laws preemption

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced Tuesday that if she’s elected Governor she would support local governments such as Weston and Coral Gables that seek to defy the state’s 2011 law forbidding local gun ordinances.

Such a position could put Graham at odds with the Florida Legislature and also potentially with the Attorney General over who takes which sides, should legal battles begin over local gun ordinances. In 2011, Florida passed a law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, that preempts all local gun laws to the state, and sets stiff penalties, including personal fines, legal liability and threats of removals from office for local officials who seek, retain or vote for local gun laws.

Graham on Tuesday pledged legal resources as Governor to support local governments challenging the state’s firearm preemption law.

“Following the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, cities and counties across the state want to act where the Legislature and Rick Scott have failed — but Tallahassee politicians have trampled on home rule in an outrageous attempt to block local governments from banning weapons of war from our streets and protecting their citizens from gun violence,” Graham said in a news release. “As Governor, I will work with cities and counties to restore local control and their ability to protect their communities by directing my Office of General Counsel to assist local governments challenging the state’s preemption law.”

It was unclear how that would manifest itself, and whether it would put her in legal battles with the Attorney General. Certainly, the Governor would be in position to refuse to remove local politicians from office, as the law would demand.

Graham, the former congresswoman from Tallahassee, faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Winter Park businessman Chris King in seeking the Aug. 28 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Leading Republican candidates Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis are both staunch opponents of gun restrictions at local or state levels.

To date, the statute has been upheld by Florida courts, preventing municipalities from enforcing gun regulations. But Gillum has stood up with Tallahassee to keep its law on the books, a point he has used to argue that he is the one Democratic gubernatorial candidate who has actually fought for tighter gun control and won. However, the Tallahassee law is not being enforced.

Gillum’s campaign responded to her declaration Tuesday by accusing her of having an election year conversion on guns while Gillum has consistently fought for gun laws for many years.

“I’m glad the Congresswoman’s election year conversion on guns includes backing Mayor Gillum’s fight with the gun lobby. It would have been nice for her to support his fight when she was a sitting Member of Congress. Democrats can’t trust her on this issue, while the Mayor’s consistently fought for gun safety,” Geoff Burgan, Gillum’s communications director, said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Following the mass shootings at Pulse in 2016 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in February, some city officials are talking about defying the state, seeking to re-establish local gun ordinances.

Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli proposed a city-wide ban on assault weapons last month, and Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer is urging cities and counties across Florida to join a coordinated effort challenging the state’s preemption law.

“The NRA spent $300,000 to try to defeat me a few years ago – they lost,” Graham stated in the news release, referring to her 2014 election over incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. “They’ve also spent untold millions buying off Tallahassee politicians and trying to destroy local control. When I’m governor, they will lose again. If Tallahassee politicians fail to pass common sense gun safety, I’ll make sure local governments can step in and do the job the NRA sellouts in Tallahassee refuse to.”

In addition to defending home rule, Graham has also released a full gun safety plan that includes banning the sale of military-style assault weapons, implementing universal background checks, and investing more in mental health to prevent future tragedies.

Adam Putnam staff slams Jared Moskowitz for ‘untruths’ about Parkland reaction

On Monday morning, Democratic state Rep. Jared Moskowitz and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (both representing Parkland) charged that Republican gubernatorial candidates Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis are in fact representing the NRA in their opposition to gun control.

Putnam famously described himself as an “NRA sellout” and broke with Gov. Rick Scott on the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act.” DeSantis shares Putnam’s position, saying the requirement to be at least 21 to buy a gun imposes a “blanket ban” on certain adults.

The major news from the call: Moskowitz slamming Putnam, and Putnam’s team responding to what it framed as untruths.

Moskowitz said Putnam was the only one in the cabinet who had not visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and “hid in his office,” “was an empty suit … missing in action” as people from Parkland attempted to lobby Tallahassee.

Notable: Putnam’s schedule for Feb. 20, provided by his office, contradicts this read. Putnam visited the school on the morning of Feb. 20 and met with students in the afternoon.

Putnam’s spokesperson Amanda Bevis went on the record to slam what she framed as misrepresentations.

“It’s no surprise the Democrats are selling a story full of untruths. If they did their research, they would know that Adam Putnam has in fact visited the school, has met with the students and mourned with them for their loss, and has met with law enforcement officials and the Governor to discuss what we as a state can do to prevent further tragedies like the massacre that took the lives of so many innocent Floridians,” Bevis said.

“It’s the Democrats who are politicizing this tragedy – using falsehoods to further their own agenda of limiting our Second Amendment rights. The monster in Parkland, who was a red flag that should have never gotten his hands on a gun, cannot and should not be compared to law-abiding citizens who seek to defend themselves and their families,” Bevis added.

Beyond that significant divergence, the call went as could be expected.

Moskowitz offered again to debate DeSantis on the bill and gun issues, then extended the offer to Putnam in response to a reporter’s question.

“Would he have signed the bill? Does he disagree with Gov. Scott? He should answer the question,” Moskowitz said.

Deutch said that both Putnam and DeSantis “have chosen their A rating from the NRA over their concern for public safety, the lives of kids, Parkland, and the state of Florida,” which makes them “unfit” to be governor.

Deutch singled out DeSantis as having “consistently stood on the side of the gun corporations,” having opposed universal background checks and “having voted at least 10 times” against the terrorist gun loophole.

“He said he would be opposed to a ban on high-capacity magazines, an assault weapons ban,” Deutch added, describing an “utter disregard” to the concerns of gun reformers.

“He still won’t even say whether he would have signed the bill,” Deutch said, “but does call it constitutionally vulnerable.”

Deutch said Putnam was “just as bad,” noting that Putnam contends that the “new gun law strips the Second Amendment rights of American citizens.”

“The people of Florida are fed up with the bowing down to the gun lobby,” Deutch said, repeating the “NRA sellout” quote.

“Neither Putnam or DeSantis should be proud of selling out to the NRA,” Deutch said.

The Democrats expect this issue to drive the vote in 2018.

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