Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 10.4.18

Miami Sunrise

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

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel McAuliffe, Jim Rosica, and Drew Wilson.

Did you get your “Presidential Alert” Wednesday?

The one saying: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Annoyed by the ‘Presidential Test?” Don’t blame Trump, even if you really want to. 

Annoyed? Don’t blame Donald Trump.

“The system has technically been in place since April 2012, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is only now taking it for a test drive,” Quartz reported.

Unlike other emergency alerts, which you can turn off in your phone’s settings, there’s no opting out of this one, the site added.

And what if you didn’t get it?

“In the coming weeks and months, FEMA engineers will work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to produce a report detailing how successful the test was, and where the delivery may have failed and why,” WIRED reported.

The agencies “will likely have a broad understanding of how well the test went within a few days.”

If you didn’t get the alert, FEMA wants to hear from you.

“The agency asks you to email them at [email protected],” WIRED said. They’ll want “to know the make and model of your phone, who your carrier is, whether your phone was in the same location for 30 minutes after the test, whether other people around you got the message, and whether you were using your phone at the time.”

— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

—@DavidWright_CNN: @marcorubio reacts to NYT story on Trump tax fraud: “It’s obviously — I think it’s a testament to how crazy and complicated the tax code is in general.”

—@Nate_Cohn: There’s a pretty decent amount of evidence at this point that both A) [Brett] Kavanaugh‘s popularity has dropped B) The GOP has gained since the Kavanaugh hearing. Obviously, doesn’t matter if it doesn’t last. But it’s interesting.

—@Fineout: @ScottforFlorida says that @NelsonForSenate wants to pull out of Oct. 16 debate on CNN. And they suggest Nelson wants to pull out because it is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. and that he might be “sleepy”

—@TroyKinsey: @SenBillNelson‘s camp on @FLGovScott’s claim Nelson’s “trying to back out” of the @CNN … debate: “It’s 1,000% false, just like everything else Scott says. He just makes things up. We will be at the CNN debate on Oct. 16 at the appointed time. And we hope it’s under oath.”

—@SchmitzMedia: Ban debates about debates.

—@RoyWoodJr: As I attempted to merge back into the wave of students @AndrewGillum and I briefly locked eyes. In that moment, he knew I stood with him in the fight for education for the underprivileged … then he looked again and saw me smacking on a Subway cookie. For that, I apologize.

—@SteveSchale: One legit interesting thing about this morning’s Florida’s vote by mail report: We are 34 days out, and total VBM ballot requests only (2.55m) trail the total number requested in 2014 (2.73m) by 18K. Sometime today, FL will pass its 2014 total for ballot requests.

—@ChrisLHayes: Seriously, Florida’s Amendment 4 is one of the best, most hopeful political stories in America right now.

—@MarjieLambert: Dead fish began washing ashore in MacArthur State Park in Palm Beach County on Wednesday where the algae that cause red tide have been detected at amounts high enough to cause fish kills and respiratory distress. State is also testing along Broward, Miami-Dade beaches

—@JimRosicaFL: If you cover statewide legal affairs, #MedicalMarijuana sucks up all the oxygen.

— LATEST TURNOUT FIGURES —


— DAYS UNTIL —

FSU vs. UM football game — 2; Voter registration deadline for General Election — 6; MLB World Series begins — 21; ‘Before You Vote’ Florida Governor debate — 21; Early voting begins — 26; Halloween — 27; General Election Day — 33; Florida Blue Florida Classic: FAMU vs. BCU — 44; 2019 Legislature Organization Session meetings — 47; Thanksgiving — 49; Black Friday — 50; Florida Chamber Insurance Summit — 54; 2019 Session Interim Committee Meetings begin — 68; ‘Hamilton’ comes to the Straz Center — 131; 2019 Legislative Session starts — 152; Captain Marvel release — 155; 2020 General Election — 761.

— TOP STORY —

Donald Trump to visit Orlando on Monday” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel — Trump is coming to Orlando to address the convention of police chiefs, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in Washington. Sanders said Trump would attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the Orange County Convention Center. “The president will speak about the work of the administration to protect American communities by restoring law and order, supporting local law enforcement and securing the border,” Sanders said. Trump has not visited Orlando since a visit to St. Andrew Catholic School in the Pine Hills neighborhood in March 2017. But Central Florida has been a popular place for Trump to hold political rallies. Even after the election, he held rallies at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in December 2016 and the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in February 2017.

Donald Trump returns to Orlando next week to speak with police chiefs. (Image via Miami Herald)

— DESANTIS VS. GILLUM —

Dueling ads seek to frame Andrew Gillum’s corporate tax proposal” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — It’s no secret Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gillum is partially campaigning on a tax hike. What’s unknown: how Florida’s electorate receives it. And money is being spent on both sides to determine that outcome. On Wednesday, Gillum released an education-themed television ad in which he says, “Not one person, family, or small business pays more in taxes.” That’s a reference to his plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent while continuing to exempt most small businesses from paying the tax. The Republican Governor’s Association released a television ad on Wednesday as well. Only this one claims Gillum’s tax plan would bring the economy to a “sudden stop.”

To view the Gillum ad, click on the image below:

To view the RGA ad, click on the image below:

Florida Police Benevolent Association endorses Ron DeSantis — Flanked by law enforcement officers from around the state, GOP gubernatorial candidate DeSantis accepted the endorsement of the Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA). It represents 28,000 state troopers, police, sheriff’s deputies, corrections and correctional probation officers. “Ron DeSantis understands the dangers our officers face, in our prisons and on our streets,” Florida PBA President John Kazanjian said. “We trust him to keep our communities safe.” In addition to financial and volunteer support, the endorsement will be widely distributed in PBA publications across the state. “The men and women of law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers want to tell Floridians (that) Ron DeSantis has our backs,” Kazanjian added. “That’s why we are here to announce that we have his back.”

Ron DeSantis stands tall with members of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, who endorsed him on Wednesday.

Mayoral mashup — Look for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to endorse Gillum. He and running mate Chris King have set an “I-4 Mayors” event for 11:15 a.m. outside the Orlando Magic team shop, 300 W Church St, Orlando.

Assignment editors — Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala, will join state Reps. Nick Duran and Javier Fernandez for a news conference to highlight the differences between Gillum and DeSantis’ health care priorities, 11:45 a.m., Community Health Center of South Florida, Inc., 3831 Grand Avenue, Miami.

Assignment editors — DeSantis will meet with members of the Italian Club of Tampa, 12 p.m., L’Unione Italiana, 1731 E 7th Ave., Tampa.

Happening today:

— SCOTT VS. NELSON —

Retirees criticize Rick Scott for ‘ageist, inflammatory’ attacks on Bill Nelson” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — A group boasting more than 188,000 retired Floridian voters is calling on Gov. Scott to quit suggesting Sen. Nelson‘s age makes him unfit for office. “The members of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans call on Governor Rick Scott to stop using ageist, inflammatory language to describe Senator Nelson immediately,” Bill Sauers, president of the organization, said. Nelson, 76, faced Scott for a televised debate on Tuesday. During at least one of his responses, Scott said Nelson is “confused.” “We noticed and were angered each time Rick Scott used a code word to insinuate false, slanderous reasons for not re-electing Senator Nelson during the Telemundo debate,” continues Sauers.

Retirees are getting tired of the ageist attacks on Bill Nelson.

Assignment editors — Nelson and Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro will meet with local Jewish community leaders and highlight Nelson’s long-standing support for strong U.S.-Israeli relations. They will also be joined by U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel and state Sen. Lori Berman. Details on time and location will be announced in the morning. Nelson media contact is Sebastian Kitchen, (502) 689-0091.

— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —

Sean Shaw ad goes after Ashley Moody on pre-existing conditions stance” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — The 30-second spot, “Your Side,” particularly goes after Moody for supporting current Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s federal lawsuit trying to strike down the national mandate that states require insurance companies to provide nondiscriminatory coverage to people who have pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes. Bondi, Republican Gov. Scott, and Moody all have said they favor keeping the coverage in Florida, they just don’t want states to be required to do so. Shaw’s ad attacks Moody over the assumption that those pledges are meaningless if the lawsuit opens the door for Florida or other states to drop the coverage requirement.

To view the ad, click on the image below:

Vern Buchanan leads David Shapiro by 9 in new survey” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — A new survey of the contest Florida’s 16th Congressional District between Democrat Shapiro and Republican U.S. Rep. Buchanan gives the incumbent the edge. Buchanan leads Shapiro 49 percent to 40 percent, while 11 percent remain undecided. The poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. The survey ran from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 and contained a sample of 499 likely voters. Shapiro does hold a 9-point lead among nonparty affiliated and third-party voters. However, the Republican lean of the district tilts the overall vote to Buchanan, who leads with GOP voters 82 percent to 8 percent.

New ad criticizes Buchanan for yacht purchase same day of tax break vote — An ad from the Democratic-leaning Change Now Super PAC calls out the Longboat Key Republican for purchasing a multimillion dollar yacht the same day as voting in favor of a tax law that benefits wealthy individuals, including himself. “When Vern Buchanan helped write the new tax law, he knew it would be a windfall for himself and he celebrated by buying a brand-new $5 million yacht just hours after voting for it,” said Change Now spokesperson Ben Wexler-Waite. “Vern Buchanan is everything that is wrong with Washington.” “Tablet” features Buchanan’s constituents reacting to his yacht purchase. The ad is part of a six-figure campaign which will begin airing in the Tampa media market today.

To view the ad, click on the image below:

Fresh squeezed controversy: Ross Spano spills on Kristen Carlson’s orange juice advocacy” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — Spano … is calling out his opponent for hypocrisy in her latest television ad … that she fought out-of-state orange juice manufacturers in the late 80s. “She’s touting and claiming that this is something she’s done as a good thing for kids, but she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth,” Spano said. Carlson led a high-profile battle against orange juice manufacturers that led to stricter labeling regulations after public schools began purchasing out-of-state juice that was “adulterated” with additives, but labeled as 100 percent pure. But in late 2011, Carlson took on another battle. This time she asked the federal Food and Drug Administration to change the way it tested imported orange juice for banned or otherwise regulated substances … Carlson asked the FDA to test orange juice in the form it was meant to be consumed rather than in its concentrated form. Her request was ultimately declined, but Carlson sticks by her reasoning,

Poll puts Lauren Baer within 3 points of Brian Mast” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — The Baer campaign has released a new poll showing her behind just three points against Republican U.S. Rep. Mast. Baer, the Democratic nominee in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, pulled in 45 percent support while Mast earned 48 percent. The survey was conducted by Global Strategy Group (GSG) Sept. 26-30 and sampled 400 likely voters. The results have a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. As usual, beware of reading too much into polls released by campaigns, as they tend to have a bias toward the candidate releasing them.

Lauren Baer is tightening up the gap with incumbent Brian Mast.

Mast pulls ad after TCPalm discovers actor’s domestic battery conviction” via Ali Schmitz of TCPalm — The Mast campaign chose to pull the ad, which criticized his Democratic opponent in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, Baer, over an article Baer wrote while attending Harvard which criticized American foreign policy in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The spot featured John Cosomano, who was sentenced to three years’ probation after being convicted of two felonies in Miami-Dade County, according to the report. “Had we known, we absolutely would not have featured him in the ad,” said Mast campaign spokesperson Brad Stewart of Cosomano’s conviction.

Voters in Charge unveils Central Florida leadership — The political committee sponsoring the Yes on 3 campaign continued unveiling its local leadership committees — Central Florida Co-Chairs: City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, and state Reps. Scott Plakon and Bob Cortes. Central Florida committee members include state Sens. Victor Torres and Dennis Baxley; state Reps. Stan McClain, Jennifer Sullivan, Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski, Rene “Coach P” Plasencia and Amy Mercado; 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Blaise Trettis; Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks; Marion County Commissioner David Moore; Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke; Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson; Sheriffs Dennis Lemma of Seminole, Russell Gibson of Osceola and Michael Chitwood of Volusia counties; and Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker, among others. Amendment 3 seeks to give voters a say in any expansion of gambling in Florida.

Amendment 6 backers release three new Marsy’s Law videos on victims’ rights” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — The 30-second videos feature Agnes Furey of Tallahassee, whose daughter and grandson were murdered, talking about how she felt left out when the state cut a plea deal with the suspect; Kathy Swafford of Jacksonville, who was sexually abused by her stepfather, expressing her trauma when the perpetrator got out of prison and blindsided her with a call; and State Attorney Andrew Warren of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, who contends Florida lags behind other states in victims’ rights. “Amendment 6 is a way to better balance victims’ rights within the framework of the criminal justice process without affecting the constitutionally protected rights of defendants,” Warren says in his video, summarizing the case for Amendment 6. “I’ve looked into the eyes of crime victims. That’s why I’m asking you to support Amendment 6.”

To view the Warren video, click on the image below:

To view the Furey video, click on the image below:

To view the Swafford video, click on the image below:

— DOWN BALLOT —

Environmental group launches ad buy supporting Kayser Enneking, Lindsay Cross” via Florida Politics — The Florida Conservation Voters Action Fund said Wednesday that it’s putting $250,000 behind a digital ad campaign supporting the Democrats challenging Gainesville Sen. Keith Perry and St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes in the fall. … The ad supporting Gainesville Democrat Kayser Enneking’s campaign in SD 8 hits Perry for his “disastrous ‘toilet to tap’ bill.” That measure, which was panned by environmental groups and vetoed by Gov.Scott, would have allowed chemically treated, recycled water to be pumped into the state’s underground aquifer. … The ad backing St. Pete Democrat Lindsay Cross hammers Brandes for his “votes to cut important funding to our water management agencies.” That statement refers to a 2011 bill Brandes voted for that capped the funds Water Management Districts can collect to perform their duties. … In a news release announcing the ads FCV Action Fund’s deputy director, Jonathan Webber, said Floridians could pin the blame for “out almost never-ending environmental problems” on Perry and Brandes.

— STATEWIDE —

Scott records lawsuit hearing rescheduled” via the News Service of Florida — The 1st District Court of Appeal has rescheduled a hearing that had been slated for next week in a legal dispute about whether Gov. Scott should be required to turn over his calendar to an organization locked in a battle with the state about Medicaid contracts. The Tallahassee-based court will hear arguments Oct. 15, after initially scheduling them for Oct. 10, according to an online docket. The change came after a request by an attorney for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which filed a lawsuit seeking to require Scott to turn over his calendar — including information about fundraising events and where the governor will reside at night — to the group. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson last month ruled in favor of the group, prompting the Scott administration to appeal.

Rick Scott’s records hearing gets pushed back another five days. 

Adam Putnam says trade deal falls short for Florida farmers” via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Putnam would like the renegotiated and rebranded North American Free Trade Agreement to do more to help the state’s farmers. And he’s not alone, as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio also expressed concerns about the absence of relief for Florida agriculture in the revamped trade pact. Putnam, who has long been a critic of the 24-year-old NAFTA, pointed to a need for more work to help Florida farmers who compete with growers in Mexico. “I am disappointed that this new agreement has no new protections for Florida fruit and vegetable producers, who for too long have suffered from Mexico’s unfair trade practices despite our best efforts,” Putnam said in an email. “Our department, Florida’s congressional delegation and industry groups have fought hard to protect our specialty crop industry since the inception of NAFTA, and we will continue to do so as this new agreement moves forward,” Putnam added.

Legislative leaders announce 2018-19 committee week schedule” via Florida Politics — State lawmakers will head back to Tallahassee in early December for preliminary meetings for the 2019 Legislative Session … Organization Session (is) the week of Thanksgiving, on Nov. 20 … Next, legislative committees will meet the weeks of Dec. 11, Jan. 7 and 22, and Feb. 4, 11 and 18. “This schedule provides ample time for committee work and allows time in December for family and holiday celebrations,” the Senate’s memo says. The 2019 Legislative Session begins on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. The annual 60-day session is scheduled to end on May 3.

Judge blocks medical marijuana license process” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida — In what could be another delay for Florida’s burgeoning medical-marijuana industry, a Tallahassee judge agreed to block state health officials from moving forward with the application process for highly sought-after medical marijuana licenses. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson’s verbal order during a hearing came nearly two months after he found that a state law, passed during a special legislative session last year, runs afoul of a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana. In August, Dodson ruled that a cap on the number of medical marijuana operators included in the law “directly contradicts” the amendment, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2016. Dodson also decided that the 2017 law is unconstitutional because it requires marijuana operators licensed by the state to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana — something known as “vertical integration” — as opposed to breaking the activities into separate parts for licensure.

Margate City Commission votes to support dog racing ban” via Florida Politics — The Commission has now joined other municipalities that support a proposed constitutional amendment banning betting on live greyhound racing. Commissioners on Sept. 26 unanimously approved a resolution (see below) supporting passage of Amendment 13. Such measures don’t have any effect of law but can be important in swaying public opinion. Margate, in Broward County, is the fourth Florida city to officially endorse, following Venice, Tallahassee, and Hallandale Beach. Amendment 13, if it gets at least 60 percent approval on the November ballot, would ban live racing beginning in 2021.

Margate City Commissioners say no to dog racing.

‘No, dog. No!’ State rejects request for greyhound kennel tours” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — The state’s top gambling regulator, using the greyhound industry’s own concern against it, has nixed an “emergency” request to allow tours of greyhound kennels at race tracks. Robert Ehrhardt, director of the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering, released a letter he sent to Florida Greyhound Association lobbyist and spokesman Jack Cory. Ehrhardt’s division oversees dog racing and other gambling. At issue is a worry over environmental “contamination,” which trainers and owners themselves have long complained about, Ehrhardt explained. He recited a litany of dog drug-testing cases in which trainers argued that 25 separate caffeine positives and 24 cocaine positives “were the result of contamination,” for example.

State adds two Zika cases” via the News Service of Florida — With Collier County continuing to have the largest number, Florida is up to at least 74 cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus this year … The 74 cases were an increase of two cases from a week earlier. Collier County has had 30 of the cases, followed by Miami-Dade County with 19 cases and Orange County with nine cases. Other counties with reported cases have been Broward, Palm Beach, Lee, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hernando and Walton. The department website said 72 of the cases are classified as “travel-related” — generally meaning people were infected with the virus elsewhere and brought it into the state. The other two cases were classified as having “undetermined” origin.

Utility pitches proposal to protect employees” via the News Service of Florida — Tampa Electric Co. this week filed a proposal that would allow it to disconnect or refuse service to customers who threaten the utility’s workers. Tampa Electric is seeking permission from the Florida Public Service Commission to move ahead with the proposal. “In recent years, Tampa Electric’s field employees have experienced a number of threats, assaults and harassments made by customers,” said the request. “Tampa Electric’s Corporate Security Department has documented numerous incidents, including verbal threats as well as threats of physical harm or worse.”

Bar owners cheer new law letting them receive free branded glassware from distributors” via Jeff Schweers of the Tallahassee Democrat — House Bill 961, first introduced during the 2017 session, carves out an exemption to the so-called “tied house evil” statutes, which date back to prohibition. Under the law, bars and restaurants had to buy branded glassware from distributors and brewers at cost. Gov. Scott signed it into law in March. The 1935 statute was meant to cure a problem of establishments or “tied houses” that served only from one particular brewery. The premise behind the law was to prevent producers or distributors of alcohol from having a financial interest in or giving gifts to any establishment that sells their alcohol. The Tallahassee Bar & Hospitality Association, which represents 30 local bars and restaurants, led a petition drive of bar owners that resulted in 650 signatures from more than 200 cities across Florida in support of the measure, the organization said in a news release.

Florida confirms toxic red tide spreading along Atlantic coast” via Jenny Staletovich of the Miami Herald — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials confirmed Wednesday that low to moderate amounts of the algae that cause red tide have now turned up off three counties along the state’s more densely populated east coast. Blooms were confirmed in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, marking the first appearance of red tide along Atlantic shores in more than a decade. Wildlife officials are also testing Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Results for Broward were expected, but no mention of the county was made in an update posted online. In an email, FWC spokeswoman Susan Neel said more results would be provided Friday.

— D.C. MATTERS —

Vern Buchanan opposes Trump plan to weaken offshore drilling protection in the Gulf” via Ryan Callihan of the Bradenton Herald — Buchanan initially fought back against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke when he drafted a plan to put Gulf water up for lease as offshore drilling locations in January. At the time, Buchanan said it was a “recipe for disaster,” calling for legislation to prevent the move. Now he’s doubling down with legislation that seeks to keep current oil and gas safety rules in place … Buchanan co-sponsored the Safe COAST Act that was introduced by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, a California Democrat, in January. The bill would codify the Oil and Gas Production Safety Systems and Well Control rules — two sets of guidelines that ensure “protections for worker safety, the environment and coastal environments” — into law.

Ryan Zinke gets pushback from Vern Buchanan over offshore oil drilling.

Nigerian work gives Ballard Partners $1.1M boost” via O’Dwyer’s PR — Ballard Partners has signed an open-ended contract with Nigeria’s People’s Democratic Party pegged at $1.1M per year. The center-right party is the main opposition group to Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari. Brian Ballard, a top Republican fundraiser and chair of the Trump Victory organization Florida during the 2016 presidential election, heads up the Nigerian work … The $90K monthly retainer contract went into effect Sept. 21 … The Tallahassee-based firm’s mission is to enhance the US/Nigeria relationship and strengthen and advance democratic values and the rule of law in Nigeria “with a special focus … to ensure the success and fairness of Nigeria’s national election for president in 2019,” according to its contract.

What Josh Aubuchon is reading: “In sudden turnaround, regulators suspend new rules for New Jersey’s craft breweries” via NorthJersey.com Trenton bureau — State alcohol regulators suspended enforcement of new rules for New Jersey’s craft breweries after top lawmakers vowed to roll them back in a flurry of critical statements Tuesday afternoon. The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, said in a statement that the pause would allow it to further consult with the competing factions — craft breweries on one side and bars and restaurants on the other — and potentially work with lawmakers to write new legislation … (Democratic) Gov. Phil Murphy, who had expressed misgivings about the rules after an outcry from the craft beer industry last week, celebrated the announcement on Twitter. “I applaud today’s decision and look forward to continuing to support our vibrant craft beer industry,” he wrote.

— GOOD GUY, GREAT CAUSE —

Tallahassee-based policy analyst, former legislative staffer (and all-around good guy) Chris Turner is hosting his annual guest bartending event tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Madison Social. While this event is billed as a fundraiser, it also gives a chance for Turner and Donna Deegan to thank everyone in the community who donated to the DONNA Foundation this year.

All-around good guy Chris Turner and Baby Bear.

In 1999, Deegan was diagnosed with breast cancer, a challenge she would later face two more times. Through the process, she discovered an overwhelming need for assistance for those living with breast cancer struggling to make ends meet.

By June 2006, The DONNA Foundation was created, launching the only national marathon dedicated to “finish breast cancer.” Later, the foundation partnered with Mayo Clinic to form the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program. In February 2008, the DONNA Marathon debuted with 7,000 runners and raising more than $825,000 — expanding the foundation’s mission to include funding groundbreaking breast cancer research.

Now, The DONNA Foundation sponsors community outreach and education programs, as well as hosting fundraising events – including Turner’s annual bartending event at Madison Social.

Madison Social is at 705 S Woodward Ave. #101, Tallahassee.

P.S. If you’re unable to attend and would like to contribute, Turner is offering to stop in and grab a check made out to the DONNA Foundation, or you use this link to make a donation: www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/together-we-will-find-the-finish/ccturner.

— OPINIONS —

Scott took responsibility? No, he took $300 million” via Randy Schultz for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — The governor’s new Senate campaign ad again seeks to rewrite the history of Columbia/HCA, which Scott founded in 1987 and led as CEO. Indeed, the ad is titled “responsibility” and compares Scott’s actions to those of “strong leaders.” In its settlement with the government, the company admitted to 14 felonies related to fraudulent billing and practices. Most happened under Scott’s leadership. The ad says Scott “took responsibility” without specifying how he did so. That’s because Scott never did. He blamed the investigation on the Clinton administration, which supposedly sought revenge after Scott opposed health care reform. He claimed that Columbia/HCA was no worse than other companies. He noted that the government didn’t charge him with a crime. And, of course, Scott claimed not to have known anything.

Randy Fine: Why Chris King’s comments matter and why as a fellow Harvard alum I know” via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — In 1998, while a student at Harvard College, King ran for president of the Harvard student government, the Undergraduate Council. He lost. In reflecting on his campaign, King blamed the Harvard Student newspaper, the Crimson, for his loss. “I was nailed to the cross,” said King, in referring to the coverage of his race by the Crimson. “And most of the editorial staff that was so hard on me, the vast majority were Jewish.” King is an anti-Semite, plain and simple. I’ll tell you how I know. I was a Harvard undergraduate around the same time as King. I graduated in 1996; two years before King’s ill-fated election. I was involved in the Undergraduate Council as well, and I even had my own run-ins with the Crimson. Oh, and I’m Jewish. Let me be clear — knowing what Harvard was like in the ’90s, and the student government in general, there is no question that King was claiming “the Jews were out to get me.” The Crimson was well known to have a lot of Jews in its editorial ranks; there were a lot of Jews at Harvard in general. But they certainly weren’t all Jewish; just as most of the undergraduates were not. These comments were anti-Semitic slurs perpetuating centuries of anti-Jewish sentiment. Chris King lost an election — he blamed the Jews. Period.

Joe Henderson: Polls show strong voter support for Amendment 4” via Florida Politics — A recent poll showed 74 percent support for the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would strike down voting prohibitions for felons who have completed their sentences and parole or probation requirements. Those convicted of murder or sexual offenses would continue to be banned. It needs 60 percent to pass. That bipartisan support — 79 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats are in support, and even a majority of Republicans (59 percent) said they’re in favor. Boiled down, this means the people of Florida had to go this route of a grassroots push for a constitutional amendment because Republican-controlled Tallahassee wouldn’t budge — fairness be damned. Florida is one of only three states — Iowa and Kentucky are the other two — to automatically and permanently bar felons from voting even after their sentences are complete. They can apply to the state for a restoration of rights, but not until five years after they are released. Most of the time, the answer is no — and there is a backlog in the thousands of cases waiting to be heard. Amendment 4, if passed, would restore rights to an estimated 1.5 million people in Florida. Did we mention that maybe it’s the right thing to do?

Republicans are listed first on Florida ballots. It’s the law” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — Yes, Republican candidates get top billing in partisan races. Why? Florida law says that honor goes to whichever party last won the governor’s race. If that seems odd, that’s because it is. If it seems like a system rigged to help the party in power, it’s that, too. But here’s the rich part: It was rigged by Democrats — way back in the 1940s when they controlled every branch of government and thought they always would. It was a way for Dems to give themselves top billing — and a built-in advantage, since study after study has shown the first-listed candidate gets an advantage of 2 points or more, depending on how well-known the candidates are. But then Democrats lost the governor’s race in 1998 and haven’t won since … meaning they like their idea a lot less these days.

— MOVEMENTS —

Coal miner’s daughter named UCF provost — first woman, African American in that role” via Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel — Elizabeth Dooley has been tapped as provost at the University of Central Florida — the first African American and first woman in the school’s 50-year history. Dooley, 61, has served as the interim provost since April. She credited her parents for giving her a lifelong love of learning … Dooley previously served as vice provost for teaching and learning and the dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies at UCF. Some advocates for diversity said they saw Dooley’s promotion as a promising sign, if not a cure-all. In 2016 UCF had just two black female professors. “I believe Liz being picked or selected to serve as provost shows the university’s commitment to diversity extends not just to the faculty, but to the highest levels of the administration as well,” said Peter Delfyett, a biracial professor in the College of Optics and Photonics.

Elizabeth Dooley began her career as a public school teacher for a class of 20. (Image via UCF)

New and renewed lobbying registrations:

James McFaddin, Southern Strategy Group: Sogeti USA

Jeff Sharkey, Capitol Alliance Group: GRN Funds

Monte Stevens, Southern Strategy Group: IOA Re

Eileen Stuart, Hopping Green & Sams: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S.

— ALOE —

Christian Bale transforms into Dick Cheney in ‘Vice’ first trailer” via Margeaux Sippell of Variety — “I’m a CEO of a large company, and I have been secretary of defense, and I have been White House chief of staff. The vice presidency is a mostly symbolic job,” Bale’s Cheney says when George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) asks him to be his right-hand man. “However, if we came to a different understanding …” By the end of the clip, Cheney concedes. “I believe we can make this work.” The biopic, directed by “The Big Short’s” Adam McKay, chronicles Cheney’s life as the former vice president under President George W. Bush. Starting with his beginnings as a Washington bureaucrat, the film explores Cheney’s service under the Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush administrations and as the CEO of energy management company Halliburton.

To view the trailer, click on the image below:

Is ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ racist? Not quite.” via Mili Mitra of The Washington Post — At the heart of today’s Harry Potter controversy is a five-second clip in the “Fantastic Beasts 2” trailer showing South Korean actress Claudia Kim transforming into a massive snake. The scene apparently reveals the backstory behind her character, Nagini, who eventually becomes Voldemort’s pet: She is a “maledictus,” or shape-shifter, cursed to eventually become trapped in a snake’s body. That doesn’t sound too offensive or controversial, until you realize that Kim is one of the only women of color in the franchise beyond a few fleeting love interests, and that Nagini’s main role in the series is to sustain Voldemort with milk and act as a vessel for his soul. In that context, it is more disturbing that Kim’s role is reduced to playing a character who will become a white man’s pet — literally. J.K. Rowling faced furious pushback for her ignorance, with many critics condemning the Nagini clip as racist. But it’s really just thoughtless, and entirely in keeping with Rowling’s own track record on representation and inclusion. It seems that Rowling is trying to make up for this lack of representation by adding diverse characters retroactively.

Toys ‘R’ Us may get a second life” via Dan Primack of Axios — The creditors that opted to liquidate Toys R Us, despite having takeover offers on the table, now say that they might try to revive the brand — including the possible opening of new retail locations. This comes after calling off an auction for the retailer’s brand name and other IP assets … Almost everyone, including company management and Toys’ previous private equity sponsors, told the creditors that liquidation was the wrong move, both financially and morally. No clue why it took them so long to reach the same conclusion. Bain Capital and KKR have reached a preliminary agreement to contribute a combined $20 million to a fund for fired Toys R Us workers. There are still lots of details to be worked out, including distribution protocols. It will still be months before workers see any cash.

Happy birthday to former state Rep. Lake Ray.

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 Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog 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.



#FlaPol

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