Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 10.8.18

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.

A Tropical Storm is threatening the Sunshine State. The referees helped the Hurricanes steal victory from the Seminoles. And Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis continue to trade body blows like Balboa and Drago. But let’s start the morning about some exciting news about one of our favorite people.

Melissa Joiner Ramba is exiting the Florida Retail Federation and going to Floridian Partners, a move that’s big news in Tallahassee’s influence industry. Earlier this year, Joiner Ramba was tapped to head up the FRF’s new External Affairs division as vice president for both that association and Georgia Retailers. Ramba had been with the retail group since 2013 and worked as vice president of government affairs. At FRF, Ramba championed issues related to alcohol sales, taxes and pharmacies, while also protecting retailers from burdensome regulations. “Having worked with Melissa on retail issues over the last several years, we have been impressed with her victories in the legislative process,” said Charles Dudley, managing partner of Floridian Partners, LLC in Tallahassee. “We look forward to her energy and experience while working with our team to represent our clients before the Legislative and Executive Branches in Florida.”

Florida Politics will have more on this development later Monday.

— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

@RealDonaldTrump: You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob. Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law — not the rule of the mob. VOTE REPUBLICAN!”

@NickRicccardi: The end of local politics: “By more than two to one, registered voters say national issues outweigh local ones, and voters in all the states surveyed say their vote for the Senate is mainly about the direction of the country over a list of other factors.”

@MarcoRubio: I’m as pleased as anyone that we successfully confirmed a conservative to the court. And I too want to keep the GOP majority. But in the long run, we all lose if tribalism permanently disfigures America & leaves us a nation of people who hate each other.

@MarcACaputo: We’re shifting from Cape Verde hurricane season to Caribbean Basin hurricane season. October storms are no joke (thinking of you, Hurricane Wilma)

—@BSFarrington: Well, one thing’s for sure, If there’s a Hurricane Michael hitting Tallahassee this week, the response will be phenomenal — if for no other reason than to counteract the [email protected]AndrewGillum ads.

@RepWilson: I was sad to learn that #Haiti has experienced another natural disaster; grateful that the number of casualties is so far much lower than in the past; and remain committed to fighting to preserve #TPS for Haitian nationals living and working in the U.S.

@RepStephMurphy: Dominant performance by offense, defense, and special teams in @UCF_Football victory over SMU at the Bounce House tonight. Stay hungry and humble, gentlemen. Graceland, here we come!

@AlzAdvocateFL: Truly blessed to have not one but 2 Alzheimer’s Congressional Champions speak on stage TOGETHER to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you @RepValDemings & @RepDarrenSoto 4 joining thousands of your constituents at the Orlando

— LATEST TURNOUT FIGURES —

— DAYS UNTIL —

Voter registration deadline for General Election — 1; MLB World Series begins — 15; ‘Before You Vote’ Florida Governor debate — 16; Early voting begins — 19; Halloween — 23; General Election Day — 29; Florida Blue Florida Classic: FAMU vs. BCU — 40; 2019 Legislature Organization Session meetings — 43; Thanksgiving — 45; Black Friday — 46; Florida Chamber Insurance Summit — 50; 2019 Session Interim Committee Meetings begin — 64; ‘Hamilton’ comes to the Straz Center — 127; 2019 Legislative Session starts — 148; ‘Captain Marvel’ release — 151; 2020 General Election — 757.

— FROM THE WEEKEND —

Homecoming parade has new significance for Andrew Gillum” via Brendan Farrington of The Associated Press — Saturday’s event was even more special for Florida A&M students and alumni. Latreva Stallworth beamed as she talked to Gillum and later said that his nomination reminded her of when Barack Obama was elected the first black president. “It’s just echoing what happened in history with President Obama,” she said. “It’s the same feeling, almost as if, here it is again — our people. But not only just our people but for all people.” Gillum is aware of the history he can make, but he’s sometimes reluctant to talk about it. “We try to keep it in perspective about what this moment is. I understand the significance of the historical part, but what I also understand is what it means for all the issues that we’re talking about — Medicaid expansion, health care, paying teachers what they’re worth and so on and so forth. All that matters,” he said as he walked the parade. It’s a parade he’s watched as a student and marched in as a Tallahassee politician, but this time the energy was amped up now that he’s one step away from being governor. “I feel like I’m home,” he said. “I think they own this campaign, and that’s what I want them to know.”

The FAMU parade offers new significance for alumni (and gubernatorial candidate), Andrew Gillum. (Image via Tallahassee Democrat)

Gillum fires up massive crowd in Stuart, talks algae and the environment” via Ali Schmitz of TCPalm — More than a thousand people from across the Treasure Coast showed up to a Stuart rally Sunday for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gillum, shocking event organizers and local Democrats. Gillum, who spent the morning participating in a boat tour with local scientists and environmentalists and Democratic candidate for Congress Lauren Baer, spoke to rally attendees about blue-green algae and red tide, health care, Justice Brett Kavanaugh‘s nomination to the Supreme Court and several other policy topics. Rally organizers and the Gillum campaign expected somewhere between 100 and 200 people to attend the rally at Memorial Park. When they arrived, they spotted a sea of people. “I was on the stage looking back as far as I can see,” Gillum said. “I was absolutely blown away.”

Matt Gaetz labels Gillum ‘Andrew Kill’em’; Democrats decry attack” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — “I don’t know whether to call him Andrew Gillum or ‘Andrew Kill-‘em,’” Gaetz said. Gaetz suggested the nickname during a campaign swing through Southwest Florida with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis. Democrats almost immediately decried the attacks as racially charged. “Congressmen Gaetz should be ashamed of himself,” said Sean Shaw, Democratic Attorney General candidate. “Language of that type has no place in our state. This is more of the same inappropriate language that has become all too common from Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.”

Tweet, tweet:

Ron DeSantis talks economy and environment at Cape Coral visit” via Laura Ruane of The News-Press — The Cape crowd heard from several GOP leaders before DeSantis made his pitch. Among them: DeSantis’ running mate, State Rep. Jeannette Nunez of Miami, and State Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples. Donalds urged members of the audience to step out of their comfort zones and campaign like never before … Tell store clerks “I need you to vote for Ron DeSantis,” Donalds advised. He drew laughs and cheers as he added: “On the Midpoint Bridge, roll down your window and ask (the next driver) ‘who are you voting for?’” DeSantis said he was running “to protect the economic momentum” achieved after the Great Recession under the administration of Gov. Rick Scott. “People are coming to Florida to do business. We’re creating jobs.”

Energized by Brett Kavanaugh vote, Republicans rally for DeSantis in West Palm” via Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — DeSantis told supporters in West Palm Beach that Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court will boost his bid for governor by energizing Republicans to vote in the midterm elections. He praised GOP senators for standing up to a “vicious smear campaign” led by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blumenthal. “These people really debase the Senate,” DeSantis said during his 30-minute speech moments after Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “What they did was a disgrace. … Media go fly a kite. Democrats go fly a kite. Guess what? Voters now know they need to come out in the midterms to prevent people like Feinstein from getting into power.”

Ron DeSantis is firing up the base in West Palm.

Mike Bloomberg’s South Florida weekend: Gun violence, Jewish voters and $250,000 check for Gillum” via Anthony Man and Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Bloomberg told The New York Times last month that he’s thinking about running for the Democratic nomination for president. South Florida is potentially friendly territory for Bloomberg. The region is called the sixth borough (in addition to the official ones, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, that compose the city). Bloomberg’s multiple stops will give him lots of exposure and build political chits if he decides to run. One of Bloomberg’s central issues is gun violence. He’s the founder and major funder of the group Everytown for Gun Safety. He’s also pledged $80 million to flip the House of Representatives this fall to the Democratic Party and spending $20 million on Senate races, hoping to get movement on the gun issue. In addition to his personal donation to Gillum, Everytown previously gave the Florida candidate $250,000.

— TODAY’S TOP STORIES —

Donald Trump heads to Orlando for official presidential visit, not a campaign rally” via John McCarthy of FLORIDA TODAY — The president will speak at the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. This is an official presidential visit, not a campaign rally, and will not be open to the public. Gov. Scott also will attend the convention in an official capacity. “As the largest gathering of police leaders, 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,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Don’t expect a Donald Trump rally in Orlando like this one Saturday last night in Topeka, Kansas.

Here’s why Trump won’t be joined by DeSantis” via WTSP — Since he will be attending in an official presidential capacity, as opposed to a political campaign capacity, Trump will not be accompanied by the GOP candidate in the tight governor’s race. By law, Trump would be on the hook for a prorated amount of the travel costs if he were coming to campaign. But, since he’s coming as part of his day job, the government will foot the bill. DeSantis’ campaign says a separate political visit from Trump is in the works, according to CBS Miami.

Assignment editors — Ahead of Trump and Scott’s event in Orlando, local elected officials will hold a news conference to highlight Scott and Trump’s repeated attacks on Floridians’ quality and affordable health care, 9:30 a.m., sidewalk adjacent to 9454 International Dr., Orlando (across the street from the entrance to the Orange County Convention Center).

— DESANTIS VS. GILLUM —

Storm threat forces Florida candidates to alter campaigns” via Gary Fineout of The Associated Press — Gillum’s campaign said he was canceling South Florida events planned for this week and that he was returning home to deal with storm preparations. Projections show the storm appeared increasingly likely to strike the state in the Florida Panhandle west of Tallahassee. Gillum is already under fire from Republicans who are running television ads that fault the Tallahassee mayor for power outages following Hurricane Hermine in 2016. Gov. Scott and Gillum engaged in a public feud at the time over whether city officials were doing enough to get electricity restored in the heavily tree-lined city. Gillum was forced two years ago to answer questions about why Tallahassee officials turned down help from at least one outside utility company at the time. His campaign has contended that the ads being paid by the Republican Party of Florida are false. DeSantis’s campaign has not said if it would ask Republicans to stop broadcasting the ads. But DeSantis put out a statement saying that he was redirecting his staff and volunteers in northwest Florida to work on storm preparations instead of the campaign.

Hurricane leadership: Are DeSantis, Gillum ready if disaster strikes?” via Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Florida’s next governor will play a vital role in keeping the state’s residents safe, said Craig Fugate, who served as director of emergency management under former Govs. Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush. The governor makes the call on whether to declare a state of emergency or call up the National Guard. “It is not ceremonial,” said Fugate, who later served as administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during former President Barack Obama’s administration. “Gov. Bush moved his office into the state EOC (emergency operations center). His presence made sure every state agency knew this was serious, and they needed to send their best people.” … “Whoever is next governor of Florida, hope is not a strategy,” Fugate said. “You have to be ready on day one if disaster strikes.”

Hope is no strategy for dealing with hurricanes, says former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Tallahassee official provides explanation of why FP&L was not welcome in Tallahassee during Hurricane Hermine” via Steve Stewart of Tallahassee Reports — A deposition in an employment lawsuit against the city of Tallahassee has revealed that Tallahassee officials were concerned that if Florida Power & Light (FPL) were allowed to work in Tallahassee in emergency situations “they may come in and take over for the city?” Also, city officials were concerned that accepting assistance could somehow aid FP&L if they ever decided to try and purchase the electric utility. These recently revealed comments by Rob McGarrah, the General Manager of the electric utility, are not consistent with comments posted by Gillum on his Facebook page days after the hurricane made landfall. Reports indicated FP&L had 575 personnel ready to help. However, McGarrah — at the time — said the city had engaged enough assistance from eight other utilities and told the governor that coordination with the visiting crews was important to “make sure what we’re doing is safe.”

Leon Sheriff defends Gillum amid hurricane criticism” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, a Democrat who earlier this week endorsed Gillum’s bid for Governor, was not yet sheriff when Hurricane Hermine struck Tallahassee. “Hurricanes don’t have a party affiliation,” McNeil says in a new 30-second video produced by the Gillum campaign. “And neither should our response efforts.” McNeil is addressing the latest hits from the Florida GOP. He was Tallahassee police chief before becoming Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice and also Department of Corrections under then-Republican Gov. Crist. After the storm, Tallahassee officials said they did not “reject” offers of help from outside utilities in the wake of Hurricane Hermine, but rather just didn’t say “yes” to everyone right away. “I’m disappointed Ron DeSantis is lying about Mayor Andrew Gillum, and I’m appalled he’s using hurricanes to score political points,” says McNeil in the video. He claims Gillum “led our city courageously.”

To view the video, click on the image below:

Tweet, tweet:

Renewed DeSantis push forces Gillum to play defense” via Elizabeth Koh, David Smiley and Kirby Wilson of the Miami Herald — Some of the defensive moves the Gillum campaign has had to make have been the result of its own missteps: The campaign let go of its director of youth outreach, Manny Orozco-Ballestas, last weekend after several offensive tweets from 2012 and 2013 surfaced, and a businessman brought onto a call with reporters to refute attacks on Gillum’s economic plan had to apologize for calling Florida a “s—hole” regarding government support to the needy. But other moves — while the candidate has also been campaigning on red tide in Sarasota and on transportation in Orlando — have pushed back on the attacks aimed at the Democratic nominee this week, following the addition of longtime Republican operative Susie Wiles to help run the DeSantis campaign. “Having a good defense is how you win championships,” said campaign adviser Kevin Cate, though he argued the Gillum camp was responding proactively, not reactively, to Republican attacks. “We’re outworking them on offense and certainly on defense, because we have the truth on our side.”

A deep dive into DeSantis’ new economic plan” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Republican gubernatorial candidate DeSantis unveiled a detailed economic plan that promises a veto for all tax increases and demands the federal government deliver more research dollars. The candidate said his plan would keep Florida a tax haven and magnet for innovation. “With nearly 1,000 people moving to Florida every day, Florida is undoubtedly one of the most desirable destinations to live, work and raise a family,” DeSantis said. “A part of this appeal is the business environment we’ve created that allows entrepreneurs and innovators to come to Florida to build their business without burdensome regulations and heavy taxes and fees.” But one item conspicuously absent? Any mention of corporate tax incentives to lure businesses to relocate or expand in the Sunshine State.

Democrats reboot Adam Putnam attacks on DeSantis Fair Tax support” via Florida Politics — Déjà vu all over again: the Florida Democratic Party last week reprised attacks against DeSantis that were first rehearsed against him in the GOP primary by Putnam. A Friday media call blasting DeSantis’ support of the Fair Tax reminded those with memories going back to August of Putnam’s own attacks … On behalf of the Putnam campaign, spokesperson Meredith Beatrice made a forceful case against the Fair Tax. “Conservatives have railed against this tax and explained how it would result in higher taxes for the middle class” …. Ironically enough, especially given that Beatrice is now messaging for the Republican Party of Florida on behalf of the DeSantis campaign, the Dems rehashed Putnam’s argument castigating the Fair Tax as inherently regressive. Fun fact: the Democrats, like Putnam, also dropped dirt on the DeSantis connection to the Koch Network last week.

Democrats are reviving on old Adam Putnam attack line to hit Ron DeSantis on his Fair Tax proposal.

Governors’ groups plow money into Florida” via the News Service of Florida — The Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association each sent $1 million last week to political committees tied to Florida gubernatorial candidates Gillum and DeSantis … With the latest money, the Democratic Governors Association has funneled at least $2 million to Gillum’s committee, known as Forward Florida., since he won the Aug. 28 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association’s $1 million contributions last week went to the committee Friends of Ron DeSantis. The national GOP group also has funneled $6.548 million since early August to an organization called Florida Facts, a state Division of Elections database shows.

Meanwhile …Darcy Richardson, Nancy Argenziano rekindle Reform Party dreams” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The Reform Party 25 years ago posed a serious threat to the two-party system — then largely vanished. But Richardson, Florida’s Reform Party candidate for governor, hopes to make the third party into a force in the Sunshine State this year. “We’re trying to refine the party and bring some new life into it,” says Richardson, a political historian and author. The Reform Party ticket hopes to offer a true centrist alternative this year with Richardson, who previously ran as a Democratic protest candidate, and running mate Argenziano, a former Republican state Senator. “We’re offering a true unity ticket here,” Richardson said.

— NELSON VS. SCOTT —

Can marijuana tip the scales in Florida’s tight Senate and Governor’s races?” via Frank Gluck of the Fort Myers News-Press — Political observers say that this issue alone won’t likely be enough to convince most undecided voters either way. But it could help weigh down Gillum’s GOP opponent DeSantis and other would-be Republican cabinet members running this year. “Historically, there are few voters who are single-issue voters. But, in a state where races are only won by 1 percent — repeatedly — you really can’t ignore anybody’s issue,” said Susan MacManus, a former University of South Florida professor and longtime political analyst. “Obviously, the Democrats are tapping into that concern about the problems with medicinal marijuana.” … “If we scale up Colorado’s model to the Sunshine State, the potential new revenue is extraordinary,” Gillum said in a written statement. “We live in a state of more than 20 million people, and there are no other states near us that have legalized recreational marijuana.”

Billy Corben #VISITFLORIDA ‘commercial’ mocks Rick Scott, Pitbull video — Miami-based filmmaker Corben tweeted a new video that documents the algae and red tide crises plaguing Florida. The clip offers a “more accurate interpretation” of Pitbull‘s infamous video which the state of Florida paid the singer $1 million to produce and prompted the Miami Herald editorial board to pan Scott for being “no friend of transparency in government.”

To view the video, click on the image below:

— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL — 

State extends hours for voter help” via the News Service of Florida — Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced the Florida Division of Elections is extending hours of operation for the Voter Assistance Hotline — 1-866-308-6739 — before the Tuesday deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election. The helpline, normally available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, will be available from 8 a.m. until midnight Monday and Tuesday. Floridians can check their registration status by using the “Voter Information Lookup” page on the Division of Elections website.

Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Farm Bureau release 2018 Florida Election Guide — The guide includes an in-depth look at Florida’s competitive legislative races, Governor and Cabinet races, proposed Constitutional Amendments, Chamber of Commerce Endorsements and more. “It’s important for all Floridians to be well-informed and have their voices heard on Nov. 6. The Florida Chamber’s Election Guide is a great resource for knowing which candidates support free enterprise and jobs for Floridians,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operations, Florida Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. The deadline to register to vote in Florida’s general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9. The chamber’s voter education website is at www.FloridaWins.org.

Florida Chamber 2018 Election Guide has arrived.

State political candidates owe millions in student loan debt” via Dan Sweeney of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — State candidates owe an eye-popping $3,826,920 in student loan debt, based on a review of all the candidates’ financial disclosure forms. That includes 243 major-party candidates running for state House, state Senate and the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Agriculture Commissioner and Attorney General. Among the 10 candidates who were deepest in the red — with net worth ranging from about negative $64,000 to negative $239,000 — seven would have a positive net worth were it not for student loans. An eighth would almost break even. The numbers are high even by national averages for undergraduate student debt, though many of the candidates borrowed to attend law school, for which the average debt is about $140,000.

Sean Shaw has a message for Trump” via Adam Davidson of The New Yorker — If elected, Shaw will investigate the President’s financial activities across the Sunshine State. “We’ll pursue any area that is worthy of pursuit,” Shaw told me in an interview this week. “The charity not being charitable. Trump Mar-a-Lago and emoluments.” Shaw told me he would go “where the law takes me.” He plans to investigate whether “the President of the United States is personally profiting from the presidency in Florida.” Shaw made clear that his investigations would be broad and open-ended: “They may lead you to tax returns, financial records. I don’t know where they lead. No one is above the law in Florida. No one. We are going to make it such that if I find bad stuff going on, we’re going to go where it takes us, no matter how big.”

Jimmy Patronis continues to dominate Jeremy Ring in CFO cash race” via Florida Politics — CFO Patronis continued to press his cash lead over Democratic challenger Ring as September receipts came to a close. Patronis dominated fundraising over the Margate Democrat on both the campaign account and political committee (Treasure Florida) planes. All told, Patronis has $3,151,936 to work with down the homestretch of the campaign … Ring is running out of ammo on the other side, with $156,308 on hand.

Greyhound racing ban draws bipartisan support as pro-ban group kicks off statewide bus tour” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal — In this age of political polarization, it seems one issue can still bring a conservative Republican like Pensacola’s Mike Hill and a liberal Democrat like Orlando’s Carlos Guillermo Smith together: a ban on live greyhound racing in Florida. GREY2K USA, a greyhound welfare group pushing to end greyhound racing, kicked off its Yes on 13 statewide bus tour in Pensacola on Friday urging voters to vote yes on Amendment 13 in November to ban live greyhound racing. The Doris Day Animal League and the Humane Society of the United States are also sponsoring the Yes on 13 campaign.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers top $1.4M week for anti-Amendment 3 committee” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics —  A political committee opposing a constitutional amendment to limit gambling expansion in the Sunshine State raised more than $1.45 million between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28 with the help of a $500,000 infusion from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. … Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 tacked on $1.45 million during the late-September reporting period. Other six-figure donors included Los Angeles-based Elevated LLC at $400,000, the St. Petersburg Kennel Club at $250,000, Cardroom Tech at $1450,000 with Citadel of Florida chipping in $100,000. … Amendment 3 would give Florida voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state. … Voters In Charge, the political committee sponsoring Amendment 3, reported no income in its new report, though it has vastly outraised the anti-Amendment 3 committees. … Amendment 3 is one of several measures that will go before voters in the 2018 general election. Proposed amendments need to earn at least 60 percent approval from voters pass.

— DOWN BALLOT —

Little outside interest yet in Central Florida congressional races” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Outside money is barely trickling into Central Florida’s congressional races, and national parties aren’t showing any inclination to help state Rep. Mike Miller’s bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy — or to help her keep it. Four other contests are also seeing no signs of national party interest. A group supporting Miller called Central Florida Solutions last week bought $20,000 worth of digital advertising. Meanwhile, the bipartisan moderate politics group No Labels Action has spent $113,000 on digital and mail advertising for Murphy. Democratic groups don’t yet see any reason to spend in CD 7, and national Republican groups haven’t done so either. No national party money has shown up in the race. Through this time in 2016, national Democratic groups already had poured their first $1 million into the CD 7 race. By the time it was over, Democratic groups such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had spent more than $6 million to aid Murphy, and Republican groups such as the National Republican Congressional Committee had spent nearly $2 million to help John Mica.

Stephanie Murphy is not getting as much outside help as she received in 2016.

Happening today — Democrat David Shapiro will hold a fundraiser in his bid to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan in Florida’s 16th Congressional District, 5:30 p.m., Key Royale Country Club, 700 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach.

Lauren Baer brings in $1.6M in latest fundraising period” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics  The Baer campaign announced Friday it had raised more than $1.6 million in the third quarter of 2018. That means her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast has pulled in more than $3 million since launch. Baer defeated former navy JAG Pam Keith to become the Democratic candidate in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. “While traveling our great district over the past year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support this campaign has received,” Baer said.

’We are not the enemies’: GOP candidate touts journalism career in congressional race” via Martin Vassolo and Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald — Maria Elvira Salazar, the telegenic former TV host turned Republican candidate, is seeking to pull off an upset in the country’s most Democratic-leaning district currently under GOP control in a year where Democrats are poised to make gains in Congress. Her opponent in Florida’s 27th Congressional District is former University of Miami president and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, one of the most experienced first-time congressional candidates ever. In an era where Trump shouts “fake news” at unflattering news coverage and belittles journalists who ask him tough questions, the Republican Party is putting its faith in a woman who touts her 35-year career in news reporting — and has vowed to serve as a centrist not beholden to the conservative wing or the president. “Being a journalist for 35 years it’s very difficult to stop being one,” Salazar said. “I covered the first year of [Trump’s] presidency, so there is my record. I’ve always covered the issues, not on the fluff or the words.”

Reporters are not the enemy, says Maria Elvira Salazar.

New ad argues Donna Shalala ‘wrecked Hurricanes football’” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — A new digital ad from American Opportunity PAC argues Shalala, the Democratic candidate for CD 27, “wrecked” the football program during her tenure as president of the University of Miami. That PAC is supporting Shalala’s opponent in the race, Republican nominee Maria Elvira Salazar. The Shalala campaign declined to comment on the release of the ad. “In 2002, the Hurricanes were the pride of Miami,” the ad’s narrator begins. “Then Donna Shalala came to town. Shalala took $50,000 from Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro and ruined UM football. Sanctions and shame followed. Donna Shalala would be a disaster in Washington.”

To view the ad, click on the image below:

Still no GOP replacement for late Dorothy Hukill in Senate race” via Mark Harper of the Daytona Beach News-Journal — Rick Lacey, Brevard County Republican Party chair, said he’s had 10 people express interest … The lack of replacement points to a process that has not yet begun. Florida law spells out the method for a political party seeking to replace a nominee after ballots have been printed. The Department of State must first certify the vacancy, and within five days the appropriate party chairs need to call a meeting, where a candidate is chosen. In this case, Senate District 14 straddles parts of both Volusia and Brevard counties. So six people — the county chairs, state committeemen and committeewomen from each county — will make a choice. If it comes down to a 3-3 tie, more weight goes to the Volusia representatives because the district includes more of Volusia. But that meeting has not yet been scheduled, according to Lacey and Tony Ledbetter, Volusia’s GOP chair.

New PPP survey shows Janet Cruz with 3-point lead over Dana Young” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — A Public Policy Polling survey of voters in state Senate District 18 shows Cruz winning 42 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent who favor Young. The poll found half of the respondents would vote Democrat in state Senate races without specifying the candidates, while only 39 percent of voters said they would vote for the Republican. The poll found respondents had a 54 percent disapproval rating for Trump’s job performance with a 43 percent approval rating for the Republican leader.

New poll puts David Perez in the lead in SD 36via Florida Politics — A new survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) puts Perez ahead of his Republican opponent, Manny Diaz, in the race for Senate District 36. The results show Perez leading Diaz 41 percent-38 percent, with 21 percent of voters still undecided. The poll ran from Sept. 28-Oct. 1 and consisted of 358 registered voters in SD 36. The news comes after Perez was included on the latest list of endorsements from former President Obama.

New ad from Anna Eskamani explains ‘why are they afraid’ — Democrat Eskamani’s latest 30-second spot speaks directly to voters in House District 47, explaining why political insiders are “so afraid of her.” “Dishonest ads are no surprise,” she says. “I’ll fight the special-interest that profit from our broken system. Political insiders should be afraid of me because I won’t stop fighting for working families.”

To view the ad, click on the image below:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers top $1.4M week for anti-Amendment 3 committee” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — A political committee opposing a constitutional amendment to limit gambling expansion in the Sunshine State raised more than $1.45 million between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28 with the help of a $500,000 infusion from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. … Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 tacked on $1.45 million during the late-September reporting period. Other six-figure donors included Los Angeles-based Elevated LLC at $400,000, the St. Petersburg Kennel Club at $250,000, Cardroom Tech at $1450,000 with Citadel of Florida chipping in $100,000. … Amendment 3 would give Florida voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state. … Voters In Charge, the political committee sponsoring Amendment 3, reported no income in its new report, though it has vastly outraised the anti-Amendment 3 committees. … Amendment 3 is one of several measures that will go before voters in the 2018 general election. Proposed amendments need to earn at least 60 percent approval from voters pass.

All for Transportation rakes in $1 million as pro sports teams go all-in” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — The All for Transportation campaign raised more than $1 million during the second half of September, according to campaign finance documents filed with Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. All three of the region’s major league sports teams — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Rays — contributed to the 1 percent sales tax referendum. It aims to fund sweeping transportation and transit enhancements in Hillsborough County. The three teams each donated $100,000 to the campaign. The Bucs and Lightning play in Tampa, but the Rays’ stadium is in St. Petersburg where the transportation revenue could not be used. However, the Major League Baseball team is taking steps to build a new ballpark in Ybor City.

— EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENT ROUNDUP —

Gillum recently racked up endorsements from the state’s largest newspaper and yet another South Florida outlet.

The Tampa Bay Times editorial team endorsed Gillum over DeSantis, writing Gillum is the “candidate who could reset priorities, rebalance government and check the Florida Legislature’s worst impulses.” The Palm Beach Post backed the Tallahassee Mayor, writing that “on issue after issue, Gillum has better ideas on moving Florida in a better direction.”

The Post also recommended Democrat Baer for Florida’s 18th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Brian Mast, writing, “Although Mast has come forward with proposed legislation in recent months on the toxic algae issue, it feels a bit late and falls a tad short in a GOP-controlled House.” As well, nearby Democratic U.S. House incumbents Alcee Hastings and Ted Deutch got a nod from the Post.

TCPalm released a series of endorsements for state legislative races, recommending Democrat Matt Theobald over Republican Toby Overdorf in House District 83. The editorial team writes that unlike Overdorf, Theobald “calls for greater state oversight, restoration of funding to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and water management districts cut by Gov. Scott and tougher regulation of polluters north and south of Lake Okeechobee.” In HD 82, TCPalm’s editorial team suggests re-electing Republican MaryLynn Magar, calling her “a good foot soldier in the Republican-controlled Legislature.” TCPalm also recommended Democrat Delores Hogan Johnson in HD 84, and Republican incumbent Erin Grall in HD 54.

— STATEWIDE —

Flags at half-staff for Dorothy Hukill” via Florida Politics — Gov. Scott on Friday ordered flags at half-staff on Sunday in honor of the late state Sen. Hukill. The Port Orange Republican, who served in the Senate since 2012, died Tuesday after a recurrence of cancer first diagnosed and treated last year. Scott directed the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, the Brevard County Courthouse in Melbourne, and at the Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset.

Flags will be half-staff to mark the passing of Dorothy Hukill.

Mark Puente gets results — FBI takes over investigation of Tampa Bay’s CareerSource jobs centers as state audit launches” via Mark Puente and Zachary Sampson of the Tampa Bay Times — Federal auditors also served notice to Scott’s Department of Economic Opportunity that they are further examining whether the agency has adequate safeguards in place to protect millions in federal tax dollars it doles out to Florida’s job placement centers. The shift to a criminal investigation locally comes months after a series of reports questioning whether CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay in Hillsborough County took credit for finding jobs for people who never sought their help. The series also highlighted a bonus program that was in place At both centers that rewarded employees with money for reporting high job placement numbers. Lawyer Charles Harris, who represents both agencies, told the board chairmen that the FBI had asked him to accept a subpoena. He warned CareerSource office workers not to destroy any records. His memo to board members said the federal agents are focused on “prior placement practices.”

Lauren Book backs Pam Bondi’s investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — Bondi “has sent a clear message to any person using their position of power to exploit and manipulate children: Your actions are not tolerated, and you will not get away with harming children,” the Plantation Democrat said in a statement. “Anyone who has contributed to the institutional victimization of children is a criminal and must receive the maximum punishment,” she added. “Attorney General Bondi is once again shining light in dark places as she works to protect victims and stand up for those who have been silenced.” Bondi this week launched a statewide investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests after a Pennsylvania grand jury report this summer that found more than 1,000 children were molested over decades by hundreds of priests whose wrongdoing was covered up by church leaders. Bondi, whose office is investigating all seven Catholic dioceses in Florida.

After years of rape, abuse and death — Florida home for disabled officially shut down” via Monique Madan of the Miami Herald — Carlton Palms — a Florida home for people with severe disabilities beset by rapes, rats and abuse — officially shut its doors Saturday, state officials announced. The last of its 190 residents moved to a new community-based home over the weekend after years of abuse, violence and death perennially plagued the institution. “Carlton Palms has officially closed,” said Barbara Palmer, who heads the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. “We have successfully transitioned nearly 200 people from an institutional placement into community homes. With this very important move for these individuals, we believe everyone will be much happier, healthier and have an opportunity to thrive in their communities.” In May, a few months after the beating death of a 26-year-old resident, APD officials took part in the agency’s most concrete action in several years — they went to went to court seeking what is called a “receivership,” the appointment of a new leadership team to oversee the home. The selected receiver, Guardian Healthcare, took over the day-to-day operations and will continue until Monday, which is when the receivership terminates.

Carlton Palms facility for mentally disabled in Mount Dora has officially closed. 

Judge chastises state over marijuana licenses” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida — Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, siding with Tampa-based Florigrown LLC, rebuked Gov. Scott, the Scott administration and the Republican-dominated Legislature for failing to properly carry out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. Florigrown, owned in part by Tampa strip-club operator Joe Redner, filed the legal challenge after the Department of Health denied its application for a medical marijuana license. Dodson’s order followed an August decision in which the judge found that a 2017 law, aimed at implementing the amendment, is unconstitutional because, among other things, it caps the number of highly sought-after medical marijuana licenses health officials can issue. A lawyer for the state agency this week “essentially conceded … that for the purpose of this case there have been no significant changes in the department’s regulations” or its handling of Florigrown’s application, according to Dodson. “In other words, the court order was ignored by defendants,” he wrote.

Judge tosses Miami Herald suit over FIU bridge records” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — Reversing a state court ruling, a federal judge in Tallahassee on Friday threw out a lawsuit by The Miami Herald seeking records related to a deadly bridge collapse at Florida International University. In a 47-page ruling, Senior U.S. District Judge William Stafford dismissed the case “with prejudice,” meaning the newspaper can’t refile it. The federal government had the case transferred after Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll in August ordered the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to release any records related to the March 15 collapse. The Herald, Tallahassee bureau chief Mary Ellen Klas and Tallahassee reporter Elizabeth Koh sued in state court to obtain the documents under Florida’s public records law.

Allegations of hanky-panky followed fired Jackson County deputy accused of planting drugs” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat — Before Zachary Wester got in trouble for allegedly planting drugs on motorists in Jackson County, he was fired in 2016 from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office over complaints involving inappropriate relationships with women. The same problem followed him after he arrived at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, according to internal affairs reports. A fellow deputy complained that Wester had an affair with his wife, a Sheriff’s Office employee, and showed nude photos of her to colleagues. One woman reported a relationship blossomed with Wester after he arrested her for shoplifting. Another complained he flirted with her during a call. Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch, who gave Wester his first law enforcement job, said that after he fired him, he warned Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts not to hire him. But Wester, whose dad had worked at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, got the job anyway.

There have been several red flags surrounding former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Wester.

FDLE: Bonifay police officer sold drugs while on duty” via myPanhandle.com — A Bonifay police officer was selling drugs from his patrol car while in uniform and on duty, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Agents arrested Dwayne Frazier White, 48, on Friday night and charged him with selling a controlled substance within 100 feet of an assisted living facility and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. FDLE agents began investigating White last month at the request of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, officials wrote in a news release. During the investigation, agents purchased opioid pills from White, officials wrote.

Red tide is clearing — but for how long?” via Amy Bennett Williams of the Fort Myers News-Press — Red tide may be finally dissipating along Lee and Collier counties’ shorelines. “Our beaches are clear for the present — and maybe this weekend — but we don’t want to say the coast is clear just yet,” says research scientist Rick Bartleson of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Marine Lab. Bartleson’s lab regularly tests area waters for Karenia brevis, the microorganism that causes red tide, and all of this week’s samples nearshore and inshore have shown none of the microorganisms. “I’ll take more samples this weekend offshore and see if we’re jumping the gun,” he said.

Apalachicola seafood industry wary but not worried about red tide” via Karl Etters of the Tallahassee Democrat — Trace amounts of red tide, which is now present on all three of Florida’s coastlines, have crept into the easternmost portions of Gulf County. With Apalachicola Bay so near, some seafood distributors are worried that its presence or a shift into the area could cut into an already struggling industry. “When something like that happens, it kills an awful lot of fish and creates issues,” said Franklin County Seafood Workers Association President Shannon Hartsfield. “I just don’t know if it’s going to make it into our bay. We’re hoping it doesn’t.” Hartsfield said a sustained east wind has kept the poisonous algae bloom to the west. Apalachicola Bay’s strong tides have also kept red tide out at sea. It’s been about 15 years since red tide hit Apalachicola Bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has found red tide in low concentrations at Cape San Blas and inside Indian Lagoon just to the west of Apalachicola, according to its daily bulletins.

Florida’s coming King Tides may carry something different onshore — red tide” via Alex Harris of the Miami Herald — Red tide — a toxic algae that leads to human health problems and marine animal deaths — has arrived in Miami-Dade, just in time for the annual King Tides. Scientists say this year’s annual highest high tides (popularly known as King Tide) could push that poisoned water further onshore, potentially spreading the algae’s health impacts inland. The city of Miami warned residents to avoid contact with floodwaters during the King Tides, which start October 6 and end October 13, with a peak the morning of October 9. King Tides occur every year from September to November; this week’s tides are predicted to be the highest of 2018. Climate change is expected to make these floods more severe and more common.

King Tide meets red tide, making even more trouble for South Florida.

Assignment editors — Congressman Ted Deutch will visit streets and local businesses in an area of Fort Lauderdale hit hardest by King Tide, the highest tide event of the year, 9:30 a.m., corner of East Las Olas Blvd. and SE 25th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.

Affordable housing: Here’s one big reason why there isn’t enough” via Kate Santich of the Orlando Sentinel — In Central Florida in particular, and Florida in general, quality housing at this price is in desperately short supply. Yet the state’s residents could have had a lot more housing like it — $2.19 billion more, to be exact — if legislators had not diverted money from the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds for at least 15 of the past 26 years. For the past 10 years straight, lawmakers have taken money designated for affordable housing and swept it into the pot for the general budget. In lean years, they’ve argued they needed it to avoid a deficit. Other years, they’ve spent it to offset tax cuts — including those for expensive yacht repairs — or to cover unexpected needs, such as school safety measures passed after the Parkland shooting. There is nothing illegal about the diversion. But at a time when 911,000 very low-income Floridians pay more than half their income on housing and some 84,000 people are estimated to be homeless in the state — not including tens of thousands of families living in motels — opponents of the practice are increasingly outraged.

JEA settles in for slower fight over Plant Vogtle” via Nate Monroe of the Florida Times-Union — JEA leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., and Georgia in their unsuccessful campaign to convince the four Plant Vogtle co-owners to cancel the over-budget and delayed $27 billion project to build two nuclear reactors — an effort Jacksonville ratepayers are financially entangled with because of a decade-old agreement JEA signed to help finance construction and buy power from the plant in the future. Now, the lawyers take over. JEA and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia — one of the Vogtle co-owners — are suing each other over that 2008 purchase-power agreement, and it’s likely the pace of new developments will slow as the complicated dispute winds its way through the courts.

After fallout, county decides to build indoor Neil Combee signs” via John Chambliss of the Lakeland Ledger — Five days after county commissioners said they planned to strip Combee’s name from two outside signs, Polk County Manager Jim Freeman said two signs for the former county commissioner and Republican legislator will be erected inside the building. Freeman said the move will not require a vote by the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioners John Hall and Bill Braswell said they didn’t have a problem with the new plan. “That’s fine,” Braswell said. “If that makes everyone feel good.” Hall said inside was a more appropriate location.

Assignment editors — The Florida Building Commission will meet in Sarasota County. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Hyatt Regency, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.

Happening todayAli Velshi, senior economic and business correspondent for NBC News, will speak to the Economic Club of Florida, 11:15 a.m., FSU Alumni Center, 1030 West Tennessee St., Tallahassee.

— POWER PUNCH —

FMEA takes to social media for ‘Public Power Week’ — to celebrate Public Power Week through Friday, the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) will highlight elements of the American Public Power Association’s “Community Powered” campaign through its website and on social media. “One of the wonderful things about public power is that it provides local communities with the ability to shape how their electric utility is run,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. Community-owned, not-for-profit public power utilities power homes and businesses in 2,000 communities across the U.S. In Florida, 34 public power utilities serve more than 1.3 million customers and employ 5,400 Floridians. During this year’s Public Power Week, FMEA encourages Floridians to participate in the American Public Power Association’s “Community Powered” social media contest. To participate, share what you like best about living in a public power utility community on social media. To be eligible for a prize, post a photo or video using the hashtag #CommunityPowered to Instagram or Twitter. Any user who is a member of a community with a public power utility can enter for a chance to win. Drawings will take place every Friday from October 12, 2018, to November 30, 2018.

— OPINIONS —

Joe Henderson: Matt Gaetz ‘kill-‘em’ remark straight out of middle school” via Florida Politics — I’d say the Republican congressman from the state panhandle ought to be ashamed of himself, but he is a politician, and every time anyone thinks there is a line that can’t be crossed, it gets obliterated. This was one was especially tasteless, though, referring to Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gillum as “Andrew Kill-‘em” — a reference to an FDLE report that the crime rate in Leon County has been the highest in Florida for four consecutive years. I imagine Matt Gaetz and the guys had a good chuckle around the table when this nickname was hatched, but I guess it’s understandable. After all, the leader of the GOP, President Trump, has elevated name-calling to an art form — so anything that plays to the base, right guys? Do they really believe this makes Florida a better place, or they just don’t care and laugh it off as political hardball? It’s just easier to smear and snicker. That says more about Gaetz and DeSantis than it does Gillum.

— MOVEMENTS —

Gov. Scott announces four judicial appointments — The governor named three people to the Miami-Dade County Court: Luis Perez-Medina, 58, is an Assistant State Attorney at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. He received both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Florida International University. Perez-Medina fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Dawn V. Denaro. Christine Bandin, 39, of Coral Gables, is a partner at Shutts & Bowen. She received her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and law degree from the University of Miami. Bandin fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson. Raul A. Cuervo, 63, of Miami, is an attorney and shareholder at Carlton, Fields, Jorden, Burt. He received both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Florida. Cuervo fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Renatha Francis. Also, Scott named Darrell R. Hill to the Hendry County Court. Hill, 54, of Labelle, is an attorney with Darrell R. Hill and a magistrate for the 20th Judicial Circuit for southwest Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Samford University. Hill fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Scott Cupp.

Happening today — Applications are due by 5 p.m. to fill three seats on the Florida Supreme Court. The seats will open in January when longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince face a mandatory retirement age. The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission will review the applicants before making recommendations for appointment.

Former DCF Secretary Mike Carroll appointed to state public safety panel” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — Mike Carroll, who stepped down last month as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families, has been named to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. Gov. Scott‘s office announced the appointment on Friday. Carroll, 57, now is Executive Vice President of Lutheran Services of Florida. Carroll is actually returning to the panel; he had served on it in his role as DCF Secretary, a news release explained. The commission was created as part of legislation passed after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, in which a former student of the school killed 17 students and staff members.

Mike Carroll, former secretary of the Department of Children and Families, has joined the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.

Personnel note: Jeremiah Hawkes now state Senate’s top lawyer” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — Jeremiah Hawkes, formerly a top official under Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, is now general counsel of the Florida Senate, its spokeswoman said Friday. Hawkes, who started Monday, will be paid $135,000 a year. He replaces Dawn Roberts, who served as the Senate’s top lawyer under outgoing Senate President Joe Negron. Roberts is returning to her previous job as staff director of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, spokeswoman Katie Betta said. Hawkes, who unsuccessfully ran for a Pasco County judgeship this year, was asked to take the position by Senate President-designate Bill Galvano, Betta said.

New and renewed lobbying registrations:

Horne, Adam Giery, Strategos Public Affairs: Teachers of Tomorrow

Paul Mitchell, Southern Strategy Group: IOA Re

Tara Reid, Strategos Public Affairs: American Veterinary Group

— ALOE —

Disney sued by man who refused to move for Magic Kingdom parade” via Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel — Marc Rubin said he was picking out the spot to propose to his future wife in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom when the most important moment of his life was thwarted by a Disney employee who insisted he move, court documents say. Now, Rubin is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts after the 2015 altercation. The lawsuit, seeking more than $15,000, was filed in late September in Orange Circuit Court. The Disney cast member had a different account of what happened that July. The 24-year-old told authorities that when she asked Rubin to move 3 feet back for the parade route, Rubin screamed in her face and grabbed her. Rubin, a visitor from Suffolk County in New York, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and was fined $100 plus court costs, according to documents provided by the State Attorney’s Office.

How SpaceX found itself in the crosshairs of an SEC lawsuit” via Emre Kelly and James Dean of FLORIDA TODAY — When the Securities and Exchange Commission set its sights on Elon Musk and electric car phenomenon Tesla recently, the billionaire industrialist’s rocket company, SpaceX, also got caught in the regulator’s crosshairs. Fallout from the clash with the SEC over Musk’s controversial tweets about having raised money to take Tesla private turns out to have endangered many of the Silicon Valley darling’s ventures because of a little-known process that connected all his companies — private and public — and put them at risk of being unable to pursue a specific form of fundraising. Musk, according to reports, grew concerned. In the end, Musk settled with regulators and both sides agreed to waive fundraising limitations, but that SpaceX could have found itself in such a position shows just how deeply Musk’s personality and presence are tied to his companies.

Elon Musk is getting tough love from the SEC.

What Paul Bradshaw is reading —Florida man builds house from 8 shipping containers” via Johnny Diaz of The Associated Press — Architect Asghar Fathi is constructing the three-story house for his family on a lot that he owns. “It’s recycling basically,” he said of the cargo containers that he bought for $2,500 each at an Opa-locka container yard. “I want to make an example of it. It’s my own home. I am going to live in it.” One two-story white cargo home in Jupiter is offered to the public as an Airbnb rental. Fathi started construction on his home this year. “This is sustainable, economical and easy to put together if you have the right crew,” said Fathi, as his welder and a crew member worked on the container home. “It will be hurricane- and termite-proof,” he said, adding that he plans to install impact windows throughout.

Happy birthday to our favorite southwest Florida lawmaker (don’t tell Dane), Heather Fitzenhagen, our friend Vivian Myrtetus, and sharp guy Juan Penalosa.

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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