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Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 2.13.19

Your day is better when you start it with a first read on what’s happening in Florida politics.

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

Sean Shaw isn’t leaving the process. Instead, he’s trying to turn it on its head.

The former lawmaker and Democratic nominee for Attorney General will soon announce his advocacy organization: People Over Profits.

Shaw, who exited the House last year, is seeking to change the way we talk about policy.

No goodbyes: Former Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw isn’t leaving The Process, but he is trying to turn it on its head by putting ‘people before profits.’

He wants to be a voice for the everyday Floridian rather than those “who can afford” to spend time cutting deals in Tallahassee.

“I think we pay a lot more attention to corporate, wealthy interests than we do to people and those who work the hardest,” Shaw told us. “That’s the conversation I want to change.”

How? Expect Capitol news conferences and an online presence at first.

Those who supported him on the trail are lining up again behind his organization, he said.

And the razor-thin margins of some of the top-ticket races tell him there’s an appetite for change.

“There are a lot of people around this state who feel they’ve been ignored at the expense of the wealthy and the powerful,” he added.

We asked: Is this just another hyperpartisan nonprofit?

“Not as much as you’d think.”


@ZekeJMiller: The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

@FLCaseyDeSantis: This week is Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week. We are excited to celebrate the enduring contributions foster families provide to children in their care. Join us in celebrating and consider becoming a foster family to a child in your community. The need never ends.

@SenJanetCruz: Our teachers should be armed with higher wages, not guns. I cannot support legislation that puts more weapons in our schools.

@ALAtterbury: .@loriberman: Is there any evidence Florida’s Guardian program has been effective? Staff: No, not really. There’s no data.

@APStylebook: In general, don’t use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) except in direct quotations. When you need to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers and sisters, use the first and last name.

@JohnMorganEsq: Never forget, makers of opioids have a huge interest in this. Medical Marijuana is an alternative in a BIG way. Billions at stake. I guess later someone from ‘Don’t Let Preschoolers Drink’ will testify. Most testimony is a joke and a show. We all know what this is about: Money

@ArekSarkissian: @JohnMorganESQ called out in another committee meeting about the proposed repeal of smokable medical pot. @LNseven5, chair of Tampa Alcohol Coalition told House committee “Don’t listen to hashtag pot daddy.” Wants smoking limited to patients nearing death.

@JimRosicaFL: Q’s on House Medical Marijuana bill, which requires ‘filtered’ MMJ cigarettes for smoking: @RepMikeGrant asks if somebody pulls off the filter, how is anyone to know? @isayray says once people get the medicine home, they can do with it what they want.

@Fineout: Tallahassee police — wrapping up a 3-month investigation — said that a man who killed 2 people at a yoga studio last Nov. was a “disturbed” individual w a “hatred” of women and a history of sexual misconduct. The shooter, who took his own life, did not target anyone specifically

@JoePClements: Lots of [bombs] thrown at @PeterSchorschFL and his publications but everyone seems to ignore that the content his company produces (like the Sunburn below) is highly valuable for people in the process … and not paywalled.


Valentine’s Day — 1; Federal government runs out of funding (again) — 2; Fat Tuesday — 20; 2019 Legislative Session starts — 20; Tampa mayoral election — 20; ‘Captain Marvel’ release — 23; Players Championship begins — 29; St. Patrick’s Day — 32; Jacksonville municipal first election — 34; Scott Maddox corruption trial begins — 44; Major League Baseball season begins — 44; Final season of ‘Veep’ begins — 46; Final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ begins — 60; Easter — 67; 2019 Legislative Session ends (maybe) — 79; 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates begin — 114; 2019 General Election — 268; Iowa Caucuses — 352; 2020 General Election — 629.


Poll: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi about equally (un) popular in Florida” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — New polling data from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative shows Floridians, much like the rest of the country, aren’t too thrilled with current party leadership in Washington, D.C. Trump‘s numbers are underwater; just 41 percent of voters approve of Trump’s job as President. That’s swamped by 46 percent who disapprove, while 13 percent of voters are unsure. Trump’s minus-5 approval is just slightly worse than Democratic House Speaker Pelosi, who earned a minus-4 approval rating. Only 40 percent of voters approve of Pelosi’s work as Speaker, while 44 percent disapprove and 16 percent are unsure.

Popularity contest: In Florida, Donald Trump may be underwater, but Gov. Ron DeSantis is staying strong.

New survey shows Ron DeSantis approval ratings staying strong” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — The numbers gathered by FAU BEPI show 48 percent of voters approving of Gov. DeSantis, with just 18 percent disapproving. The remaining 34 percent of voters surveyed were undecided. His approval number is unchanged since the Mason-Dixon survey last month, while his disapproval number ticked up just one percentage point, from 17 percent to 18 percent. “Gov. DeSantis appears to be benefiting from following through on some of his campaign promises, especially his focus on the algae concerns,” said Kevin Wagner, a professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the BEPI.

Floridians support tighter gun control, wall on U.S.-Mexico border” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — A majority of Floridians support tightening the state’s gun control laws ahead of the anniversary of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. That’s according to the poll from FAU BEPI. Of those surveyed, 65 percent say that Florida’s gun control laws should be made stricter, 12 percent say they should be less strict, and 23 percent say gun control laws should be left as they are. Just 14 percent say they are not at all concerned about students’ safety, while 45 percent are “extremely concerned” and an additional 41 percent are “somewhat concerned.” On the debate over the border wall, 55 percent of Florida voters support “construction of an additional border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.” Just 37 percent oppose that proposal, while 9 percent are undecided.

Shevrin Jones to meet with Governor’s senior staff on gun violence commission — Jones has set up a 10 a.m. meeting to discuss his proposal to study gun violence in minority communities throughout the state. Jones called on DeSantis to set up a commission to tackle the issue last week. The West Park Democrat will be meeting with Chief of Staff Shane Strum and Director of Legislative Affairs Stephanie Kopelousos. Jones has said the panel would mirror the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was set up in the aftermath of last year’s deadly shooting in Parkland.

Stop the gun violence: Shevrin Jones will meet with DeSantis administration top officials to discuss a proposed study on gun violence in minority communities. Image via Facebook.

Assignment editors — DeSantis will make a significant announcement, 10:30 a.m., Deputy Barbara A. Pill Law Enforcement Facility, 2290 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


Senate advances bill to arm teachers, expand school security” via Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press – The Senate Committee on Education approved an extensive school safety bill Tuesday that would pave the way for educators to carry guns on campuses across Florida. The bill cleared its first committee stop with two amendments as senators voted 5-3 along party lines, with Democrats in opposition, to move the proposal forward. No additional committee hearings for the measure are scheduled as of Tuesday.

Ray Rodrigues wants to prevent ‘wild, wild West’ of medical marijuana” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — State Rep. Rodrigues says lawmakers have to address the issue of medical marijuana smoking if only to stave off a “wild, wild West” scenario in Florida. The Estero Republican spoke to reporters after the House Health & Human Services Committee cleared its version of legislation to allow smoking — albeit with an amendment that watered it down somewhat. DeSantis gave lawmakers until mid-March to rewrite the state’s medical marijuana law to reflect the intentions of the state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana that 71 percent of Florida voters approved in 2016.

Lawmakers weigh ‘advanced’ birth centers” via Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida — With a key Senator saying hospitals can be “Petri dishes” for infections, lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would increase the number of options for pregnant women who are seeking out-of-hospital deliveries. Despite concerns about safety and potential effects of competition on hospitals, the Senate Health Policy Committee this week unanimously passed a measure (SB 448) by Chairwoman Gayle Harrell that would authorize “advanced birth centers” and allow them to offer certain women access to Caesarean deliveries and epidurals. The bill would allow the facilities to keep women for up to three days. Harrell said when the state initially authorized birth centers, they were established for women who wanted “simple, uncomplicated, low-risk, natural births.”

Expectant options: A proposal by Gayle Harrell to increase options for pregnant women by offering ‘advanced birth centers’ passed unanimously by the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Scoop — “House Democrats push back on early leadership vote” via Florida Politics — During what was seen as a ceremonial meeting of House Democrats three months ago, new rules were adopted by those present. Included in those changes was the addition of a single letter to the bylaws leader designate elections. The new rules permit the Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee to call for a vote to designate for Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore for “subsequent terms” — meaning he could bring up a vote to decide on the leaders for the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. … Rep. Ben Diamond said Monday that the 18 freshmen Democrats in the House haven’t even had enough time to get their bearings, let alone decide who among them will run the show in six years. His message called for a meeting of the Democratic caucus to roll back the changes … Orlando Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith seconded Diamond’s call. … “I was not aware of the significant changes to our bylaws. Nor was I aware that there was any real interest in electing our Leader Designate (as Republicans do) several terms in advance because the issue was never seriously discussed during any caucus meeting,” Smith said.

Today’s legislative committee meetings

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee will take up numerous issues, including receiving a presentation from the Department of Environmental Protection about Everglades restoration, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee will take up a bill that would carry out a constitutional amendment banning vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor workplaces. Voters approved the constitutional amendment during the November election, 8 a.m., 306 House Office Building.

The House Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee will consider a proposal that would authorize “Honor and Remember” flags to be flown at government buildings to honor fallen members of the U.S. armed forces, 8:30 a.m., 12 House Office Building.

The House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee will take up more than a dozen local budget projects proposed by lawmakers, 8:30 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will receive a presentation about the state’s citrus industry, 10 a.m., 412 Knott Building.

The House Health Market Reform Subcommittee is slated to take up a bill that would transfer powers and duties of the Department of Elder Affairs related to hospices, assisted living facilities, adult family day care homes and adult day care centers to the Agency for Health Care Administration, 10:30 a.m., 306 House Office Building.

The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will consider a proposal that would prevent auto-repair shops from offering gifts or other incentives to spur motorists to file insurance claims for windshield damage, 10:30 a.m., 404 House Office Building.

The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will receive a presentation from the Florida Department of Corrections about inmate health services and litigation, 10:30 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss university operating budgets and fund balances, 10:30 a.m., 212 Knott Building.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee and the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee are scheduled to take up bills that would prohibit the controversial oil- and gas-drilling process known as “fracking” in the state. House Agriculture & Natural Resources, 1:30 p.m., 12 House Office Building. Also, Senate Environment and Natural Resources, 1:30 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee will consider a proposal that would create a tax-credit program to try to boost workforce housing, 1:30 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will take up a bill that would require local governments to hold sales-tax referendums during general elections, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee will hold a workshop to discuss issues related to multiuse corridors, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building.

The House Business & Professions Subcommittee will consider a bill that would make changes in professional licensing to try to help people get jobs after leaving prison. The changes would apply to certified nursing assistants, barbers, cosmetologists and several types of contractors, 1:30 p.m., 212 Knott Building.

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee will receive a presentation from Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell at 1:30 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee will receive a presentation from the Department of Transportation about the SunPass Centralized Customer Service System, 1:30 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building.

The House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee will receive a presentation from the Department of Children and Families about changes in federal funding requirements for child welfare, 4 p.m., 12 House Office Building.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee will take up a proposal that would require ballot measures proposed by the state Constitution Revision Commission to contain only single subjects. Another item on the agenda would repeal the Commission, 4 p.m., 404 House Office Building.

The House Higher Education & Career Readiness Subcommittee will consider changing the name of Florida Keys Community College to The College of the Florida Keys and change the name of North Florida Community College to North Florida College, 4 p.m., 306 House Office Building.

The House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee will consider a proposal to expand a public-records exemption to prevent the release of photos, videos and audio recordings that show or record the killing of victims of “mass violence,” 4 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building.

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee will receive presentations about “safe schools” funding, 4 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building.

Happening today — A qualifying period begins for special elections in three House districts vacated by lawmakers who took state-level jobs. The special elections are in HD 7, left by former Rep. Halsey Beshears; HD 38, vacated by former Rep. Danny Burgess; and HD 97, vacated by former Rep. Jared Moskowitz. Qualifying starts at 8 a.m.

Assignment editors — Democratic state Reps. Joe Geller and Richard Stark, and Sen. Kevin Rader will announce they plan to file a bill to “close gaps in Florida’s hate crime laws,” 11:30 a.m., 4th-floor rotunda.

Governors Club Wednesday lunch buffet menu — Split pea and ham soup; mixed green salad; macaroni salad; egg salad; Charcuterie, cheese and bread; BBQ meatloaf; chicken potpie; fried catfish and hush puppies; mashed red potatoes; stewed tomatoes and okra; corn on the cob; English truffle for dessert.

Happening tonight:


DEO extends registration deadline for Rebuild Florida — The Department of Economic Opportunity said people now have until Friday, March 29, to apply for help from the recovery effort, which has nearly $350 million in federal funding to repair, rebuild or replace homes significantly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. “Gov. DeSantis is dedicated to helping Florida families still in need (and wants) to allow as many homeowners as possible to register for assistance,” DEO head Ken Lawson said. “I encourage anyone who still has damage from Hurricane Irma to visit to get help.” Homeowners can visit or call the Rebuild Florida customer center at (844) 833-1010 to get help.

ken lawson

Irma extension: DEO Ken Lawson said Ron DeSantis wants as many homeowners as possible to register for assistance for Hurricane Irma damage, so they are extending the deadline to visit

Judge won’t end decades-old Everglades cleanup oversight” via Curt Anderson of The Associated Press — Miami U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno rejected a motion by the South Florida Water Management District to end a decree signed in 1992. Among other things, the order sets thresholds for phosphorous in the Everglades, an ingredient in fertilizer from the vast sugar-growing regions to the north that promotes unhealthy plant growth in the sprawling marsh. Moreno said among his reasons for denying the water district’s motion is that its governing board is being largely replaced by new Gov. DeSantis, who has made the environment a top priority. The judge also said it would require a full evidentiary hearing on complicated scientific and environmental issues to end the decree.

Broward schools fought against 2013 plan for more security money” via Scott Travis of the Sun Sentinel — Broward schools turned down a proposal in 2013 to levy $55 million in tax dollars for school safety, money that might have made them better prepared for one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. But Superintendent Robert Runcie insisted at the time that he already had a plan to address school safety, and School Board members hated the idea because control over the money would have gone to a separate taxing district board.”

UCF board to pick new chair, leave investigations to state” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — The state heat is on the University of Central Florida as the Florida Legislature and the Florida Board of Governors are each investigating what looks like at least $85 million in misspending. Is the heat on the university’s Board of Trustees? In a contentious, sometimes chaotic meeting, the board’s third in less than a month, trustees debated long and hard about whether they were or should be, still investigating. In the end, they decided, no, they should let the state investigate while the board seeks to cooperate but not get in the way. However, the board did conclude it probably needs a new chair and set in motion procedures to pick a new one five months early, to replace Robert Garvy, who in turn replaced Marcos Marchena last month.

Newspapers dropping cartoon after Donald Trump vulgarity slips into Sunday’s papers” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — At least two Florida newspapers, the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida, are dropping the comic strip “Non-Sequitur” after the author slipped a vulgar reference to Trump into Sunday’s cartoon. The comic by David Wiley Miller included a little scrawl in the bottom of one of the drawings that appeared to read, to those readers who looked closely, “Go F*** yourself TRUMP.” According to the Sentinel and The Washington Post, it slipped by editors of the press syndicate that distributes the strip, Andrews McMeel Syndication. The syndication company and the author have apologized, they reported.

Trump’s non sequitur: Cartoonist David Wiley Miller added a little something extra in Sunday’s ‘Non-Sequitur’ comic, prompting apologies and dropped cartoons.


Virginia Fuller enters crowded GOP race for HD 7” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — Fuller is the fourth Republican to say they’ll run in a special election to fill the empty House District 7 seat. Fuller, who last year failed to unseat U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, opened a campaign account for the special election in the state Legislature earlier this week. The two-day qualifying period begins today. House District 7 covers or includes 10 counties in the Big Bend and Panhandle region. Former incumbent Rep. Beshears exited the seat after DeSantis picked him to lead the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Fuller spent more than $40,000 against Lawson in 2018 and took about a third of the vote.

Now there are 4: Former Republican congressional candidate Virginia Fuller has entered the increasingly crowded race for House District 7. Image via Facebook.

Jason Shoaf puts ‘small town values’ first in new ad — Republican Shoaf is dropping ‘Grit,’ a new digital campaign for the special election for HD 7, with the GOP primary April 9. “I understand what it means to work hard, earn a dollar and be proud of a job well done,” he says in the 15-second spot. “The career politicians don’t understand those values. Join me and we can shake things up… and put small-town values first.”

To view the ad, click on the image below:

Sam Garrison, Allison Tant start strong in fundraising” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics — Garrison raised $69,250 for his bid to replace term-limited Rep. Travis Cummings, a Fleming Island Republican, in Clay County’s House District 18. Included in his haul were 60-plus $1,000 checks, the maximum campaign contribution allowed under state law. Garrison is the only candidate with an open campaign account for the race. He is a lawyer who works in the same firm as Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley. Meanwhile, Tant raised $56,270 in January as she seeks to replace Tallahassee Democratic Rep. Loranne Ausley in Leon County’s House District 9. Ausley plans to run in 2020 for a Senate seat that will become open because Democratic Sen. Bill Montford faces term limits. Tant, a former chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, is the only candidate with an open campaign account for the House race.

Jenna Persons boasts heavy hitters on host committee for HD 78” run via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Persons, a Fort Myers attorney who filed Feb. 1 in District 78, kicks off her campaign Feb. 25 at the Marina at Edison Ford. State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, also an attorney, is term-limited in 2020. The host committee includes top political faces including state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, House Republican Leader Dane Eagle and state Rep. Ray Rodrigues. “As a fifth-generation Southwest Floridian, I understand the challenges and opportunities facing our community, and I am ready to make the tough choices needed to keep us safe, prosperous and thriving,” Persons said.


Marco Rubio’s committee reports need for trade actions against China” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Rubio‘s Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship study is spelled out in a 79-page economic report entitled “Made in China 2025 And The Future of American Industry.” It warns that China’s plan is the domination of critical commercial sectors, at the expense of the American economy. The report also makes the case that the manufacturing sector that appears to be ebbing in the United States, particularly of heavy goods such as machinery and vehicles, offers more stable employment for American workers and should not be allowed to so easily recede, or to be collapsed by Chinese ambitions. The report also is the first chapter in Rubio’s international economics policy package, which he pledged will be produced through his committee. Florida’s Republican Senator introduced it with a video released on social media.

The need to act: Marco Rubio’s Senate Small Business Committee found that manufacturing is ebbing in the United States, and China is to blame in part.

Assignment editors — Rubio, chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, will lead a hearing titled ‘Oversight of the U.S. Small Business Administration,’ 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, 428A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Anti-Matt Gaetz campaign raises $40K to ‘make Matt pay’ for clash with Parkland dads” via Kevin Robinson of the News Journal — U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz clashed with the fathers of two slain Parkland students last week, which irked some people so much they are donating to Gaetz’s 2020 political opponent without even knowing who that person will be. As of Tuesday morning, a campaign called ‘#MAKEMATTPAY’ had accrued more than 1,300 donations totaling more than $41,000, on Crowdpac, a crowdsourcing website for political campaigns.

Happening today — Republican political operative Roger Stone, recently charged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, will speak to the Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club, 11:30 a.m., City Fish Market, 7940 Glades Road, Boca Raton.


With promise to fight fraud, Ashley Moody proves herself no Pam Bondi” via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board —During the tenure of Bondi, Florida flourished as the nation’s fraud capital. While her office touted some victories, Bondi never became the crusader we need to fight identify theft, scams against seniors and the rampant fraud that keeps our health, home and car insurance premiums among the nation’s highest. But at the recent annual Associated Press Legislative Day in Tallahassee, Moody focused less on politically divisive issues and more on goals we can all support. They include fighting the opioid epidemic, suppressing human trafficking, improving services for the mentally ill and increasing support for law enforcement members. Most of all, we were heartened to hear she’s determined to make attacking fraud a top priority. She asks that we hold her accountable. In Tallahassee, Moody declared she will methodically engage her staff, other agencies and lawmakers to make consumer protection a reality in Florida. Her follow-through would represent a breath of fresh air for consumers and investors who are tired of choking on dinner-time pitches too good to be true.

Fact or fake: Anthony Sabatini says university warnings about guns were wrong” via Mike Lafferty of the Orlando Sentinel — Freshman state Rep. Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, has introduced a bill that would allow people with permits to carry concealed firearms on Florida’s college and university campuses. In an Orlando Sentinel article in January, he said safety warnings in other states that allow guns on campus have not come to pass. “States are laboratories of democracy,” Sabatini said. “And in those 12 states, none of the things university presidents said would happen happened.” The bottom line: University presidents and other administrators have warned of safety threats, staff departures and higher costs, and there is anecdotal evidence of guns accidentally discharging, staff leaving and costs going up. The trouble with Sabatini’s statement is he spoke in absolute terms. He said “none of the things” officials warned of on campuses had happened. They have, though rarely. Sabatini’s lack of nuance makes his statement Mostly Fake.

Want to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting? It’s simple: Ban assault weapons.” via Fabiola Santiago for the Miami Herald — The killers prove to us over and over that they kill because they want to — and they can because this country’s lax gun laws facilitate and enable the killing. Acquiring a high-powered weapon is as easy as walking into a weekend gun show in Anywhere USA. Same way you might acquire a painting at a decorator’s home show. In Florida, we even have a museum dedicated to the celebration and exultation of machine guns. It’s in Orlando, on one of the roads that lead you to Mickey Mouse. Rampant gun violence has become such a staple of life in America — so deadly still, despite the horror and the movements clamoring for change the killings generate — that not only are there journalists assigned to its coverage but an entire online news operation is devoted to nothing but reporting on that subject. We cannot claim ignorance. The information on how to end gun violence exists, but the naysayers to any form of gun control cling to an absolute and amplified ideal of the Second Amendment, as the gun industry and its lobby, the NRA, demand. Of them, I ask this question: Are you ready to sacrifice the life of a loved one for the cause?


Alico’s embattled CEO Remy Trafelet resigns” via Laura Layden of the Daily News — Trafelet has voluntarily resigned as president and CEO of Fort Myers-based Alico Inc. He’s also stepped down as a board director after reaching a settlement with the publicly traded agribusiness and land management company.  In a news release, Alico described the settlement agreement as “amicable,” stating it was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders and was “beneficial for all parties.” As part of the agreement, the dueling sides have dismissed civil lawsuits against each other filed in Delaware and Florida.

Personnel note: Insurance Consumer Advocate joins Berger SingermanC. Sha’Ron James has left her post as the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate to join business law firm Berger Singerman. “Sha’Ron’s wealth of experience working with government agencies and the general public make her a great addition to our deep bench of talent in the Tallahassee market. Our clients in this important market and throughout the state will benefit from Sha’Ron’s talent and experience,” said firm co-chair Paul Steven Singerman. James has more than 20 years of experience in Tallahassee’s public and private sectors, specializing in insurance dispute resolution, business reorganization, health care, insurance, complex commercial litigation, and administrative and regulatory law. She is an alumna of Florida A&M University, Syracuse University and the University of Florida, where she earned her law degree. She will work in Berger Singerman’s Tallahassee office.

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James is leaving state government for a post with business law firm Berger Singerman. Image via Tallahassee Democrat.

New and renewed lobbying registrations:

Samual Ard, Ard Shirley & Rudolph: Florida Independent Petroleum Producers

Fred Baggett, Timothy Stanfield, Greenberg Traurig: Aveanna Healthcare, Enterprise Leasing Company of Florida, Green Point Research

Kirk Bailey: ACLU of Florida

Brian Ballard, Brady Benford, Chris Dorworth, Mathew Forrest, William Turbeville, Ballard Partners: Major League Baseball, MM Enterprises USA, National Basketball Association, PGA TOUR

Robert Beck, PinPoint Results: Baptist Health South Florida

Travis Blanton, Jon Johnson, Johnson & Blanton: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Florida Internet & Television, Jackson Hospital

Stuart Brown, SKB Consulting Group: Teaching Strategies

Anthony Carvalho, Capitol Hill Group: Florida Association of Children’s Hospitals

Rosanna Catalano, Capitol Energy Florida: FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe)

Johanna Clark, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt: Florida Justice Reform Institute

Kelly Cohen, Southern Strategy Group: City of Orlando

Carlos Cruz, Cesar Fernandez, Brad Nail, Jon Yapo, Converge Government Affairs of Florida: Electronic Arts, Miami Shores Village, Revel Transit, Starsky Robotics, State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Town of Cutler Bay, Vivid Seats

George Feijoo, Floridian Partners: Florida Insurance Council,

Beth Gosnell, BG & Associates International: Florida Association of Wholesale Distributors

Jeff Greene, Jeff Greene & Associates: Green Roads West

Rhett O’Doski, McGuireWoods Consulting: ActivEd

Rico Pasamba, GrayRobinson: Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association

David Ramba, Evan Power, Cameron Yarbrough, Ramba Consulting Group: American Medical Response, Motorola Solutions

Gregory Read, Department of Elder Affairs

Patrick Sheehan, The Gregson Group: Algenol Biotech

— ALOE —

Tourists will overrun Miami on Presidents Day weekend. Here’s a look at the main events.” via Taylor Dolvin of the Miami Herald — The Miami Yacht Show, Miami International Boat Show, Coconut Grove Art Festival, Art Wynwood fair, and the Design District’s luxury watch and car shows will make the long weekend one of Miami’s busiest tourism weekends of the year. For the past five years, average hotel occupancy during Friday-Monday of Presidents Day weekend has hovered around 89 percent, far above the 77 percent yearly average for those years, according to data from STR. Last year Miami’s hotel occupancy during the busy weekend was 90 percent, outdone by only two other 2018 weekends: March 23-26 (Ultra Music Festival weekend with 91.4 percent occupancy) and December 28-31 (Orange Bowl College Football Playoff game weekend with 90.6 percent occupancy).

A tiny monkey was stolen from a Florida zoo” via The Associated Press — Police in Florida need help finding a little monkey that was stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo. Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter announced that 12-year-old Kali, a rare Goeldi’s monkey, was taken from her enclosure. A zookeeper discovered the monkey missing during early morning rounds and then saw that the mesh had been cut open. Police are seeking help identifying a person seen in surveillance video walking along the zoo’s perimeter. Goeldi’s monkeys, also known as callimicos, are naturally from the Amazon. Zoo president Margo McKnight said they are “increasingly sought after for the illegal pet trade.”

Give me back my monkey: 12-year-old Kali, a rare Goeldi’s monkey, was stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo. These tiny monkeys are very popular in the illegal pet trade.


Happy birthday to former Democratic congressional candidate Kristen Carlson of Lakeland.

Today’s Sunburn was written by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Joe Henderson, Daniel McAuliffe, Jim Rosica, and Drew Wilson.

Written By

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.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

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