Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 5.15.24

Sunburn Orange Tally (7)
Start the morning right — with your morning rundown of the day in Florida politics.

Good Wednesday morning.

Ballard Partners continued expanding its West Coast footprint this Spring with the addition of Purvi Doshi as a Partner in its Los Angeles office.

Doshi brings over 15 years of comprehensive experience in public affairs, lobbying and communications, with a proven track record of success across a wide range of industries.

“We are thrilled to welcome Purvi to Ballard Partners,” said firm founder and President Brian Ballard. “Her deep understanding of California’s political landscape and her extensive experience in diverse sectors will be invaluable to our clients in Los Angeles and beyond.”

Ballard Partners expands its West Coast footprint with the hire of public affairs expert Purvi Doshi.

She began her career as the lead staff member for Los Angeles City Council member Bernard C. Parks. She later worked as a consultant at Mercury Public Affairs, where she was responsible for navigating complex projects for clients in real estate development and construction.

Most recently, Doshi served as the Government Affairs lead at SoCalGas, where she played a pivotal role in securing support for major pipeline projects while advocating for the responsible use of natural gas in California’s energy mix. Additionally, she brings significant expertise in emerging industries, having served startups Pacaso and AirMap.

“I am excited to join Ballard Partners, a firm known for its strategic approach and unwavering commitment to client service,” Doshi said. “I look forward to leveraging my experience to deliver outstanding results for our clients across California and throughout the West Coast.”

“Purvi’s addition strengthens our Los Angeles office and positions us to better serve clients in the region,” said Joe Buscaino, Managing Partner of Ballard Partners’ Los Angeles office. “Her diverse background and strategic thinking will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

Founded in Florida, Ballard Partners has quickly grown to international prominence over the past decade. After setting up shop in Washington seven years ago, the firm has gone on to open satellite branches in multiple states and international offices in Israel, Turkey and Nigeria.

The firm expanded into California in late 2022, opening its first office in the Los Angeles metro area. It later set up shop in the state capital, Sacramento, and added former top staffers in California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration to its roster of advocates.

MeanwhileShein hires Ballard Partners” via Caitlin Oprysko of POLITICO


Publix has now donated 100 million pounds of produce to Feeding America partner food banks, including nearly 52 million pounds to food banks in Florida.

It marks a milestone for the Lakeland-based grocer, which began purchasing produce from struggling farmers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to both help farmers make ends meet and to help provide fresh fruit and vegetables to families in need through food bank partners.

“As a grocery retailer, we can make our largest impact by helping feed our neighbors in need. Donating 100 million pounds of produce is an example of the difference Publix associates make year-round,” Publix CEO Kevin Murphy said.

The donated produce is just one way Publix works to make a difference in its operating area, which covers Florida and parts of the Southeast U.S.

The company has also launched its Good Together hunger alleviation campaign, which was formerly known as Feeding More Together. The program unites customers and associates twice a year to provide food to those facing food insecurity. The program also provides food from its stores that is beyond the sell-by date, but still safe for consumption.

Because of its contributions, Feeding America recognizes Publix as one of its Visionary Partners.

Publix employs more than 255,000 associates throughout its service area, with 1,376 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.


Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

@DebbieforFL: You can take away the lights from the bridge, but you will never dim the lights from our spirit. In Florida and across the nation, LOVE is LOVE.

@EvanPower: Let me be clear @christifraga does not reflect the view of the @FloridaGOP. The starting point is release all the hostages. We as a party stand with Israel

Tweet, tweet:


‘The Blue Angels,’ a feature documentary from J.J. Abrams opens in IMAX theaters — 3; ‘Bridgerton’ new season (part one) premieres on Netflix — 4; French Open begins — 6; Special Election to replace Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill — 6; Dave Matthews Band 2024 Summer Tour begins in Tampa — 8; Monaco Grand Prix — 12; Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 18; the 2024 World Cup begins — 28; DreamWorks Land officially opens at Universal Orlando — 31; season two of ‘House of the Dragon’ returns to Max — 33; Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Disney World — 44; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 45; Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday begins — 48; Universal Mega Movie Parade debuts — 49; Republican National Convention begins — 60; the 2024 World Cup ends — 64; 2024 MLS All-Star Game — 69; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games on NBC/Peacock — 72; ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ premieres — 73; Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins — 76; ‘Alien: Romulus’ premieres — 94; Florida Primary Election — 98; Democratic National Convention begins — 98; second Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins — 102; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 102; Tool Time Sales Tax Holiday begins — 110; 2024 NFL season kicks off — 115; Packers will face Eagles in Brazil — 115; first Presidential Debate — 125; Vice Presidential Debate — 134; second Presidential Debate — 140; third Presidential Debate — 148; Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 157; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 161; Florida TaxWatch’s 45th Annual Meeting — 170; 2024 Presidential Election — 174; Las Vegas Grand Prix — 188; ‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ premieres — 202; MLS Cup 2024 — 203; ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ premieres — 273; the 2025 Oscars — 292; Florida’s 2025 Legislative Session begins — 294; 2025 Session ends — 354; ‘Moana’ premieres — 404; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 435; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 435; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 541; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 583; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 720; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 737; Another untitled ‘Star Wars’ movie premieres — 948; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,088; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,047; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,769.


Joe Biden admin asks U.S. Supreme Court to reject Seminole Gaming Compact challenge” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — Biden’s administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a legal challenge to Florida’s multibillion-dollar deal with the Seminole Tribe that allows sports betting, citing “flawed” arguments by the plaintiffs and the state’s “capacious” regulatory powers.

The new Seminole Compact gets an assist from the Biden administration.

Department of Justice attorneys filed a motion on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which allowed the Gaming Compact to go into effect, to deny a hearing request from a pair of Florida companies suing to kill the agreement.

In the motion, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar and Department of the Interior lawyers contended that lower courts rightly rebuffed challenges from the companies, which were “incorrect” on multiple counts, including an argument that the deal violates the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection clause.


Citizens Board OKs up to $5.5B reinsurance purchase” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics — The Board of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. approved the purchase of $5.5 billion in reinsurance coverage for the 2024 hurricane season, at a cost of up to $750 million. If the coverage and the cost both hit those levels, it would be an increase on last year’s purchase of $5.38 billion in coverage for $650 million. Last year the Board initially approved $725 million before paring it back to $675 million, and staff tasked with making the purchase only spent $650 million. Citizens Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Montero explained to the Board that reinsurance rates are only slightly higher than last year, reflecting a stabilizing market in Florida but also one in which inflation and the prospect of interest rates remaining at current levels are significant factors.

Citizens makes a substantial purchase in reinsurance coverage ahead of the upcoming hurricane season.

Happening today — Florida TaxWatch will release its 2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report, an independent review of the state’s Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget, identifying individual appropriations that circumvented the budget process: 10 a.m., Florida TaxWatch Headquarters, 106 North Bronough Street, Tallahassee. Zoom link available upon request via email at [email protected] or by cell/text at (850) 339-5773.

—2024 — FLORIDA —

Aaron Dimmock’s campaign against Matt Gaetz goes live online” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Dimmock, a Republican Primary challenger to Gaetz, has now formally announced his candidacy and launched a campaign website. An official site can now be seen at The site was taken — by Gaetz’s team. On Dimmock’s site, the retired Naval Officer presents his professional and personal biography, along with a picture of himself with his wife Kim and their four children. “I am incredibly excited about our journey ahead! Please feel free to share as you deem appropriate and thank you tremendously for your support as Kim, our family, and I move through this campaign to help our citizens of Florida’s U.S. House 1st District!” Dimmock posted on a new campaign LinkedIn page.

Aaron Dimmock gets serious about his campaign. Image via

Mike Johnson endorses Mike Haridopolos’ bid for Congress” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Haridopolos now boasts the support of arguably the most powerful member of Congress. U.S. House Speaker Johnson is endorsing the Indian Harbour Beach Republican. He said the former Florida Senate President has a track record that would be useful in Washington. “Mike Haridopolos is a tested conservative leader with a proven record of fighting for lower taxes, balanced budgets and common-sense values,” Johnson said. “In Congress, I know Mike will stand firm with House Republicans to secure the border, protect our national security, and make America affordable again for families. Mike has my complete endorsement.”

— 2024 — PRESIDENTIAL & DC —

‘We are better than this.’ Byron Donalds scorches Democrats at Donald Trump trial in New York” via Amy Bennett Williams of the Fort Myers News-Press — An indignant Donalds stood outside Trump’s New York trial, calling the process a farce. “The Democrat party has lost their ever-lovin’ minds,” the Naples Congressman said in a Fox News clip he posted to X. Donalds was there along with other prominent Republicans offering high-profile moral support to Trump as he stands trial on 34 felony charges of falsifying business records relating to hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels after their alleged affair. Trump has pleaded not guilty. Donalds has been with the former President a lot lately, most recently in Palm Beach at the Republican National Committee’s Spring donor retreat.

Donald Trump’s followers cheer him on. Image via Curtis Means/Daily Mail/Bloomberg.

Ken Griffin waits to see Trump’s VP pick before backing him” via Nishant Kumar and Erik Schatzker of Bloomberg — Griffin, one of the most prolific supporters of Republicans across the U.S., said he’s waiting to see who Trump picks as his running mate before backing his candidacy for President. A Trump administration would likely improve America’s standing on the world stage, Griffin said from the Qatar Economic Forum. He declined to name who he’d like to see as the 77-year-old’s vice-presidential pick.

GOP challenger calls Brian Mast a ‘traitor’ for wearing IDF uniform after Oct. 7” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — U.S. Rep. Mast’s sole GOP Primary challenger thinks he should be behind bars for wearing an Israel Defense Force (IDF) uniform. Rick Wiles, an antisemitic conspiracy-peddling media mogul, said Mast’s donning of IDF attire he acquired through volunteer service was “treasonous.” He vows, if elected, to introduce the “Brian Mast Foreign Military Uniform Anti-Treason Act” to make such an action by a member of Congress or their staff punishable by 10 years in prison. “Brian Mast dishonored every member of the American Armed Forces and all our veterans by wearing an IDF uniform and volunteering to serve in Israel,” Wiles said. “Mr. Mast cannot be trusted with classified national security information that would benefit Israel.”


Chuck Brannan draws ‘conservative Democrat’ challenger in HD 10” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Live Oak’s Robert “Bobby” J. Brady Jr. filed to oppose Brannan in House District 10, which includes the counties of Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Union and some of Alachua counties. While the district is 55% Republican, suggesting it’s an unlikely one to be flipped, Brady is betting that despite having moved to the area in the last year from Tampa, he can make some headway in a “predominantly Republican” district against Brannan. Brady describes himself as a “conservative Democrat” and depicts Brannan as a puppet of Gov. Ron DeSantis. “I know this guy has a 40-point lead over me and he has money, and he has everything in the world, and he is a rubber stamp for whatever the Governor wants him to do, you know. No real backbone. Never, never any, ‘Well, gee, let me put the people first’ or at least that I’ve seen,” said Brady, a native of Connecticut who moved to the district last Summer.

Chuck Brannan draws a ‘conservative’ Democratic opponent.

Nick Primrose backed by the Blue in HD 18 — One of the state’s largest police unions is backing Republican Primrose in the race of House District 18. As we approach the 2024 Elections, we are aware that strong leaders are needed to lead Florida to a prosperous and safe future. We need leaders that are dedicated to serving their constituents and protecting the citizens in their community,” Florida Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona said. “Nick Primrose is the choice of the men and women in FOP District Two.” The FOP endorsement comes shortly after Primrose snagged the nod from the state’s other major police union, the Florida Police Benevolent Association. HD 18, which covers part of St. Johns County, is currently represented by term-limited Rep. Cyndi Stevenson. The only other candidate for HD 18 is Republican Kim Kendall. Since no Democrats or NPA candidates made the ballot, the Aug. 20 Republican primary will be open to all voters.

Liberty Caucus backs Steve Shives for HD 27Shives’ campaign for House District 27 announced it has received an endorsement from the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, a volunteer grassroots membership organization committed to advancing the ideologies of individual rights, limited government, and free markets within the Republican Party. “On behalf of the State Board of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, it is my pleasure to announce that Steve Shives has been endorsed in the 2024 race for Florida House District 27,” Caucus Vice Chair Karyn Morton said. “After Steve’s interview, we were impressed with his networking in the district, plan of action for the campaign, natural inclination to fight for constitutional issues, and commitment to winning this race.”

Happening tonight:

— LOCAL: S. FL —

New Florida law roils its condo market three years after Surfside collapse” via Deborah Acosta of The Wall Street Journal — Condo inventory for sale in South Florida has more than doubled since the first quarter of last year, to more than 18,000 units. While the sharp rise in Florida home insurance costs is driving some to sell, most of the units on the market are in buildings 30 years or older. Under the new law, buildings must pass milestone structural inspections no later than 30 years after they are built. In Miami, about 38% of the housing stock is condos, the highest of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. Of those buildings, nearly three-quarters are at least 30 years old. While units built less than 30 years ago are selling for about 38% more today than they did in 2020, units 30 years or older are now going for almost 12% less than they did back then.

New condo rules go into effect three years after the Surfside tragedy. Image via AP.

Did lawmakers clean up a condo-hotel mess or create ‘dictatorships’ for developers?” via Alexandra Glorioso of the Miami Herald — A courtroom fight over a luxury Miami Beach condo and hotel complex spilled into Florida’s Capitol this year, where lawmakers gave hoteliers and developers the upper hand in disputes with residents over common areas in so-called hotel-condos — and potentially undercut a key reform put in place after the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside. Due to a late amendment, a sprawling, 154-page condo-law bill that unanimously passed the House and Senate states that condominium residents in mixed-use buildings only own what has been given to them upfront in contracts drafted by developers. That often includes only the units themselves.

Miami sued by insurance company for paying Commissioner Joe Carollo’s legal fees” via Joshua Ceballos of WLRN — The city of Miami may be on the hook for millions of dollars in a new lawsuit arising out of Commissioner Carollo’s long-standing legal battle with Little Havana property owners. QBE Specialty Insurance Company, a firm that provides legal insurance coverage for municipalities, this week sued the city in federal court. The company seeks to recover the millions of dollars it has paid to the city since 2018 to cover the legal costs of defending Carollo in a series of lawsuits. “This action seeks a declaration that QBE has no duty under the … Policies to defend the City, Carollo or any of the other individuals who are defendants in the Underlying Lawsuits,” QBE wrote in its 66-page complaint.

Should Miami-Dade taxpayers foot $46M in World Cup costs? That’s the plan” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald — World Cup’s 2026 games in Miami Gardens are bringing some early sticker shock to Miami-Dade’s County Hall over the $46 million in expenses that organizers want taxpayers to fund. Legislation to endorse the subsidy package easily advanced through a County Commission Committee, despite some pushback on the government spending that’s been requested for the seven international soccer games coming to Hard Rock Stadium in two years. “Why are we giving them this money?” Commissioner Marleine Bastien asked ahead of the unanimous vote by the Commission’s Policy Council to advance the public funding to a final vote before the full Board. While she asked questions about the item, Bastien joined other Committee members in voting for it.

County Commissioner Mack Bernard added as individual defendant in pay to play lawsuit” via Mike Diamond of the Palm Beach Post — Circuit Judge Joseph Curley has ruled that Palm Beach County Commissioner Bernard can be individually sued for the role he played in the award of a multimillion-dollar contract to oversee the construction of new fire stations. County Commissioners voted 4-3 on March 22, 2022, to give the work to Core Construction Services of Florida, despite the county purchasing agent’s finding that the company was improperly given credit for having a presence in Palm Beach County. When points were taken away from Core, Robling Architecture Construction of Green Acres was in line to receive the contract. But Mack and then Commissioner David Kerner led the fight at the Commission meeting to instead award the contract to Core.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Clermont voters elect Tod Howard to fill vacancy on City Council” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Clermont voters have elected Howard to complete the term of late City Council member Jim Purvis. Howard, the owner of Carefree Boats of Central Florida, faced Give A Day Foundation founder Otis Taylor in a Special Election. According to unofficial election results from the Lake County Supervisor of Elections, Howard won 55.62% of the vote or 1,806 votes to Taylor’s 1,441. Howard ran on a platform that included low taxes, waterways protection and small business support. “As a local business owner for over 25 years, this has given me valuable insights into the challenges that small businesses encounter on a daily basis,” Howard wrote on his campaign website.

Orlando police, FHP ID five pro-Palestine protesters arrested over the weekend” via Cristóbal Reyes of the Orlando Sentinel — The names of the two people arrested at a pro-Palestine rally in downtown Orlando were released, as organizers criticized the police’s handling of what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Kelvin Santos Mulero, 22, and Frankie Pagan, 19, were arrested on charges of battery on law enforcement after Orlando police officers shoved through a crowd of demonstrators to reach a woman speaking over a megaphone. The arrests came at the end of a march throughout Lake Eola Park, where 1,200 people gathered waving Palestinian flags amid Israel’s continued assault on Gaza following a deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Pro-Palestinian protests over the weekend results in several arrests.

Orlando will pay $6 million to bring Travel + Leisure downtown” via Ryan Gillespie of the Orlando Sentinel — Orlando City Commissioners signed off on an incentive package of more than $6 million this week to bring Travel + Leisure up the road to a planned headquarters downtown. The company, formally Wyndham Destinations, plans to move its more than 900 current employees into 501 W. Church Street, near the Kia Center, from its current office in Williamsburg near SeaWorld Orlando. Travel + Leisure also plans to hire 102 more people in the coming years. The agreements mark a culmination of talks Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer first revealed publicly in his State of Downtown speech last September. In the city’s 2019 deal with EA, the company, which moved from nearby Maitland, will recoup up to $9 million in property taxes if it maintains a workforce of at least 600 people at its new studio in Creative Village.

Seminole hotel guests may soon fund new indoor events complex in county” via Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — Seminole County Commissioners took the first step toward building a large indoor complex for sports tournaments and other events estimated to cost more than $65 million. Commissioners approved forming a tourism improvement district that allows hotels with more than 65 rooms to tack on an extra fee to a guest’s bill for each room night’s stay. County officials and hoteliers have long said Seminole needs an indoor venue for events that attract visitors and fill hotel rooms. “We need to continue to build tourism here and this is the next step,” said Bruce Skwarlo, General Manager of the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary and Chair of Seminole’s Tourist Development Council.

Most Brevard County judicial races already wrapped up” via John A. Torres of Florida Today — Brevard County voters will have a say in only three of the eight local judicial races this year as five of the Space Coast races went uncontested. The qualifying period to run for Judge closed on April 26, resulting in County Judges Thomas Brown and Katie Jacobus, along with Circuit Judges Charlie Crawford, Jigisia Patel-Dookhoo, and Kathryn M. Speicher, essentially being re-elected to the bench. Also elected without opposition were Seminole-based Circuit Judges Melissa D. Souto and William S. Orth. The 18th Judicial Circuit is composed of both Brevard and Seminole counties. Judges Judith Atkin, Kenneth Friedland and Jennifer Taylor are retiring at the end of their terms and did not seek re-election. Those are the three contested races.

Public invited as NSB Commission selects finalists in search for new City Manager” via Brenno Carillo of the Daytona Beach News-Journal — The New Smyrna Beach City Commission will continue its process of selecting the new City Manager in a public meeting Thursday. After choosing 13 semifinalists during a public meeting last month, the Board now hopes to narrow down the field to up to five candidates, one of whom will replace Khalid Resheidat in August, when he retires. Early this year, the city hired Strategic Government Resources, Inc. (SGR) to conduct the candidate search. SGR’s Executive Vice President, Doug Thomas, explained in the previous meeting that the semifinalists would complete “a fairly detailed” questionnaire and participate in video interviews and a media search by SGR before the finalists’ selection.


Could two referendums on Hillsborough’s ballot spell doom for both?” via Sue Carlton and Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times — The showdown played out publicly during a Hillsborough County Commission meeting earlier this year. Commissioners were discussing whether to seek voter approval to extend a half-cent sales tax that for nearly 30 years has paid for everything from Raymond James Stadium to fire stations, libraries, parks, police and court facilities — with 25% going to schools. Attending the meeting: The Superintendent of the Hillsborough County School District, which was planning its own property tax referendum so it could pay higher wages to school employees. Hillsborough Commission Chair Ken Hagan and others have expressed concerns that voters might reject two requests on the same ballot — both that would benefit schools — if they viewed the taxes as “double dipping.”

Ken Hagen is concerned about two tax referendums in Hillsborough County.

Pinellas School Board approves November tax referendum” via Jeffrey S. Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times — The Pinellas County School Board made it official on Tuesday, unanimously deciding to ask voters to renew a special property tax at double the rate they’ve been paying for the last 20 years. The action advances the measure to County Commissioners for placement on the November ballot. School Board members gave their initial nod to the referendum at a workshop last week, saying it would extend added pay beyond teachers to include support employees like classroom aides, cafeteria workers and bus drivers. Representatives from several community organizations showed up at Tuesday’s Board meeting to offer their full backing.

Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Kenny Irby named to leadership roles in St. Pete Office of Equity” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch has named former St. Pete City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman and the Rev. Kenny Irby to key roles in the city’s Office of Equity. Both hires will serve in positions meant to bolster safe neighborhoods throughout the city. Irby will serve as the city’s new Faith and Community Justice Liaison, while Wheeler-Bowman will start as the new Community Impact and Safety Liaison. In her role, Wheeler-Bowman will spearhead initiatives to support at-risk youth and create a safer city. Her role will be dedicated to nurturing partnerships and implementing new programs to address multifaceted needs among at-risk youth, while contributing to a stronger, more resilient community. Irby previously served as Director of Community Intervention and Juvenile Outreach for the St. Pete Police Department. In his new role, Irby will work to strengthen engagement with the faith community by increasing awareness of city services and programs.

Citrus County Commissioners, Sheriff Mike Prendergast spar over grant” via Mike Wright of Florida Politics — Relations between Citrus County Commissioners and Sheriff Prendergast, deteriorating since a flubbed federal grant last year, continue to slide. Commissioners turned aside Prendergast’s request that the county sign a Department of Justice (DOJ) COPS grant to hire up to 46 officers. Commissioners also set a June 11 public hearing to establish a special municipal services taxing district, or MSTU, to fund law enforcement. Prendergast denounced the move. “The mere suggestion to create an MSTU for law enforcement is a deliberate, misguided, undisguised, or more aptly labeled inaction, designed to do one thing, and that’s to defund police.”

Tampa General, USF designated one of first behavioral health teaching hospitals in Florida” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics — Lawmakers and community leaders convened in Tampa this week to celebrate one of the state’s first behavioral health teaching hospitals at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), in partnership with University of South Florida (USF). Construction is already well underway to build the new TGH Behavioral Health Hospital in the Tampa Medical and Research District, but when Senate Bill 330 was signed into law this year, it gave a whole new meaning to this state-of-the-art destination for behavioral health services. House Speaker Paul Renner; Sen. Jim Boyd; Sen. Darryl Rouson; Reps. Jennifer Canady, Karen Gonzalez Pittman, Kimberly Berfield and Dianne Hart; as well as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, were among the lawmakers who joined Tampa General and USF on Monday. Boyd carried Senate Bill 330 in the upper chamber and was a component of President Kathleen Passidomo’s “Live Healthy” initiative.

Lawmakers cheer on the proposed TGH Behavioral Health Hospital in the Tampa Medical and Research District. Image via USF Health/X.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Allison Tant seeks action after elderly suffer in powerless Tallahassee” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel — State Rep. Tant wants to make an example of a Tallahassee apartment complex for low-income seniors that had no power or on-site staff after tornadoes left much of the state capital without electricity over the weekend. “This exposed a gap in service” for seniors, Tant said. “We’ve got to figure out how to address this. We can’t have seniors who are insulin resistant and lack mobility without food or water.” The power went out Friday after two massive tornadoes touched down in Tallahassee, heavily damaging much of the city’s power grid. By Sunday, residents of the Brookestone Senior Residences walked along Apalachee Parkway, a four-lane highway near the apartment complex, asking for food. Resident David Hand, 76, said many of his neighbors needed electricity for their medical devices.

Continued power outages in Tallahassee have drawn the ire of Allison Tant.

Gulf Breeze News publisher seeks Senate seat” via South Santa Rosa News — Gulf Breeze News publisher Lisa Newell got tired of Republicans automatically winning office in the red district of Northwest Florida since Democrats couldn’t find any candidates to go on the ballot. That gave Newell no choice but to run herself and be the one to challenge Don Gaetz, father of U.S. Congressman Gaetz, for Florida Senate District 1. Newell announced her candidacy Tuesday with a scathing guest opinion column that attacked the Republican-controlled Legislature. “Are we also going to allow a supermajority of Republicans to bend the rules as they did this year to allow our Governor not to have to ‘resign to run’ for U.S. President,” she wrote. “Because of this, Gov. DeSantis spent months in Iowa instead of helping lower home insurance rates and addressing the lowest teacher pay in the U.S.” She argued Florida can do better. “I got tired of hearing DeSantis say Florida is “where woke goes to die.” I think it is time to wake up and take care of business,” she wrote.

More than $10K collected for Tallahassee Railroad Square artists, vendors” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics — More than $10,000 has been raised to help the tenants of the Railroad Square (RRSQ) Art District following the May 10 thunderstorm and tornado that walloped Capital City in the early morning hours. RRSQ GoFundMe organizer Will Crowley said a $500 contribution from Liam’s Restaurant in nearby Thomasville, Georgia, pushed the total collected to date to $10,758. As of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, more than 172 people had made donations. Along with Liam’s Restaurant, other top donors include Chris Dudley, City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow and Paul Mitchell. Crowley also thanked the TLH Beer Society, LeMoyne Arts and Florida Politics for boosting the fundraising efforts.

Tallahassee’s generosity shows in the donations to Railroad Square artists and vendors. Image via Valarie Crowder/X.

Proposed $1.4 billion deal for EverBank Stadium renovations is in City Council’s hands” via David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union — A proposed stadium deal that would stand as Jacksonville’s biggest investment ever in being an NFL city got its first public airing Tuesday when Mayor Donna Deegan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping gave City Council members highlights of the agreement. The city would pay $775 million of the $1.4 billion of work done at the stadium, or 55% of the tab. The taxpayer share of the work would be less than recently enacted stadium deals for the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, though in the case of those two franchises, state and local government teamed up to finance the taxpayer portion. The state of Florida doesn’t subsidize stadium deals, so the city of Jacksonville is on its own for the taxpayer part of the expense for the stadium.

The promises, contradictions and perils of Jaguars stadium agreement” via Nate Monroe of the Florida Times-Union — It’s tempting to believe the deal reflects, to some degree, a tacit acknowledgment from the Jaguars that public sentiment is more complicated than NFL boosters will sometimes admit, and that the city has meaningful political and financial limits: $775 million, even if it’s less than the near-$1 billion spelled out in a previous proposal, is incredibly generous support from its host city. It’s an amount that will meaningfully sap the city’s financial capacity, no matter how clever a plan Deegan’s chief negotiator, Mike Weinstein, came up with to cover the obligation. The most vulnerable facet of the deal is what’s called the “community benefits agreement,” in which an NFL team pledges a certain amount of money each year for neighborhood or civic investment over the life of the stadium lease.


Money is flowing into candidates’ bank accounts” via Bob Mudge of Sun Newspapers — With about a month before qualifying for county offices begins, a number of candidates have already amassed big war chests, according to county Supervisor of Elections websites. Not all of them have opponents yet. In Sarasota County, Republican incumbents Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Karen Rushing ($23,900 in monetary contributions); Sheriff Kurt Hoffman ($21,800); Property Appraiser Bill Furst ($14,050); and Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner ($7,020) have no opponent so far. Incumbent Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates ($27,620), the county’s lone elected Democrat, is being challenged by two Republicans: Mike Moran ($100,385), who is precluded by term limits from running for the County Commission again, and Charles Bear ($1,124.70).

Karen Rushing is posting some serious bank.


The big babies in Florida are afraid of rainbow bridges now” via Stephanie Hayes of the Tampa Bay Times — June is right around the corner, which means it’s time to prepare for summertime truths. Hurricane season looms, science fiction-style bugs will scamper into the house and most of us will be captive inside a Target during at least one thunderstorm.

Please be aware of the biggest seasonal risk: Rapidly increasing temperatures will render a bunch of sensitive adults extra fussy, much like babies who have dropped their pacifiers but do not yet have the vocabulary to ask for help.

The thing that will really push these grown toddlers over the edge? Rainbows. Yes, rainbows. The resplendent Roy G. Biv himself will force a certain faction of unsettlingly large infants into a jumbo Pack ‘N Play reserved for sniveling wah-wah sadsie pants.

It’s crucial this June to take care of the snowflakes in your life. That’s because June is Pride month in America, marking a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and acknowledging the ongoing struggle for rights in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising.

June means rainbow flags will appear on lawns, on storefronts and in parades, often with no adequate trigger warnings! Corporations will change Instagram avatars without prior approval from the government!

Those petulant bundles of joy are already fully activated. Take the Sunshine Skyway bridge, Tampa Bay’s most recognizable symbol of connectedness, a bustling thoroughfare that touches several counties. For the past three years, the Florida Department of Transportation has lit the bridge with a rainbow motif for one week in June.

Now, you’re asking: “I know rainbow fear is a real thing, and I respect these giant preschoolers’ need for additional sensitivity. But how can one moppet’s opinion bring down an entire community event?”

Great question because it’s not really supposed to work that way.


Advancing mental health care access for Floridians” via Mary Mayhew for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel — According to Mental Health America, here in Florida, more than 2.9 million adults have experienced a mental illness. Of them, more than half are not receiving treatment. For many, it’s not that they won’t seek treatment; they cannot access it. Like the rest of the nation, the Sunshine State is experiencing a serious shortage of behavioral health providers. We do not have enough to meet the growing demand for services. Mental health crises do not only occur during regular office hours, and the closure of massive state institutions decades ago did not mean that the individuals in need of care went away. The good news is that Florida is doing something about it. In partnership with community organizations and our state leaders, Florida hospitals are working to increase access to services, grow our workforce and support the Floridians who need help the most.

Global regulatory overreach threatens Florida’s tech leadership” via Doug Kelly for Florida Politics — A recent study by my organization, the American Edge Project, using data from PitchBook, found that a growing surge of anti-innovation regulations both in the United States and globally could significantly damage Florida’s tech ecosystem, putting jobs and growth in jeopardy. For example, aggressive proposals to limit mergers and acquisitions (M&A), pushed by both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), could make it harder for Florida’s startups to raise capital, scale their operations, create jobs and successfully start new enterprises. The study also highlights the importance of maintaining a regulatory environment that supports, rather than hinders, business investment activity. It is essential for both federal and state policymakers to advocate for and nurture innovation; failing to do so risks undermining our own technological progress and ceding a long-term advantage to China in the global tech competition.

The truth about solar energy benefits in Florida” via Marc Lopata for Florida Politics — As a solar engineer on hundreds of solar projects over the last 20 years, I’ve seen the benefits of solar in the Sunshine State firsthand. This innovative, endless energy source brings cost savings, resilience in the face of natural disasters, and economic growth. Financially, solar energy is increasingly attractive because of installation costs dropping and utility electricity becoming more expensive every year. Homeowners across the state can expect savings of 50% or more on the energy portion of their utility bills. These savings can amount to thousands of dollars depending on the size of the home and its energy efficiency. In addition to reducing energy costs for individual homeowners, the solar industry has been a powerful engine for job creation in Florida. The state ranks second nationally in solar employment, boasting over 40,000 solar jobs. This surge in jobs strengthens the local economy while supporting community resilience by fostering a robust and sustainable energy sector.


Always bet on black:

— ALOE —

Bob Iger scheduled to speak at major media event — Few companies carry sway like Disney. The Walt Disney Co. keeps a powerful influence on American culture with its beloved theme parks, movies, TV business, merchandise, cruises and more. The company’s portfolio is giant. The company also faces real financial questions about the profitability of Disney+, the company’s succession and shareholder value. That’s why it’s always interesting to hear what Disney CEO Iger will say next. Iger is scheduled to present 9 a.m., Wednesday at the MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit. We’ll be tuning in.

Bruce Springsteen concert documentary coming to Disney+, Hulu” via Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter — Disney on Tuesday, during its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers, announced that concert documentary film Road Diary: Springsteen and The E Street Band would stream on both Disney+ and Hulu at a date to be determined in October. The film, which is described as being the “most in-depth look” at how the band prepares for live performances, will feature unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to their 2023-24 world tour. Longtime Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny (Springsteen on Broadway) directed the doc and exec produces alongside Springsteen, Adrienne Gerard and Sean Stuart.

Disney+ and Hulu will be presenting a Bruce Springsteen documentary in October.

Epic Universe will ‘redefine the park experience,’ Comcast CEO says” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics — Epic Universe will revolutionize the theme park industry, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said, calling it “the absolute, state-of-the-art, best-in-the-world park.” At Universal Orlando’s brand-new theme park opening next year, facial recognition will be used when visitors enter. Roberts didn’t dive into details but said cutting-edge technology will be used beyond the rides to help the consumer experience from “navigating the lines, paying for food, communicating” and retail shopping. “It’s going to redefine the park experience,” Roberts said during a Q&A at the MoffettNathanson’s Media, Internet and Communications Conference. Roberts showed investors a video that depicted, he said, the park renderings versus Epic Universe’s current state of construction. People tuning in to the live webcast missed out and were not shown the short video.

HBO releases ‘House of the Dragon’ official season 2 trailer” via James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter — Below is the trailer for the upcoming season, which gets underway June 16 and runs for eight episodes. The new season of the Game of Thrones prequel will continue to chronicle the House Targaryen civil war and is based upon George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood. The trailer comes just hours after Amazon revealed the first trailer for the second season of its fantasy drama, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ season 2 teaser trailer reveals Sauron’s new look” via James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter — Prime Video released a teaser trailer, premiere date and story description for the sophomore season of its Lord of the Rings drama series at Amazon’s inaugural upfront presentation in New York City on Tuesday. Below is the trailer, which features Charlie Vickers reprising his role as Sauron, only with a dramatically different look, “one that will aid him in deceiving the denizens of Middle-earth.” The season will return fans to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Second Age and promises to show “the ascending evil presence of Sauron as he continues his vengeful quest for complete power.” The show will return on August 29.

To watch the trailer, please click the image below:


Best wishes to former congressional candidate Eric Lynn.


Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as 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. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • forsaken

    May 15, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    I have made $200 reliably in one day.That was my ideal day in my life and my boss was to a great degree content with me..CNN is additionally awed from my work and is outstandingly happy..check also unpretentious parts by open the affiliation and tap on HOME TECH OR MEDIA………

    Begin here>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Payathome9.Com

Comments are closed.


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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704