Peter Schorsch, Author at Florida Politics

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, Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of the quarterly INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, SaintPetersBlog 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.

It’s not that Adam Putnam was photographed with Mark Foley…

Mark Foley is my friend. Let me be very clear about that.

I knew him while he served in Congress. And I stayed in touch with him after he resigned after it was revealed that he sent sexually suggestive emails and instant messages to high school boys in the page program for years.

And while many people — understandably — have shunned/shun Foley, I am not one of those people. I believe in the power of redemption. Hell, I am the embodiment of why you give people not just a second chance, but a third and fourth one.

On Friday night, Foley was photographed accompanying Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam to a GOP event at Mar-a-Lago.

The photo of Foley and Putnam together not only drew the notice of Florida politicos with apparently nothing else to do on a Friday night, but also the national media, including CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Quickly, the photo became fodder in Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign, with U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis‘ campaign manager, Brad Herold, making hay of the shot, albeit more so for the irony of Putnam also being photographed with Donald Trump, Jr.

The Florida Democratic Party was less forgiving.

“It’s despicable that Adam Putnam is so desperate to sell out to Donald Trump that he would hang out with a sexual predator accused of harassing children,” said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe.

For right now, let’s put aside the issue of Foley’s history, Putnam’s friendship with him, and the vulnerability Putnam has because of his connection to disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. I know, I know … it’s difficult to look past that, but let’s do it just for the moment.

The question being asked this Saturday morning is who at Putnam campaign HQ thought it was a good idea in the first place to post the picture of Foley and Putnam?

“It’s like their social media people are trying to get fired,” remarked one top-level political strategist not affiliated with any of the GOP campaigns.

“Single greatest piece of political malpractice I’ve ever seen,” observed a Republican supporting DeSantis.

To call it the greatest piece of political malpractice is probably a stretch, but the point remains: why did the campaign post a picture of the candidate with a politician who was forced to resign from Congress because of a predatory sex scandal?

It would have been bad enough if some third-party actor, like another guest at Mar-a-Lago, had posted the picture of Foley and Putnam. But this is an unforced error.

What’s really troubling for the Putnam campaign is it’s the second major unforced error committed by Putnam JUST THIS WEEK.

On Tuesday, Putnam spoke with Fox 13’s Craig Patrick, in what was rightly described as a “cringe-worthy interview,” repeatedly dodged Patrick’s questions and refused to walk back his “NRA sellout” comments. He also announced that he would not have signed the new gun bill being challenged in court by the NRA.

That interview may endear him with Republican primary voters, but Putnam can also count on footage from it being used against him in October and November when he is trying to win the votes of swing voters.

But that’s six months away. Right now, Putnam needs to fire the social media wizard who posted that pic of him with one of Florida’s most infamous politicians.

Takeaways from Tallahassee – Joe Negron’s portrait, explained

The official portrait of Senate President Joe Negron was unveiled last week, but not without some observers asking: “What the heck is that in the background?”

As senators and his wife Rebecca applauded and cheered when the work was revealed, some curious onlookers in the chamber’s galleries were left guessing what the three images looming behind Negron were.

But then Senate spokeswoman Katie Betta explained.

Let’s start with the books in the bottom left corner. “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Why those? Because those books were read to Negron and his brothers by his parents when they were growing up.

The blob on the top right corner? That’s Lake Okeechobee. And it is meant to represent his commitment to reducing harmful discharges into communities east and west of the lake. That includes his home community.

Last but not least, the two images standing by the Stuart Republican are meant to show his vision for the Florida state university system. The top image is Florida State University, which one of his sons attended, and the bottom is the University of Florida, where his daughter went.

So there you have it. Mystery solved.

Coming up, the usual assortment of tidbits, leftovers and not-ready-for-prime-time moments by Ana Ceballos, Jim Rosica, Danny McAuliffe, Andrew Wilson, and Peter Schorsch.

But first, the “Takeaway 5” — the Top 5 stories from the week that was:

Rick Scott signs budget, sans line-item vetoes—Gov. Scott signed his final state budget Friday, two days after the Legislature sent it to him to review. The $88.7 billion fiscal plan – the largest in state history – landed on Scott’s desk Wednesday, but the governor did not approve it all Friday. He vetoed $64 million worth of line items, the smallest being a $25,000 trust fund appropriation to the Florida Housing Finance Corp. for “affordable housing programs.” The budget approved by lawmakers included the $400 million school safety plan crafted after the Parkland mass shooting with $67 million for a controversial program that would arm school staff and train them for active shooter situations. No funding in that plan was chopped from the 2018-19 blueprint for state spending.

Scott tours the Sunshine State—Gov. Scott is touring the state of Florida and touting a tax cut package that was recently approved. The package includes $10.5 million in tax cuts to the 2018 property tax assessments that will benefit the hard-hit citrus industry after Hurricane Irma, an increase in corporate income tax credit that businesses wanted and a .1 percent tax reduction on the commercial rent sales tax.

Governor signs education bills—Before session concluded Sunday, Gov. Scott signed two big priorities of Senate President Joe Negron (Senate Bill 4) and House Speaker Richard Corcoran (House Bill 7055). The Legislature’s sweeping education bills will reform the K-12 and higher education systems in the state. This includes changes that will strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its accreditation and will decertify teachers’ unions that do not have 50 percent of their membership paying union dues.

CRC to consider assault weapon ban—A new effort to ban assault weapons is heading to the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to consider changes to the state constitution. If the proposal were to be adopted by the CRC panel and voted favorably by 60 percent of Florida voters, it would ban the sale or transfer of tactical semi-automatic rifles, something the Legislature could not do. If the amendment is rejected, the intent is to draft a new proposal for the November 2020 ballot.

Reverberations from Parkland—Exactly a month after the worst school mass shooting in the state took place, students across the country demanded action on gun control by walking out of class. The mass protest was held at 10 a.m. in each time zone and lasted 17 minutes, symbolizing the 17 students and teachers who were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. Organizers said the purpose of the protest was to highlight Congress’ inaction to prevent school mass shootings.

Adam Putnam priorities get Scott’s signature

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam thanked Gov. Scott for supporting his priorities in the state budget, which was signed into law Friday afternoon.

“I thank Governor Scott for continuing to cut taxes for Florida’s families and businesses and for supporting our budget priorities, including increasing pay for our first responders. The department’s first responders are the best of the best and keep Floridians and visitors safe when lives and property are on the line. They’ve earned this,” Putnam said in a prepared statement.

The budget includes a 7 percent pay bump for all law enforcement officers at the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or 10 percent if they’ve been in the job for at least a decade. It also includes a $2,500 pay raise for state firefighters, effective next year.

“With the Governor’s support, this budget also helps our department protect Florida from wildfire, promote Florida’s agricultural products, support our citrus industry, preserve our natural resources, and much more.”

The week in appointments

Ryan Estevez to the Florida State Boxing Commission —Estevez is a 44-year-old physician with Tampa Bay Neurobehavioral. He will succeed Wayne Kearney for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

His appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

JoAnn Rooney to the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board — Rooney, is a 60-year-old Palm Harbor resident and branch manager for NFM Lending, Inc.

Rooney will succeed Joshua Harris to serve a term ending Oct. 31, 2021. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Larry Metz to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court—Metz, is a state representative for District 25 and is currently in solo practice.

The 62-year-old is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Florida State University.

Metz will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge William G. Law.

Chad K. Alvaro to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court—Alvaro is board-certified in construction law and is a shareholder with Mateer & Harbert, P.A.

The 41-year-old received his bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and his law degree from Capital Law School. He will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Christi L. Underwood.

James “Lee” Marsh to the Second Judicial Circuit Court—Marsh currently serves as chief assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General. He previously served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Navy.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and his law degree from the University of Florida.

He will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Charles A. Francis.

Tarlika Nunez Navarro to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court—Navarro is a 35-year-old Fort Lauderdale attorney who serves as managing partner at Tarlika Nunez Navarro PLLC.

She previously served as an assistant state attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. Navarro fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Alfred J. Horowitz.

Nursing homes on the up and up

The Agency for Health Care Administration said this week that quality of life for Florida nursing homes residents is improving.

National data shows that since 2011, nursing homes in the state have seen gains in a number of categories affecting residents lives.

“Our Agency’s top priority is providing the highest level of quality for patients in Florida. Florida nursing home residents today are less likely to fall, less likely to wander, less likely to suffer infections, less likely to exhibit unhealed pressure ulcers, and less likely to be chemically restrained than they were at the beginning of the decade,” AHCA Secretary Justin Senior said.

“Florida tends to do well compared to national averages on these measures as well. This achievement is the product of high standards, consistent regulation, and the hard work of dedicated nursing home employees in the state. It is also the product of swift enforcement action whenever a nursing facility fails to meet Florida’s high standards.”

James Madison Institute chimes in on Session results

The James Madison Institute was pleased to see some measures pass the Legislature this session that covered criminal justice reforms and eliminated free speech zones on public university campuses.

“The policy team at The James Madison Institute worked overtime in Tallahassee and beyond to inform state policymakers on efforts to advance limited government, free markets, and economic freedom,” said J. Robert McClure, the president and CEO of the James Madison Institute.

McClure said JMI was glad to see the Legislature expand school choice through the Hope Scholarship, reforming the state’s criminal justice system by passing a new data-collection system and expanding pre-arrest diversion programs.

“We thank Governor Scott, Senate President Negron and House Speaker Corcoran for their continued leadership and commitment to the Sunshine State’s future,” McClure added.

Dana Young gives measured defense of school safety package

Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young admits the school safety package passed by lawmakers isn’t perfect, but at least it’s something.

“My office received hundreds of emails and phone calls from constituents and concerned Floridians.  Many think the school safety bill did not go far enough, while just as many believe that it went too far,” Young said in an email to her constituents. “However, the consensus across the State from constituents, families, parents, and students alike was simple: we must not let a tragedy like this happen again.”

Young said she thinks the bill, which has already been signed into law by Gov. Scott, “will make a significant difference in preventing the senseless violence that took place in Parkland from happening again.”

She pointed to $69 million in mental health funding, $400 million for school security, upping the age for gun purchases, the bump stock ban and the 3-day waiting period for all guns as positive things accomplished by the bi-partisan bill.

“Quite simply, without this legislation we would have done nothing to prevent the violence that occurred in Parkland from happening again,” Young said.

“Whether you believe the legislation went too far, or not far enough, I urge you to carefully consider all that would have been lost had we not acted decisively. We could not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Randy Fine wants to mandate lagoon repairs in Brevard County

After the Brevard County government dumped 22 million gallons of raw sewage in a lagoon in a span of a little over a month, state Rep. Randy Fine worked to craft a consent order mandating reports to the Lagoon.

“These illegal releases are no longer uncommon, and in order to get the local politicians to take their responsibility to protect the Lagoon seriously, I asked the [Department of Environmental Protection to take the strongest possible action to compel them to do what is necessary and right,” Fine said in a statement.

The proposed Consent order would requires the county commission to complete three projects by the end of 2020. That includes a $1.9 million clay pipe rehabilitation project in seven collection basins in the South Beaches and completing smoke testing of sewage pipes in Satellite Beach.

Fine said he worked with the DEP for more than six month to craft the consent order. If the county commission votes to accept the order, the county will further have to report to the state on its progress and actions moving forward.

Appeals court strikes down gun convictions

A Sarasota man who was convicted of illegally carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon got his convictions thrown out this week by the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Lamarcus Slydell was charged and later convicted of the crimes after police approached and searched him based on a tip they had received from a confidential informant.

Slydell’s legal team argued that the tip alone shouldn’t have been enough to stop him, and the court agreed.

“No matter how reliable the confidential informant or how detailed the description of Slydell and the guns, the tip did not allege any criminal activity, and in particular it did not reveal Slydell’s status as a felon nor did it say whether he had a concealed weapons permit,” the ruling said.

St. Pete CRC hearing draws 1,200

More than 1,200 Floridians showed up at the USF St. Petersburg campus this week for a public hearing held by the Constitution Revision Commission.

The Tampa Bay area stop marked the sixth and final hearing slated for the CRC’s 2018 “Road to the Ballot” tour. Past stops on the 2018 tour included Cape Coral, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Melbourne and Fort Lauderdale.

The CRC said 430 attendees filled out speaker cards to give commissioners their opinion on some of the proposals being considered for the 2018 ballot. Everyone who filled out a card had the chance to speak, and it took more than 10 hours to make it through the list.

Recordings of CRC hearings are available to watch online via The Florida Channel.

Priests pan CRC props

A long list of faith leaders signed on to a letter this week urging the Florida Constitution Revision commission to drop proposals they say would cripple religious freedom in the Sunshine State.

At issue are a proposal that would allow state money to be used to fund religion, and another that would allow public money to be funneled to private and religious schools.

“As leaders in our faith communities in the State of Florida, we believe taxpayer dollars should never be used to support private religious organizations or schools—not even our own. Therefore, we urge the members of the Constitution Revision Commission to reject Proposals 4 and 45, which would allow public funds to benefit certain faith communities over others,” the clergy group said in the letter.

“Together, these two proposals would strip away fundamental and longstanding religious freedom protections and threaten the integrity and autonomy of our houses of worship and religious schools.”

The CRC is meeting Monday to begin deliberating all of the proposals it is still considering for the 2018 ballot.

Florida Dental Association does $1.9M of pro bono work

The Florida Dental Association Foundation hosted its fourth “Florida Mission of Mercy” event on last week at the Lee County Civic Center, and provided more than 1,900 Floridians with free dental care valued at over $1.7 million.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to serve Floridians who may have otherwise had to seek temporary care at hospital emergency departments,” said Bob Payne, DDS and president of the FDA Foundation. “The Florida Mission of Mercy brings together over 1,500 dentists, dental professionals and other volunteers from across the state to help relieve pain and restore smiles, while promoting oral health awareness and education.”

FLA-MOM is a two-day event aimed at treating patients who lack access to dental care. Past iterations have been held in Tampa, Jacksonville and Pensacola.

In all, 6,200 patients have been served since FLA-MOM got its start in 2014.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to have good oral health,” said Michael Eggnatz, DDS and president of the Florida Dental Association. “We need to collaborate and work for solutions to leverage Florida’s robust dental workforce to provide oral health education, prevention and comprehensive care to Florida’s underserved and rural communities.”

Hurricane heroes honored

The Florida Municipal Electric Association handed out awards last weekend to each of its member utilities in honor of their work helping Floridians – as well Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders – get their power back on during the 2017 hurricane season.

“This past season’s Hurricane Irma was a powerful and massive Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in the Keys. The second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, Irma was wider than the Florida peninsula leaving few parts of the Sunshine State spared,” said FMEA President Chip Merriam.

The public utility group said 827,000 of its member utilities’ customers lost power in the wake of Irma, and their crews were able to pull together to get the lights back on to more than half of them within 48 hours, and to 98 percent within a week.

“We are incredibly grateful to all of the out-of-state and even out-of-country utility crews who came to our aid after Hurricane Irma. We’re also incredibly proud of our members who sent their crews to other communities in Florida to help out the areas most affected by Irma, as well as the linemen who left Florida to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, many of whom left their families and homes during Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director.

Florida history gets 3D treatment

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced this week the launch of a new online museum exhibit showcasing Florida archaeology, history and innovation in 3D.

“‘Florida History in 3D’ allows worldwide access to some of the most significant and interesting artifacts in Florida’s Archaeology collection. Using state of the art three-dimensional photogrammetry techniques, users can discover and examine artifacts from their computers or mobile devices normally only seen in museums,” Detzner said.

“The artifacts in the State of Florida’s archaeological collection belong to the citizens of our state. allows us to share these unique, historical artifacts and their stories to students, educators, the public and interested individuals around the world.”

The site launch is part of the “Florida Archaeology Month” and “March of Museums” events, and the first set of museum collection to get digitized in three dimensions were artifacts from the  Spanish Plate Fleets lost off the coast of Florida in 1715 and 1733.

Artifacts from the “Plate Fleets,” so named for the plata (silver) coins they carried, are presented within three themes: arms and armor, daily life, and trade.

Gators and Noles compete on education scholarships

The education colleges at the University of Florida and Florida State University have schemed up a new way for the two flagships to compete – scholarships.

“The Duel of the Schools” competition will pit the two rivals in a two-week competition starting Monday to see which can get wrangle the most alumni support for student scholarships at their education colleges.

For the past two years, FSU’s College of Education has awarded more scholarships than any other college at FSU and more than any other public College of Education in Florida. FSU said it aims to keep that momentum going.

“When our students graduate, we want them to be able to focus on their careers, not worrying about how they will pay back student loans,” said Kevin Derryberry, assistant dean for development at FSU’s College of Education.

“Nationwide, we see declining enrollment in education programs, low teacher pay and young people who leave the field after only a few years. In response, Florida State’s education alumni and friends have taken action and created the most robust education scholarship program in Florida.”

Those looking to chip in toward either school’s fund – or both funds – can drop by

Cascades Park, FIU bridges designed by same company

After a Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapsed, the Tallahassee-based company that designed it—and the local Cascades Park bridge—said it was “stunned,” the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

“We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why,” officials with Figg Bridge Engineers said in a statement.

“In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before,” they added. “Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”

The span of the $14.2 million pedestrian bridge, still under construction, was installed at the Miami university Saturday morning.

FIU officials said the bridge was uniquely constructed along the side of the road using so-called Accelerated Bridge Construction methods. It was mounted atop the eight-late road during a six-hour operation on Saturday. It collapsed Thursday afternoon.

City seeks input on Urban Tree Forest plan

The city of Tallahassee is gathering citizen input as it develops its Urban Forest Master Plan, which will establish an action plan to ensure there is proper tree managements citywide.

“There are many elements to consider when looking at the overall vitality of a community’s trees from species diversity to human impact and so much more,” said Mindy Mohrman, the city’s urban forester.

Tallahassee is covered with iconic canopy, which has grown significantly over the years. The plan is to make sure the urban forest is healthy and properly managed for future generations by including efforts to preserve, plant, remove and maintain trees.

To gather input, the city will hold two public meetings later this month. The first will be March 27 at Jack McLean Community Center from 6-8pm and the second will be on March 28 at the Frenchtown Renaissance Center from 6-8pm. Citizens can also complete a online survey until mid-April available at

Long-time Tallahassee airport employee honored

Tallahassee city officials and staff at the Tallahassee International Airport on Friday hosted a ceremony in honor of longtime airport employee Ervin “Mr. J” Johnson.

Johnson, who will soon celebrate his 80th birthday, has worked as a skycap at the airport since 1991. Johnson is described by colleagues as someone who has an “infectious smile, friendly demeanor, incredible work ethic and outstanding customer service.”

Despite recent health scares, Johnson has continued to work and remain engaged in his career. In honor of his years of dedication, the city will proclaim March 17, which is his birthday, as “Ervin Johnson Day” in Tallahassee.

Now for this week’s edition of Capitol Directions:

Democrat Catherine Price files for Senate District 26

Lake Wales Democrat Catherine Price announced Friday that she would run for the Senate District 26 seat being vacated by Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner in the fall.

“Tallahassee seems to be broken and our state is in desperate need of better political leadership. We need legislators who are educated, experienced, and committed to working for the people, rather than puppeting for powerful special interests,” Price said in a press release.

“I cannot sit this one out in good conscious. We are at a critical juncture in Florida and in the world where we can choose to work together to solve the issues we face, or we can continue down the path of increased chaos and infighting.”

Price is a Lake Wales native and first-time candidate for public office. Price said the bulk of her career has been helping people get access to affordable healthcare, including organizing a successful half-cent sales tax ballot initiative that currently generates $36 mllion annually for indigent health care in Polk County

Price also served as Chairwoman of the Polk County Healthcare Alliance from 2007 to 2010.

“Too many hardworking people in Florida don’t have healthcare because they either don’t have access or it’s just too expensive. I’ve spent a lot of time advocating for affordable healthcare in Tallahassee and DC, and I can tell you that too many of these politicians just don’t get it,” she said.

Price joins Republican Rep. Ben Albritton in the race. Through the end of February he had raised $142,600 and had nearly $99,000 of that money in the bank.

SD 26 covers the whole of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties as well as parts of Charlotte, Lee and Polk.

The district, which has a similar footprint to the old District 21, carries a massive advantage for Republicans.

Grimsley did not face an Election Day challenger in the 2016 cycle, though the Senate redistricting plan shows the seat would have gone plus-20 for Mitt Romney in 2012. It also voted plus-30 for Donald Trump in 2016.

Despite those margins, Price said she’s optimistic.

“But in 2018, a year where Democrats are hopeful that national momentum will help them win in unlikely districts, Senate District 26 is absolutely in play,” her campaign announcement read.

Manny Diaz holding Senate campaign fundraiser March 22

Hialeah Republican Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. is holding a fundraiser for to kick off his Senate campaign on Thursday.

The Hialeah Park event will run from 6 PM to 9 PM on March 22, and the host committee features a number of South Florida Republican elected officials.

Listed on the invite are Sen. Rene Garcia, Speaker Designate Jose Oliva and Miami Rep. Carlos Trujillo as well as a long list of county and municipal officials.

Diaz is in his third term representing House District 103, which covers southern Broward and northeastern Miami-Dade counties, but is looking to move up to the Senate in 2018.

He is currently the only candidate filed to run for Senate District 36, which is currently held by Garcia, who is termed out. Diaz had about $183,000 in his campaign account as of Feb. 28.

SD 36 includes the Miami-Dade territory Diaz currently represents in the House and extends a bit further east into the territory represented by Oliva in HD 110.

Those looking to attend Diaz’ fundraiser can RSVP by calling Danny Martinez at 786-222-7449 or emailing him at

The invitation is below.

The Schorsch governing theory of Florida politics – Part 1

Once the hanky dropped on the 2013 Legislative Session, my family headed to St. Augustine Beach to recuperate from the 60 days of working in that pressure cooker.

Michelle and I had been married for just over a year and our daughter, Ella Joyce, was only months old. Our business was just starting to take off. It was an exciting time.

For whatever reason, we thought it would be interesting to complicate our lives by Michelle running for a state House seat.

The Republican Party of Florida was looking for a candidate to challenge Dwight Dudley, a one-term incumbent who was not particularly well-liked in Tallahassee and was considered vulnerable in a non-presidential election cycle.

Michelle would have been the perfect challenger to Dudley. She’s a moderate Republican woman with strong connections to the Tampa Bay area and a reputation for loyalty and deeply-held convictions. That she had worked as a special adviser to then-Gov. Charlie Crist (and was based out of the USF St. Pete campus) only made her more attractive as a potential candidate.

For a moment, Michelle was excited by the idea, so we took the temperature of some of our friends in the political process. All of them thought Michelle would be a strong candidate. However, one friend informed us that incoming leadership of the House was recruiting another potential candidate they thought could win in a walk.

We spoke with then Speaker-designate Steve Crisafulli and, indeed, the GOP was hoping that Bill Young Jr., son of the local legend C.W. “Bill” Young, would enter the race. It’s probably best if Michelle stands down, Crisafulli told us.

Fortunately for our family, that’s exactly what Michelle did, although she said then that it was a mistake to think Young would beat Dudley.

She was right, of course, about that: Billy Young turned out to be a very bad candidate. In fact, he’s one of the very few candidates for office I’ve ever met who gained weight, rather than lost it, on the campaign trail (an indication he was not opening enough time walking door-to-door.)

Michelle and I talked a lot about our future that week in St. Augustine. A point I made then to her was that as busy as the 2014 and 2016 election cycles would be for us (and, Jesus, had they been busier than we could have ever imagined), the 2018 election cycle would actually be even more chaotic.

What I predicted then is only more accurate today. This is already shaping up to be the busiest election cycle in Florida’s modern history. Busier even than 1994, when Jeb Bush emerged from a brutal gubernatorial primary to eventually lose to Lawton Chiles.

As it stands now, here’s the rundown:

— A competitive race for the U.S.  Senate likely pitting Democrat Bill Nelson against Republican Rick Scott.

— A wide-open race for the Governor’s Mansion, with competitive primaries on both sides of the ballot.

— Three competitive statewide races for spots on Florida’s Cabinet: Agriculture Commissioner, CFO and Attorney General.

— Four statewide voter initiatives.

— As many as a dozen constitutional questions put on the ballot by the once-every-twenty-years Constitutional Revision Commission.

— More competitive congressional and state legislative races than at any point since Republicans took over the state in the mid-1990s.

The ballot this November will take the average Floridian twenty to thirty minutes to read and complete.

And that’s what we know about today.

As has been said many times, Florida is the Chinatown of politics. Forget about trying to understand it.

But if you run a political website titled “Florida Politics,” this is a wonderful time to be alive.

Our site’s traffic was busier last week than all but one other week in our history. Last month was busier than any other month in our history. This month looks like it will be busier than last month. And there’s no reason to think next month won’t be busier than this month.

And yet … what happens in December 2018? The campaigns will be over. The 2019 Legislative Session will be months away. The presidential campaign, while talked about daily, won’t be for real for almost another year.

Won’t feast turn to famine?


And not just because the average bear is more interested in politics than in half-a-century.

This is the first part of the Schorsch governing theory of Florida politics.

It all starts to go back to normal today.

Gov. Scott signed the $88 billion fiscal plan sent to him Wednesday. He is now officially a lame duck.

Don’t get me wrong, Scott still has enormous power. And it’s not out of the range of possibilities that the Legislature will be called into Special Session for some sort of crisis.

But, for the most part, the sun has begun to set on Rick Scott’s time in Tallahassee. And with that, everything will begin to change.

Because none of the seven candidates expected to run for Florida governor cannot write a $72 million check to buy the Governor’s Mansion, as Scott did in 2010, the four pillars of political life in Florida will now begin rebuilding their stature in the state.

The lobby corps, the news media (as enervated as it is), the fundraising community, and the political parties should see their influence return in the coming months and next four years.

Lobbyists have been of little use to Scott because they were against him in 2010 and he’s never really forgotten that. Only a handful of big name lobbyists have had access to Scott himself: Brian Ballard, Nick Iarossi, Fred Karlinsky, Bill Rubin, among a few others.

Most governmental affairs firms have relied on a strategy of focusing on the Legislature, while staying under the radar during the gubernatorial veto period. Some firms — Southern Strategy Group, GrayRobinson — have succeeded in their efforts to lobby the executive branch, but, for the most part, this is an administration that has been indifferent to Adams Street.

Before today, the lobby corps would have been unwilling to choose sides in the upcoming gubernatorial race, especially with Richard Corcoran looming as a possible candidate. But the smart firms will start making larger investments in the candidates so that they are in on the ground floor with who they think will win.

Some firms will win, some will lose, but at least the game is being played again. Scott didn’t even roll out the ball.

The media has been kept at arm’s length by Scott ever since his early communications director, Brian Burgess, positioned velvet ropes between the Governor and the Capitol Press Corps. If Scott didn’t need the lobby corps, he needed the press corps even less.

The math was simple: He could write a check larger than the amount of earned media written against him. Also, the Governor’s Office made two smart decisions. One, it prioritized interactions with TV reporters, preferably those who were not plugged in enough to ask difficult questions, and two, it created a reverb chamber with the wire services.

By this I mean, most major announcements by the Scott administration were funneled to the Associated Press (which can’t editorialize the way Florida Politics, POLITICO, or the Times/Herald can and do). It is, in turn, relied on by many TV stations for their state government content. Once a TV station aired the AP version, the Governor’s Office would push out an ICYMI press release touting the story.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Don’t believe me. Consider this: Point to the one process story written about the Scott administration that details how the Governor makes a decision. You probably can’t. Because this is one of the most leak-proof administrations ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. Donald Trump would give away Ivanka if he could have a White House that operates in the quiet way Scott’s office has.

More double-negative evidence: Point to the feature about anyone in Scott’s administration that includes an on-the-record response from the person being profiled. Floridians knew/know virtually nothing about the chiefs of staff, key advisers, etc. who are in Scott’s orbit.

Because none of the seven gubernatorial candidates can’t rely just on paid media to get their message out, they have to create earned media. This instantly makes the press, specifically the Capitol Press Corps and other political journalists, relevant again.

Instead of being kept in the dark, as most journalists have been during the last seven years, now outreach to most favored reporters and bloggers is again part of the communications strategy. What Marc Caputo, Matt Dixon, David Smiley, myself, and others say about the gubernatorial and other races is more important than it was under Scott. A takedown in the press becomes fodder for fundraising emails and digital videos.

Speaking of fundraising emails, get ready to be inundated by them.

Not that you weren’t already, but none of the candidates running for Governor can self-finance in a way that allows them to bypass the need for small donors.

Under Scott, a meeting with him cost an interest group at least $50,000. Only a handful of Floridians or companies can afford that. But Putnam, Gillum, Graham, Levine, etc. are already touting the support they are receiving from donors who can only afford to write checks for $25 or $50.

Whereas Scott was only interested in receiving a $500,000 check from a utility company, almost all of the candidates running in 2018, whether it be for governor or state House, would be happy to receive a check for $500 or $1,000. This returns power to the fundraisers who specialized in bundling, say, 30 checks from a group of local professionals. The entire campaign finance system reverts back to pre-2010 levels without Scott and his checkbook.

This brings me to my final point: Look for the return of the political parties.

No, they’ll never be as powerful as they were 20 years ago, but they certainly won’t do any worse than they have the last eight years. Especially the Republican Party of Florida, which has been so neglected by Scott that there are constant rumors that the party can barely make payroll.

Whoever wins their party’s nomination this fall will need the parties if they want to win the general. They will need the activists. They will need the party’s imprimatur. That shifts power back to the Republicans’ Blaise Ingoglia, the Democrats’ Terrie Rizzo, and the party chairs who will follow them.

I wanted to roll out this theory on the Ides of March because Scott’s tenure reminds me of a line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

“Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about.”

Scott, armed with his checkbook, has bestriden Tallahassee like Colossus, while we petty men and women have walked under his indifferent legs and peeped about.

With Scott’s exiting, it’s time again for all of those in The Process to, as Cassius told Brutus, be masters of our own fates.

Last Call for 3.15.18 – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Gov. Rick Scott cancelled a “tax cut highlight event” in Sanford Thursday to instead head to the scene of the pedestrian bridge collapse at Miami’s Florida International University.

There, he’ll be “briefed by local law enforcement and university officials,” his office said.

“I’ve reached out to officials in Miami-Dade County to offer every state resource to assist with response to this tragedy,” the governor tweeted Thursday afternoon.

The Miami Herald reported that the bridge, still under construction, “gave way suddenly while the traffic light for motorists on Tamiami Trail was red, so that the concrete span fell on top of a row of stopped vehicles.”

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted it was dispatching a team to investigate. Local police confirmed “multiple deaths.”

“The $11.4 million bridge was meant to connect the school to the city of Sweetwater, part of a $124 million expansion of the campus,” NBC News reported.

It was built by Munilla Construction Management and designed by FIGG Bridge Group, according to FIU officials. FIGG is headquartered in Tallahassee; Munilla is in Miami.

Senate President pro tempore Anitere Flores of Miami tweeted, “Absolutely speechless. @FIU and the area are my home. Prayers for those hurt and those who have perished. 1st priority is search and rescue, and then so many questions need to be answered. Shocked and sad.”

Evening Reads

Mueller subpoenas Trump organization, demanding documents about Russia” via Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times

Trouble brewing? Trump tariffs worry Florida’s craft beer makers” via Sara DiNatale of the Tampa Bay Times

All four Democratic candidates agree to Tampa debate” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Be afraid of the president, Gus Bilirakis. Be very afraid” via John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times

A Democratic wave may be coming in November. Miami Democrats may not be ready.” via Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald

Video: Deputy never entered building during school massacre” via the Associated Press

Graphic video shown in trial of nightclub shooter’s widow” via the Associated Press

As Florida’s grapefruit supply dwindles, Japanese customers lose interest” via Katie Sanders of the Tampa Bay Times

A slightly embarrassing love for Jack Kerouac” via Amanda Petrusich of The New Yorker

Everything you need to know about the freight yard complex coming to Tallahassee’s All Saints District” via Erin Hoover of 850 Business Magazine

Quote of the Day

“We have enough to worry about with mass casualties in schools due to gun violence. The last thing we need is school infrastructure killing and injuring more students in Florida. This is beyond unacceptable.” —State Rep. Robert Asencio, a Miami Democrat, in a Thursday statement to media.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights  

Wake Up Early?

Gov. Scott will release the state’s 2017 tourism numbers on Friday in Naples. A time and location are pending.

The Able Trust (Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation) holds its quarterly Board of Directors meeting. That’s at 8 a.m., Omni Hotel, 245 Water St., Jacksonville.

The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care will hold a conference call to review criteria for “gold seal” award designations for nursing homes. That’s at 8:30 a.m. The call-in number is (888) 670-3525 and the code is 8050334011.

The Policy Subcommittee of the Tobacco Advisory Council will hold a conference call to discuss the Comprehensive Tobacco Education and Use Prevention Program. That’s at 1 p.m. The call-in number is (888) 670-3525 and the code is 5720848571 then press #.

The Board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., meets at 1 p.m. (Central Time), Santa Rosa County Commission Chambers, County Administration Building, 6495 Caroline Street, Milton.

Wengay Newton holds onto fundraising lead in HD 70 primary

St. Petersburg Democratic Rep. Wengay Newton made it through the fundraising pause brought about by the 2018 Legislative Session without ceding much ground to his primary challengers.

Newton started the year with about $15,000 on hand, and after keeping spending low last month, he’s still at that level despite his last campaign income being a little over $1,000 a day before lawmakers convened in Tallahassee.

Vito Sheeley, who has picked up some high-profile endorsements, added $850 in contributions and burned through nearly half his war chest with a $4,000 payment to Blue Ticket Consulting last month.

His top donor for the month was Midway-based JBK Insurance, which gave $250, followed by St. Pete sales consultant Nick Carper with a check for $150 and a half-dozen other donors who gave $100 or less.

Sheeley has raised about $8,600 since filing for the seat in July and went into March with about $1,500 in the bank.

St. Pete attorney and activist Keisha Bell, who filed Feb. 1, took over the No. 2 spot in cash on hand after showing nearly $5,000 raised in her inaugural report.

St. Petersburg retirees Janet Paroo and Alvin Frazier topped her list with checks for $250, while the bulk of the rest came in through a flurry of small-dollar donors in the last week of the month.

Bell received 60 contributions in February, more than 50 of which were for $100 or less. She also got $570 worth of “in-kind” support, including marketing, stamps and business cards.

Bell’s $934 in expenditures included about $600 for marketing, with most of the rest covering small purchases such as travel and office supplies.

She finished the month with about $3,940 in the bank.

HD 70 covers pieces of Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties including chunks of St. Pete and Sarasota as well as the communities of Memphis, Samoset and Ruskin.

It is a Democratic stronghold. In 2016, Newton was elected over Republican Cori Fournier by a 50-point margin.

Just when you think Andrew Gillum is having a good day …

On Tuesday, Florida Politics reported that Hollywood stars Alec Baldwin and Alyssa Milano are headlining a California fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Tallahassee’s mayor is one of three candidates raising money at the Thursday reception; Stacey Abrams of Georgia and David Garcia of Arizona are joining the event, which will also benefit Gillum’s associated PAC, Forward Florida.

For Gillum’s cash-starved campaign, its excellent news that Baldwin, Milano and Co. are raising money for him at the Santa Monica home of entertainment industry lawyer Skip Brittenham and his wife, actress and author Heather Thomas.

Yet, just when you think Gillum is having a good day, he goes and “Gillums” himself again.

Look closely at the fundraising invitation his campaign shared in advance of the event:

What don’t you see?

That’s right; there’s no disclaimer on the invite. There’s no “paid political blah blah blah” anywhere to be found.

Is this a big deal? Normally, it wouldn’t be, but Gillum — from the very day he launched the campaign — has revealed a weakness for not being able to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

This invitation is just another indication of Gillum’s sloppy campaign. And it reinforces the worst impressions some folks have of the candidate.

Florida Politics reached out to Gillum’s campaign for an explanation. Spokesman Geoff Burgan said “both PFAW (People for the American Way) attorneys and Stearns Weaver attorneys who represent our campaign have approved the invite. We’re confident the invite is within bounds.”

Nancy Watkins, one of the nation’s foremost experts on campaign finance regulations, disagrees with the assessment of Gillum’s attorneys.

“His campaign and committee are subject to Florida campaign finance law which has specific requirements for disclaimers,” said Watkins, who was asked by Florida Politics to review the invitation. “The invitation presented does not even approach the Florida requirements for Andrew Gillum Campaign nor Forward Florida.”

That’s only the beginning of the problems Watkins has with the Gillum invite.

“It appears they are soliciting contributions through a conduit, People for the American Way,” Watkins said, noting that the invite asks donors to contribute via ActBlue. “PFAW may not act as a conduit for contributions to a Florida candidate or committee. No one can.”

In making her case, Watkins cites FS 106.08(5)(a), which reads, ”A person may not make any contribution through or in the name of another, directly or indirectly, in any election.”

She also said the Division of Elections has issued opinions (D10-11 and DE08-03) regarding conduits, specifically Act Blue.

***Update***After Watkins’ opinion was added to this story, Glenn Burhans, an attorney with Stearns Weaver, emailed this statement:

“The assertion that the campaign has violated Florida election law is based on errors of fact and law. The invitation, which was emailed by PFAW to a select group of its members at no cost does not meet the definition of a “political advertisement” and does not require a disclaimer. Similarly, it does not meet the definition of any other form of communication requiring a disclaimer. Neither PFAW nor Act Blue are acting as an improper conduit. When clicking on the link to donate, the donor specifies the recipient of the donation, i.e., a candidate’s campaign or political committee. In short, such contributions are not made in the name of another as asserted in the article. The statute and advisory opinions cited simply do not apply here.”

Don’t you just love a food fight over Florida campaign finance law?

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 3.15.18

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

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Ana Ceballos, Daniel McAuliffe, and Jim Rosica.

A proposed amendment that would add a crime victims’ ‘bill of rights’ to the state constitution is a “near lock” to pass in November, a new poll says.

“It sits at 78 percent support and voters seem to clearly want the rights of crime victims to be expanded,” said Steve Vancore, President of Clearview Research, which conducted the poll.

The amendment is among those now being considered by the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to review and propose changes to the Florida Constitution.

If cleared by the CRC, Marsy’s Law would be placed on the 2018 statewide ballot. Proposals need at least 60 percent approval to become a part of the constitution.

Marsy’s Law gets its name from Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Later, Marsy’s brother and mother were confronted by the accused murderer in a grocery store. The two had not been told the ex-boyfriend had been released on bail.

Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas (center) a University of California Santa Barbara student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

The amendment includes the rights “to be heard in any public proceeding involving pretrial or other release,” and to “full and timely restitution in every case.” Most states have taken steps to amend their constitutions to enumerate victims’ rights. Fifteen have not — including Florida.

Not polling as well were a ban on offshore oil drilling (54 percent) and another (55 percent) that “requires any proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution to be approved by an affirmative vote of 60 percent of voters who voted in that election, rather than 60 percent of the voters who voted on the specific proposed amendment.”

“This proposal also has the highest number (18 percent) of undecided respondents suggesting some level of confusion, which is understandable given the relatively complex nature of the question,” Vancore said.

… Also, a P.S. from Tuesday’s SUNBURN, in which we reported Clearview poll results that a proposed amendment to ban betting on dog racing would lose at the ballot. On Wednesday afternoon, sponsor Tom Lee — a GOP state senator from Thonotosassa — changed the proposal to include a “prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds (emphasis added).”

“We’ve been tweaking this amendment for a month to be sure the ban protects dogs w/ the least impact on the industry,” Lee tweeted Wednesday. “That poll question was more sterile than a racing greyhound! When properly worded the ban polls @ 60%+.”

Advocates rally to save Tobacco Free Florida funding” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics — If passed, a proposed constitutional amendment to redirect dollars from tobacco-prevention efforts to cancer research would turn “a bad idea into a hard reality,” one opponent said Wednesday morning. Later that same day, however, the amendment’s sponsor deleted the section about cancer research funding. Longtime Tallahassee PR man Ron Sachs joined former Attorney General Bob Butterworth and others in a conference call to beat back the proposal (P94), filed by Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) member and House Speaker pro tempore Jeanette Nuñez. The call was sponsored by the American Cancer Society of Florida’s Cancer Action Network.


— @RealDonaldTrump: Today the House took major steps toward securing our schools by passing the STOP School Violence Act. We must put the safety of America’s children FIRST by improving training and by giving schools and law enforcement better tools. A tragedy like Parkland can’t happen ever again!

— @JaclynCorin: It’s been one month. One month since our hearts broke and our innocence was stripped away. Students: join us today at 10 a.m. for the National School Walkout in commemoration of the 17 souls we lost & to display dissatisfaction with current gun legislation.

— @SenBillNelson: Joined the students protesting out front of the Capitol today. So much energy and determination in these kids. They’re counting on us to act and we can’t let them down.

— @StevePersall: I respect @RealJamesWoods as an actor. Watched him passionately work with Ringling film school students. He once called to thank me for writing something that made his Mom happy. His callous, ill-informed attacks on young activists like @davidhogg111 wouldn’t make her proud.

— @ZacJAnderson: Galvano calls politics surrounding the gun bill “disheartening”

— @DavidJollyFL: Historical note: Rep. Tom Foley of Washington served for 30 yrs. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1989. In 1990 he was re-elected w 69%. In 1992 he was re-elected w 55%. In 1994, he lost w 49%, becoming the first sitting Speaker since 1862 to be defeated for re-election.

— @JimRosicaFL: If you are following #FLCRC process, check the website. A slew of “amendments to amendments” have been filed; 2 p.m. today was deadline to file them. (You must click on each proposal to view.)

— @MarcACaputo: If there’s one thing the entire nation should copy from Arizona, it’s the refusal to engage in this daylight-saving time nonsense

— @Grant_Gilmore: Many Florida counties, including Pinellas, Polk and Manatee are forecast to have an EXTREME fire danger index tomorrow. It’d be a good idea to hold off on outdoor burning for now.

— @LizbethKB: Excited for the young ladies of @FGCU_WBB for making the NCAA tournament. They’ve made SWFL proud and I look forward to rooting them on against Missouri!

— @UCF_MarcDaniels: With the walk-off win by the Knights, @UCF_Baseball and @UCF_Football each own a 13 game win streak. Each team has the nation’s longest win streak in their sport.


St. Patrick’s Day — 2; March For Our Lives/#NeverAgain gun violence protest — 9; Major League Baseball Opening Day — 14; Easter — 17; NFL Draft begins — 42; Close of candidate qualifying for federal office — 49; Mother’s Day — 59; Solo: A Star Wars Story premier — 71; Close of candidate qualifying for statewide office — 99; Primary Election Day — 166; College Football opening weekend — 170; General Election Day — 236; ‘Hamilton’ comes to the Straz Center — 336; 2019 Legislative Session — 355.

***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you by Spectrum Reach, the marketing platform of choice, connecting you to your target audience on TV, digital and mobile. With access to our powerful data and insights, solutions for every screen, and the best programming content on the top 50+ networks, we’ll help you reach the right customers for your business. #NeverStopReaching***


’Enough is enough’: U.S. students stage walkouts against guns” via Collin Binkley of The Associated Press – Around the nation, students left class at 10 a.m. local time for at least 17 minutes — one minute for each of the dead in Florida. At some schools, students didn’t go outside but lined the hallways, gathered in gyms and auditoriums or wore orange, the color used by the movement against gun violence. Over and over, students declared that too many young people have died and that they are tired of going to school every day afraid of getting killed. “Enough is enough. People are done with being shot,” said Iris Foss-Ober, 18, a senior at Washburn High School in Minneapolis. Some schools applauded students for taking a stand or at least tolerated the walkouts, while others threatened punishment. As the demonstrations unfolded, the NRA responded by posting a photo on Twitter of a black rifle emblazoned with an American flag. The caption: “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

Chuck Grassley slams Florida officials for not attending hearing on school safety” via Lydia Wheeler of The Hill — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley of Iowa blasted a pair of Florida officials for refusing to appear before the committee for its hearing on school safety and gun control measures. The panel had called on Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Michael Carroll, the secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families, to appear for the hearing held following the deadly school shooting in Parkland last month. “By thumbing their noses at Congress, Sheriff Israel and Secretary Carroll have let the American people down and also the citizens of Florida they serve,” Grassley said. “As we will discuss during the hearing, the Broward County Sheriff and Department of Children and Families are integral to the Parkland fact pattern.” Grassley said it was disappointing Israel refused to speak before Congress, given the sheriff’s appearance on television in the weeks after the Feb. 14 shooting to discuss the tragedy.

Chuck Grassley is slamming Florida officials for not responding to a hearing on Parkland.

’People are bleeding.’ New 911 calls from Parkland show terror of those trapped inside” via Nicholas Nehmas and Sarah Blaskey of the Miami Herald – The calls shed some light on the terror inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during Cruz’s rampage … Students and staff can be heard begging 911 operators for help — as at least one BSO deputy was waiting outside the building where people were injured and dead. The student being comforted by the 911 operator said three people were shot in her classroom, room 1216. Two were beyond help, she sobbed. A third student, however, lying next to her, was still alive. He’d been shot in the head. “So he’s breathing, yes or no?” the operator asked. “Yes,” the girl replied. Law enforcement had a good sense of where Cruz struck: Many of the callers reported he was shooting up Building 12, where freshman classes were held. “We are getting a lot of calls from that 1200 building,” one Coral Springs 911 operator told a parent who called in to report the shooting.


Andrew Gillum buoyed by gun control, immigration debate” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat — After a profile-raising month in which he tangled with both the NRA and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Gillum‘s campaign for governor appears to be on the upswing. He seized the limelight after the school shooting in Parkland, leading a student march on the Capitol and making multiple appearances on national television to push for a ban on assault weapons. He capitalized on the immigration debate after Corcoran unveiled stark TV ads against sanctuary city policies, holding his own against the likely GOP gubernatorial candidate in a highly publicized debate last month. And after a fundraising downturn in January, his campaign and political committee rebounded last month with nearly $250,000 in donations, though a big chunk of the money, some $100,000, came in a single check from a group supporting progressive black candidates. Some of the headwinds against Gillum — namely the FBI corruption probe that has engulfed City Hall — seemed to die down last month after federal court documents surfaced showing the FBI is investigating his colleague, City Commissioner Scott Maddox, in an alleged bribery scheme.

— “Just when you think Andrew Gillum is having a good day…” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

— “A couple of cracks in the Gwen Graham facade” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Assignment editors – Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is hosting a roundtable that focuses on the state’s opioid crisis and will feature representatives of law enforcement and local elected officials. Roundtable begins 2:30 p.m. at The Palm Beach County Robert Weisman Governmental Center, 301 North Olive Avenue, 12th Floor in West Palm Beach.

David Richardson video ad in CD 27 discusses abortion, prison reform, being gay” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Richardson has released his first digital video ad discussing abortion, prison reform, and his status as Florida’s first openly gay lawmaker … “I decided to talk about these issues publicly. I’m not afraid to talk about this stuff out loud. And I’m not going to be afraid to talk about it when I get to Washington D.C.,” Richardson declares in what could be seen as the video’s theme, though the statement immediately follows the discussion of his prison reform initiatives. “Places” is the third video produced by Richardson’s campaign but the first involving a digital media advertising buy. Richardson begins by describing himself as a progressive Democrat and then relating how he grew up in a modest home with parents who lived “paycheck to paycheck,” and says he understands the struggles people go through to make ends meet. From there, he follows a theme “Places Have Meanings,” speaking while footage shows him standing in various locations around Miami-Dade County.

Click on the image below to watch the video:

Save the date — Republican Nick DiCeglie will be raising money for his HD 66 bid Friday, March 23, beginning 6 p.m. at The Mayor’s Mansion, 609 11th Ave. S. in St. Petersburg.

Second Democrat files for House District 98” via Florida Politics – Democrat Andrew Dolberg announced Wednesday that he would run for the House District 98 seat currently held by Rep. Katie Edwards-Walpole. Edwards announced last week that she would not run for re-election. … In his announcement, Dolberg touted his active role in the Broward Democratic Party and his background as a small business owner. … “I’m running for the Florida House of Representatives in order to advocate for progressive, long-term solutions to the problems we face here in Broward County,” Dolberg said. “I have spent nearly my entire life in this district and I understand the unique needs of our communities.” … Dolberg is up against Davie resident Michael Gottlieb in the primary race for the safe Democratic seat.


In Tampa visit, Rick Scott highlights $10 billion in tax cuts … and that gun legislation” via William Kennedy of the Tampa Bay Times — Scott kicked off a three-city tour in Tampa by touting his $10 billion in tax cuts while governor and addressing the National Rifle Association’s lawsuit against the state. Scott said that during this Legislative Session … the state passed more than $550 million in tax reductions, creating $10 billion during his seven-year tenure. During his appearance … he highlighted the hurricane preparation sales tax holiday, as well as reductions in the tax on agricultural supplies and commercial leases. Scott also spoke on student walkouts across the state in response to the Parkland shooting last month, saying he doesn’t blame the children for wanting to be safe in school. Scott said school safety was a big reason why he signed the measure to raise the legal age to purchase a gun to 21, sparking the NRA action. “I’m going to fight for this legislation. I think it’s going to do what I believe in,” Scott said. “It’s going to increase school safety. I want every parent to know when they send a child to school, I want them to feel comfortable that [their] child is going to a safe place.”

Gov. Rick Scott visits Stevens Construction, a health care and commercial construction management firm founded and headquartered in Fort Myers, to highlight what the Governor’s Office says is more than $10 billion in taxes cut for Florida families and job creators during Scott’s time in office.

School superintendents ask Scott for a special session to boost education funding” via Jeff Solochek and Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times — “We are grateful the state stepped up … to pass a school safety bill,” said Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie, whose district suffered Florida’s most deadly school shooting in February. “However, that I believe is being done at the expense of our core business.” Legislative leaders scoffed at the idea. Senate President Joe Negron said no special session is needed. “The budget approved by the Legislature … makes an unprecedented investment in K-12 education, including a more than $100 increase in per-student funding,” Negron said. “The funding formula approved by the Legislature directs schools districts to utilize some of the increase in funding to prioritize school safety and mental health. In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just one month ago, providing key resources school districts need to keep our children safe is a priority of the Senate.”

Budget is on governor’s desk — Gov. Scott’s office said it had “received the 2018-19 state budget (HB 5001) from the Florida Legislature, as well as all related implementing bills.” He now has 15 days, or until March 29, to approve it, veto it, or strike out individual spending projects by using his line-item veto power. The $88.7 billion budget was approved by lawmakers Sunday, meeting in an extension of the 2018 Legislative Session.

Assignment editors — Gov. Scott continues his statewide tour to promote $10 billion in tax cuts during his time in office. At 10 a.m., he will visit Paradise Exteriors, 1918 Corporate Dr. in Boynton Beach. At 3:30 p.m., the Governor will appear at Industrial Lighting Products, 519 Codisco Way in Sanford.

2018 Legislature was the least productive in two decades” via Langston Taylor of the Tampa Bay Times — The Senate passed just 85 of its bills, 10 fewer than it did in 2017 and hundreds less than it regularly passed in the early 2000s. The House passed 286, an above-average number for Sessions during Gov. Scott’s tenure that reflects the relatively more activist nature of Speaker Corcoran. But getting bills through both houses proved difficult. Forty-six percent of bills that passed one house (excluding one-house resolutions) failed to get out of the other. That’s the highest failure rate since 1998, the earliest year for which records were available. The low numbers come after a steady decline in that time span. The trend is going clearly toward fewer bills sent to the governor’s desk. Whether a session is in an election year or not makes little difference in the total number.

New World School of the arts dodged a big budget cut last year. This year it didn’t” via Emily Mahoney of the Miami Herald – Although Billy Corben graduated from Miami’s New World School of the Arts more than 20 years ago, he’s remained connected to that community through its network of star-studded alumni, his classmates. But in recent days, those roots of the documentary filmmaker who produced and directed “Cocaine Cowboys” have meant he’s been getting pinged on social media by current students of the public arts school — kids he’s never met. “I’m getting messages from high school kids who are desperate, petrified, despondent about the fate of their school,” Corben said. That’s because in this year’s budget passed by the state Legislature last week, all of the school’s supplemental state funding — $500,000 — was cut. Those dollars are above what typical public schools receive and are used by New World to provide its unique arts programming and hire specialized faculty to teach in the school’s four core disciplines of dance, music, theater and visual arts. “This is a state jewel that shines brightly across the country. This is the home school for the stars that put ‘Moonlight’ on the map,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “What message are we sending to the stars in the making?”

’It was time for a sabbatical’: Scandals drive Brian Pitts away” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics — After years of being a persistent — sometimes annoying — presence in committee rooms across the Capitol, only one thing was able to make Tallahassee’s best-known gadfly hang up his corduroy jacket: a snowball of scandals. “[Jack] Latvala, [Jeff] Clemens, [Frank] Artiles — all this happened in one year. In one year! No, that is not acceptable, and it was too much. It was time for a sabbatical,” said Pitts, a self-described “civil activist” for Justice 2 Jesus. “Latvala was an old fool trying to play with the young bucks as they do,” Pitts said. “Instead of using that institutional knowledge, he goes and acts like the young bucks, and he got caught.” But Pitts said cases of misconduct began to take a toll on him early last year, before the sex scandals. The last drop, though, was Sen. Oscar Braynon, he said. “The Braynon and [Anitere] Flores affair, that was it … I gave the Legislature the opportunity to do without Mr. Gadfly or Mr. Preacher.”

Bill Galvano names Lisa Vickers chief of staff” via Florida Politics — “She brings a wealth of management experience gained from serving as executive director of the Department of Revenue under two Governors, combined with a strong and diverse background in public policy,” Galvano said in a statement … Vickers is a well-known figure among senators and Senate staff as she has served as an adviser to the last three Senate presidents. She also worked for the state’s Department of Revenue for more than 20 years. Vickers is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Business and the Florida State University College of Law. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1990. The Tallahassee-based chief of staff will work with Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, during his 2018-20 legislative term.


Marco Rubio wants U.S. to keep daylight saving time year-round” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times — Rubio filed two bills … The Sunshine Protection Act, which would apply to the country, and the Sunshine State Act, which would give Florida approval to establish permanent DST within its boundaries. Rubio said in a release: “Reflecting the will of the Sunshine State, I proudly introduce these bills that would approve Florida’s will and, if made nationally, would also ensure Florida is not out of sync with the rest of the nation.” Rubio said a national adoption would benefit the economy, reduce robberies and car crashes and make children more active, reducing obesity, among other benefits. But not everyone is on board. FLPTA Legislative: “It’s not the will of the PTA as it will negatively impact the safety of our children in the morning. We don’t need more children standing in the dark waiting for a bus.”

David Jolly seeks protection against stalking by man jailed over tweet” via Dennis Joyce of the Tampa Bay Times — Jolly filed a petition March 2 in Pinellas circuit court for protection against stalking by Gerald Patrick McGuire, 55, of Clearwater, who goes by Jerry McGuire on Twitter under the handle @costaricancreat. Clearwater police arrested McGuire Feb. 23 on a felony charge of making written threats to do kill or do bodily harm for a tweet posted Feb. 18 that invokes “2nd amendment rights” and says “shoot David jolly shoot him.” Beginning Oct. 1, the petition says, “a series of harassing statements directed at Jolly” were posted, numbering about 50 and appearing on both Twitter and Facebook. Among the threats cited in the petition are “hope they hang you,” “kick in the mouth,” and “traitor treason tyranny lobbyist trailer trash.” They culminated, according to the petition, in the “most horrific of his posts” on the afternoon of Feb. 18, linking Jolly to Scientology and urging that he be shot. A judge issued an order of no contact in the case March 9 as a condition of McGuire’s release on bail. The order also says, “No social media allowed.”

David Jolly is seeking legal action against a stalker.

Key question in Pulse trial for Orlando gunman’s wife: How much did she know?” via Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times — Prosecutors portrayed [Noor] Salman as a calculating partner who joined [Omar] Mateen on trips to scout possible targets and who fabricated a cover story for him on the night of the shooting. They have charged her with aiding and abetting Mateen and with lying to the FBI; if convicted, she could face life in prison. Her defense depicted Salman in an entirely different light: as a devoted parent of a toddler and as a woman with limited intelligence who had been cheated on and abused for years by her controlling husband. Salman has denied any knowledge of or involvement in the attack. Crucial to the outcome of the trial will be what jurors make of statements that Salman gave to the FBI on the day of the attack. While the shooting was still underway, law enforcement officers went to the family’s apartment in Fort Pierce … and found her asleep there. She was taken to a local FBI headquarters and remained with agents, speaking without an attorney, until midnight. During that time, Salman gave statements that agents said were inconsistent. She also signed written statements appearing to acknowledge that she was aware of what Mateen had planned, and saying that she was sorry.

Citizens, hit with $12.7 million verdict, acted in ‘monumental bad faith,’ homeowner says” via Susan Taylor Martin of the Tampa Bay Times – In 2007, residents of the Cloverplace Condos began to notice unmistakable signs of sinkhole activity. Even as claims were filed on more than 100 units and property values plunged, the community’s insurer, Citizens Property Insurance, never paid a cent. Citizen’s conduct shows “monumental bad faith and (is) a textbook example of how not to deal with a insured customer,” complained homeowner Dennis McKenna. Last week, a Pinellas County jury agreed, announcing one of the largest verdicts ever against state-run Citizens — $12.7 million. That’s the estimated amount it would take to stabilize 83 of the homes. But the story doesn’t end there. Citizens plans to appeal. “Simply making a cash payment that does not require repairs to be made is not in the best interest of Citizens or the community,” the company said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that once again Citizens fights and fights homeowners to where a jury finally has to say, ‘You’re wrong and the homeowner is right,’” said Pasco County Property Appraiser Mike Fasano, who as a state Senator tried to help the Cloverplace owners. “I guess the big question is how much does it cost Citizens and its premium payers for these attorneys that keep losing?”

Space Florida President Frank DiBello forecasting thousands of rocket launches in future years” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — The market for private space launches is heading toward 800 to 1,000 launches a year of satellites and other space hardware; the Florida Spaceport at Cape Canaveral needs to be positioned to host as much of that business as possible, DiBello told his board: “We’re not going to be able to capture all of that [business] at Florida Spaceport but we sure are going to try.” For now, Cape Canaveral business is limited to launches by SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance and rare launches by other companies such as Orbital ATK at Kennedy and Cape Canaveral AFS. But Space Florida also controls a couple of mostly-dormant launchpads, and now authorized improvements to one of those to accommodate small- to medium-sized private rockets, as well as the beginnings of an aviation fuel farm at the former Space Shuttle Landing Strip at Kennedy, now operated by Space Florida as a private airport.

Former Coke Florida president sues company and CEO” via Margie Manning of the Tampa Bay Business Journal — Reginald Goins, a co-founder and former president of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, says he is owed at least $42.8 million after he was fired from his job March 6. Goins is asking for the money — which he says would represent his equity stake in the company — in a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court against Coke Florida and the company’s chairman and CEO, Troy Taylor. Goins’ lawsuit provides an inside look at the growth and financial position of the company, one of the largest privately held companies headquartered in Tampa Bay, with more than $1.2 billion in revenue in 2017, and details the unraveling of a business partnership between Goins and Taylor. Coke Florida has not yet filed a court response.


Booze bills make their way through the Legislature every year — but some in the business say there’s no need for change.

We got the scoop at a trade show hosted by beer distributor Tri-Eagle Sales, where 30 different breweries showcased their suds on Wednesday. Tri-Eagle distributes for more than 2,000 brands in North and North-Central Florida.

Regarding legislation, Tri-Eagle President Ken Daley said, “I don’t really look out there and say ‘there’s something that can help.’” He said that beer distribution is a vibrant business because “the playing field is level” between retailers, distributors and suppliers — and he’d like to keep it that way.

Advocacy arm: While beer distributors aren’t looking to change laws, they often find themselves needing representation in the Legislature to advocate against potentially harmful proposals. For that, Daley’s turned to Mitchell Rubin, who heads the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association.

Opposition: FBWA and Daley opposed legislation this year that would’ve permitted beer advertisements in theme parks. They said it would’ve led to some brands influencing which beer theme parks choose to stock, which would eventually limit which brands distributors carry.

Laissez-beer: Daley and Rubin want to keep the beer market as fair and competitive as possible — unlike what’s happened to the soda industry. Beer aisles, they said, stock dozens of brands, whereas Pepsi and Coke dominate soda aisles.


Texting, guns, harassment law: A look at what the Florida Legislature didn’t do” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — Some of the bills that died should have passed. Others deserved slow, painful deaths: Harassment reform … legislators never approved it … something to remember the next time one of these scandals happens; texting while driving; textbook suggestion … this fringy bill would’ve empowered activists or parents who thought they were better suited than educators to select school textbooks; UCF license plate; no serious gun measures; guns around legislators; recording confessions … they are eager to convict and kill … not as keen on getting the evidence to ensure they’re convicting or killing the right people; “Healthy Marriage” reading requirements … stalled after people starting asking if Florida legislators — four of whom were caught having affairs and for whom the term “session wives” was coined for the mistresses some keep in Tallahassee — were really the right ones to tell other people how to remain faithful.

Major Harding: Keep our Florida Constitution clean” via Florida Politics — A state’s constitution should govern with broad, general concepts, avoiding specifics and micromanagement as to not ruin its special status as a fundamental document.  A constitution is like the foundation of a house and statutes are like the exterior and finishes built upon that foundation. However, the foundation, the Florida Constitution, should only be altered when fundamental change is required. Our state’s constitution is meant to withstand the test of time.  Yet, the Florida Constitution is becoming riddled with countless, ordinary laws and specifics of government policy and regulation, such as the confinement of pregnant pigs, that lessen its status.  The Florida Constitution is already nearly three times longer than the U.S. Constitution …  We simply believe such issues are best addressed through ordinary legislation and not enshrined in our state constitution. We should not allow our Florida Constitution to become even more cluttered.  We must keep our Florida Constitution clean.

Former Supreme Court Justice Major Harding wants to keep the Florida Constitution ‘clean.’

Annie Jae Filkowski: Fake women’s health centers deceive women” via Florida Politics — In March 2014, I was 16 years old and scared because there was a chance I was experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. Every day on my way to school I would pass a Community Pregnancy Center, sometimes called a CPC. I did not know much about this facility, except it advertised on the side of its building: “FREE PREGNANCY TESTING.” I thought maybe this was a legitimate health facility that could help me. I learned quickly this was not a legitimate health care provider — even though the Florida Legislature wants you to think it is. These fake women’s health centers advertise free pregnancy testing and pregnancy-options education, but they oppose abortion and contraception and therefore will not provide comprehensive counseling or referrals. The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 41, legislation that would permanently send millions in tax dollars to these fake women’s health centers that oppose abortion and judge, shame and intentionally try to trick women. If Gov. Scott cares about being a good steward of our tax dollars and supports deception-free, comprehensive, medically accurate women’s health care, he will veto HB 41.


Personnel note: Amy Weintraub joins Progress Florida Weintraub is now the organization’s Reproductive Rights Program Director and Deputy Communications Director, said Damien Filer, the Communications Director. “She will be a great source for the media on issues surrounding reproductive rights and will be available as a spokesperson on abortion rights and a broad range of health care-related issues,” he said. Weintraub most recently served as the League of Women Voters of Florida state chair for the Reproductive Health & Justice Action Team. She also was a lead organizer for the 2017 St. Petersburg Women’s March, St. Pete’s largest public demonstration in its history.

Amy Weintraub (center) is the newest member of the Progress Florida team.

While you were busy with Session — Court records show a Leon County judge set jury selection for April 13 in the case of Lisa Edgar, the former Public Service Commissioner and state parks director, who was charged after an alleged drunk-driving hit and run. Edgar, 54, is charged with driving under the influence causing damage to person or property, a first-degree misdemeanor, and leaving the scene of a crash with damage, a second-degree misdemeanor. She waived an arraignment and pleaded “not guilty” last April. Last February, Edgar resigned as director of the Florida Park Service after less than two months on the job, citing “an immediate family emergency.” Edgar was a three-term member of the state’s Public Service Commission, the panel that regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities, and has been a deputy secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Appointed — Dr. Ryan Estevez and Marco Lopez (reappointed) to the Florida State Boxing Commission.

— ALOE —

Florida retailers expect St. Patrick’s Day to bring good luck — The Florida Retail Federation expects St. Patrick’s Day spending to set a record of $5.9 billion nationally, the highest level in the 14-year history of the survey and far surpasses last year’s record of $5.3 billion. The average person is expected to spend $39.65 up from last year’s previous record. The survey, conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, found consumers are expected to spend an average of $39.65 per person, up from last year’s previous record of $37.92. The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 35-44 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $45.76 … 83 percent of those celebrating will wear green, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant … 50 percent will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 31 percent apparel or accessories, 26 percent decorations and 16 percent candy. Of those making purchases, 38 percent will go to grocery stores, 31 percent to discount stores, 20 percent to department stores and 19 percent to bars or restaurants.

Happy birthday to former Senate President Mike Haridopolos and state Sen. Audrey Gibson as well as one of the true saints of this earth, Kristin McDonald, who must endure Mike Grissom so that the rest of us don’t have to.

Last Call for 3.14.18 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

A coalition of business leaders is “applauding” the Legislature for “defeating the anti-immigrant, anti-jobs ‘show me your papers’ bill, which would have eroded” the relationship between immigrants and law enforcement authorities, according to a Wednesday release.

The measure (HB 9/SB 308) was better known as the “sanctuary cities ban,” spearheaded by Republican Speaker Richard Corcoran.

The group includes MBF Healthcare Partners chairman Mike Fernandez, a South Florida billionaire and longtime Republican political contributor.

Others are Greenberg Traurig Senior Chairman Cesar Alvarez, retired CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines Bob Dickinson, and Related Companies Chairman and CEO Steve Ross.

“Despite a $700,000 ad-buying campaign to promote (it), the bill was defeated,” the release said.

Why their opposition? The bottom line.

They referred to “similar anti-immigrant legislation passed in Arizona (that) resulted in the loss of $141 million in direct tourist spending and a 2 percent annual reduction in Arizona’s (gross domestic product) from 2008 to 2015.”

Evening Reads

Thousands of students, teachers march on White House to call for better gun control” via Mel Leonor and Kimberly Hefling

Chuck Grassley slams Florida officials for not attending hearing on school safety” via Lydia Wheeler of The Hill

In Tampa visit, Rick Scott highlights $10 billion in tax cuts … and that gun legislation” via William Kennedy of the Tampa Bay Times

Ban Assault Weapons Now’ starts Florida constitutional amendment push” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida

School superintendents ask Rick Scott for a special session to boost education funding” via Jeffrey Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times

Andrew Gillum buoyed by gun control, immigration debate” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat

Officer describes first moments of Pulse massacre during Noor Salman’s trial: ‘Time froze’” via Krista Torralva and Bianca Padro Ocasio of the Orlando Sentinel

Space Florida President Frank DiBello forecasting thousands of rocket launches in future years” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Florida has the 9th lowest tax rates in the country” via Florida Trend

St. Johns ranked healthier county in Florida” via Dan McAuliffe of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“Until FDLE determines the actual facts of what occurred on February 14, our agency is respectfully refraining from participating in any other public reviews of the incident.” — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, in a letter to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights  

Wake Up Early?

The Enterprise Florida Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m., Embassy Suites West Palm Beach Central, 1601 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.

Gov. Rick Scott continues his statewide tour to promote $10 billion in tax cuts during his time in office. At 10 a.m., he will visit Paradise Exteriors, 1918 Corporate Dr. in Boynton Beach.

The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions at 11 a.m.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is hosting a roundtable that focuses on the state’s opioid crisis and will feature representatives of law enforcement and local elected officials. Roundtable begins 2:30 p.m. at The Palm Beach County Robert Weisman Governmental Center, 301 North Olive Avenue, 12th Floor, in West Palm Beach.

At 3:30 p.m., the Governor will appear at Industrial Lighting Products, 519 Codisco Way in Sanford.

Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will give a keynote address during a Florida Conservation Coalition conference on the “Endangered Apalachicola.” That’s at 6 p.m., Florida State University, University Center Club, Tallahassee.

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