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START YOUR DAY RIGHT: “Thank you Peter for SaintPetersBlog.com. With Tampa Bay being ground zero in Senate Campaigns this year, I start ever day with Sunburn for “A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics” — Jack Cory, who shared that he also starts his day off with the local print newspaper.
MICHELLE OBAMA AT UCF TOMORROW
First lady Michelle Obama will make a campaign stop at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday. The first lady plans to speak to supporters of President Barack Obama at The Venue at UCF Arena, the building behind the new arena. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the “grassroots supporter event” begins at 5:30 p.m.
DOES MITT ROMNEY HAVE A FLORIDA PROBLEM?
The New Republic: If the Romney campaign’s internal numbers are similar to the public polls, then their decision to invest more heavily in Florida is unsurprising. After a wave of favorable polls following Romney’s triumph in the GOP primary, Obama appears to hold a modest lead in most surveys over the last 45 days. Representatively, two Quinnipiac polls conducted in June show Obama leading by 4 percentage points after the same firm showed Romney leading by an average of 3 or 4 percentage points in May.
Much of the change appears to be driven by a collapse in Romney’s favorability ratings among white working class voters—precisely the effect predicted by advocates of attacks on Romney’s time at Bain Capital. Romney’s favorability rating among white voters without a college degree dropped by a net-15 points between the May and June Quinnipiac polls and Romney’s standing in the horse race declined by a net-10 points.
DWS ON THE ATTACK
“Americans need to ask themselves: why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?” — DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, quoted by Politico, turning up the heat on Mitt Romney’s investment disclosure.
CROSSROADS GPS LAUNCHES $6.5 MILLION TV BLITZ IN FLA.
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies announced a new $6.5 million television advocacy effort in Florida to, according to a press release, urge the President to address the nation’s out-of-control debt and adopt policies that will rescue the flat-lined economy.
The new ad, called “Excuses,” will air on network television stations in Florida, as well as in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia next week, and can be viewed here.
The ad is the first wave of a national $25 million advocacy effort starting July 10 and running through early August.
PAC ADS STACKING UP
American Commitment, a conservative non-profit specializing in the growth of free markets, has placed an ad buy in Florida, according to sources familiar with the buy. American Commitment is a fairly new group being run by Phil Kerpen, who spent more than five years as a top strategist with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
Last week, the group placed a $1.2 million buy in Ohio, targeting Sen. Sherrod Brown. That ad hit Brown for his out of control spending, and his association with many of Obama’s policies. It has so targeted Brown for not voting to overturn EPA rules that require cuts in toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Like Brown, Bill Nelson voted not to overturn the EPA coal rules, which the conservative group claims kills jobs and raises power costs. American Commitment is also likely to take Nelson to task for siding with President Obama on the Keystone pipeline.
In April, GOP Senate candidate Connie Mack’s campaign launched a statewide radio spot hitting Nelson on the pipeline project. Mack, who has pushed for the construction of the pipeline for over a year, also launched a petition drive calling for the pipeline to be built.
Also coming soon a TV near you:
- Restore Our Future, a top super PAC backing Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy, plans to spend $7.2 million on advertisements during the upcoming London Olympics. The ads will run between July 31 and August 9 in Florida and nine other swing states.
- Crossroads GPS, a pro-Republican group set up by former Bush advisor Karl Rove, has placed a significant ad buy in Florida for next week. While the content of the ad is still unknown, look for the group to follow in the shoes of Americans for Prosperity, which zeroed in the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling. On Friday, Americans for Prosperity launched a $9-million ad campaign in Florida and other swing stares calling the mandate “one of the largest tax increases in American history.”
- Moveon.org has launched a Spanish-language TV ad criticizing Gov. Rick Scott for his effort to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls. The progressive group has been putting pressure on Romney to condemn Scott’s actions.
MOST SAY PRESIDENTIAL RACE HAS BEEN LONG AND DULL
A new Pew Research survey finds most Americans say the presidential campaign already has been too long and dull and 53% say it has been too negative. At the same time, an overwhelming majority – 79% – views the presidential campaign as important.”Republicans and Democrats differ about whether the campaign is dull or interesting: 60% of Republicans describe the campaign as dull, compared with 46% of Democrats. There has been a sharp rise in the percentage of Republicans saying the campaign is dull since late March, before Mitt Romney effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination.”
OPENSECRETS.ORG PROFILES MARCO RUBIO’S FUNDRAISING
“Rubio showed himself to be a bona fide fundraiser during his first federal-level campaign in 2010, raking in over $21.7 million in campaign contributions from a variety of sources. By far, his top donor was the conservative Club for Growth, which gave nearly $354,000 to his campaign, according to Center for Responsive Politics research. That figure nearly triples the amount his second-largest donor, Elliot Management, contributed. Employees at Elliot provided over $121,000 in campaign donations. Rubio also received a six-figure sum from Sen. Jim DeMint’s influential leadership PAC, Senate Conservatives Fund, which helped boost a number of conservative candidates during the 2010 midterms.
“Meanwhile, retirees accounted for $1.8 million of Rubio’s total 2010 fundraising haul, while Republican/conservative ideological groups, and their employees, contributed nearly $980,000. The all-important securities and investment and real estate industries chipped in another $703,000 and $528,000 respectively.”
>>>Rubio will headline a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Boston on Friday. An invite shows a $5,000 per-person VIP reception while lunch goes for $2,500.
JON HUNTSMAN WILL SKIP GOP CONVENTION IN TAMPA, TRUMP STILL CONSIDERING AN APPEARANCE
Jon Huntsman says he won’t attend the Republican national convention “or future gatherings until the party starts to tackle the bigger issues,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Said Huntsman: “I will not be attending this year’s convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States — a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits.”
He added: “I encourage a return to the party we have been in the past, from Lincoln right on through to Reagan, that was always willing to put our country before politics.”
SARASOTA GOP TO HONOR DONALD TRUMP ON EVE OF GOP CONVENTION
It looks like it’s another big-get for the Sarasota GOP and its chairman, Joe Gruters.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention this August, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump will accept an accolade of his own as he receives the 2012 “Statesman of the Year” award from the Sarasota Republican Party.
An invitation to the event, which serves as a fundraiser for the Sarasota GOP, shows ticket prices ranging from $150 for general admission to $1,000 for a private meeting with the outspoken Trump at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota.
Trump spokesman Michael Cohen says Trump is “honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award,” which was bestowed in 2011 on former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Then-presidential candidate Herman Cain delivered the keynote address at that ceremony.
APOLITICAL TWEET OF THE DAY: @RealDonaldTrump: When true golfers see what I do at Doral it will be the hottest club in the country.
FEDERAL CONTROL OF HEALTH CARE LIKELY IN FLA.
Gov. Rick Scott’s insistence that he will not implement the state health insurance exchanges mandated under the federal health care law doesn’t mean Florida won’t have one, reports the Palm Beach Post. Instead, it most likely means the federal government will have control over Florida’s exchanges, including how they will operate, what benefits insurers will have to offer and who gets to sell the policies.
RICK SCOTT VISITING GREAT BRITAIN
Gov. Rick Scott heads this week to England, where he will attend the Farnborough International air show, one of the major aerospace and aviation industry gatherings, hoping to lure business to Florida. It’s Scott’s sixth overseas trade mission.
GOV. SCOTT HOPING ADAM HOLLINGSWORTH BOOSTS IMAGE by Abel Harding for the Florida Times-Union
(Adam) Hollingsworth begins his tenure as Scott’s chief of staff this week, taking over the helm of a foundering ship from Steve MacNamara. Long-time Jacksonville political observers say Hollingsworth is the ideal candidate to re-focus the Scott administration.
… Hollingsworth’s skill set is certainly known to Scott. After a primary that saw the political upstart best the Republican establishment, Hollingsworth stepped in to mend rifts between the winning campaign and party stalwarts. Scott’s November victory is a testament to Hollingsworth’s success.
And while consensus building is a key strength Hollingsworth will be called upon to deploy, his reputation as a meticulous planner will also come in handy. Everyone — including the guy at the top — has a clear understanding of the message in a Hollingsworth-run shop.
That discipline will come in handy in an administration that’s lurched from putting out fires with fellow Republicans over Cuba policy to an embarrassing gaffe during a trade mission to Spain.
With what is expected to be a brutal re-election campaign looming in 2014, Republicans are quite cognizant that the Scott team has some major ground to make up.
But there’s agreement on one thing — if anyone can turn things around, Adam Hollingsworth is that guy.
>>>NICHOLS STARTS AT DMS: Craig J. Nichols starts Monday as the new secretary at the Department of Management Services. Nichols, a personnel consultant, replaces Jack Miles, who stepped down at the end of March after a little over a year in the post. Scott Stewart had served as interim secretary.
APPOINTED: Rick Scott named Thomas W. Logue, of Coral Gables, to the 3rd District Court of Appeal; Judith Duggan Davidson, of Ormond Beach, to the Volusia County Court; Judge Ross L. Bilbrey, of Pace, to the 1st Judicial Circuit Court; and Lynn D. Rosenthal, of Coral Springs, to the 17th Judicial Circuit Court.
JUDGE LETS STAND MANY OF THE STATE’S REGULATIONS ON POLITICAL COMMITTEES
A libertarian legal group said that it would appeal a ruling that let stand many of the state’s regulations on groups of individuals who campaign for or against ballot initiatives, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.
The Institute for Justice said the ruling, against three friends from Sarasota who ran radio ads against a proposed land-management constitutional amendment in 2010, would apply more difficult regulations on normal citizens than on major corporations under the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in the Citizens United case.
Under state law, any group of two or more people who raise or spend more than $500 on an election count as a “political committee.” … Hinkle did strike down a portion of the law that bars political committees from spending money raised in the last five days before an election.
REAL JOURNALISM: A.G. HOLLEY CLOSURE CAME AFTER JACKSONVILLE TB OUTBREAK
About three months before the Florida Department of Health closed the A.G. Holley state tuberculosis hospital, federal health officials alerted the state about a TB outbreak in Jacksonville, The Palm Beach Post reported.
But the information from the Centers for Disease Control did not make it to key state decision makers — or to the public, the newspaper reported.
REST IN PEACE: FORMER HOUSE REP. KEN SORENSON
Ken Sorenson,the baritone voiced Republican from Key Largo Florida who served in the House from 1998 to 2006 and then went on to help then House Speaker Marco Rubio, died Friday. He was 77. The former retired Eastern Airlines pilot and representative from the Keys was by his wife’s side when he passed away Friday, a family friend told Florida Keys Keynoter, which reported Sorenson’s death. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.
MIAMI-DADE MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ NAMES EX-GENTING LOBBYIST JESSE MANZANO-PLAZA HIS CAMPAIGN MANAGER
Less than two months before the Miami-Dade mayoral election, Carlos Gimenez has finally named a reelection campaign manager.
Jesse Manzano-Plaza, 35, assumed the role two weeks ago after stepping down as a lobbyist for Genting, the Malaysian company that plans to build a huge casino complex in Miami.
Inside Gimenez’s campaign, some key advisers have privately expressed their discomfort with the choice, given the controversy caused by the Genting project. Last week, Manzano-Plaza and his backers said he has plenty of political experience.
Manzano-Plaza worked for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and ex-Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. He also served for more than a year in Iraq as part of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Last year, after the recall of former Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Manzano-Plaza ran Marcelo Llorente’s mayoral campaign.
BREAKFAST WITH BOB BUCKHORN & POLITICO
One of my favorite journalists, Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, will be interviewing my favorite current mayor, Bob Buckhorn, tomorrow at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. as part of Allen’s POLITICO BREAKFAST series.
ALAN GRAYSON RESERVES HEALTHY CHUNK OF TV TIME IN CD 9
Alan Grayson is starting to spend his big campaign fund in his effort to return to Congress, this time in the newly-configured District 9 of southern Orange County and Osceola County.
Earlier this week, Grayson, the only Democrat running in District 9, purchased more than $420,000 of TV time on just one station, WFTV-Channel 9 for the period of October 9-November 6. That buy reserved more than 460 commercial spots. Several Republicans are competing in an August primary to face him.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE NINA HAYDEN’S QUALIFYING CHECK BOUNCED
First it was the lack of a signature on Nina Hayden’s qualifying papers that was going to keep her off the ballot. Now there’s a new problem: the $10,440 check that accompanied Hayden’s papers to qualify for C.W. Bill Young’s congressional seat.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deb Clark filed a motion in Leon County Circuit Court on Friday saying that because her check bounced, her lawsuit to be included on the August ballot for the Democratic primary is moot.
FOR THE GEEKS: FCC TO PREVIEW ONLINE DATABASE OF TV AD BUYS
The Federal Communications Commission is set July 17 to conduct a public demonstration of the system it has built to host its newly mandated database of political ad buys.
Beginning with television stations in the nation’s 50 largest media markets, broadcasters will be required to post information about which campaigns have purchased advertising time on their television stations — which they are already obliged to store at their offices and make available to the public upon request — on a central, FCC-hosted database. On July 17, FCC officials will demonstrate the system in-house staff have built to handle this work.
House District 28: Brodeur-Bush race features rivals who once supported each other
Senate District 17 & 24: GOP leadership shaping key Florida Senate races
Senate District 39: Familiar names battle in Senate district stretching from Key West to Collier
>>>Jeb Bush announced his support for former state Sen. Carey Baker for Lake County property appraiser.
>>>Jeff Brandes announced the endorsements of Reps. Bill Hager, Clay Ingram and Debbie Mayfield in State Senate District 22.
>>>Candidates for local offices and legislative seats are invited to address the Santa Rosa Tea Party Patriots at this event on Monday in Milton.
>>>The National Rifle Association has endorsed Randy Johnson for State House District 55.
KUDOS TO REP. TRUDI WILLIAMS
State Rep. Trudi Williams was out to eat Thursday at a Bonefish Grill when a friend started choking on a piece of steak.
Williams, who is leaving the Legislature this year, quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver and, as the friend told the News-Press, might have saved a life. Williams has some history with saving lives: The News-Press reported that Williams was the first female emergency-medical technician in Lee County in the 1970s.
NO RSVP NECESSARY: “Shock and Awe Conservative at The Villages Monday night!”
NEW TO THE TWITTERS: @snohlgrentimes, Tampa Bay Times reporter Stephen Nohlgren.
NOW HIRING: One of the state’s most powerful associations, the Florida Medical Association, is looking to fill a social media internship or, possibly, paid position. Anyone looking to break into the political, PR, or lobbying world would be smart to jump on this opportunity to work with one of the highest-profile associations in Florida. Email [email protected] for more information.
ALOE TO SOOTHE THE BURN: After a decade of writing the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, is a tale of an idyllic town torn apart by the results of a council election. From the new cover: “Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”
MORE ALOE: “Can’t sleep? Could be the iPad. Experts warn that ‘blue light’ from night use of electronic devices might disrupt slumber,” by Monica Eng: “[M]illions … bring their phones, tablets, e-readers and laptops to bed each night, according to consumer research. The trend is causing increasing concern in the medical community based on mounting evidence that the type of light produced by our portable electronic screens can contribute to sleep loss.”
BIRTHDAY WISHES to public relations impresario April Salter and classy St. Pete lady Tami Simms.