Capitol preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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This is the last full week before early voting starts on Oct. 27. Campaigns will be in furious last minute vote-searching mode, and the state will see both presidential candidates, both on the campaign trail and at a debate in Boca Raton on Tuesday night.

In Tallahassee, the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday is the only major government event.


PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AT LYNN: President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet for their last debate, this one in Florida, at Lynn University in Boca Raton. The topic is foreign policy.  The event is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates and will be moderated by CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. (Monday, 9 p.m., Lynn University, Boca Raton.)


FIRST LADY CAMPAIGNS IN DAVIE: First Lady Michelle Obama appears at a campaign event in Broward County. (Gates open at 12:30 p.m. Broward College, Central Campus, George Mayer Gym, Bldg. 10, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie.)


LAND MANAGEMENT PRIMER AT CABINET: The Department of Environmental Protection is scheduled to give the governor and Cabinet a rundown on the state’s land holdings. The presentation comes as a growing number of lawmakers and state agencies including the Department of Agriculture, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and DEP say the state should consider selling off some parcels to private interests – which would presumably in many cases develop the sites – in order to purchase more strategic tracts.  The panel will also review a proposal by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which is seeking approval for a redesigned license plate. The Cabinet will also hear from Enterprise Florida on job growth and approve some rule changes regarding the administration of the Florida Retirement System. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

WAGGING THE DOG, THE 4TH AMENDMENT AND DRUG SNIFFING CANINES: As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear two Florida cases on the Fourth Amendment and drug sniffing dogs, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers hosts a panel of privacy and search and seizure experts who ask whether the Fourth Amendment is going to the dogs. The Washington, D.C., panel discussion includes Tribune Company Supreme Court reporter David Savage, the Cato Institute’s Jim Harper, the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Marc Rotenberg, lawyer Danielle Spinelli and lawyer Jeffrey Weiner of Miami, who is billed as a “dog sniff expert.” (Tuesday, 9 a.m., The National Press Club, 529 14 St., NW, 13th Floor, Washington.)

PSC DIALS UP TELECOM FIGHT: The Florida Public Service Commission will start hearing arguments in a dispute between Qwest Communications Co. and other telecommunications firms about what are known as “intrastate switched access services,” which are an important part of being able to complete long-distance calls. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS WORKGROUP: A workgroup created by HB 5101 aimed at moving the state to digital textbooks holds a webinar and conference call today. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., (888) 670-3525; 686 559 9751; Info:

MEDICALLY NEEDY CHANGES DISCUSSED: The state Agency for Health Care Administration and the Medical Care Advisory Committee will host a meeting about planned changes to the Medically Needy program, which provides coverage to people who have debilitating medical conditions but do not qualify for Medicaid. The changes are part of an overhaul of the Medicaid system that lawmakers approved in 2011. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.)


OBAMA CAMPAIGNS IN DELRAY: Waking up in Florida following Monday night’s debate at Lynn University, President Obama will start his morning Tuesday with a campaign event at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. The president is expected to give remarks at the event. (Tuesday, Doors open at 7 a.m., 200 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach.)


POLYTECH BOARD MAKES PLANS: The board of trustees of Florida Polytechnic University will meet to discuss the state’s newest university. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., One Poly Place, 439 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801. The dial-in number is 888-670-3525; the conference code is 4122150353#.)

FLORIDA CITRUS COMMISSION: The Florida Citrus Commission’s committees meet Wednesday morning. Issues to be discussed include assessment rates for 2012-13, the domestic marketing plan, school marketing, the Florida Citrus Outlook report and trends in orange and grapefruit sales. In the International Marketing Committee, commissioners will talk about a Japanese branding product and give progress reports on various country efforts. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Florida Department of Citrus, 605 E. Main St.,Bartow.)

GREENWAYS AND TRAILS PLANNED: The Florida Greenways and Trails Council will take up a draft of plans, goals, strategies and objectives for 2013 to 2017. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee.)

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES AIRED: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting with managed-care plans, providers and advocates to discuss behavioral-health services in the Medicaid program. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., First Coast Advantage 580 West 8th St., Banquet Room, Tower II, Jacksonville.)

FAMU PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH: The Florida A&M Presidential Search Subcommittee on Search Marketing and Communications has a teleconference to talk about getting the word out about the job. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Call-in number: 1-800-309-9169; Conference ID number: 45074150.)

ENGINEERS RELEASE FLA INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT CARD: The Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers releases its  Report Card on Florida’s Infrastructure. The report evaluates airports, bridges, ports, flood control, stormwater, roads  and other infrastructure. The director of the report, Erik Czerniejewski will lead the news conference to announce the results in Miami. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., 94th Aero Squadron, 1395 NW 57 Ave., Miami.)


ARGENZIANO: State House candidate Nancy Argenziano, I-Dunellon, participates in the Citrus County Supervisor of Elections Forum. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Citrus High School, Lecanto.)


SUPREME COURT: The Florida Supreme Court issues opinions. (11 a.m.)


EAST COAST WATER STANDARDS DISCUSSED: The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop on water standards, known as total maximum daily loads, for the state’s Upper East Coast Basin. (Friday, Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, 101 Library Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach.)


EARLY VOTING STARTS: Early voting can begin in most Florida counties on Saturday. The early voting period ends Nov. 3 in most counties.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been 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.