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Sunburn for 01.23.17 – Jim Boxold, Jon Steverson out; Trump’s first 60 hours; Women’s march! Missile fired off Florida coast? Jack Latvala raising $$$

in Peter/Top Headlines by

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

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.


In case you missed it Friday night, broke news about two major departures from the Rick Scott administration:

JIM BOXOLD TO STEP DOWN AS DOT HEAD FOR LOBBYING JOB Full story here – Boxold, who was appointed in December 2014 to succeed Ananth Prasad, is leaving to join the governmental affairs firm Capital City Consulting

JON STEVERSON RESIGNS AS DEP SECRETARY Full story here – Steverson is set to join the legal-lobbying firm Foley & Lardner … Steverson, whose last day will be Feb. 3, did not mention reasons for his leaving in the letter.

Breaking the news about Boxold and Steverson follows first reporting the departures of the heads of Visit Florida, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, and two top officials at the Department of Economic Opportunity. In addition to these policy stories, was also where you first read Gwen Graham saying she wanted to run for Governor, about Will Weatherford not wanting to run for Governor (shared with the Tampa Bay Times), the “Draft John Morgan” effort, Steve Crisafulli‘s decision not to run in 2018, as well as Denise Grimsley‘s interest in running for Ag. Commissioner.

THE FIRST 60 HOURS – America is getting what it ordered on Election Day. If anyone was expecting an evolution from Donald Trump the candidate to Donald Trump the president, never mind.

Since Trump took the oath of office, he uploaded a number of policy papers on the economy, foreign policy and law enforcement; canceled a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual fee for most borrowers; signed an executive order his spokesman said directed federal agencies to “ease the burdens” of the Affordable Care Act as the administration works toward a “repeal and replace” of the health-care law; ordered a freeze on all pending regulations until his administration can review them; visited the Central Intelligence Agency on a mission to reassure the intelligence community that they have his full support; lashed out at his critics, boasted of his appearances on magazine covers and exaggerated about the size of the crowd at his inauguration; hinted at loosening rules on torture put in place under President Barack Obama; placed his first calls to the leaders of Canada and Mexico; decided against sending a U.S. delegation to Kazakhstan for talks on the war in Syria; laid the groundwork for a trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. that would take effect after Britain leaves the European Union; acknowledged the Women’s Marches demonstrations on Twitter, writing, “Why didn’t these people vote?”; is expected to announce a federal workforce freeze and the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, which bans foreign NGOs from promoting or paying for abortions; began discussing plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; planned to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement when he meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nietospoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and invited him to the United States in February.

HOW TRUMP’S INAUGURAL ADDRESS COMPARES TO HIS PREDECESSORS, CHARTED via Christopher Ingram of The Washington Post – The address started off in relatively positive territory  — “We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.” But it dips quickly toward the negative as the new president describes the problems he hopes to address: “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation … American carnage.” … spending the first half of his speech on the negative, Trump makes a positive promise: “America will start winning again, winning like never before.” From there the speech hovers mostly in neutral territory, until the sentiment rises at the end: “We will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again.” Sentiment analysis is a tricky business — almost as much art as science. There are a lot of different ways to go about it. Still, for all its faults, the technique is useful for generating a visual, thumbnail sketch of the structure of a text.

TRUMP HAD BIGGEST INAUGURAL CROWD EVER? METRICS DON’T SHOW IT via Linda Qiu of PolitiFact – At the first news conference of the new administration, White House press secretary Sean Spicer blasted the media … “Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,” Spicer said … “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.” To support his claim, Spicer offered a few pieces of misleading or inaccurate evidence … [He] suggested 720,000 attended Trump’s inauguration, while organizers said they expected 700,000 to 900,000, and Trump himself estimated 1.5 million. All those figures are less than the 1.8 million people who attended Obama’s 2009 inaugural. We rate Spicer’s claim Pants on Fire.

TRUMP INAUGURATION BIG ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Facebook reports 60 million U.S. users engaged Friday with 208 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to Inauguration Day events.

FLORIDA POLS USE TWITTER TO PRAISE TWITTER-LOVING TRUMP via Christine Sexton of POLITICO Florida – Gov. Scott … sent several tweets through the morning … “The @realDonaldTrump and @mike_pence administration will be great for our state and country. I look forward to continuing to work with them.” House Speaker Richard Corcoran … was “Excited by @realDonaldTrump promise to return power from DC to the people. FL House is ready 2 work with the new Pres to make it a reality.” State Rep. José Félix Díaz … posted a tweet and picture of himself and former state representative and now congressman Matt Gaetz. “It’s kind of cool when one of your close friends becomes a member of Congress @mattgaetz #TrumpInauguration #FloridaHouse.” Pam Bondi … posted several pictures of herself in Washington and is tagged with Greenberg Traurig insurance lobbyist Fred Karlinsky.

HISPANIC FORMER TRUMP CRITIC SIGNS ON TO HIS ADMINISTRATION via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida – Trump appointed one of South Florida’s most respected Spanish-language media figures, Helen Aguirre Ferré, to be his special assistant and director of media affairs. Aguirre Ferré had served as the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic communications director since June, when her predecessor reportedly left due to discomfort with Trump’s immigration rhetoric and proposals. Before that, Aguirre Ferré had cross words for Trump when she worked as a top consultant and Spanish-language surrogate for one of Trump’s GOP rivals, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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THOUSANDS GATHER IN FLORIDA PROTEST OVER TRUMP AGENDA via the Associated Press – Thousands of people gathered in downtown Miami and other Florida cities to protest parts of President Trump’s agenda, joining tens of thousands in cities across the U.S. and around the world. The 10,000-seat amphitheater in Miami was filled to capacity Saturday as long lines of people tried to get in. Other large protests were held in West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg and Pensacola.

— “Florida woman at D.C. anti-Trump march: ‘I feel like my innocence was taken away’ on election Day” via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald

— “Women’s March surpassed 20,000 protesters, making it largest in St. Petersburg history” via Tracey McManus of the Tampa Bay Times

— “More than 14,000 join Women’s March on Tallahassee” via Ashley White of the Tallahassee Democrat

— “Naples-area residents take part in Women’s March on Washington” via Annika Hammerschlag of the Naples Daily News

— “Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy rally with supporters at breakfast before women’s March on Washington” via Frank Torres of the Orlando Political Observer

IN CENTER OF WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON, A ST. PETERSBURG ORGANIZER via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times – Lisa Perry spent so much time volunteering at Hillary Clinton‘s St. Petersburg campaign office that she felt her daughters, 5 and 3, had sacrificed for the cause, too. She wound up leading three busloads of activists from Pinellas to Washington, D.C., for what turned into a historically massive rally Saturday in the nation’s capital that triggered rallies in St. Petersburg, across the country and across the world, drawing millions. “It’s not a protest against the fact that he was elected, and it’s not a protest against the inauguration,” Perry said. “What it is is us saying he is now the president of the United States and he represents all of us and so much of his administration’s agenda threatens the fabric of what holds this nation together and what makes us great. We’re saying we’re here, and we’re not going to let you take away our rights.”

FLORIDA HAS SEEN A LEADER LIKE TRUMP BEFORE: CHARLIE CRIST via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times – Our Republican governor-turned-Democratic-congressman is far sunnier and more gentlemanly than our in-your-face president. Crist would rather disarm a critic with courtesy and conviviality, while Trump tends to go for nasty personal attacks. That aside, they have much more in common than striking hair and mysteriously hued skin. Both men fundamentally are populists, rather than partisans. They are less interested in the details of policymaking and governing than the perceptions of Joe Sixpack. Crist never cared if Tallahassee insiders thought he was a shallow panderer on issues from health care coverage to power company bills. What mattered to him was what average Floridians thought, and that’s where he aimed his comments and priorities … Crist’s one term as governor offers a cautionary lesson for our new president. Hubris and narcissism can be politically fatal.

WITH REPUBLICANS IN POWER, BILL NELSON PART OF LAST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR DEMOCRATS via Ledyard King of USA Today – Nelson’s perch on key panels means he’ll be at the negotiating table when Republicans decide they need Democratic help to pass bills. He’s the senior Democrat on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which will help craft the infrastructure bill Trump wants … He’s a top senator on the Armed Services Committee … And he was just named to a subcommittee that will examine cyber security in the wake of Russia’s interference in U.S. elections. He’s a member of the Finance Committee that will handle the tax reform legislation the new president wants to push through, as well as the funding mechanisms for whatever new health care initiative Republicans are hoping to replace Obama’s law with this year. “They can repeal the Affordable Care Act with 51 votes but they can’t replace it,” Nelson said. “It is going to take people of good will talking together and putting aside the political posturing to get something done as complicated as this is.”

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DAYS UNTIL: Rick Scott Orlando Jobs Summit – 11: The Batman Lego Movie opens – 18; Pitchers & catchers report for Spring Training – 20; Valentine’s Day – 22; Start of 2017 Legislative Session – 43; Florida Capitol Press Corps Press Kits – 50; 2017 Legislative Session Sine Die – 102; Election Day 2017 – 287.

MISSILE FAILURE OFF FLORIDA? BRITISH LEADER WON’T SAY via The Associated Press – Britain’s prime minister refused to say whether she knew about an unarmed missile that reportedly failed when it was test-fired off the coast of Florida last year. Theresa May told BBC she has total confidence in Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrence system, but didn’t confirm or deny a newspaper report about the alleged failure of a ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads … top government officials decided to keep the failure of a Trident II D5 ballistic missile out of the public eye because of an upcoming debate the next month in Parliament over whether to refurbish the aging Trident, the cornerstone of Britain’s nuclear deterrent system. “I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles,” May said when asked if she had known about a possible missile failure when she spoke to Parliament in July. “When I made that speech in the House of Commons, what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident, whether or not we should have Trident missiles.”

​ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will highlight job creation during a press conference at 9 a.m. at Best Home Services, 1455 Rail Head Blvd. in Naples.​

EFI CHIEF TO ADDRESS SENATE PANEL — Chris Hart, the recently named president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, is scheduled to address the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee at 4 p.m. The committee is expected to discuss issues being pushed by the economic development group, including $85 million for economic incentives. Hart will face a friendlier crowd in the Senate, which has supported economic incentives in the past. The Florida House is already gearing up for a fight, with House Speaker Richard Corcoran vowing to block the proposal. The committee meets at 4 p.m. in the Toni Jennings Committee Room, 110 Senate Office Building.

CAREERSOURCE FLORIDA NARROWS IN ON NEW PRESIDENT via Scott Powers of Florida Politics –CareerSource Florida, the corporation that serves as the state’s workforce preparation and placement agency, interviewed three finalists to replace Chris Hart as president, including the agency’s current vice president of policy, Michelle Dennard … Dennard, Mikkel Dixon, the executive director of Florida Career College in Margate; and Kyla Gutierrez-Guyette, the project director of ResCare Workforce Services in Orlando; all were interviewed by a committee of the CareerSource board of directors … The committee members will submit their scoresheets to the agency’s chairman Britt Sikes … and he will recommend the selection to Gov. Scott.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Several North Florida lawmakers — including former U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, state Rep. Brad Drake, and state Rep. Jay Fant — will hold a press conference at 2:15 p.m. on the fourth floor rotunda, outside the House Chamber to announce the formation of Stand Up for North Florida, a group created to make the case for equitable distribution of state conservation dollars.

JOE NEGRON’S LAKE OKEECHOBEE PLAN BAD FOR US, HIS PAHOKEE CONSTITUENTS SAY via Isadora Rangel of TCPalm – Pahokee residents are speaking out against Negron’s plan during a state Senate hearing in Tallahassee. Residents and community leaders from Pahokee, Belle Glade and South Bay have formed a group called Guardians of the Glades to protest the plan. The group says Negron’s push to buy 60,000 acres south of the lake could take agricultural land out of production and kill jobs that are vital in impoverished Glades communities. The sugar industry, the largest landowner south of the lake, has come out in strong opposition to the proposal. Another group called Glades Lives Matter, led by a former Hendry County commissioner, also has emerged in opposition to Negron.

TRAVIS HUTSON TALKS ‘THE PROCESS’ AND REGULATED INDUSTRIES via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics – The ongoing Cold War between Senate and House leadership looms over the session at large. Hutson isn’t as pessimistic as some media covering it … “Who knows what’s going to happen? There’s no guarantees in Tallahassee,” Hutson said. “The process has always been, the initial offers made from either side and we go through conferencing to kind of balance out those budgets through subcommittees,” Hutson added. “All I see that the speaker’s really doing is to ask his House members to start that process a little sooner. The House will put up their bills. The Senate, when we go into conferencing, will put up our stuff. And we’ll negotiate the budget. That’s how I anticipate it [working],” Hutson observed.


TOM LEE AGAIN FACES DECISION ABOUT WHICH OFFICE TO SEEK via William March of the Tampa Bay Times – Lee, once R-Brandon but now R-Thonotosassa, is again facing a decision about his political future and one that could create substantial local political complications — whether to run for state chief financial officer in 2018, and if not, whether to stay in the state Senate or come home and seek a Hillsborough County commissioner’s seat. CFO would be Lee’s most ambitious choice, and one he has long wanted. If he decides against CFO, he’ll face a decision whether to run for a full Senate term — probably an easy win — or seek a county commission seat. If Lee chose the district race, it could pit him in a primary against Commissioner Ken Hagan, who faces a term limit in his countywide seat and has been mulling either the Tampa mayor’s race or jumping to a district seat.

DAVID SIMMONS WEIGHING FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL, CONGRESSIONAL RUNS via Scott Powers of Florida Politics –  While giving his blessing to state Rep. Jason Brodeur to run for his current post … Simmons says he’s weighing his options to go after the Florida attorney general’s post, Florida’s 7th Congressional District seat … or staying full-time with his growing law firm … Attorney General Bondi is widely reported to be in the running for a position in the Trump administration. If Bondi leaves, Gov. Scott would be appointing a successor. If she stays, she’ll be term-limited out in 2018, the same year that U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy comes up for her first re-election bid in CD 7, a seat Republicans had held for generations before her arrival. Simmons said it was premature to say if he has spoken to Scott about the prospect of being appointed as attorney general. One way or the other, Simmons, a Longwood Republican, leaves by 2020, when he term-limits out.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORSTomorrowJan. 24, state Sen. Dana Young will file legislation seeking a statewide ban on fracking. Media event begins 9 a.m. in front of the Senate Chamber, Fourth Floor Rotunda of the Florida Capitol.

HE QUESTION CONFRONTING RICHARD CORCORAN: WILL HE STICK BY HIS PRINCIPLES OR WILL HE P*SSY OUT? via Florida Politics – We will know which direction the 2017 Legislative Session is headed by the first day. That’s because that’s the deadline Corcoran has set for the filing of individual member projects … the House has moved to a system that requires members to file an individual bill for each budget request … members must also file all requests by the bill filing deadline at the beginning of session. In Corcoran‘s Florida House, there will be no putting spending projects in the budget during the appropriations process. So, what happens if the Senate does not abide by the House’s rules? If they’re not filed — and there’s really no indication that the Senate is in a hurry to give in to Corcoran’s way of doing business — the question to Corcoran will be: Are you sticking by your principles? Or are you going to p*ssy out?

SURPRISE TO CENTRAL FLORIDA EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY: TOM GOODSON WANTS IT IN BREVARD via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – Goodson filed House Bill 299, which would expand the authority’s realm from its current Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties base, eastward into the Space Coast county. The bill includes the addition of a board member appointed by the Brevard County Board of Commissioners chairman, and opens another spot for a possible gubernatorial appointment of a Brevard resident. Expressway authority spokesman Brian Hutchings said he is not aware of any plans for the expressway authority to extend its toll-road network into Brevard County. And he said he could find no one on the authority who is aware of why Goodson would introduce a bill to expand the authority there.

EDITORIAL: OPEN THE UBER FRONTIER via the Tallahassee Democrat – In the taxicab versus Uber battle … some advocates would have us believe there are only two options: Either force transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to abide by the same regulations that have saddled taxi companies for decades or ban app-based car services altogether. We’re happy to see the Legislature pursuing a third option – common-sense regulation. Bills filed in both the House and Senate would pre-empt cities’ efforts to set their own requirements for transportation network companies. In addition to providing uniformity, the bills require background checks for drivers and set minimum standards for insurance coverage … This frontier calls for a different approach to regulating transportation. We’re happy to see the Legislature pursuing a modern solution.

GOOD READ – ORLANDO IS BUILDING THE TRAIN STATION, NOT SURE WHEN OR IF TRAINS WILL ARRIVE via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – By the end of this year Orlando’s gleaming new $211 million train station should be virtually finished at Orlando International Airport, but it may be many years before trains start rolling in – if at all. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is building a train station based on a vision of the future in which planes, trains, cars and buses all come together at what would be Florida’s tourism hub … Brightline, formerly known as All Aboard Florida, just unveiled its first train set in West Palm Beach, with assurances that it and 15 others should start rolling, full of passengers, between there and Fort Lauderdale and Miami, by year’s end. The stations there are nearly done. The tracks are nearly all ready. Brightline secured $600 million in financing for it all. Yet Brightline’s track from Palm Beach to Orlando is snarled in opposition and litigation … no specific timetables are being offered for the Brightline trains, not even ballparks, not even to GOAA officials.

IF YOU READ ONE THING – TURNING PLANTS INTO PILLS: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MIAMI’S LONE MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWER via David Smiley of the Miami Herald – In full operation for only four months, Modern Health Concepts remains cagey about its business operations. Details about the number of patients served by the company, the amount of medicine it produces, and the size of its cultivation facility are kept private by the Florida Department of Health and remain confidential under company policy. In order to gain access to the company’s Redland greenhouse, the Miami Herald agreed not to disclose its specific location. But following the November passage of a constitutional amendment that should soon expand Florida’s nascent medical marijuana industry, the Costa Nursery Farms affiliate is beginning to open up. This week, the company gave the Herald exclusive access to its cultivation and processing facilities for a behind-the-scenes look at how its medicine is produced, from plant to pill. “This isn’t something in the backyard or something in a garage. This is all done in a lab. It’s very clinical,” said Richard Young, the company’s CEO. “Our goal is to eliminate preconceptions.”

STUDY: DCF UNDERPERFORMING FLORIDA’S FOSTER CHILDREN via The Associated Press – The Department of Health and Human Services found DCF underperforming in critical areas during an analysis of 80 cases from April 1 to Sept. 30 … in more than half of the cases, child welfare agencies removed children from homes without providing appropriate services and were lax in follow up safety plans. The study found DCF needs improvement in 11 of 14 categories.

THE WORST THING YOU’LL READ TODAY – YEARS LATER, A CHILD WITNESS FILLS IN DISTURBING DETAILS IN INFAMOUS MIAMI ABUSE CASE via David Ovalle of the Miami Herald – Six years ago, 10-year-old twins were discovered in horrifying condition in a pickup truck parked along Interstate 95 — the body of Nubia Barahona … badly beaten, soaked in chemicals and decomposing inside a garbage bag in the truck bed; her brother Victor was in the cab, badly burned by chemicals. Their adopted father, an exterminator named Jorge Barahona, was passed out nearby. The appalling case rocked Florida’s child welfare agency, which had received numerous abuse complaints against Barahona and his wife, Carmen, but repeatedly left the children in the couple’s custody … new and disturbing statement from the couple’s own granddaughter … she was so terrified of her own family that she waited for years to tell her story. That girl, identified as A.P. … chronicled a tormented existence for the twins, who were among four adopted children living in the household, two boys and two girls. Sometimes, the twins were made to stand for hours, even days, inside a tall green trash can, or tied up inside a bathtub, naked and whimpering. To eat, they shared a bowl of milk and bread. A.P. recalled once asking her grandmother, Carmen Barahona, about the meal: “That’s what they deserved,” the woman replied.

THIS PRISON IS BY FAR THE DEADLIEST IN FLORIDA via Julie Brown of the Miami Herald – In 2016, 13 inmates died at Dade Correctional, including four from hanging. That’s twice as many deaths as any other state prison, except for Charlotte Correctional (which tallied 7) and prison hospitals and compounds catering to the sick or elderly. Three of those who apparently killed themselves were 30 or younger, two of them men with mental illnesses. Another inmate was killed by his cellmate and seven died of various medical ailments, ranging from heart disease to lymphoma. They are among the record number of inmates who died in Florida state prisons in 2016. After initially telling the Herald it counted 366 in-custody deaths, the Department of Corrections reduced that to 356, saying the 10 others died while not under the department’s supervision. That could mean, for example, they died after transfer to a county jail to face new charges. Either number is uncharted territory for a system that has seen the number of deaths climb from 191 in 2000 — rising far faster than the inmate population.

MARK PUENTE GETS RESULTS – PINELLAS COUNTY CONSTRUCTION LICENSING BOARD PLAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH DISCIPLINARY PROCESS via Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times – The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board doesn’t report to anyone, not to the local county commission like every other similar board in the state, and not even to the Florida Legislature which created it … The lack of oversight contributes to a fast and loose approach to how it handles complaints against contractors … Take a hearing to rule on a homeowner’s dispute with contractor Tom Tafelski, also the vice chair of the licensing board. His fellow board members joked about judging one of their own. “I’ll recuse myself…,” Tafelski said last year. “I won’t vote.” The room erupted with laughter. “This is great,” Tafelski said. “I love it.” It took just three minutes for them to dismiss the complaint.


Joshua Aubuchon, Holland & Knight: North Springs Improvement District

 Oscar Anderson, Southern Strategy Group: G.L. Homes of Florida Corporation

Dean CannonJason Unger, GrayRobinson: ChildNet, Inc.

Brittany DoverGrary Hunter, Hopping Green & Sams: Ducks Unliminted, Inc.

Angela Drzewiecki, Peebles & Smith: Florida Association of Counties

Julie Fess, GrayRobinson: Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce

Rob Fields, One Eighty Consulting: TmaxSoft

Thomas Griffin, Smith Bryan & Myers: Florida Hospital Association; Osceola Legislative Effort; Florida Harbor Pilots Association; Intuition, LLC.

Lisa Hurley, Smith Bryan & Myers: Florida Harbor Pilots Association; Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association; JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

Nick Iarossi, Christopher Schoonover, Capital City Consulting: Lost Tree Village Property Owners Association

Seth McKeel, Southern Strategy Group: Tampa Bay Partnership; The Gasparilla Inn & Club

Corinne Mixon, Mixon & Associates: Broward County Public Schools

Jim Naff, Smith Bryan & Myers: JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

Andrea Reilly, Smith Bryan & Myers: Columbia County Board of County Commissioners

Sydney Ridley, Southern Strategy Group: Peoples Gas System, Inc.; TECO Energy, Inc.; The Gasparilla Inn & Club; Florida Drycleaners Coalition

Robert Stuart, GrayRobinson: ChildNet, Inc.; JP Morgan Chase Holdings LLC.

Will McKinley, PooleMcKinley: Cambridge International Examinations

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ON INAUGURATION DAY, ‘HOUSE OF CARDS’ ANNOUNCES MAY RETURN via The Associated Press –The show’s Twitter account posted a video on Inauguration Day featuring an upside-down U.S. flag in front of the U.S. Capitol. The video ends with the date May 30. An upside-down flag is a signal of distress. The upcoming season will be the first under new co-showrunners Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese. Former showrunner Beau Willimon stepped away from the role after last season.

SPOTTED at Nancy and Robert Watkins Children’s Gasparilla Parade party: Former Gov. Bob Martinez, former Speaker Will Weatherford, Sens. Jeff Brandes and Dana Young, Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Slater Bayliss, Carrie and Bob Henriquez, Merritt and Rick Lindstorm, Seth McKeel, Commissioner Sandy Murman, Anthony Pedicini, Mark Proctor, Sydney Ridley, Gina and Chris Spencer, Drew Weatherford, J.D. White.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my former man-crush, Jon Costello. It just hasn’t been the same since I found out he was cheating on my with Brian Burgess. Belated wishes to the great Don Gaetz, Greg Black, Tim Center, and Georgia McKeown.

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.

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