Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunburn for 1.25.17 – Bob Buckhorn’s opening; Bush staffer to Trump admin; Rick Scott’s tax cuts; Whiskey & Wheaties return

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.


Andrew Gillum has the personal story.

Gwen Graham has the pedigree.

John Morgan has the bravado.

Phillip Levine has the money.

All four of the rumored contenders for the Democratic nomination for Florida governor have at least one defining characteristic that will shape the narratives of any campaigns they launch.

But it’s Bob Buckhorn who has the strongest selling point: a record of success as the two-term mayor of Tampa.

The Tampa success story, which reached another crescendo during the city’s hosting of the 2017 College Football National Championship, is the kind of story every candidate wishes they could tell.

“This is the first major event that we’ve had with the Riverwalk completed, and it’s the final piece of the puzzle,” Buckhorn told the Tampa Bay Times. “For us to have that now as part of our appeal really, really makes a difference.” (Be sure to read Janelle Irwin posit on how the spotlight from the college football playoff could help Buckhorn in 2018).

Now, if he wants to become governor, all Bob Buckhorn has to do is convince the rest of Florida he can do for it what he’s done in Tampa.

And right now there is an opening for Buckhorn to get into the race and define himself.

Gillum, the charismatic African-American mayor of Tallahassee, is working to insert himself into the statewide discussion about gun safety. But his trial balloons seem to never get much altitude.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Levine released a video announcing he would not run for re-election as Miami Beach Mayor. It was the clearest indication to date that he intends for governor.

But the video did not generate much buzz. “If the point of the Mayor Levine video is that he is boring (and has a really big watch) then Mission Accomplished!” remarked Republican political consultant Tre Evers.

It’s a horrible vagary of life which has kept Graham from ramping up her 2018 bid: her husband has cancer.

“Every part of me wants to run for governor, that’s what I feel passionate about, that’s what I know I need to do for the state of Florida, but things happen in life that could take me off that path. I hope not,” Graham told Brendan Farrington of The Associated Press.

As for Morgan, he continues to bluster while positioning himself as a Democratic, Florida-sized version of Donald Trump.

“Most politicians go on a B.S. ‘listening tour,’ which is all a joke, I’m going to go on a speaking tour,” Trump recently told Orlando Politics publisher Doug Kaplan. “I have the luxury of telling you exactly what I think. By the time I get done telling everyone what I think, I may be dead by my own words.”

Not knowing what to make of Trump, while seeing Graham held up, and Gillum and Levine not generating much buzz, the time is right for Buckhorn to make his presence felt in the invisible primary of 2018. Maybe he picks a fight with the Legislature. Maybe Gillum starts raising real money for his political committee. Maybe he hires a couple of key staffers.

Something. Anything. Strike while the iron is hot and all that.

Otherwise, the window will close. Graham will lock up the critical establishment support. Levine will muscle his way through the race with his checkbook. And Morgan will take up all of the oxygen in the room.

This past weekend, I ran into Buckhorn at the Gasparilla Children’s Parade. Watching him interact with the crowd and toss beads to throngs of Tampanians and visitors lining Bayshore Boulevard, I was reminded that, among all of the possible candidates mentioned here AND Republicans who may enter the race, Buckhorn is the best retail politician (although there is something to be said for how Graham’s sense of empathy can be felt literally, almost like the heat from a candle).

Buckhorn gains strength from all of the gripping and grinning. He kisses babies. He never turns down a request for a picture. He’ll drink a beer (or two) with a group of parade-goers.

In other words, Buckhorn on the campaign trail would be a force to reckon with.

The only question now is when will he get on the field.

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‘DREAMERS’ IN FLORIDA GET SOME RELIEF AS DONALD TRUMP FOCUSES ON OTHER IMMIGRATION ISSUES via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times – Hundreds of thousands of immigrant “Dreamers” feel relief this week after the Trump administration indicated it will not try to deport them and instead seek a legislative solution. Sen. Marco Rubio was working on Dreamer legislation in 2012 but never got it rolling, and Obama stepped in with an executive order. That incensed conservatives and Trump had vowed to get rid of it, though now as president, he has backed down from an immediate threat. Aides say Trump’s focus is on deporting serious lawbreakers and building the wall. He wants Congress to take up legislation for Dreamers.

A NEW OATH OF CITIZENSHIP via Adam Goodman for the Tampa Bay Times – It only took 16 minutes of inaugural pageantry for the 45th American president to outline a newly aggressive, pro-America, pro-American “us versus them” doctrine that spared no nuance or feelings. The governing elite is out of sync and out of touch. The nation’s borders are intended, yet not defended. Working-class jobs are moving to foreign soil. Our leadership around the world has been compromised by a feckless fear about standing up and showing up. Predictably and summarily, the new president enraged the disenchanted who are still bemoaning the results of the campaign past and still defending eight years of national drift where “Yes, we can” yielded to “Nope, we won’t.”

A RESPONSE TO GOODMAN’S OP-ED: “Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?” 🙂

REPORT: FORMER JEB BUSH STAFFER CONSIDERED FOR TOP EDUCATION POST via Breitbart: A report in Politico suggests the former Florida deputy education commissioner under Gov. Jeb Bush, Hanna Skandera, is being considered for education deputy secretary. Skandera was also a senior policy adviser and deputy chief of staff at the education department under former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who served under President George W. Bush.

NEW FLA. DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHIEF APPOINTS STAFF; LONGTIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEPS DOWN via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida – The new leader of the Florida Democratic Party, Steven Bittel, oversaw the shakeup of the moribund organization as he appointed two loyalists to oversee his transition, while its longtime executive director called it quits. As part of his winning Democratic campaign, Bittel employed operatives Juan Peñalosaand Reggie Cardozo who were both named transition advisers … Outgoing Executive Director Scott Arceneaux will continue to serve until a replacement has been named. Bittel also announced a new director for his office, Tessa Bay. Bittel said he wanted “to hold the Trump administration accountable and prepare for 2018,” when U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is up for re-election and faces the prospect of a potential challenge from Gov. Scott.

PROGRESSIVES LAUNCH AD URGING MARCO RUBIO, BILL NELSON TO VOTE AGAINST STEVEN MNUCHIN — A coalition of progressive organizations is hitting the airwaves to urge Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. Rubio to vote against Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary. The Progressive Change Campaign, Allied Progress Action, and Demand Progress Action will air a TV spot Wednesday and Thursday in Florida, and several other states, targeting Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary. The ad is slated to air on MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, and in the Orlando and Tampa media markets. The 30-second spot features Lisa Fraser, a widow whose home was foreclosed on by a bank Mnuchin ran.  A former partner at Goldman Sachs, he has been criticized for aggressive foreclosure practices. “Steve Mnuchin ran the bank that committed fraud and took our home, and now Donald Trump has nominated him to run our economy as Treasury secretary,” she says in the ad. “We can’t let that happen.” The six figure ad buy will allow the coalition to expand into Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Delaware and Virginia. It continues to air in Arizona, Nevada and Iowa. “Mnuchin is the poster child for how Trump has betrayed America’s working families by turning over our economy to Goldman Sachs bankers and Wall Street billionaires,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “All Senators on the Finance Committee — Democratic and Republican — owe it to their constituents to vote no on Mnuchin.” Click the image below to watch the ad.

RUBIO, TIM KAINE TEAM UP AGAIN TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM via Kevin Derby of the Sunshine State News – … in pushing the “Combating European Anti-Semitism Act.” The proposal mirrors a bill from the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism in the U.S. House, including two congressional representatives from South Florida, to examine growing anti-Semitism in Europe that was brought out in October. Rubio and Kaine brought out the proposal in the middle of November, near the end of the 114th Congress. With a new Congress convening this month, Rubio and Kaine reintroduced the bill … The senators brought in almost 10 co-sponsors, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

BREAKING THIS MORNING – GOV. RICK SCOTT ASKING FOR $618 MIL IN TAX CUTS via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press – During stops in three Florida cities, Scott on Wednesday will tout a tax cut package he’s asking the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature to pass this spring.

Scott’s $618 million tax cut package includes a proposal to cut by 25 percent the sales taxes charged on commercial rents. Other tax cuts Scott is proposing include a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday, as well as a three-day sales tax holiday for military veterans. He also wants to eliminate sales taxes charged on college textbooks.

Scott has routinely recommended tax cuts, but he has had trouble getting state legislators to go along with his complete tax cut package. Scott maintains the tax cuts will help businesses create jobs.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will kick off his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” tax cut fly around to announce proposed tax cuts in his 2017-18 budget at 9 a.m. at About Floors N More, 10950 San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville. He’ll then head to Beneficial Blends, 5505 Johns Road in Tampa at 12:15 p.m., before ending his day at 3:15 p.m. at ARC Electronics, 575 Ravenswood Road in Fort Lauderdale.

SCOTT NAMES RYAN MATTHEWS AS INTERIM DEP SECRETARY via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida – Matthews, who joined DEP in 2015 as director of the Office of Water Policy, will replace secretary Jon Steverson, who told Scott … that he was resigning Feb. 3 to take a job with the Foley & Lardner law firm. Matthews was promoted in November to deputy secretary for regulatory affairs after the departure of Paula Cobb for a private sector job. He was associate legislative affairs director with the Florida League of Cities from 2011 to 2015 and previously served as political director of the Jeff Kottkamp for attorney general campaign in 2009 and 2010.

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LAWMAKERS GIVE $2.6 MILLION MORE FOR CONCEALED WEAPON SPIKE via Arek Sarkissian of the Naples Daily News – Lawmakers … approved a $2.6 million request by the state Department of Agriculture to handle a continued historic spike in concealed carry permit applications. The agency, which oversees the state’s concealed weapons permit program, expects 316,738 concealed weapons permit applications during this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The agency had originally budgeted to handle last year’s record-breaking 244,726 applications. By Oct. 16, roughly three months into the new fiscal year, it already had collected 105,594 applications, said Derek Buchanan, the agency’s policy and budget director. “What we’re seeing is the same historic high number of applications we saw last year,” Buchanan said.

BILL TO BAN HYDRAULIC FRACKING ATTRACTS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT via Florida Politics – A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers have endorsed proposed legislation to ban extraction of oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing in Florida. “This bill is concise and straightforward. It bans fracking of all types in Florida,” Senate sponsor Dana Young said Tuesday during a news conference outside the Senate chamber. “As a sixth generation Floridian and avid outdoorsman, I believe we must act quickly and decisively to to protect our fragile environment from incompatible practices.” Present at the news conference  to discuss Young’s SB 442 were Democratic Sens. Gary Farmer and Linda Stewart, and Republican Sens. Jack Latvia and Keith Perry; House Minority Leader Janet Cruz, and Democratic House member Mike Miller, who is expected to introduce a House companion bill this week. “Just this collection of folks, you can see that this is an issue that transcends politics,” Farmer said. We can all come together to protect something as critically important as our water supply.

JEFF BRANDES BILL WOULD LEGALIZE DELIVERY DRONES via Florida Politics – The legislation (SB 460), however, focuses on ground drones, or “personal delivery devices.” Such a unit is defined as a “motorized device for use primarily on sidewalks and crosswalks at a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, which weighs 50 pounds or less excluding cargo.” “With this legislation, Florida continues to lead in transportation policy,” said Brandes. His bill also requires drone operators to carry insurance coverage, among other things, and prohibits drones on the state’s shared-use nonmotorized trail network, or SUNtrails.

— “’Patient Savings Act’ filed in House” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics

— “House bill would expand bank rights in foreclosure cases” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics

COMMITTEE CHAIR WANTS ASSURANCES PIP REPEAL WOULD LOWER PREMIUMS via Michael Moline of Florida Politics – The chairwoman of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee foresees changes to Florida’s personal-injury protection, or PIP, mandate for auto insurance, but wants assurances reform will reduce premium costs. “I think that this is an issue that you will see some legislation that will come before this committee at a future date,” Anitere Flores said as the committee wrapped up testimony Tuesday from insurance regulators and interest groups. She urged committee members to “view it through the lens of how will this affect our consumers’ rates, and having some sort of assurances that anything we do as a Legislature to lower rates … that there will be some requirements that those rates actually be lowered.” The panel discussed abandoning PIP in favor of a system whereby people injured in auto accidents can sue to recover against bodily injury policies held by drivers found at fault. … If PIP were repealed, about 73.8 percent of PIP costs would be shifted to other types of auto coverage, said Sandra Starnes, director of property and casualty product review for the Office of Insurance Regulation. The rest of the losses would shift outside auto policies to private health insurers, health care providers, Medicare and Medicaid, and the injured persons.

HOUSE PANEL GETS UPDATE ON DENTAL CARVE OUT LAW via Florida Politics – A recent study by the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability into how effective managed care plans are at providing dental care appeared to be inconclusive … OPPAGA was tasked with looking into how effectively managed care plans are at providing dental care under a contentious 2016 law. The law, among other things, carved out dental care from the list of minimum benefits offered under the state’s Medicaid managed care plans. It required the Agency for Health Care Administration to implement a prepaid dental health program for children and adults beginning enrollment by March 1, 2019, unless the Legislature acts during the 2017 Legislative Session to require the statewide plans to cover it again. Mary Alice Nye, a staff director at OPPAGA, told the House Health & Human Services Committee her team could not come to a “definitive conclusion” about which was a more effective way to provide the service.

SENATE COMMUNITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE PASSES FLORIDA BUILDING CODE REFORM via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools – Every three years the Florida Building Commission votes on whether to automatically accept the entire international building code, or amend it with certain provisions of the international code … if passed, SB 7000 would require the commission to use the most recent published edition of the Florida Building Code as the foundation, and mandate the committee to review, rather than update, the Code every three years. The measure would also delete the provision specifying how long amendments or modifications to the foundation code would remain valid. The bill would also carry forward any changes to the state building code through the time the next edition is published.

HAPPENING TODAY – COMMITTEE MEETINGS TO WATCH — The House Health Quality subcommittee will host a panel discussion on medical marijuana during its meeting at 9 a.m. in 212 Knott Building. The House Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss top priority issues in agency budget requests during its meeting at 9 a.m. in Reed Hall; while the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss possible areas of budget reductions during its meeting at 9 a.m. in Morris Hall. The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will get an update on efforts to address the rape kit backlog during a meeting at 10 am. In 37 Senate Office Building. The Senate PreK-12 Education Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a workshop about teacher pay and compensation during its 10 a.m. meeting in 110 Senate Office Building. And at 2 p.m., the Senate Regulated Industries will meet to discuss a comprehensive gambling bill in 412 Knott.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Sen. Anitere Flores and members of the Floridians for Fair Business Practices coalition will advocate for the repeal of the alcohol separation law during a press conference at 11 a.m. in front of Senate Chambers on the fourth floor of the Florida Capitol.

WHY I HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT TEARING DOWN THE WALL BETWEEN THE WHISKEY AND THE WHEATIES via Peter Schorsch – First, the leading force behind this issue is Wal-Mart. On issue after issue, Wal-Mart is less a partner and more a threat to local communities … What Wal-Mart is about (and will always be) is its bottom line … 2016 statistics from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which show “big grocery retailers like Wal-Mart, Publix and Target had a perfect record in 2016 when it comes to preventing alcohol sales to minors: none were cited by DBPR for violating state liquor control laws, while smaller liquor stores were cited five times over the past 12 months.” … But let’s put aside statistics for a moment, and return to why I’m leaning more and more on the wall … allowing liquor to be sold alongside candy bars and cough drops. It’s certainly convenient. But it’s not what I want for my 4-year-old daughter. I don’t want to explain to her what Fireball or Jameson (or any other liquor) is. Those are adult products, and they’re probably best behind a wall, where little eyes and little fingers do not wander. Please forgive me for changing my mind because I’m a parent. In columns on other issues I’ve written, fatherhood has changed my politics.

STUDY SHOWS RESEARCH NOT ON OPTOMETRISTS’ SIDE IN EYEBALL WARS via Florida Politics – As Florida’s “Eyeball Wars” start up again, research in the Journal of the American Medical Association gives new insight on what is at stake in the struggle between ophthalmologists and optometrists. In October 2016, a team of medical professionals … issued a report examining the difference in treatment outcomes between optometrists and ophthalmologists in Oklahoma. Since 1998, both types of practitioners in Oklahoma have been allowed surgical privileges to perform laser trabeculoplasty (LTP). After accounting for potentially “confounding factors,” the report finds that eyes receiving LTP by optometrists had a 189 percent greater hazard for a follow-up procedure in the same eye, as opposed to those LTPs by an ophthalmologist. In conclusion, the study offers an ominous warning: “Health policymakers should be cautious about approving laser privileges for optometrists practicing in other states until the reasons for these differences are better understood.”

CIRCUS MAGIC? AFTER LAYOFFS, RINGLING COMPANY VIES FOR MILLIONS IN JOB CREATION via Jeremy Wallace and Sharon Kennedy Wynne of the Tampa Bay Times – The parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey can still collect up to $3.7 million from state and local government for job creation even after announcing one of the state’s largest layoffs since 2015. Feld Entertainment’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” will take a final bow in May that will cost 462 people — including dozens of Floridians — their jobs. Out of the nearly 200 companies that have announced layoffs in Florida the past two years, Feld’s will be the sixth largest. Despite the cutback, Feld will continue to collect millions for job creation because the company classifies 400 of the lost jobs as “based on the road.”

BRAVES, SARASOTA USING ‘PITFALL’ EXEMPTION TO DENY RECORDS REQUEST via Noah Pransky of 10 News – The Braves are seeking state, county, and city of North Port dollars to help fund a new $80 million complex that would play host to the team’s spring training and Florida operations for the next 30 years. … (W)hen 10 Investigates requested the public records that had been prepared to this point, county spokesperson Jason Bartolone responded that the Braves “have asserted confidentiality rights” under Florida State Statute 288.075, which aims to protect proprietary business information and trade secrets in public-private economic development deals. FSS 288.075 is one of the same exemptions used by rapper Pitbull and public agency Visit Florida to deny 10Investigates’ 2015 public records request into the artist’s taxpayer-funded tourism contract. … The statute suggests confidentiality only for proprietary information where “the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the business operations of the corporation.”  Using such an exemption to withhold drafts of a contract, which will later become public, may not fit the description of “trade secrets” that would cause harm to the Braves’ business operations.

RESTORING POWER TO 200K CUSTOMERS? NO PROBLEM FOR FPL — Tornadoes ripped through parts of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties Monday, knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of customers in the region — 200,000 customers, according to Florida Power & Light. And while that left a helluva lot of folks inconvenienced, FPL staff essentially said “no sweat” when it came to restoring power. In fact, about 24 hours after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Miami Springs, the utility company posted on Twitter and Facebook it had completed its restoration efforts. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as our crews restored powers to ~200,000 homes and biz within 24 hours of severe storms and tornadoes.” By comparison, 30,000 Tallahassee utility customers were without power when a massive storm knocked out three of the city’s 25 substations on Sunday. The Tallahassee Democrat reported 98 percent recovery was expected by midnight Monday, potentially leaving customers without power into Tuesday.

VOLUSIA SHERIFF SETS EXAMPLE BY DEMANDING TICKET AFTER CAUGHT SPEEDING via The Associated Press – Sheriff Mike Chitwood … wanted “to set an example” for his agency. The new sheriff was clocked going 78 mph in a 55-mph zone … He was stopped a day after Volusia County settled a lawsuit for a deputy-related crash … Chitwood says the sergeant stopped him and they talked briefly before going their separate ways. But Chitwood says he later realized he was wrong, called the sergeant and asked him to write the ticket. He’s already paid the $281 citation.

TRULIEVE TO OPEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY IN TAMPA via Florida Politics – The medical marijuana dispensing organization will open its third dispensary Thursday in Tampa. The company currently has dispensaries in Tallahassee and Clearwater. Trulieve is one of seven dispensing organizations currently authorized by the Department of Health to grow and distribute medical marijuana … the new dispensary will have both low-THC and high-THC medical cannabis available in a several forms, including oral capsules and vaporizers. In addition to dispensaries, Trulieve also offers a statewide delivery service.

THE WORST THING YOU’LL READ TODAY – GIRL IN FOSTER CARE HANGS HERSELF WHILE STREAMING IT LIVE – THIS TIME IN MIAMI via Carol Marbin Miller and Audra Burch of the Miami Herald – For two hours, Nakia Venant broadcast from the bathroom of her Miami Gardens foster home, eventually fashioning a homemade noose from her scarf. The live feed ended abruptly. Nakia, a petite 14-year-old with long hair and a sweet smile, killed herself overnight Sunday while live-streaming the event. Administrators with the Florida Department of Children & Families would offer little detail Tuesday about Nakia’s death, other than to confirm that both child welfare administrators and the Miami Gardens Police Department were investigating the suicide death of “a child … in the care of a foster family.”

WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THIS BEFORE: “We are absolutely horrified and devastated by the news of this young girl’s death,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. “We will do everything we can to support this family and all those who cared for her as they begin to heal from this tragedy. We will conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary special review to examine this child’s history and the circumstances related to serving the child.”

 ***SUNBURN is brought to you in part by Sachs Media Group, Florida’s dominant public affairs communications firm. Sachs Media thrives on high-stakes challenges in the relentless pursuit of excellent outcomes. To help you win in the corridors of power, let us score for you in the court of public opinion. Visit to learn more.***


Robert Beck, Adams St. Advocates: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

Louis Betz, Louis Betz & Associates: 3 Bees Corp; Costa Creative, LLC.; Ygrene Energy Fund Florida, LLC.

Marsha Bowen, Robert M. Levy & Associates: Florida Nurses Association; Village of Palmetto Bay

Robert Boyd, Kristin Crawford Whitaker, Sachs Sax Caplan: Mental Health Association of Central Florida

Dean Cannon, GrayRobinson: Florida’s Vision Quest; Volusia County Government

Bryan Cherry, Adams St. Advocates: 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Jose Diaz, Robert Levy & Associates: Village of Palmetto Bay

Candice Ericks, Ericks Advocacy Group: Waste Connections of Florida

Katie Flury, GrayRobinson: Canaveral Port Authority; National Association of Industrial & Office Properties; Sodexo, Inc.

Adam Giery, Startegos Public Affairs: Project Lead the Way

Lisa Henning, Timmins Consulting: National Association of College Stores; North Florida Community College Foundation

Max Herle, THG Consulting: Florida Independent Spirits Association

Lisa Hurley, Smith Bryan & Myers: Diageo, Inc.

Nick IarossiAndrew Ketchel, Christopher , Capital City Consulting: OBS Real Estate Holdings, LLC DBA Ocala Gainesville Poker and Jai Alai

Ty Jackson, GaryRobinson: Allergan USA, Inc.

Brian Jogerst, BH & Associates: Florida Justice Reform Institute

Martin Christopher Lyon, Lewis Longman & Walker: American Civil Liberties Union of Florida; Southern Poverty Law Center

Trevor Mask, Colodny Fass: Edison Insurance Company; Florida Peninsula Insurance Company; Florida Peninsula Insurance Group; Southern Fidelity Property & Casualty, Inc.

Frank MayernickTracy Mayernick, The Mayernick Group: Florida Medical Association

Seth McKeel, Southern Strategy Group: Palm Beach State College Foundation

George Meros, Jr., GrayRobinson: Crossroads Treatment Centers

Sue Mullins, Ramba Consulting Group: Benderson Development

Evan Power, Ramba Consulting Group: Florida Water Quality Association; International Code Council

Adrien Rivard, Harrison Rivard Duncan & Buzzett: Eastern Shipbuilding Group; Hospital Corporation of American; Southwest Airlines

Carl Roth, Dean Mead: Palm Beach Aggregates

Ryder Rudd, Advantage Consulting Team: Florida Association of Health Underwriters

Nancy Black Stewart, Nancy Black Stewart PA: Eckerd Kids

Margaret Timmins, Timmins Consulting: Florida School Health Association; North Florida Community College Foundation

Katie Webb, Colodny Fass: Edison Insurance Company; Florida Peninsula Insurance Company; Florida Peninsula Insurance Group; Guy Carpenter & Company

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GOVERNORS CLUB WEDNESDAY LUNCH MENU has a Pacific Northwest flavor: Washington State salmon bisque; Washington trio apple salad; spinach pear salad; seasonal green salad; Oregon herb rubbed tri-tip beef; California drunken chicken; potatoes & wild mushroom au gratin; lime asparagus; broccoli & cauliflower au beurre; finished with peach cobbler.

FSU ALUMNI MAKE HISTORY WITH 8 OSCAR NOMINATIONS FOR ‘MOONLIGHT’ via David Heller of the Florida State University News – The acclaimed film, “Moonlight,” from Florida State University graduate Barry Jenkinsand his crew of FSU Film School alumni, has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture … Jenkins, who wrote the screenplay and directed “Moonlight,” was nominated in the Directing category. He shares a nomination for Adapted Screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” which was the basis for the film. “Moonlight” earned nominations for: Directing — Jenkins (FSU ‘03); Best Picture — Adele Romanski (FSU ‘04), Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner; Supporting Actress — Naomie Harris; Supporting Actor — Mahershala Ali; Cinematography — James Laxton (FSU ‘03); Film Editing — Nat Sanders (FSU ’02) and Joi McMillon (FSU ‘03); Adapted Screenplay — Jenkins and McCraney; Original Score — Nicholas Britell.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to two great Floridians, Sen. Aaron Bean and raconteur/lobbyist Gus Corbella

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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