Sunburn for 11/12 – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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

Today’s Rise and Shine Fact-iversary is brought to you by Sachs Media Group, the public affairs firm known for unparalleled relationships and winning strategies. Who says Florida never gave the nation a president? We did, in a way, when eight years after serving as the state’s first territorial governor, Andrew Jackson became America’s seventh president. Jackson started that progression on November 12, 1821, when he concluded his Florida service. Jackson’s brief mission in Florida was to integrate the territory into the United States following its acquisition from Spain. He helped shape new institutions compatible with the American system, but his sometimes heavy-handed tactics made him few friends among the Spanish and hostile Seminole Indians. Though Old Hickory’s tenure as Governor lasted less than a year, he left behind an enduring legacy – as well as a city and county named in his honor.

Now, on to the ‘burn…

JEB BUSH’S GREATEST WEAKNESS: IT’S NOT HIS POLITICS. IT’S HIS FAMILY via Bill Minutaglio of POLITICO

It was late October, and notices were flying that Jeb Bush’s lean, handsome son would be at The Prospector’s Grill & Saloon in College Station, Texas, to do some last-minute campaigning for his first political run. The social-media alerts had also been blasting the news that the Mike Ryan band was going to be playing, probably ready to uncork one of its signature songs: “Wasting No More Whiskey.” For now, sitting on his campaign tour bus, George P. Bush stared at ABC’s Jonathan Karl and listened to how the conversation was swinging pretty far away from what George P. planned to do in case he won the election for Texas land commissioner.

It’s right here, in the heavily Christian heart of the state, where three generations of Bushes tried to convince voters that they’re really connected to the heartland. That the Bush family DNA is defined by ordinary American values — and not the blue-blood lineage that traces to Yale, the private schools in the Northeast and straight to Wall Street.

Today, though, it is also the perfect place to map out the attack plan to derail Jeb Bush and any presidential aspirations he harbors. Here, where the Bush shadows linger, Jeb Bush will be forced to confront the conflicted legacies of both his father and brother — and even that of his first child from his marriage to his Mexican-born wife, Columba.

Prop up the pale specter of Bush Fatigue like a nagging ghost that will never go away.

And there it was: an easy answer with very complex outcomes—and one that hinted at the low-hanging-fruit blueprint for the dirt doctors who would want to bury Jeb Bush.

Don’t just attack Jeb Bush, his politics as governor, even his family’s brushes with the law.

Relentlessly attack the Bush Dynasty—and prop up the pale specter of Bush Fatigue like a nagging ghost that will never go away.

MARCO RUBIO’S NEW BOOK SET FOR JANUARY RELEASE via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone is listed on Amazon with a Jan. 13 release date. It is Rubio’s second book; the first was a story of his upbringing as the son of Cuban immigrants and his political rise. The new book is more policy oriented.

“I wrote this book because we stand at a critical juncture,” reads a blurb on Amazon. “What kind of country are we going to be? Will we surrender to Obamacare and other laws that crush innovation and entrepreneurship? Will we accept a powerful nanny state and the erosion of family values? Will we allow politics to kill the American Dream?

“Or will we rise to the challenge—and take back our legacy as the only nation on earth that offers unrestricted opportunity to all?

“I believe we can restore the American Dream and expand it to reach more people than ever before. But to do so we must restrain our power-hungry, debt-ridden federal government. We must help businesses create more stable middle-class jobs. And we must help our families stay healthy and secure.

“In this book you’ll meet an over-regulated small-businessman, a struggling single mother, an out-of-work and in-debt college graduate, and others who want nothing more than their own shot at the American Dream. Their stories are our stories; their challenges are our challenges.”

COMING TO FLORIDA: GOP PARADE OF POTENTIAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES via George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post

Next week’s Republican Governors Association annual conference will be a chance for several potential 2016 presidential candidate to size each other up at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Governors scheduled to attend include Chris Christie of New Jersey (the RGA chairman and frequent wingman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott during the recent campaign), Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio’s John Kasich — all of whom have been subjects of 2016 speculation.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, is also scheduled to attend.

An RGA news release doesn’t mention another potential 2016er, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose term ends in January. Whether or not he makesNov 19-20 the RGA event, Perry will be in Florida next week, speaking in Sarasota on Monday night.

ANOTHER REASON WHY THERE’S NO STOPPING UBER: POLITICIANS AND THEIR STAFFS USE IT via Emily Badger of the Washington Post

We already know that several prominent politicians love the idea of Uber, its free-market values, its potential job creation, its spirit of innovation. Apparently some of them — or at least their staffs — are using it, too, which bodes well for the company still battling regulators across the country.

Spending data that congressional campaign committees must file with the FEC suggests that the service has rapidly overtaken more traditional forms of ground transportation — taxis, limos, rental cars — in rides taken and money spent. The Washington public affairs firm Hamilton Place Strategies analyzed this FEC data from the last three election cycles (the 2014 spending data runs through August). It provides a rough proxy of Uber use by policymakers in national power.

The FEC filings contain information on money spent on ground transportation by committees, for both incumbents and challengers, in the House and Senate. There’s no way to tell in the data if Mitch McConnell or Mark Warner was actually in an Uber car themselves. But HPS’s Tom Kise, who did the analysis, argues that it’s telling nonetheless how their campaign committees spend cash and consume products themselves. And it’s easy to picture an Uber-loving aide introducing the boss to the service.

Because some ground transportation spending may cover larger purchases like tour buses, that chart covers only rides that cost less than $100. In the 2010 election cycle, total spending on such trips was about $57,000. In 2014, as of August, it was $112,000. That trend suggests that the number of such rides has been increasing (the average cost per ride has not). Maybe more interns cuing up Uber cars so they don’t have to chauffeur officials around themselves?

As for the larger implications of this, it’s worth noting that members of Congress aren’t actually the ones deciding how to regulate Uber today. Most of those decisions are occurring at the local level, among taxi commissions, city councils or state legislatures. But politicians in Washington have certainly been weighing in on the company’s fate.

EPILOGUE: THE ULTIMATE LIST OF FLORIDA ELECTION 2014 WINNERS & LOSERS Full blog post here

Winners: Rick Scottworld’s brain trust and communications shop, Curt Anderson, Melissa Sellers, Justin Johnson, Tim Saler, Matt Moon, Susan Hepworth, etc. The coalition behind Amendment 1 headed by Will Abberger of the Trust for Public Land, which included Sachs Media Group. Jeff Atwater – Dude received more votes than any other Republican in Florida. Pat Bainter/Data Targeting – arguably, the most complete, most dominant political consulting firm in Florida.

Sarah Bascom, Bascom Communications and Consulting. Jeb Bush – Jeb coattails are a stronger ride than a sitting president. Capitol Consulting. Capitol Insight. Dwight Dudley – last pure legislative Democrat standing in Pinellas. Tre’ Evers, J.J. Whitson. Consensus Communications – Before Sheldon Adelson ponied up any money or John Morgan put his foot in his mouth, the only people standing between Amendment 2 and passage were Evers, Whitson, and Co. Food Policy Action – led by ‘Top Chef’ Tom Colicchio, who spent $34,000 to help defeat food stamp opponent Steve Southerland.

Brett Doster, Front Line Strategies. The Gwen Graham campaign. Jamestown Associates. The Jeff Brandes machine – Jim Rimes, Nick Hansen, Chris Spencer, and Co. Arthenia Joyner – the incoming Minority Leader in the Florida Senate may have a big role to play in 2015-16.

Lenny Curry; Duke Energy – Duke ends up in the Winners’ column because its three-decade old foe, Crist, has been mortally defeated. David Johnson – Helped quarterback Carlos Curbelo to victory over Democratic incumbent Joe Garcia. Eric Johnson. Majority Strategies. Mentzer Media Services. Virginia-based media-buying firm Multi Media Service Corporation. Meredith O’Rourke.

Anthony Pedicini’s Strategic Image Management. Southern Strategy Group. Ballard Partners. Ron Book, P.A. Capital City Consulting. Floridian Partners. Johnson & Blanton. Mac Stipanovich – Scott may not know it, but he owes Stipanovich.

Frank Terraferma – The mastermind behind the Florida GOP’s unthinkable two-to-one majority in the Florida House avoids the spotlight, yet constantly delivers for his party. Ryan Tyson – Associated Industries‘ wunderkind. The Victory Group – Adam Goodman’s studio did work for Bondi, six U.S. Reps, and nine state lawmakers. Ashley Walker, Steve Vancore, Screven Watson – entitled to a lot of “I told you so’s.” Dana Young – The incoming Majority Leader of the Florida House Will Weatherford – voters decided to re-elect all of your members and replace six Democrats with Republicans. What a political legacy!

Mixed Bag: Adam Putnam. Bob Buckhorn – the Tampa mayor is now the frontrunner for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor. Tampa-based lobbyist Justin Day. Chris Dorworth, who should be bestriding over a super-majority in the Florida House.

Dan Gelber, who only lost once and is still viable for a future statewide run. Jamie Grant could miss key leadership and committee assignments. Steve Schale – You know, in retrospect, Crist and Schale just didn’t seem to mesh.

Losers: John Morgan. Trial lawyers. Scott Arceneaux. Pam Bondi – Yeah, yeah, yeah, she won re-election, but she gets no style points in how she did it. Kevin Cate. Karen Castor Dentel. Mark Danish. Joe Saunders. Carl Zimmermann. Mike Fasano – There were few more vocal proponents of Crist than the former lawmaker turned Pasco County Tax Collector.

Ceasar Fernandez – It was his first time on a statewide campaign, so it will be interesting to see where he lands during the 2016 cycle. Firefighter and police unions. Jack Latvala. Florida’s media establishment. David Rancourt. Christian Ulvert – still employed by the Florida Democratic Party, but for how long? Utility ratepayers. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – how does she keep her job as chair of the DNC after Tuesday’s debacle? Bill Young II.

TRIPS AND FRIENDSHIPS PLACE PAM BONDI ON DEFENSE via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press

Bondi, who was easily re-elected to a second term, is defending her decisions to take free trips to conferences and socialize with attorneys that represent corporations under investigation by other states.

Gift disclosure records show that in the last four years Bondi accepted more than $51,000 worth of meals, hotels and free trips – to conferences in locales ranging from California, Wyoming and Michigan as well as for trips to Mexico and Israel with other attorneys generals.

The trips have been scrutinized by news outlets including The New York Times, which has noted that the one of the main outfits paying the bill for many of the trips, the Republican Attorneys General Association, receives money to pay for the trips from corporate sponsors.

The Times reported this week that Bondi allowed a Washington, D.C., attorney with the firm of Dickstein Shapiro to recuperate from surgery at Bondi’s house. The newspaper reported the stay came after Lori Kalani and two others lawyers from her firm flew on a chartered flight with Bondi to a conference being held by the GOP organization at a resort hotel located on Mackinac Island in Michigan.

Dickstein Shapiro has represented companies that came under scrutiny by other states and it also represented companies involved in a dispute over hotel taxes. One email obtained by the Times showed Kalani pointing out to one of Bondi’s top attorneys how judges in Florida had ruled for the companies. Bondi’s office in 2013 dismissed a case brought by previous Attorney General Bill McCollum against online travel companies. Another chain of emails show that Kalani also played a role in helping schedule a profile of Bondi for a trade magazine.

A spokeswoman for Bondi confirmed Kalani stayed at Bondi’s home. But she did not explain why the offer was made to let Kalani stay there or when Bondi first met Kalani.

BREVARD COUNTY COMMISSIONER ANDY ANDERSON FILES FOR HD 53 RUN Full blog post here

After more than six months of consideration, Brevard County District 5 Commissioner Andy Anderson made it official by filing to run for House District 53 in 2016.

State Rep. John Tobia currently holds the District 53 seat, but the Melbourne Beach Republican will be term-limited in 2016. Anderson also cannot run for re-election to the County Commission seat in 2016 due to term limits.

“I know everyone is very “election weary” (I know I am),” Anderson, said in a Facebook post. “However … to put rumors and guessing to rest – here it is: I have filed as a candidate for Florida State Representative – District 53 in 2016 (open seat due to term limits).”

Anderson, a Palm Bay resident, becomes the third Republican candidate to file paperwork to run for the seat.

LENNY CURRY CAMPAIGN ADDS MORE THAN $150K IN OCTOBER DONATIONS via Nate Munroe of the Florida Times-Union

The political action committee supporting Republican Lenny Curry’s mayoral campaign added $124,250 in donations last month, while Mayor Alvin Brown’s committee had a bit of a slower October, posting $21,000, according to the latest financial records filings.

Direct donations to Curry’s campaign in October totaled $29,395. Brown’s numbers were not updated by Tuesday morning.

Those October donations came amid a contentious — and close — race for Florida governor. With that now out of the way, we may see a little more attention and money paid to Jacksonville’s mayoral race.

Brown has raised over $1.6 million so far. Curry, who filed to run in the summer, raised more than $1.2 million. The bulk of that money has come from the candidates’ political action committees, which unlike direct campaign contributions do not limit how much donors can give.

Big October donations to Curry came from a mixture of local and outside sources.

A big boost for Curry last month came from the Gary R. Chartrand Trust, which cut Curry a $50,000 check. Chartrand, chairman of the Florida Board of Education and executive chairman of Acosta Inc., has been a major financial backer of Curry’s bid since he kicked off his campaign in the summer.

Jacksonville-based Petro Services, Inc. wrote Curry a $25,000 check in October, while the statewide Committee for a Stronger Florida gave him $10,000.

Brown’s committee was supported by a few $5,000 checks from local businesses and people, including Citadel Life & Health Insurance, which is based in Riverside; Stellar, a Jacksonville construction company; Henry G. Bennett, a small business lender; and Taylor Smith, who is in the transportation industry.

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REPORT: FLORIDA HOSPITALS COULD LOSE BILLIONS WITHOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald

Florida legislators’ refusal to expand the eligibility criteria for Medicaid as called for under the Affordable Care Act might cost billions of dollars in lost funding for hospitals that treat many uninsured patients, according to a report released by Florida Legal Services, a nonprofit legal advocate for the poor.

The financial impact would be felt most acutely by so-called “safety net” hospitals statewide, and in Miami-Dade, particularly by the taxpayer-owned Jackson Health System, according to Florida Legal, which estimated that Jackson could lose more than $570 million a year.

Other Miami-Dade hospitals, including University of Miami Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center, could lose as much as a combined $60 million a year, according to the report, while hospitals in Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties stand to lose more than $500 million in annual federal funding.

But if state legislators were to accept the government’s offer to spend about $5 billion a year to expand Medicaid to an estimated 760,000 more Floridians, the new revenue would more than offset the anticipated loss of federal funding for hospitals that treat many uninsured patients, Florida Legal reports.

SOUTH FLORIDA RELIGIOUS LEADERS BACK SCHOOL VOUCHERS via the Miami Herald

Black religious leaders took to the airwaves on Tuesday to call for an end to legal challenges against Florida’s largest school voucher program.

Bishop Victor Curry used his AM radio show for a “rally” against lawsuits by the statewide teachers union, school boards association and PTA.

“This is our coming together to save our scholarships,” Curry said on air. “Every child deserves a chance to succeed … and we’re going to fight.”

A lawsuit, filed in August by the statewide teachers union, school boards association and PTA, challenges the constitutionality of the state’s Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The program gives businesses a dollar-for-dollar tax benefit for contributing to an education fund.

The fund provides private-school tuition scholarships of more than $5,000 for about 18,000 kids in Miami-Dade County. Many students choose to attend religious schools, and most scholarship recipients are minorities.

Some parents, educators and students joined Curry on Tuesday to share how they have benefited from the program.

Lynden Simmons, a scholarship student at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, took to the microphone Tuesday to talk about his time in public school.

“It worked for me, but not to my full potential,” he said.

FLORIDA RECYCLING SUMMIT IN TAMPA TO HELP BUSINESSES REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE Full blog post here

As the nation starts to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of recycling, an event in Tampa seeks to bring together businesses searching for new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Presented by the Florida Recycling Partnership, the one-day Florida Recycling Summit will be at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the program will start at 10 a.m. Admission to the Summit is $75 and includes lunch.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will greet participants, and the keynote speaker is Florida Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Cliff Wilson.

The Summit will feature breakout sessions with Florida-based retailers such as Publix and Rooms To Go; the American Beverage Association and Trademark Metal Recycling; Daytona International Speedway and the Tampa Bay Lightning/Amalie Arena.

A complete listing of the agenda and speaker information is online at FlRecycling.org.

THE HIGH COST OF FLORIDA REDISTRICTING LAWSUITS via WFTV.com

The Florida Legislature has spent more than $6 million on outside legal counsel fighting congressional redistricting.

According to records obtained from the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate, the two chambers have spent a combined $6,222,655.93 in its lawsuits with groups including the League of Women Voters.

State records indicate New York-based law firm White & Case LLP, one of three firms with records indicating it work on redistricting lawsuits for the state, billed the Florida Senate $3.1 million for its services including: $26,491 for hotels, $44,900 for air travel and $80,747 for research.

On the House of Representatives side, Orlando based law firm Gray Robinson billed the state $2,232,070 for its services including one bill onJune 12 for $62,765.28 for expert witnesses.

In 2010, Florida voters adopted the Fair Districts Amendment, rewriting the Florida Constitution to require lawmakers to draw congressional districts without a partisan advantage.  Earlier this year Leon County Judge Terry Lewis found the plan adopted by the legislature to be invalid.  Following his ruling, Lewis ordered the legislature to redraw two congressional districts.

As part of the case between the state and the League of Women Voters, it was revealed that lawmakers had a series of secret emails, which showed portions of the maps had been drawn to favor one political party of another, a violation of the Florida Constitution.

FLORIDA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION COMPLETES ITS LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM via Jeffrey Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times

The Florida School Boards Association’s legislative committee has crafted and approved a two-page list of priorities for the 2015 session, and perhaps it comes as no surprise that testing and accountability reform tops the list.

The platform, which goes to the general membership for ratification in December, calls for a delay in the consequences associated with state exam results, as many local boards have adopted resolutions to that end. Beyond that, it proposes a halt to the use of test results for anything but diagnostic purposes, and pushes for paper-and-pencil state exams at the state’s expense as districts work to get enough computers for online testing.

Several other priorities the FSBA sets forth aim toward increasing local control of issues. They include:

– Restoring school board authority to levy up to 2 mills of property tax for construction and capital projects. The Legislature has reduced that level in recent years.

– Repealing provisions calling for a standard charter school contract, and granting local school board final authority over charter schools in their districts.

– Eliminating the requirement that school classes may not begin earlier than two weeks before Labor Day.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS 

Steve Metz, Greg Black, Jim Daughton, Patricia Greene, Warren Husband, Aimee Diaz Lyon, Andy Palmer. Metz Husband & Daughton: South Florida Museum

Christopher Lyon, Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.: Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach Co. Local 2928 IAFF

CONTEXT FLORIDA: UNC SCANDAL, KOCH BROTHERS, TOM SLADE AND WINTER IS COMING

On Context Florida: The business of big-time college sports is a uniquely American nonsense, writes Martin Dyckman. There are problems, such as at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s oldest state school and one of its most venerable. Stephen Goldman says that for most of four years, Gov. Scott’s policies hurt teachers and public schools, the poor, the disabled, the undocumented — just about every group except business interests. And yet, with the help of the powerful billionaire Koch brothers, he was elected with less than 50 percent of the vote. On Nov. 4, Florida Republicans joined with their counterparts around the country to celebrate a number of big victories. But the next day, Bob Sparks notes a group of Republicans gathered in Orange Park to lament a tremendous loss – the passing of Thomas Howell Slade, Jr., the most consequential Chair of the Republican Party of Florida in its history. Vu Tran’s favorite time of year is autumn, when the weather is perfect and she is reunited with one of my loves: pumpkin spice latte. For students, it is the calm before the storm, where in winter they must conquer one final hurdle: the final exam.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

OREGON LEAPFROGS FSU IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS via The Associated Press

Oregon jumped undefeated Florida State and moved into second in the College Football Playoff rankings while TCU took over the fourth spot Tuesday night.

Mississippi State remained No. 1. The Seminoles (9-0) slipped to No. 3. Oregon (9-1) moved up after winning at Utah. The Ducks now have three wins against teams currently in the top 25 (Michigan State, UCLA, Utah). Florida State has beaten two teams in the top 25 (Notre Dame and Clemson).

Committee chairman Jeff Long, the athletic director at Arkansas, said the panel had a long and hard discussion about the merits of the Ducks and Seminoles.

“We looked beyond the record,” Long said. “The committee placed significant value on Oregon’s quality of wins.”

The 12-person selection committee will chose the four playoff teams on Dec. 7.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Troy Kinsey’s co-pilot, Taylor Biehl, my paisan Nick DiCiglie, and one of St. Petersburg’s leading lights, Anne Drake.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.