Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunburn for 2.6.17 – Politics at the Super Bowl; Trump to MacDill; Jesse Panuccio to D.C.; Bentina Terry to Georgia

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.

TOM BRADY LEADS BIGGEST COMEBACK, PATRIOTS WIN 34-28 IN OT via Barry Wilner of the Associated Press – Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in sports, let alone Super Bowl history, lifting New England from a 25-point hole to the Patriots’ fifth NFL championship in the game’s first overtime finish. The Patriots scored 19 points in the final quarter, including a pair of 2-point conversions, then marched relentlessly to James White‘s 2-yard touchdown run in overtime beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 Sunday night.

Brady, the first quarterback with five Super Bowl rings, guided the Patriots (17-2) through a tiring Atlanta defense for fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 6-yard pass to Danny Amendola and a 1-yard run by White, which came with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. White ran for the first 2-pointer and Amendola did the deed with a reception on the second. Brady finished 43 for 62, the most attempts in Super Bowl history, for 466 yards and two touchdowns.


‘HAMILTON’ STARS TWEAK ‘AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL’ LYRICS TO INCLUDE WOMEN BEFORE SUPER BOWL via Greg Hadley of the Bradenton Herald – The Schuyler sisters have made their mark on the Super Bowl. Actresses Renne Elise GoldsberryJasmine Cephas Jones and Phillipa Soo, most known for their roles in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” sang “America the Beautiful” before the Super Bowl in Houston … and they made a slight adjustment to the lyrics. In addition to the line, “and crown thy good with brotherhood,” the women added in “and sisterhood.”

GEORGE AND BARBARA BUSH’S EMOTIONAL COIN TOSS WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO START SUPER BOWL 51 via Adi Joseph of USA TODAY – George H. W. Bush, the oldest living president, was in the hospital a week ago in Houston. But he recovered from pneumonia and gave us the rare memorable Super Bowl coin toss. Bush was rolled out by a military member in a wheelchair while wife Barbara took a golf cart to center field. The beauty was the combination of unified appreciation from the fans — something so rare in politics these days — and the knowledge of everything it took for Bush to be out there at NRG Stadium for this moment. He’s 92 — a few months older than Jimmy Carter.

LADY GAGA PREACHES UNITY DURING HIGH-FLYING SUPER BOWL SET via Maeve McDermott of USA Today – After last year’s politically charged statement from Beyoncé during her cameo in Coldplay’s halftime show, where she performed Formation flanked by background dancers in Black Panther-referencing costumes, many predicted that Gaga would unleash a Trump statement during her show. But a political protest never arrived, as Gaga opted for patriotism and unity over making a divisive proclamation, which she hinted at during her pre-Super Bowl news conference Thursday.

THE 84 LUMBER SUPER BOWL AD’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR EXPLAINS THE THINKING BEHIND THE MEXICAN IMMIGRATION-THEMED SPOT via Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider – The 90-second ad that aired on TV during the Super Bowl depicted a Mexican a Mexican mother and daughter embarking on an arduous journey to leave their country of origin and find a better life in the U.S. The ad then invited viewers to watch the conclusion of the ad online. However, the dedicated website appeared to be down during the game with the rush of people looking to find out how the ad ends. Rob Schapiro, chief creative officer of 84 Lumber’s ad agency Brunner [said] the ad intended to make a “patriotic” statement as aimed to make the company a household name throughout the country as it expands and opens more stores in the U.S. The choice to depict Mexican characters was deliberate.

IN AIRBNB’S SUPER BOWL AD, IMPLIED CRITICISM OF TRAVEL BAN via Katie Benner of the New York Times – Airbnb, one of the most aggressive corporate critics of Trump’s policy, took its opposition to the Super Bowl. Airbnb created a Super Bowl advertisement showing a diverse group of people and text that read: “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”

TWEET, TWEET: @Timodc: Weird that not one brand has tried to pander to Trump voter in commercials. Seems like a no brainer

TWEET, TWEET: @RealDonaldTrump: What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!

DONALD TRUMP TO VISIT MACDILL AFB TODAY – Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump will visit MacDill Air Force Base today. The president will visit U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill. Trump is expected to be briefed by military leaders during his visit. Spicer said the president will have lunch with enlisted troops and will also address the troops afterwards. General Dunford and Flynn are expected to attend as well.

TWEET, TWEET: @LearyReports: .@FLGovScott will be with @realDonaldTrump at MacDill AFB tomorrow.

APPEALS COURT DENIES TRUMP REQUEST TO IMMEDIATELY RESTORE TRAVEL BAN via The Associated Press – A federal appeals court denied early Sunday the Justice Department’s request for an immediate reinstatement of Trump’s ban on accepting certain travelers and all refugees. The Trump administration appealed a temporary order restraining the ban nationwide, saying late Saturday night that the federal judge in Seattle overreached by “second-guessing” the president on a matter of national security. Now the higher court’s denial of an immediate stay means the legal battles over the ban will continue for days at least. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco asked challengers of the ban respond to the appeal, and for the Justice Department to file a counter-response by Monday afternoon. Acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco forcefully argued Saturday night that the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States — an assertion that appeared to invoke the wider battle to come over illegal immigration.

— “The Trump travel ban as seen from abroad” via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union

ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTS APLENTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA ON SATURDAY via Sergio Bustos of POLITICO – Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz [hosted] a rally in her South Florida district Saturday afternoon “to combat President Trump and the Republican-led Congress,” the same day a bigger protest is planned at the president’s “winter White House” in West Palm Beach. In West Palm Beach, Trump demonstrators [marched] in opposition to Trump’s executive order on immigrant vetting, just as Trump heads to the annual International Red Cross Ball at Mar-a-Lago. The organization is scrambling to help refugees that the president has temporarily banned from entering the United States.

ACTIVISTS: CHARITIES MUST MOVE GALAS FROM MAR-A-LAGO via Terry Spencer of The Associated Press – With Trump placing a moratorium on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and his promises to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, activists are pressuring charities such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic to move or cancel their galas this month. As the American Red Cross held a gala fundraiser Saturday at Mar-a-Lago, about three thousand demonstrators marched nearby to protest Trump’s now-blocked executive order temporarily limiting immigration. The event ended peacefully, and there were no arrests. So far, no known Mar-a-Lago charity events have been moved or canceled. Both Dana-Farber and the Cleveland Clinic said they won’t move or cancel their events, but added that it doesn’t mean they support the president’s policies.

THERE’S A FLORIDA ANGLE TO THIS: BUZZFEED SUED OVER ITS PUBLICATION OF UNCORROBORATED TRUMP DOSSIER via Kevin Hall, David Goldstein and Greg Gordon of McClatchy – The lawsuits were brought by XBT Holdings, a Cyprus-based company owned by Russian tech magnate Aleksej Gubarev. Lawyers for his firm filed complaints in London against the former spy and his company, and against BuzzFeed and its editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, in Broward County Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale … where XBT’s subsidiary Webzilla is headquartered. The Florida lawsuit says that neither defendant – BuzzFeed or Ben Smith – had contacted the plaintiffs to determine whether the allegations had “any basis in fact.” Nor have they since, it alleges.

TRUMP’S FACE PRINTED ON HEROIN PACKAGES IN FLORIDA BUST via Adrian Crawford of the Palm Beach Post – A Florida sheriff’s department that netted a record haul of heroin late last month found familiar faces emblazoned on the packages: drug lord El Chapo, infamous cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar and Trump … the bust, which could be the largest in Hernando County history, saw sheriff’s deputies seize about 5,500 individual packets of the drug, including dozens with Trump’s likeness printed on them. The suspect, Kelvin Scott Johnson, faces multiple charges stemming from the bust, which came about when a Postal Service employee informed Hernando County authorities that a package containing heroin had been intercepted heading for an address in the area from the northeastern United States.

MUST-WATCH: MELISSA MCCARTHY SKEWERS SEAN SPCIER ON SNL via NBC News – In a surprise cameo, McCarthy mimicked Spicer’s famously combative first appearance with the White House press corps, where he angrily took issue with reports about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration. …. McCarty screamed, poured an entire pot of gum down her throat, and literally used her lectern as a bully pulpit, pushing troublesome reporters back into their seats during the sketch.

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DAYS UNTIL: The Batman Lego Movie opens – 4; Pitchers & catchers report for Spring Training – 6; Valentine’s Day – 8; Start of 2017 Legislative Session – 29; Florida Capitol Press Corps Press Skits – 36; 2017 Legislative Session Sine Die – 88; FSU vs. Alabama – 208; Election Day 2017 – 273; Star Wars: Episode VIII/The Last Jedi opens – 311.

BILL NELSON DIDN’T OBJECT TO NEIL GORSUCH A DECADE AGO, BUT THIS MAY BE DIFFERENT via Ledyard King of USA TODAY – After a bland, non-committal statement Tuesday night minutes after Trump unveiled GorsuchNelson turned more negative on the Colorado judge Thursday. “Of course, I’m going to talk to him and listen to the Judiciary Committee hearing,” Nelson said in the more recent statement issued by his office. “But I have real concerns about what I believe are two of the most fundamental rights in our democracy: the right to vote and the right to know who you are voting for,” he continued. “And I specifically want to know how the judge feels about the suppression of voting rights and about the amount of undisclosed, unlimited money in campaigns.”

TRUMP’S ARMY SECRETARY — THE OWNER OF THE FLORIDA PANTHERS — NOMINEE WITHDRAWING via Cyra Master of The Hill – Vincent Viola, Trump’s choice to be Secretary of the Army, is withdrawing himself from consideration for the post. Viola, who is reportedly worth $1.8 billion, is the founder of electronic trading firm Virtu Financial and was previously the chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange from 2001 to 2004. He also owns the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Viola told Trump that he would be unable to accept the nomination because separating himself from his businesses has proven insurmountable.

FIRST ON @FLA_POL – JESSE PANUCCIO TAKING JOB WITH DONALD TRUMP ADMINISTRATION via Florida Politics – Panuccio, now with the Foley & Lardner law firm, accepted an offer to become Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. The position is “the third-highest ranking official at the Department of Justice,” according to the department’s website. That role “supervises the work of five of DOJ’s large litigating components – the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Tax, and Environment and Natural Resources Divisions – as well as DOJ’s grant-making components,” the site says.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO FLORIDA IF THE EPA REALLY DID GO AWAY? via Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times – Perhaps the greatest impact the EPA has on Florida is in funding. Since 2002, for instance, the agency has been footing the bill for Florida health workers to check the beaches of 30 coastal counties for the types of bacteria that will make people sick. If the Florida Healthy Beaches Program finds too much fecal coliform bacteria or enterococci bacteria, the beach is closed until the risk declines. The EPA also gives the DEP money — $110.7 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year — that the state then lends to local governments for building and maintaining their sewer and water plants and transmission lines. Without the federal agency, local and state governments would have to come up with that money on their own.

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ASKS PRESIDENT TO SUPPORT EVERGLADES RESTORATION via Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster of Florida Politics – Francis Rooney is calling on Trump to support Everglades restoration, with a letter to the president saying that Everglades restoration “has far-ranging impacts to the entire state of Florida and the rest of the country.” … signed by the entire Florida delegation … The letter asks that Trump prepares his fiscal 2018 budget, the “strong support Everglades restoration projects, especially those within the Central Everglades Restoration Program (CERP).” It also notes the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 Act authorized two projects that now needs further action from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Interior. The projects include the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEEP) and additional authorizations to complete the Picayune Strand project, both which are important to achieving “optimal water flow” … “The Everglades deserve your attention and support, and we ask that you provide the necessary resources to restore the region,” the delegation wrote.

GUS BILIRAKIS GATHERING TURNS OUT TO BE STRONGLY PRO-OBAMACARE via Kathleen McGrory of the Tampa Bay Times – More than 200 people … packing a Palm Harbor community center Saturday morning so tightly that late-comers had to park down the street. Despite the demographics of the district, which includes all of Pasco and parts of Pinellas and Hills- borough counties, nearly all the guests came to support the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law now on the chopping block. Only a handful supported efforts by congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the health law — and one was a Bilirakis employee, case work director Kristen Sellas. The crowd got rowdy, booing a 77-year-old speaker who said former President Barack Obama played politics to ram the Affordable Care Act through Congress in 2010.


BOB CORTES ‘EXPLORING’ POSSIBLE CONGRESSIONAL RUN IN CD 7 via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – Cortes confirmed reports he was in Washington D.C. for a couple of days early this week talking to officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee and others about a possible run in CD 7 in 2018. If he does run, Cortes would be seeking a seat Republicans held for generations before U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy won it in November. “I’ve been asked,” to consider such a run … “I have not made a decision, yes or no,” he added.

SPOTTED on Friday’s airing of “Real Time with Bill Maher”: Rick Wilson

***The Florida Health Care Association knows how legislators can save taxpayers $68.2 million per year in unnecessary spending, while safeguarding the highest level of care for Florida’s frailest residents. They’ll share the plan on Wednesday with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services. Learn more by clicking here.***

GWENDREW: IS 2018 THE YEAR OF THE TALLAHASSEE GOVERNOR? via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat – Two of Tallahassee’s most notable politicians, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Mayor Andrew Gillum, are positioning themselves for a possible run for governor, a post no Democrat has been able to win since Lawton Chiles beat Jeb Bush back in 1994. Graham … has all but declared she’s running. Gillum declined to comment about his political plans. But he’s shown obvious signs he’s still eyeing higher office after passing last year on a congressional run. Voters have a chance to make history with either of the two Tallahassee hopefuls. If Graham were elected, she’d become Florida’s first female governor. If Gillum were elected, he’d become the state’s first African-American governor. If either were elected, they’d be the first person from Tallahassee to take up residence in the Governor’s Mansion since LeRoy Collins more than a half-century ago.

BOB BUCKHORN TO TAMPA MUSLIMS: ‘WE WILL STAND WITH YOU FOREVER’ via Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times – [At the] Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area … Buckhorn spoke to more than 3,000 in the mosque and an annex. “I came here for a simple reason . . . to tell you this city has your back,” Buckhorn said. “We will never demonize anybody based on your race or your creed or your color or your ethnicity (or) the god you worship. All of us came from somewhere else … I want the children to hear me more than anybody: We love you. We honor you. You are a part of who we are. We celebrate your faith. We want you to be a part of this community and give back. We treasure the fact that you chose to come here. You are us.”

RICK KRISEMAN STATEMENT ON ST. PETERSBURG’S SANCTUARY CITY STATUS LEADS TO CONFUSION via Kathryn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times – Kriseman … sought to clarify confusion surrounding his statement about St. Petersburg’s status as a sanctuary city, including pushback from Sheriff Bob Gualtieri over cooperation with federal immigration authorities. In a blog post published … Kriseman wrote that fear within the Muslim community stoked by Trump‘s strict immigration policies led to his decision to declare St. Petersburg as a city that will protect immigrants from “harmful federal immigration laws,” a stance that was widely interpreted as an official “sanctuary city” designation. “We will not expend resources to help enforce such laws,” he wrote, “nor will our police officers stop, question or arrest an individual solely on the basis that they may have unlawfully entered the United States.” In an interview, Kriseman clarified his post, saying the city is philosophically, not literally, a sanctuary city that supports other governments that have taken that route. He said the Sheriff’s Office decides whether to notify federal agents of an accused criminal’s immigration status. Gualtieri said Sunday that he has no intention of ceasing cooperation with federal authorities and called Kriseman’s statement misleading.

***The 2017 Florida Blue Foundation Community Health Symposium and Sapphire Awards are coming to Kissimmee April 19-20 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. The two-day event — with the theme “Creating a Culture of Health” — will feature several Florida-based, regional and national health professionals. The symposium will give attendees an opportunity to learn more about health care culture, purpose built communities and communities of health. Discussions will center on health issues, policy, reform and engagement. Network with 400+ executives from a range of private sector, government, universities, nonprofit organizations and more. To view agenda and register, click here***

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will be talking about transportation investments in his 2017-18 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget starting at a 10 a.m. news conference at the parking lot of Milliken’s Reef restaurant, 683 Dave Nisbet Dr. in Cape Canaveral. Then, at 4 p.m., the governor will be holding a press availability at JAXPORT Blount Island Marine terminal, 9620 Dave Rawls Boulevard in Jacksonville.

FLORIDA EDUCATION FUNDING HIGH; SCHOOLS STILL RECOVERING FROM RECESSION CUT via Andrew Atterbury of USA TODAY – The state would have to spend an additional $1.86 billion over the next three years to offset inflation and cuts that have ravaged education funding since the Great Recession, according to the Florida School Finance Council …  “School revenue is back to where it was in 2007, (but) does anybody believe costs are the same?” asked Malcolm Thomas, superintendent of the Escambia County School District. “I think where we’re feeling the pinch now is just the operational costs to really support and educate your kids.” School funding in the upcoming state budget is anticipated to increase for a fifth straight year, yet it still won’t be enough, education officials say. Lawmakers set aside $19.7 billion for K-12 education in 2015-16, a record for Florida at the time and almost $1 billion more than what was spent in 2007 … But even then, the funding school districts received per student — which pays for items such as salaries, transportation, utilities and textbooks — still was below the 2007 level for an eighth consecutive year.

HAPPENING TODAY – FLORIDA DOH TO HOLD MEDICAL MARIJUANA WORKSHOP — The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use will host the first in a series of workshops to begin discussions about implementing the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment at 2 p.m. at the Duval County Health Department, 900 University Blvd. in Jacksonville.

— “Richard Corcoran threatens to sue visit Tampa Bay over financial records” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

— “UNF capital improvements among appropriations asks by northeast Florida lawmakers” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics

FARMERS GEAR UP TO FIGHT PROPOSED LAND BUY SOUTH OF LAKE O via Susan Salisbury of the Palm Beach Post – EAA Farmers Inc. says there’s misinformation being circulated about the land grab they say would not solve problems plaguing the estuaries to the north, such as toxic blue-green algae. They point to a 2015 University of Florida study that found that, on average, 70 to 80 percent of the freshwater discharge and 65 percent to 80 percent of the nutrients in the estuaries comes from the local basins, not Lake O. They assert there is also a lack of understanding about the food and jobs they provide, and opposes taking any more EAA farmland out of production. The coalition formed in January includes more than 60 mostly family-owned farms and related businesses located in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

JEFF BRANDES: LEGISLATURE NEEDS EDUCATING ABOUT FLOOD RISK via Florida Politics – “I think my colleagues in the Legislature don’t quite understand the gravity of the situation — much like Congress,” said Brandes … “They do not understand how serious the risk is.” But that’s understandable, Brandes said — their constituents don’t, either. “Most folks don’t understand how important the issue of flood insurance is. Most Floridian think flood is part of their homeowner’s insurance. It isn’t. They also think, ‘Oh, I don’t live in a flood zone — I don’t have to buy it.’“

CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM IN SENATE’S CROSSHAIRS via Florida Politics – Rob Bradley filed a bill to repeal the state’s controversial Certificate of Need program. And Gov. Scott supports the measure. Senate Bill 676 would eliminate the Certificate of Need (CON) Program at the Agency for Health Care Administration. Currently, health care providers require a certificate of need prior before building or converting hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. Under Bradley’s bill, the Agency for Health Care Administration would develop licensure rules for new providers, and sets guidelines for the licensure of hospitals and hospice facilities. Bradley, a traditional free-market conservative, believes that competition will help reduce health care costs for consumers.

OUCH — GREG STEUBE STEPS UP WITH RIDICULOUS PROPOSALS via Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News-Journal – Another Steube … would let conceal-carry permit-holders potentially sue gun-banning private businesses in the case of a mass shooting or terrorist attack or zombie stampede in which a gunless permit-holder was harmed. So much for Republican sanctity of private property rights. Forget that such an overreaching law is a gross betrayal of conservative principles. Forget that if a business bans guns, a permit holder retains the right not to frequent that business … Forget, too, just how plain stupid it is. You know what business bans guns in Florida? Disney World. And if you think some clown from Sarasota is going to force such a law upon the Grand Mouse-eared Godfather of the Magic Kingdom, you belong in the circus sideshow with Steube.

BILLS PUSH LEGAL LIMITS via Gray Rohrer of the Orlando Sentinel – One bill would ban local governments from enacting any business regulations. Another would allow people to sue businesses that ban guns if they get hurt. And a third would ban all “obscene material” from the internet. For example, Rep. Ross Spano … filed HB 337 last month and named it the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act.” Much of it is aimed at combating human trafficking and child pornography, but it also looks to restrict regular pornography or other sexual content. A measure from Rep. Randy Fine … filed HB 17 … which would bar local governments from passing new regulations on businesses, professions or occupations. Any regulation on those issues passed by a city or county after Jan. 1 would be null and void.

COMPUTER CODING AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? LAWMAKERS AGAIN PUSH THE IDEA via Kristen Clark of the Miami Herald – Aimed at preparing students for high-tech jobs … in a modern digital economy, the legislation (SB 104) has the backing of such influential powerhouses as Disney and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “I love this idea. This is the future,” said Sen. Brandes who is driving the Senate bill this year. “Employers are valuing the skill of coding, and we should ensure that the education market is geared toward what employers want.” But the idea is drawing renewed criticism from educators and Hispanic advocacy groups — particularly in South Florida, which has the most diverse population in the state.

HAPPENING TODAY – COMMITTEE MEETINGS TO WATCH — The Senate Criminal Justice committee is set to discuss a bill (SB 280) that requires unanimous jury recommendations before defendants can be sentenced to death. In 2016, the Legislature passed a bill requiring at least 10 of the 12 juries recommend the death penalty, but the Supreme Court in October ruled jury recommendations must be unanimous for the death penalty to be imposed. The hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. in 37 Senate Office Building. Meanwhile, the Senate Education committee is scheduled to discuss a bill (SB 374) that would make several changes to the state college system, including putting it under a new governing board and implementing new restrictions on baccalaureate degrees. That meeting is also scheduled for 4 p.m. in 412 Knott.

SPOTTED at last week’s fundraiser for Jeff Brandes at the JW Marriott in downtown Miami: CFO Jeff Atwater, Doug Bell, Raymond Blacklidge, Christian Camara, Mark Delegal, Logan Mcfadden, Tim Meenan, Danielle Scoggins, Ashley Kalifeh, Robert Reyes, Derrick McGhee, William Large, Chris Spencer, Rick Porter, Joy Ryan, Monte StevensKatie Webb.

SPOTTED celebrating Sen. Oscar Braynon‘s 40th birthday at the Confidante hotel in South Beach: President Negron, Anitere Flores and her husband Dustin Anderson, Tracy and Frank Mayernick.


SPEAKING OF FUNDRAISERS … HERE’S AN UPDATE ON NANCY TEXERIA via close friend Ron Sachs – “Texeira is considering civil legal action after her bogus arrest last October by overzealous Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies led to an appropriate decision by the Manatee County State Attorney’s Office to drop all charges, refusing to prosecute. The State Attorney’s office action reflects impartial analysis of the absence of probable cause for Texeira to ever have been arrested during a nightmare evening. She steadfastly claimed she was victimized twice: first, by a man posing as an Uber driver; second, by a man at the gas station where she sought help, who rifled through her pocketbook despite her protests. The third time was the groundless arrest. Texeira, whose highly regarded Ground Game Solutions consulting business provides fundraising and strategic counseling to top Florida politicos, is reviewing her options with legal counsel to pursue potential civil action against the deputies and Sheriff’s Department involved in her arrest. Since the ordeal began and now has ended, Texeira has been offering pro bono services to various criminal justice reform organizations. She also looks forward to sharing insights from her experience with legislative policymakers.”

***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you by The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF). PIFF was formed in late 2010 with three charter members: Allstate and Castle Key Insurance Companies, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, and State Farm Insurance Companies, to create a dynamic, efficient, and competitive marketplace for personal insurance products for the benefit of all Floridians.  PIFF charter members serve forty-five percent (45%) of the automobile insurance market and more than twenty percent (20%) of the homeowners’ property insurance market. The association is the leading voice for personal lines property and casualty insurers in Florida. Learn more.***

BIG LOSS – BENTINA TERRY LEAVING PENSACOLA FOR GEORGIA via the Pensacola News-Journal – Terry, Gulf Power’s Customer Service and Sales vice president, has been selected as senior vice president of the Metro Atlanta Region for Georgia Power. “My time in Pensacola has been an incredible part of my life,” Terry said. “I’ve met and become close with so many special people who will continue to have a big impact on who I am.” In 2013 Terry received the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leader of the Year award. And, in 2016 she was named No. 1 on the InWeekly Power List of the top 100 most powerful and influential people in greater Pensacola. Her active participation across the state of Florida was recognized in 2015 when she was named one of Influence Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Florida Politics. She also served our region and our state as chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation from 2012-14 and as chair of Leadership Florida from 2014-15.

PROPOSED 6-YEAR LOBBYING BAN WOULD BE STRICTEST OF ANY STATE via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times –The National Conference of State Legislatures has published an informative report of post-employment lobbying restrictions in all 50 states, which shows that at least 34 states have a form of a cooling-off period but none is more than two years, which is what’s in current Florida law and the Constitution. Some states have no restrictions. Passage of the six-year lobbying ban in Florida is a top priority of House Speaker  Corcoran … The two bills, HB 7001 and 7003, passed the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee on 18-0 votes — making this is an excellent example of a legislative proposal that few if any lawmakers will be able to vote against.


Melissa AkesonWiliam Rubin, The Rubin Group: Florida East Coast Railway, LLC; Teach Florida

Ron Book, Ronald L. Book PA: New Horizons Community Mental Health Center, Inc.

Jeff Johnston, Anita Berry, Matt BlairAmanda Stewart, Corcoran & Johnston: PBA Holdings, Inc.; Surterra Holdings, LLC.

Amy Bisceglia, The Rubin Group: Florida East Coast Railway, LLC.; Hartman & Tyner, Inc.; South Florida Regional Transportation Authority

Matt BryanJeff HartleyLisa Hurley, Jim Naff, Smith Bryan & Myers: Polk County, Florida; Syn-tech Systems, Inc.

Kevin Marino Cabrera, Southern Strategy Group: Fairness in Taxation; The Florida Bar, Family Law Section

Kimberly Case, Holland & Knight: Park Place Behavioral Healthcare

Michael Cantens, Flagler Strategies: Organization for Safe Cannabis Regulation

Chris CarmodyChristopher Dawson, GrayRobinson: Lake County School Board

Jack CoryKenya Cory, Erin Daly Ballas, Public Affairs Consultants: Medical Solutions of Florida LLC.

Carlos Cruz, Cruz & Company: Generic Pharmaceutical Association

David DanielThomas Griffin, Smith Bryan & Myers: Polk County, Florida

Claudia Davant, Adams St. Advocates: Quidel Corporation

Jose Diaz, Robert M. Levy & Associates: Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida

Nelson Diaz, Southern Strategy Group: Fairness in Taxation

Pete DunbarMartha EdenfieldBrittany FinkbeinerCari Roth, Dean Mead: Florida Institute of Technology

Marty FiorentinoJoseph MobleyMark Pinto, The Fiorentino Group: Crowley Maritime

Katie Flury, GrayRobinson: Coronal Energy; Lake County School Board

Jason Gonzalez, Shutts & Bowen: U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

Kenneth Granger, Capital City Consulting: SPDS, Inc.

Lauren Claire Henderson, Cynergy Consulting: AECOM

Calvin Holton, The Holton Group: Pharmacists Who Care

Gary Hunter, Timothy Riley, Hopping Green & Sams: Sklar Exploration Company

Jessica Janasiewicz, Mixon & Associates: Data Recognition Corp.; Santa Rosa County School District; School Board of Alachua County; School Board of Leon County

Natalie Kato, Lori KillingerTerry Lewis, Marin Christopher Lyon, Lewis Longman & Walker: Pace Fire Rescue District

Jessica Love, GrayRobinson: Santa Fe College Foundation

Kelly Mallette, Ronald L. Book PA: Equifax; Woolpert, Inc.

Darrick McGhee Sr., Johnson & Blanton: Ladies Learning to Lead, Inc.

David Ramba, Allison CarvajalSue MullinsEvan Power, Ramba Consulting Group: Northwest Florida State College

Scott Remington, Clark Partington Hart Larry Bond & Stackhouse: Peaden Brothers Distillery of Florida

Jeff Sharkey, Capitol Alliance Group: City of St. Peterburg

Timothy Stanfield, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney: Conference of County Court Judges

Robert Stuart, GrayRobinson: Coronal Energy; Lake County School Board, Accelerated Learning Solutions of Florida

Alan Suskey, Suskey Consulting: The Everglades Foundation

Heather Turnbull, The Rubin Group: South Florida Regional Transportation Authority; Teach Florida

WHAT CHRIS TURNER IS READING – NEW GEORGE RR MARTIN STORY THE SONS OF THE DRAGON DUE OUT THIS OCTOBER via Sian Cain of The Guardian –The Sons of the Dragon will be published in a fantasy anthology called The Book of Swords in October. Chronicling the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, the story will also explore what happened to their families, friends and enemies during their time in power. In the world of Westeros, both kings reigned roughly 250 years before the main storyline of Game of Thrones begins, when their descendent Daenerys begins her attempt to reclaim power.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY belatedly to my friend Rep. Clay Ingram. Celebrating today are Reps. Eric Eisnaugle and Greenberg Traurig’s Fred Karlinsky.

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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