Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunburn for 3.6.17 – Last-minute fundraising; Speaker’s surprise CRC pick; Rick Scott’s new policy director; ‘Get me Roger Stone’

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.

FIRST IN SUNBURN: Bill Nelson leads Rick Scott 44 to 38 percent among registered voters, according to a new poll conducted by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) at the University of North Florida. Data crunchers will shake a lot of salt on the poll because a) it’s of registered voters and was conducted over thirteen days.

FIRST IN SUNBURN: Sens. Darryl Rouson and Tom Lee and attorney Rich Newsome are among Richard Corcoran‘s nine selections to the Constitutional Revision Commission. As for others, Arek Sarkissian of the Naples Daily News reports that Erika Donalds is another pick, while Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Speaker-to-be Chris Sprowls and Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco will be on the commission. As for the other three picks, read this post — “With ‘nice’ picks to CRC, did Joe Negron just hand Richard Corcoran an opportunity” — from a week ago.

LAST MINUTE MONEY — Think of it as the gold rush before the storm. Members of the House and Senate can’t raise money while the Legislature is in session, putting a 60-day pause on fundraising each year. And while that might be good news for their most loyal contributors’ pocketbooks, it also means you can expect a mad dash for last minute fundraising before the clock starts on the 2017 session.

House Majority, the fundraising arm of House Republicans, has a bevy of fundraisers planned for today. All of the events are hosted by Speaker Corcoran, Rep. Jose Oliva, and Rep. Sprowls.

Reps. Cord Byrd, Clay Yarborough, and Jason Fischer will kick off their fundraising early in the day with a reception at the Governors Club, 202 S. Adams Street, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Yarborough will be back at the Governors Club at 5 p.m. for another fundraising reception, this time with Reps. Thomas Leek and Stan McClain.

The Southern Public House, 224 East College Ave, is the place to be Monday evening from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. That’s where you’ll find a fundraiser for Reps. James Grant, Mel Ponder, and Halsey Beshears. Rep. Brad Drake will be raising dough a few blocks away at Clyde’s and Costello’s, 210 South Adams Street. His fundraiser is also scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

If hanging out at bars aren’t your style, then the fundraising reception for Reps. Cary Pigman, Michael Grant, Bryon Donalds, Joe Gruters, Ralph Massullo, and Julio Gonzalez might be up your alley. The event is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Governors Inn, 209 S. Adams Street.

Senators are also getting in on the action. Senate President Joe Negron, Sen. Bill Galvano, Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, and Sen. Jack Latvala will host a fundraiser for Ed Hooper, who’s hoping to replace Latvala in the Florida Senate, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Governors Club.

Galvano and Simpson are also hosting a fundraiser for Sen. Frank Artiles and Rep. Manny Diaz, who is running for Senate in 2018, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at The Maddox House, 510 North Adams Street.

And if your dance card isn’t full already, don’t forget the annual Associated Industries of Florida Legislative Reception. The shindig has helped kick-off the 60-day Session for more than 30 years, and AIF officials anticipate thousands of the Tallahassee elite to attend

“AIF is proud to host this event every year as it signals the start of the legislative session,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of AIF, in a statement. “Each year, the event draws a couple thousand attendees from the governor to cabinet members, lawmakers and AIF members and of course Capitol watchers.”

So what does it take to throw a party for 2,000 of your nearest and dearest? Associated Industries of Florida brings in 70 catering staff members to do prep work, cook, clean and wait on guests. And this year, those staffers will be serving up about 200 pounds of steamed shrimp, 30 gallons of pasta, and 15 gallons of ice cream.

The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. at Association Industries of Florida, 516 North Adams Street.

UBER TO OFFER FREE RIDES TO, FROM AIF PRE-SESSION PARTY — Uber is once again partnering with Associated Industries of Florida to offer free rides (up to $10) to and from the AIF pre-session reception on Monday, March 6. The promotion isn’t open to public officials and employees Uber riders just have to enter the promo code AIF2017 to redeem the offer. The promotion expires on March 7.


— “2017 Legislative Session Preview: Alimony rears its head via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

— “2017 Legislative Session Preview: Oscar Braynon on juvenile justice, incentives and Chance the Rapper” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

— “2017 Legislative Session Preview: Sewage, transportation, beer issues face Tampa Bay” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics

— “2017 Legislative Session Preview: Tempered expectations for Duval legislative delegation” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics

— “A betting man’s guide to the bills that will rise and fall” via Bill Cotterell of the Tallahassee Democrat

— “A look ahead At the Florida 2017 session: what to expect” via USA TODAY

— “A guide to the session players of 2017” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat

— “As legislative session begins, lawmakers should put brawls on the back burner” via the Miami Herald editorial board

— “Big issues facing Legislature as GOP leaders battle” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

— “Combative new Florida House speaker vows contentious session” via Gary Fineout of The Associated Press

— “Dismantling Enterprise Florida is a top priority for AFP-FL via Florida Politics

— “Dueling Florida lawmakers face long list of issues” via Gray Rohrer and Dan Sweeney of the Orlando Sentinel

— “Duval delegation ready to roll” via Florida Politics

— “Florida could flip burden of proving ‘stand your ground” via Brendan Farrington of The Associated Press

— “Florida’s new legislative leaders talk issues, personalities” via the Associated Press

— “For a better Florida: The battle over Florida’s free market” via Robert Trigaux of the Tampa Bay times

— “Greg Steube leads charge on gun legislation” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

— “Gun bills loaded for 2017 Session” via CBS Miami

— “Guns, gambling and other diversions: Let the legislative games begin” via Dan Sweeney of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

— “Here’s how Richard Corcoran stormed Florida’s capital and made some people angry” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times

— “Insurance companies have plenty to worry about as legislative session opens” via Michael Moline of Florida Politics

— “Joe Gruters diving right into contentious issues” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

— “Powerful Bill Galvano takes lead on major issues” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

— “Ten big issues to watch during 2017 Session” via the Sunshine State News

— “The road, fast food and Session — all aboard!” via Blake Dowling of Florida Politics

— “This legislative session has the chance to be one of the most significant in Florida’s history” via Joe Henderson of Florida Politics

— “Veterans group releases priorities ahead of 2017 Legislative Session” via Florida Politics

— “What to watch and how to weigh in on the legislative session” via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union

— “Your 2017 bipartisan guide to ridiculous legislation” via Alex Pickett of Creative Loafing Tampa

***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you by Spectrum Business. Bright House Networks Business Solutions is now Spectrum Business, and we are committed to delivering your business with superior business Internet, Phone, and TV services to help power your success. We offer the best value in business with the fastest Internet for the price, advanced phone with unlimited long distance, cloud-based Hosted Voice and reliable TV – all delivered over our reliable, state-of-the-art, fiber-rich network.  Find out why so many businesses in your area trust their communications needs to Spectrum Business. Learn more.***

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS STRIKE DEAL TO WRITE STATE BUDGET via Florida Politics — Released Friday, the proposed joint rule follows Senate Appropriations Chairman Latvala telling his chamber’s Rules Committee in February that House leaders had agreed to compromise to streamline the process. … The new rule first defines an appropriations project identically to the House Rules. It also stipulates that no appropriations project “may be included in a budget conference report unless the project was included in the House or Senate general appropriations act,” according to a memo to House members from Speaker Corcoran. In the memo, Corcoran goes on to say that the “Senate has agreed to collect and post online specific detailed information on each appropriations project prior to the passage of their proposed general appropriations act.” The new rule further grandfathers in existing recurring projects as long as they do not receive additional funding. New money must be non-recurring, meaning not required in future budgets, and “the project must be clearly identified in the conference report.” … “I think this is a big potential problem that’s been dodged,” said Latvala. “The only thing you have to do in the Constitution during the session is do a budget, and by having a game plan and a joint approach to that before we start out is a big deal.”

GUN BILL SHOWS HOW DEMOCRATS STRUGGLE IN TALLAHASSEE via Gray Rohrer of the Orlando Sentinel – Sen. Linda Stewart knows her bill banning assault weapons sales won’t pass. But after the Pulse nightclub massacre June that left 49 dead, she’s disappointed it hasn’t even come up for discussion. Her biggest problem: She is a Democrat in a Republican-dominated Legislature. When the legislative session begins Tuesday, it will mark 20 years of total Republican control of both chambers of the Legislature. GOP majorities have grown to near-super majorities in both chambers in that time, leaving Democrats all but irrelevant on most major issues. That means Democratic bills ranging from Stewart’s gun measure to more moderate bills such as requiring a mental health evaluation before someone can get a concealed weapons permit don’t even get hearings. Bills to increase the minimum wage or require equal pay for women also are nonstarters. But highlighting those issues could be the key for Democrats hoping to make gains in the 2018 elections.

HOUSE, SENATE RELEASE DETAILS OF THEIR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LEGISLATION via Michael Moline of Florida Politics – Although SB 1582 would eliminate the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s role in proposing rates to the Office of Insurance Regulation, the House would merely allow insurers to deviate from approved rates by up to 5 percent. The fee cap formula, approved by the Legislature in 2003, and tied to benefits won, would remain under both measures. But judges of compensation claims could approve fees of as much as $250 per hour when justified by the degree of difficulty or time involved. And both measures would repeal criminal sanctions against lawyers who accept fees outside the fee structure. Neither chamber appeared interested in an Associated Industries of Florida proposal to require both parties — the worker and the insurance company — to pay their own attorney fees. But both bills do include AIF’s proposal to make petitions for benefits specify the benefits sought and how they were calculated.

JACK LATVALA WANTS FLORIDA’S BEACHES ‘DONE RIGHT’ via Ryan Mills of the Naples Daily News – Saying state leaders are falling behind on their commitment to beach communities, Latvala outlined comprehensive legislation that would overhaul the way Florida manages its eroding shores. The legislation would … increase funding to $50 million annually; require long-term planning; establish a new framework for scoring proposed renourishment projects. “We’ve got tangible evidence that the health of our beaches is a big return on investment,” Latvala said. “Everyone acknowledges that; even the House acknowledges it. We’re fighting over some of the other economic development programs. Nobody is fighting over this … Let’s at least get this done right.”

JEFF BRANDES AMENDMENT WOULD GIVE FELONS GUN RIGHTS via Florida Politics – SB 934, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Perry Thurston, would automatically restore all other civil rights, such as the right to vote, when a felon completes their sentence, but specifically carves out the right to own firearms. Thurston argues in the bill that automatic restoration helps felons reintegrate into society and takes some weight off the “cumbersome, costly” process of executive clemency. Brandes’ amendment removes the portion of the bill carving out gun ownership and would automatically restore gun ownership rights so long as the felon was not convicted of murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, sexual battery, incest, child sex abuse or human trafficking. Executive clemency is currently the only way felons can have their civil rights restored.

LEGISLATION WOULD HELP FLORIDA CRAFT DISTILLERIES, BREWERIES via Joe Reedy of The Associated Press – Senator Dana Young‘s craft breweries bill (SB 554) … would allow brewers to directly sell up to 7,000 kegs to bars and restaurants before needing a distributor. In 2015, the Legislature passed a bill allowing craft breweries to sell unlimited products at their breweries. Sen. Greg Steube‘s bill (SB 166) would allow customers to purchase as many bottles of craft liquor that they want. The current law, which was approved in 2013, allows customers to buy only two bottles per label per year. It also allows distillers to sell liquor at one other salesroom located in the same county. Florida is 10th in the nation in number of craft distilleries.

HAPPENING TODAY – COMMITTEE MEETINGS TO WATCH — The House Rules & Policy Committee will take up controversial bills (HB 9 and HB 7005) that would change Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, and abolish Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development program, during its meeting at 3 p.m. Monday in 404 House Office Building. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will consider a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to vice body camera footage before writing incident reports during its 1:30 p.m. meeting in 37 Senate Office Building. Also at 1:30 p.m., the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will discuss a bill dealing with parenting time plans and child support when it meets in 110 Senate Office Building. Pharmacy benefits will be on the table when the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meets at 4 p.m. The Senate Community Affairs Committee will hear a public records bill that would give judges discretion in deciding whether to award attorney fees in public records lawsuit during its meeting at 4 p.m. in 301 Senate Office Building.

CONTROVERSIAL PUBLIC RECORDS BILL TO GO BEFORE ITS SECOND COMMITTEE via Florida Politics – A bill that would give judges discretion in whether to award attorney’s fees in public records cases is set to go before the Senate Community Affairs Committee … Current law allows winners of public records lawsuits to collect attorney fees, but SB 80 would give judges discretion in whether or not they award fees to the plaintiff and would require requests to be made in writing in order to be eligible to collect attorney fees. Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube, the bill’s sponsor, and ther proponents say there has been a swath of insincere public records requests where the true aim was to file suit and collect the fees.

AFTER CANCER TREATMENT, DOROTHY HUKILL EYEING TALLAHASSEE RETURN via Mark Harper of the Daytona Beach News-Journal – Hukill … has not been able to travel to Tallahassee and has had to do the work of a lawmaker, reading bills, setting her Education Committee agenda and consulting with her staff and other lawmakers, from home. She took mild issue with a reporter’s characterization that she has appeared to be missing in action. “Not so much out of the public eye,” she said. “I’ve had certain limitations, obviously. The limitations now would be the type of travel to get to Tallahassee.”

***The State of the Taxpayer Dinner — March 8 (6-9 p.m.) — The one event in 2017 you can’t afford to miss. While the annual State of the State address and opening statements of each legislative chamber cover the accomplishments and future of our elected leadership, none specifically highlight the issues affecting taxpayers. This unique event puts the spotlight back on the taxpayers. Florida TaxWatch and Host Committee Chairman Gov. Bob Martinez present the 2017 State of the Taxpayer, the premier event for Florida’s elected leaders to discuss the issues that will impact taxpayers over the next year. The 2017 event welcomes speakers Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner Adam Putnam, Speaker Corcoran, Sen. Latvala, and Rep. Jim Boyd. Last year’s event sold out and just a few tickets remain for next week’s event – visit for more info or to purchase tickets.***

ICYMI: PAM STEWART, JIMMY PATRONIS AMONG RICK SCOTT CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW PANEL PICKS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – Unsurprisingly, his selections are heavy with friends, appointees and supporters … Scott disclosed the remaining picks, after previously announcing Carlos Beruff as chair and Jeff Woodburn, currently the governor’s Policy Director, as the executive director. In addition to Stewart and Patronis, they are: Dr. Jose “Pepe” Armas,“a distinguished physician and health care executive whose focus on patient-centered care has defined his career;” former state Sen. Lisa CarltonTim Cerio, the governor’s former general counsel now practicing with the GrayRobinson law firm.; Emery Gainey of Tallahassee; Brecht Heuchan, who helps run Scott’s Let’s Get to Work political committee; Emery Gainey, a “member of the Attorney General’s senior executive management team and currently the Director of Law Enforcement, Victim Services & Criminal Justice Programs. Marva Johnson, chair of the Florida State Board of Education and regional vice president of state government affairs for Charter Communications; Darlene Jordan, executive Director of the Gerald R. Jordan Foundation, “a nonprofit organization that supports education, health and youth services, and the arts;” Fred Karlinsky, the governor’s go-to man on insurance issues and co-chair of the Greenberg Traurig law firm’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions Practice Group; Belinda Keiser, vice chancellor of Keiser University and past member of the Workforce Florida board of directors; Frank Kruppenbacher, an attorney who has been on the Florida Commission on Ethics, Florida Commission on Sales Tax Reform and others; Dr. Gary Lester of The Villages, its vice president for community relations and a Presbyterian minister; Nicole Washington, state policy consultant for the Lumina Foundation, an educational grant maker.

DAUGHTER OF EVERGLADES FOUNDATION FOUNDER SAYS GROUP ‘BADLY LOST ITS WAY’ via Florida Politics – Daughter of Everglades Foundation founder George BarleyCatherine Barley-Albertini, now a freelance writer in California, says the Everglades foundation has “badly lost its way” from its initial mission of Everglades restoration. “Sadly, his dream of saving the Everglades is slipping away … as that focus has been replaced by the battle pitting coastal environmental groups against agriculture over damaging Lake Okeechobee discharges.” Environmentalism has become “just another special interest” with fundraisers, lobbyists and paid staffers. Barley’s passion was to work with the public and private sectors as well as political leaders to act. “Today’s activists are spreading a message of hate and division … My father would never support a plan to send massive amounts of polluted lake water south to the Everglades when it was already too full … He would consider the issue more comprehensively, balancing the entire ecosystem, north, south and central, while considering the complex and comprehensive effects of the many septic systems as well as the effects of nitrogen, fertilizers, pollution and pesticides from our air and soil.” It may sound simple, Barley-Albertini says, but introducing that much lake water would “destroy what’s left of the Everglades.”

IT MAY BE LEGAL NOW, BUT OPENING A MEDICAL MARIJUANA STORE IN FLORIDA IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK via Justine Griffin of the Tampa Bay Times –”We’re trying to change the stigma,” said Monica Russell, a spokeswoman for Surterra, who noted even securing insurance for the company’s fleet of delivery trucks has been a challenge. “We want people to come here so they can have a conversation and see we’re actually a health and wellness company.” Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance at the federal level, despite the 28 states that have legalized it for recreational or medicinal use in recent years. That makes it nearly impossible for banks to fund marijuana distributing companies, which in turn makes it hard to sign a lease for a commercial store or warehouse. “The short answer is, because federal law makes it illegal to possess or distribute marijuana, this is considered money laundering,” said Robert Rowe, vice president and associate chief counsel of the American Bankers Association. “Banks have generally been steering clear of these companies even if it’s legal in their state. It will take an act of Congress at the federal level to change that.”

TOP OP-ED – JOHN SOWINSKI: FINALLY, A SENSIBLE GAMBLING PLAN FOR FLORIDA’S FUTURE via Florida Politics –Leaders in the Florida House have taken a different tack. They have put forth a bill that fixes weaknesses in existing gambling law, closes loopholes that gambling lawyers continually exploit, stops the proliferation of slot machines throughout Florida, honors Florida’s constitutional restrictions on gambling, and respects the will of the people of Florida, who have consistently rejected statewide expansions of gambling. Finally, it provides for an agreement with the Seminole tribe that would achieve the stated intent of the original Seminole compact — holding the line on gambling and creating a firewall to stop the spread of casinos throughout Florida. There are many reasons to oppose the expansion of gambling in Florida. The legislature’s own economists have repeatedly said in presentations that, “some or all of the jobs, wages and tax revenues attributed to gambling enterprises may be simply transferred from elsewhere.” This means that money spent in a casino merely cannibalizes existing jobs and businesses. It puts our multibillion-dollar family-friendly tourism brand at risk, and it spreads addiction and dependency that destroys lives and families, at a huge cost to society and taxpayers.

WEEKS AFTER FOSTER TEEN’S SUICIDE, CHILD WELFARE GROUPS SPAR OVER SYSTEM’S DYSFUNCTION  via Alex Harris of the Miami Herald – Naika Venant, the 14-year-old foster child whose live-streamed suicide last month became a rallying cry among critics of social media, is taking on another role: poster child for the dysfunctions of Miami’s long-troubled child welfare system. At a meeting of the county’s child welfare oversight board, judges, educators and children’s advocates excoriated the leaders of Our Kids, Miami’s privately run foster care and adoption agency. Board members accused Our Kids administrators of intimidating their critics, and seeking “retribution” against foster parents who challenged them. Typically a tame group, the Community Based Care Alliance generated raised voices and sharp rebukes. The most vocal critic was also one of the most veteran: Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman, a 20-year mainstay of the child welfare bench.

WHEN HER $90K PAY WASN’T ENOUGH, A STATE WORKER SET UP A JEWELRY STORE — IN HER OFFICE via Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald – Lola Pouncey, who makes more than $90,000 a year as the operations chief of the health department’s division of medical quality insurance, “conducted a personal for-profit business during state work hours and on state property” selling jewelry and fashion accessories, said the inspector general’s report … Although Pouncey “knowingly and intentionally violated laws and agency rules” and tried to thwart the state’s investigation with “evasive and misleading” statements, she wasn’t fired or even suspended, just “counseled appropriately by her supervisor” … She was peddling merchandise for Magnolia And Vine, a fashion company that, like Amway and Avon, recruits its own customers to work as a freelance sales force — a practice sometimes known as pyramid sales or network marketing.

***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.***

LISA CARLTON NOT RUNNING FOR FLORIDA AG. COMMISSIONER via Florida Politics – Instead, the former state Senator, who co-owns a cattle ranch with her family, will focus on her new role as a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Carlton … changed her mind since January, when she was considering a statewide campaign in 2018 for agriculture commissioner. Last week, Gov. Scott appointed Carlton to the CRC … she wants to spend the next year “traveling the state and hearing my fellow Floridians’ ideas for improving our state’s founding document.”

CONSTRUCTION AT CAPITOL CONTINUES UNDERGROUND via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – “The next milestone for the Senate garage is structural repair as we work to restore that main girder,” said Maggie Mickler, spokeswoman for the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. The repair work, started last month, is expected to be completed in April, she added. The Senate garage, in continuous use since 1978, was shut down “in an abundance of caution,” officials said. That meant 210 spaces were no longer available for use, with senators and staffers shunted to other state garages and surface lots downtown.

FIRST ON FLORIDA POLITICS – MEGAN FAY TAPPED AS RICK SCOTT’S DIRECTOR OF POLICY via Florida Politics – The governor announced he had appointed Megan Fay as his new Director of Policy, replacing Jeff Woodburn, who will be Executive Director of the Constitution Revision Commission. Fay has worked for Scott since 2013 as Chief Analyst in the Office of Policy and Budget, Deputy Director of Cabinet Affairs and most recently as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. She received her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Florida and a law degree from the Florida State University College of Law. The new organizational chart for the Governor’s Office is here.

SOUTHERN STRATEGY GROUP ADDS FORMER RICK SCOTT STAFFER via Florida Politics — Amanda Trussell has been brought on board to handle the administrative needs of the firm’s Jacksonville office, and will also work on research projects, marketing efforts and other client-based support activities. Trussell was previously the director of scheduling for Gov. Scott. Before that, she worked as an intern for Sen. Aaron Bean and former Rep. Erik Fresen.


Keith ArnoldBrett Bacot, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney: Haven Hospice

Patrick Bell, Capitol Solutions: Mary Mifflin-Gee

Edward Blakely Jr., Blue Tusk Communications: Redflex Traffic Systems

Matt BryanDavid DanielJeff HartleyJim NaffAndrea Reilly,  Smith Bryan & Myers: Eagle Eye Intelligence, LLC; South Central Florida Express, Inc; Southern Gardens Citrus Groves Corporation; Southern Gardens Citrus Holding Corporation; Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery Corporation; Southern Gardens Citrus Processing Corporation

Dean CannonChristopher Dawson, GrayRobinson: Dewberry Engineering; Gulf County

Christopher Carmody, GrayRobinson: Dewberry Engineering

Laura Jacobs Donaldson, Manson Bolves Donaldson Varn: Common Rights

Christopher Dudley, Southern Strategy Group: GuideWell Group, Inc.

Thomas GriffinLisa Hurley, Smith Bryan & Myers: Eagle Eye Intelligence

Deno Hicks, Southern Strategy Group: GCM Contracting Solutions

Nick Iarossi, Capital City Consulting: VE Group

Ashley KalifehRon LaFaceScott Ross, Capital City Consulting: NeoGraft Solutions

Glenn KirklandJonathan Menendez, Kaleo Partners: F5 Networks

Matthew Sacco, The Rubin Group: Patients for Fair Compensation

Kristen Crawford Whitaker, Sachs Sax Caplan: Association of American Publishers Higher Education Division

***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.***

BREVARD COOK DISHES ON POLITICS IN ‘FOOD FOR THOUGHT’ TV SHOW via Suzy Fleming Leonard of FLORIDA TODAY – Lori Halbert wants to bring civility back to politics, one meal at a time. After five years of cooking up tempting topics on her “Political Food For Thought” for Florida television audiences, she’s ready to take the show to Washington … Lori cooked with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the pilot for the new season. Other people from the national political arena have expressed an interest in participating … By combining two of her loves — cooking and politics — Lori wants to open the kitchen to delicious meals as well as bipartisan conversations about issues that affect us all, regardless of party affiliations.

DAVE ARONBERG’S WIFE FILES FOR DIVORCE via Gossip Extra — The wife of Palm Beach County State Attorney Aronberg filed for divorce earlier … citing irreconcilable differences after just 21 months of marriage. Lynn Aronberg, a public relations maven and event planner, confirmed she put in the paperwork …. at the West Palm Beach courthouse. The petition … won’t be made public until Monday. Lynn Aronberg cited two reasons — her desire to have a child and politics — as issues. Dave, 45, and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Lynn, 36, were engaged while visiting Paris in December 2014. They were married the following May before family and friends on the sand of St. Pete Beach. …Through his spokesman, Dave said: “Lynn is a good person and I wish her a great future, and know this will be resolved privately between the two of us.”

ROGER STONE TO GET NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY via Gregg Kilday of the Hollywood Reporter – A new documentary about Stone, the political consultant and Trump supporter, is heading to Netflix, which will launch it globally this spring. The film, titled Get Me Roger Stone, directed by Morgan PehmeDaniel DiMauro and Dylan Bank, is also scheduled to have its world premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the man who is seemingly everywhere: Stephen Gately.

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.

Latest from Peter

Go to Top