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Sunburn for 4.13.17 – Lake O. plan flowing; $1.5B in manna from heaven; Gov. candidates everywhere; And a horse fights a gator

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, Jim Rosica and the AP’s new kid on the block, Ana Ceballos…


A reservoir system would be built south of Lake Okeechobee to stop toxic algae discharges from fouling coastal communities under a bill that Florida senators sent to the House Wednesday following extensive debate.

The Senate voted for the bill (SB 10) 36-3, giving a victory to Senate President Joe Negron who has made it a priority during the Legislative session.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rob Bradley, said the project is designed to avoid a repeat outbreak like the one last summer when “guacamole-water” saturated beach communities in Florida, threatening tourism, and the health of residents and marine life.

“I am not describing a scene from a third world country, but one of the areas most populated in our state,” Bradley said.

The bill provides money for the $1.5 billion project, a cost that the state and federal governments would split. The bill would also accelerate the project’s completion.

“It’s been such a political and financial nut to crack, and now we finally have the political will to get it done,” Bradley said.

As the proposal inched closer to the Senate floor for consideration, it went through a major overhaul including scaling-back the project’s size to take less agricultural land out of production. The plan would create at least 240,000 acre feet of storage, and would store about 78 billion gallons.

The bill was amended after it received pushback from opponents in the agricultural and sugar industries, but both industries remain hesitant to support the proposal.

HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIR SAYS SENATE EVERGLADES BILL ‘GREAT STARTING POINT’ via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida – After an Everglades reservoir bill passed the Senate … state Rep. Matt Caldwell said the measure, a priority of Senate President Negron, “will be taken seriously” in the House. “This give us a great starting point,” said Caldwell, who chairs the House Government Accountability Committee. “We’ve been waiting to see what the final senate proposal would look like. It’s changed several times.” Caldwell … wasn’t sure of the process that awaits SB 10 in the House or whether it will be assigned to committees. “We’re still kind of chewing on that,” he said.

EAA FARMERS: TOLD YOU SO: “Today, the Florida Senate further acknowledged what EAA Farmers have been saying all along: a storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee can be accomplished on state-owned land without the need to acquire additional farmland,” said Danielle Alvarez, spokesperson for EAA Farmers, Inc., following the Senate’s passage of SB 10. “It is critical to Florida’s future to protect local agriculture, homegrown food and rural jobs. We are encouraged that the Senate rejected the fake science paid for by the Everglades Foundation, a special-interest group who is not interested in finding real solutions but, instead, politicizes important matters to try to move their sole agenda forward – taking valuable farmland out of production. EAA Farmers are committed to continuing to work with lawmakers to implement real solutions that will help the coastal estuaries, such as storage north of the lake.”

SUGARCANE FARMERS STILL LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENT: “This bill is not what we had hoped it would be. It does not resolve the issue of excess water discharged from Lake Okeechobee, which has been the stated priority for the farming communities and those living near the coastal estuaries,” said Ryan Duffy, a spokesman for Florida Sugarcane Farmers. The bill has improved in that it does not take thousands of acres of productive, private farmland by using eminent domain and hopefully will not result in massive job losses in the communities around Lake Okeechobee – whether immediate or eventual. We will continue to work with the House and Senate leadership to address these issues and to make the bill as comprehensive a solution as possible.”

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AGREES TO $1.5 BILLION FOR FLORIDA HOSPITALS’ UNINSURED CARE via Michael Auslen of the Tampa Bay Times – The pot of money, called the Low Income Pool, was set to expire this year but has been part of broader negotiations over Florida’s Medicaid program between state and federal officials. “Working with the Trump Administration to secure a commitment of $1.5 billion in LIP funding for our state will truly improve the quality and access to health care for our most vulnerable populations,” Scott said in a statement. Three years ago, LIP was a $2 billion a year program funded by local tax dollars and matching federal funds. However, President Barack Obama‘s administration pushed to end the program after Florida refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Federal officials said they were restoring a portion of the LIP program in an effort to give the state more autonomy in its Medicaid program.

HOSPITALS BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF: “We commend the Scott Administration and Trump Administration for working quickly to come to an agreement on funding health care for Florida’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association. “This timely decision gives the Legislature the critical  information it needs to develop its Health and Human Services budget.”

RICK SCOTT WARNS STATE NOT SEEING ‘BIG DEALS’ BECAUSE OF LEGISLATURE’S ACTIONS via Jeremy Wallace of the Tampa Bay TimesScott started his day with another Jobs Roundtable, this time in Orlando, expressing frustration at the House for considering big cuts to both programs. Scott has now held 20 roundtable events since the start of the year calling on people in the business community to pressure the Legislature to keep both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida fully funded … Scott told reporters after the Florida Cabinet meeting that since the Legislature first started cutting the flow of incentive dollars to Enterprise Florida last year, the state is seeing an impact. While private sector jobs are still growing, the state is “not seeing a lot of big deals” Scott said. “We’ve got to compete,” Scott said about wanting to replenish the job incentive programs to attract more companies to come to Florida.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will make a jobs announcement at 2 p.m. at the Comcast Operations Center, 15800 SW 25th Street in Miami.

RICHARD CORCORAN: ‘COLLEGIALITY’ IN CAPITOL POINTS TO SMOOTH SESSION FINISH via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times – In an interview for the Florida Channel’s “Face to Face, program, Corcoran casually laughed off predictions of a May meltdown. He said [the] scheduled budget debates in both houses shows forward progress and the next step is for the two chambers to agree on spending allocations, the bottom-line numbers that allow will allow House-Senate budget talks to begin. “It’s a great pace. It’s a pace that says we’re going to get done and we’ll be able to work out our differences,” Corcoran said. “If allocations can get done in five to seven days afterward, we’ll absolutely, in my opinion, get done … There’s a lot of collegiality. We recognize our differences but we also, I think, recognize where those differences can be bridged, on both sides … What sells is conflict,” Corcoran told host Beth Switzer.

— “Bill Cotterell: GOP disarray is interesting, but not exactly new” via the Tallahassee Democrat

SENATE PASSES BUDGET WITH LIMITED CUT TO ARAMIS AYALA’S OFFICE via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – Engineered by state Sen. Randolph Bracy … and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jack Latvala, a compromise was inserted into the budget package that would cut $622,000 from the Office of the State Attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, but restore another $569,000 that the Senate initially proposed cutting. The House of Representatives is still looking at a full $1.3 million cut to Ayala’s office. Under an arrangement put together by Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon, all the money would go to the Judicial Administration Commission, to be redistributed to other state attorneys who get 9th JC cases.

— “After Dems support budget and water bills, GOP leaders dust cobwebs off Dem bills” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald

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ANDREW GILLUM, SHEVRIN JONES LAMBASTE CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING PLAN via Florida PoliticsTallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gillum on Wednesday called proposed House funding for charter schools “a giveaway to (House Republicans’) friends and family.” But Gillum at first wouldn’t answer whether he would veto such funding if he were governor, saying instead he would put a “premium” on fully funding the state’s public school system … Speaker Corcoran has proposed a “Schools of Hope” program, starting with $200 million in financial help for nonprofit companies to open charter schools in the Sunshine State. But it’s been reported that those concerns aren’t interested in coming. Nonetheless, Gillum bemoaned the proposal, which he said would put millions of dollars “in the hands of friends (of Republicans) who are well-heeled and well-connected.”

HOUSE DEMOCRATS VOTE TO STAND AGAINST CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING via Florida Politics – The Florida House’s Democrats agreed to take a caucus position against a proposal in the chamber’s budget that funds charter schools. The budget’s “Schools of Hope” plan sets aside $200 million for nonprofits to open charter schools in the Sunshine State. Democrats say the plan will hurt struggling public school systems. Republicans say they bolster education in low-income areas that suffer from failing schools. Rep. Larry Lee of Port St. Lucie advanced the idea to take a unified stand against Schools of Hope during Wednesday’s caucus meeting. In a floor session later, Democrats bombarded GOP Rep. Chris Latvala, the plan’s sponsor, and others with questions for over two hours about how the money would be spent and the effect on public schools.

HOUSE VOTES DOWN BUDGET AMENDMENT CALLING FOR REPORT ON DEATH PENALTY via Florida Politics — The amendment, put forward by Rep. Sharon Pritchett, called for the state to use money to fund a report from the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) looking at the death penalty. The report, among other things, would have had to identify the actual fiscal cost associated with maintaining a capital punishment system; the average cost to the state and local government associated with the the execution of a single offender from indictment to execution; and address the “causes driving disparities in capital sentencing outcomes on the basis of demographic factors of the offender and the victim including, but not limited to, race, gender, sex, and geography.” House Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo called Pritchett’s amendment an “unfriendly amendment from a very friendly lady.” The amendment failed on a 42-71 vote.

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DO PRIVATE PRISONS SAVE MONEY AS PROMISED? MAYBE NOT, BUT LEGISLATURE KEEPS APPROVING via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald – When he was first elected, Gov. Scott was so determined to meet his campaign promise of saving $1 billion on prisons that he pushed through a series of contracts with private operators that on paper claimed to produce millions in annual savings. But the promised savings have never materialized, according to audits done by Rep. David Richardson … who has been a one-man investigation unit into Florida’s troubled prison system. Many of the contracts, which were required to save at least 7 percent a year, actually cost the state more money than taxpayers would have spent if the programs had never been privatized. In some cases, he also found, medical care and access to programming in the private facilities was often worse. “This is not saving the state money because they are more efficient; they are saving money as a contractor because they are denying goods and services to the inmates,” Richardson said.

FLORIDA HOSPITALS CREATED 900K JOBS, NEW ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY FINDS via Florida Politics — The study, completed by the University of Florida and sponsored by the Florida Hospital Association, found Florida hospitals were responsible for creating 901,674 full- and part-time jobs in 2015. The report also found hospitals generated nearly $128.4 billion in total economic contributions during the same period. “Hospitals are the largest employers in many communities across Florida,” said FHA President Rueben in a statement. “Our member hospitals constantly reinvest in their communities and train new generations of health care providers.”

LEGISLATURE STILL HASN’T BEGUN CONFERENCING ON GAMBLING LEGISLATION via Florida Politics – A proposed conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate, originally planned for this week, was postponed till next week. That’s because lawmakers continue to talk with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which has six casinos in the state. One lobbyist suggested an end game: Passing only a new agreement on exclusive blackjack rights for the Tribe, promising $3 billion to the state over seven years. Otherwise, the two chambers are at odds, with the House holding the line on gambling expansion and the Senate open to some expansion, including allowing slot machines at pari-mutuels in counties that approved a referendum. House Speaker Richard Corcoran called a compromise “a heavy, heavy lift” and state Sen. Bill Galvano has said he “couldn’t guarantee we’ll ultimately have a final resolution” this year. On Wednesday, the Senate announced its conference members: Galvano, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Oscar Braynon II, Anitere Flores, Travis Hutson and Perry Thurston.

WORTH READING — FLORIDA’S INDIAN GAMING INDUSTRY REBOUNDS AFTER RECESSION BUT NEW COMPETITION LOOMS via Robert Trigaux of the Tampa Bay Times – Florida’s success in Indian gaming outstripped the industry’s national gaming growth in 2015. Florida gaming revenues soared 9.3 percent. Nationwide, such revenues rose 5.5 percent. This was the sixth straight year of growth following the Great Recession and generated a record $30.5 billion in gaming revenue nationwide. However, the Seminoles’ compact with the state that granted it the right to offer Class III (Vegas style gambling) gaming legally expired in 2015. There are still other legislative possibilities, including whether lawmakers legalize commercial resort casinos. As bullish as the outlook seems, the report on Indian gaming also raises some warning flags. More competition to Indian gaming is possible as more tribes try to gain rights to open their own gaming facilities. Next-generation gamblers share different gaming interests, the report adds, showing little interest in slot machines. And gambling over the internet, the report suggests, may be the greatest threat of all.

DOUG BROXSON: TRIUMPH PROCESS LIKE ‘GILLIGAN’S ISLAND’ via Rick Outzen of Rick’s Blog – When asked for an updated on the legislation regarding the distribution of $300-million of Triumph Gulf Coast funds, State Sen. Broxson said, “It feels like it’s ‘Gilligan’s Island.’ It was just a three-hour tour, and now we’ve been stuck in here for almost six months now.” He explained, “What’s so sad is that we had a very simple process that was set up for the Triumph Gulf Coast. It simply said, ‘As soon as the settlement was completed, the money would be transferred to Triumph.’ Now, through a legal procedure, it ended up in the general fund.” Broxson complained that the Florida House is trying to dictate how the Northwest Florida counties most impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill can spend their share of monies from the state’s settlement with the British oil giant. “It just continued to warp into this concept that really became very complicated.”

JACK LATVALA TO OUT-OF-STATE FRANCHISE GROUP: “YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?” via Brian Burgess of the Capitolist – The International Franchise Association is starting to look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. The group … has engineered a series of ham-handed blunders over the past several weeks, including a false claim wrapped in an insult of Senator Jack Latvala. Jeff Hanscom, the IFA’s state director, insists that Latvala did confer with a lobbyist while [Travis] Hutson spoke with the lawyer, but admits it occurred off-camera, where the IFA’s Washington D.C.-based spokesman couldn’t possibly have seen it take place, and acknowledged he wasn’t privy to the details of the conversation. Latvala blasted IFA for the claim … “People in Washington think they are so smart they can comment on things without even being there to see them in person,” the statement read. “That’s why we are all tired of people from Washington.”

HAPPENING TODAY – COMMITTEE MEETINGS TO WATCH — The House Judiciary Committee will take up several bills, including one dealing with victims of human trafficking, when it meets at 8 a.m. in 404 House Office Building. The Commerce Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill to repeal a portion of the law requiring vehicle owners and operators to obtain and maintain personal injury protection coverage when it meets at 10 a.m. in 212 Knott. Over in the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will discuss a bill to create civil citation and similar diversion programs for juveniles when it meets at 9:30 a.m. in 412 Knott. The Senate Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss a bill that would provide tax relief to owners of renewable energy source devices when it meets at 1 p.m. in 401 Senate Office Building. The Environment and Natural Resource Appropriations will talk about funding for beach renourishment when it meets at 1:30 p.m. in 301 Senate Office Building.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Sen. Bill Nelson is heading to Tallahassee for a day of meetings with state lawmakers. He’ll meet with House Democratic Leader Cruz and the House Democratic Caucus at 1030 a.m. in Room 316 of the Capitol, before an 11:40 a.m. media availability. He has a meeting with state Sen. Jeff Clemens at noon, before attending a meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon and the Senate Democratic Caucus at 12:15 p.m. Negron is scheduled to meet with Senate President Joe Negron at 1 p.m., before heading to a meeting with House Speaker Richard Corcoran at 1:20 p.m.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: State lawmakers will join advocates to discuss the the state’s fight against human trafficking during a press conference at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Historic Capitol. Reps. Jennifer Sullivan, Ross Spano, and Katie Edwards will be joined by DJJ Secretary Christina Daly; Jerry Haag, the president of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, The Porch Light, and Orphans Heart; Christina Hicks, the founder of Into the Jordan Ministries, and Heather Case, founder of One Purse.

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ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Mayor Gillum will join Osceola County Commissioner Vivian Janer and the Osceola Board of Commissioners for the ribbon cutting for the Center for Neovation at 10 a.m. at 200 NeoCity Way in Kissimmee.

DEMOCRATS FILE COMPLAINT AGAINST ADAM PUTNAM ALLEGING CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald – The Democratic Governors Association, the partisan political organization determined to defeat Putnam when he announces a campaign for governor later this year, filed the complaint accusing him of violating state law. Citing a March 24 story in the Miami Herald, the complaint alleges that Putnam’s political committee, Florida Grown, gave $1.3 million in lump sum payments to the consulting firm run by his top political consultant, Justin Hollis, without detailing where the money goes in an alleged violation of a law that requires disclosure of individual expenditures when 80 percent of the costs are paid by the political committee. “By only reporting the purpose of these expenditures as ‘consulting’ or ‘political consulting,’ Florida Grown PC is withholding relevant information that the Florida Election Code intends for political committees to disclose under Section 106.07(4)(a)(13),” wrote Elisabeth Pearson, executive director of Washington-based DGA.

PROFESSING LOVE FOR FLORIDA BUSINESS, CHRIS KING VIDEO USES STOCK FOOTAGE FROM LA, WASHINGTON via Florida Politics – In a YouTube video posted last week, the Winter Park affordable housing executive offers his vision of the state of Florida politics. “We need a whole new generation of people to stand up and demand more from our politics,” King says in “Rise and Lead.” Despite presenting a well-produced video, complete with heartfelt testimonials and inspiring words of dedication to the success of Florida business … At the 3:08 mark, King’s video uses a few moments of slick B-roll stock footage, each coming from places far from the Sunshine State … “Construction Workers Talking,” produced in Silverdale and “Business People Writing Notes on Wall” coming from Los Angeles. Would it be out of line to ask a candidate who launched his campaign for governor with a love of Florida business to actually film his first commercial in Florida?

PAM BONDI LOSES FIRST ROUND IN UNREGISTERED CHARITIES LAWSUIT via Florida Politics – The Attorney General has lost a preliminary round in a lawsuit claiming she forces businesses to pony up millions of dollars to unregistered charities as part of settlements in consumer protection cases. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson of Tallahassee ordered Bondi to show why he shouldn’t find for the plaintiff, Orlando entrepreneur John D. Smith … A list of the unregistered charities alleged in Smith’s suit was disclosed late Tuesday to, showing that those included Bondi’s own “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” award and “scholarship funds designated by the Attorney General.” Bondi released a lengthy statement, saying Smith had harassed her staff and that his suit is “completely unfounded” and “meritless.”

HAPPENING TODAY – 2017 LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN KICKS OFF —  Lace up your sneakers, it’s time for the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run. AG Bondi will help kick off the annual run benefiting Special Olympics Florida at 11 a.m. in the Capitol Courtyard. She’ll be joined by Dave Sklarek, the state director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run; Education Commissioner Pam Stewart; Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil; and Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo. The Tallahassee leg of the run begins at 10:15 a.m. in the parking lot of Lake Ella Plaza.

WHAT PEOPLE WANT—AND DON’T WANT—FROM CONSTITUTIONAL REWRITE PANEL via Florida Politics – For as many people who asked the Constitution Revision Commission to do something, there were others who wanted the panel to do nothing at all. And that’s not counting the fringe speakers Wednesday night who told the commission they were “imposters” and “impersonating delegates of the people.” The 37-member panel, which convenes every 20 years to consider changes to the state’s governing document, held its latest public hearing on Florida A&M University’s campus in Tallahassee. Kirk Bailey, political director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, asked the panel to refrain from proposing amendments that would restrict the state’s judges … “We’ve all heard a lot lately about ‘activist judges’ and we’re anticipating that’s going to be part of a larger narrative about how they ‘overturn the will of the people,’ ” he said later. “Our message is not to succumb to that belief by proposing amendments that will limit the (independence of the) judiciary.”

FIRST ON #FLAPOL – CRC CHAIRMAN OUTLINES RULE-MAKING PLANS via Jim Rosica of Florida PoliticsCarlos Beruff, who leads the panel charged with reviewing and suggesting rewrites to the state’s governing document, said in a memo that several members will form a committee and “hold noticed and open meetings to deliberate the proposed rules.” Beruff said that the rules working group will include Tim Cerio and Brecht Heuchan, selected by Gov. ScottDon Gaetz and Carolyn Timmann, selected by Senate President Joe Negron; state Sen. Tom Lee and Rich Newsome, selected by House Speaker Richard Corcoran; and Arthenia Joyner and Roberto Martinez, selected by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga. “We will vote on the proposed rules, and on all amendments, at a full commission meeting to be held in early June,” Beruff wrote.

JASON EMILIOS DIMITRIS APPOINTED NEWEST JUDGE ON 11TH CIRCUIT BENCH via Florida Politics – Gov. Scott announced the appointment Wednesday. Dimitris, 46, of Coral Gables, has served as a Dade County judge since 2013. Before that, he was general counsel for the Florida Department of Management Services and chief of staff for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Dimitris also has experience as an assistant U.S. Attorney, an assistant statewide prosecutor, and assistant state attorney. He received an undergraduate degree from Rollins College and a law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Dimitris fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Victoria R. Brennan.


Jose Bermudez, Becker & Poliakoff: American Clinical Solutions

Jorge Chamizo, Teye Reeves, Floridian Partners: Solarus Medical

Jon Costello, Rutledge Ecenia: Florida Veterinary Medical Association

Candice Ericks, Ericks Advocacy Group: Life Insurance Settlement Association, Inc.

Javier Fernandez, Holland & Knight: P & G Investors

Allyce Heflin, Paul Mitchell, Southern Strategy Group: HighPoint Technology Solutions

Lisa Hurley, Andrea Reilly, Smith Bryan & Myers: San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

Milton Schmidt, Steel in the Air: Florida Association of Counties; Florida League of Cities

Alan Suskey, Suskey Consulting: Wheeler EMC, LLC

Cameron Yarbrough, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

LARRY AHERN FILES TO RUN FOR PINELLAS COUNTY COMMISSION via Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times – … District 6 being vacated next year by commissioner John Morroni. Ahern won re-election for the third time in November to the Florida House in a rematch against Democratic opponent Lorena Grizzle. This will be his fourth and final term in the House. Ahern made recent headlines when he allowed the then-executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board to craft new legislation that would make the nomination process more transparent.

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BASEBALL HAS BEEN VERY, VERY GOOD TO AIRBNB via Florida Politics — Airbnb, the leader in marketing vacation rental home, announced Wednesday that all 12 Florida cities that host spring training camps and stadiums for Major League Baseball teams saw remarkable spikes in bookings during the baseball spring training that ended last week. All the cities saw significant increases in Airbnb vacation home rental bookings during the five-week spring training, Feb. 23-March 31, compared with the previous five weeks. … “Spring Training represents a foundational component of the local economies for these 12 Florida cities,” Tom Martinelli, public policy director for Airbnb Florida, stated in the release. “By expanding lodging capacity for regions with limited hotel inventory, Airbnb hosts helped welcome more families and baseball fans to their cities while serving as ambassadors for their local communities.”

HAPPENING TODAY — SALTERMITCHELL CELEBRATES OPENING OF LITTLE FREE LIBRARY — Grab a book and head down to SalterMitchellPR, 117 Gadsden Street, at 11:30 a.m. as the firm celebrates National Library Week with the grand opening of the firm’s Little Free Library. People who bring three or more books will be entered in a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Midtown Reader. Children’s books are appreciated.

GOVERNORS CLUB THURSDAY LUNCH BUFFET MENU Thursday is Italian Day at the Governors Club with pasta fagilio soup; tomato, Italian parsley salad – tomatoes, red onion, Italian parsley, olive oil; seasonal greens; three dressing sections; hearts of romaine salad – hearts of romaine, Parmesan cheese, Kalamata olives, red onion, grape tomatoes; Italian sausage & peppers; snapper puttanaesca; roasted herb chicken; parmesan garlic rice and garlic zucchini with tomatoes and onion.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Rep. Sam Killebrew, Chris Chaney, and Todd Pressman.

MUST-WATCH: VIDEO SHOWS HORSE ATTACKING GATOR IN A FIELD NEAR GAINESVILLE via the Tampa Bay Times – A video posted on Facebook appears to show a horse attacking a gator at Paynes Prairie near Gainesville “Horse attacking a gator at Paynes Prairie,” Krystal M. Berry writes on her Facebook post. “I’m still shaking.” The video shows the horse grazing, with a few other horses, behind it, when it trots toward a large alligator in a field nearby and stomps it. The gator strikes back, appearing to bite the horse in the leg. The two then separate.

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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