Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Mitch Perry, Ryan Ray and Jim Rosica.
DIVIDED WE STAND
The partisan divide looks more like a gulf than a gully.
For the first time since 1992, the majority of Democrats and Republicans have a very unfavorable view of the opposing party.
And when they say very, they mean it: Democrats think Republicans are close-minded and immoral. Republicans think Democrats are lazy and dishonest. And Americans aren’t just frustrated by people on the other side of the aisle, they’re also afraid and angry.
Those were the findings outlined in a recent report by the Pew Research Center. It found 55 percent of Democrats said the Republican Party makes them afraid, while 49 percent of Republicans said the same about the Democratic Party. The report, released last week, found 47 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Republicans said the opposing party makes them angry.
That might not be that surprising. The 2016 election cycle has been marked by fights at political rallies, flaming Twitter rants and name calling replacing “my opponent.” And let’s not forget that the presumptive nominees in both parties are deeply unpopular.
But the endless nasty-grams appear to have trickled into the perceptions of everyday Americans. The report looked at what Republicans and Democrats say about each other, and the responses weren’t exactly glowing.
According to the report, 70 percent of Democrats said Republicans are “more closed-minded than other Americans.” The report also found 42 percent of Democrats say Republicans are more dishonest than other Americans, and 33 percent said they are more unintelligent.
Republicans perceptions of Democrats aren’t much better. According to the report, 52 percent of Republicans think Democrats are more closed-minded than other Americans. The report also found 47 percent said Democrats were more immoral than other Americans, and 46 percent said Democrats are lazier.
They might not think much of each other, but “most Democrats and Republicans stop short of saying that it would be more difficult to get along with a new community member who belonged to the other party.” According to the report, 31 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of Republicans think it would be harder to get along with a new person in their community if they were on opposing sides.
Of course, it would easier to get along with a new person if they have the same political leanings. Or at least that’s according to the report, which found 42 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans said “it would be easier to get along with a new neighbor who belong to their own party.”
And while that could make for some interesting block parties and backyard gatherings this summer, there could be a glimmer of hope when it comes to bridging the partisan divide.
According to the report, the “partisan diversity of people’s friend networks is linked to how people feel about members of the other party.”
“Those who have at least some close friends in the other party tend to feel less coldly toward people in that party than those with few friends of the opposing party,” according to the report. “And among Republicans, those who have close Democratic friends hold fewer negative stereotypes of Democrats than those who do not.”
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CBS NEWS POLL: HILLARY CLINTON LEADS DONALD TRUMP IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: Clinton holds a narrow lead over Trump, according to a new CBS New Battleground Tracker poll. The survey found Clinton leads Trump 44 percent to 41 percent in the Sunshine State. Of those voters who said they supported Clinton, 32 percent said they planned to vote for her “mainly to oppose Donald Trump.” The survey found 48 percent of voters who said they would vote for Trump said they planned to vote for him “mainly to oppose Hillary Clinton.” The survey also found that 37 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for the Republican candidate in Florida’s U.S. Senate race; while 42 percent picked the Democratic candidate. Twenty percent of respondents said they weren’t sure yet. The survey of 1,192 likely voters was conducted from June 21 through June 24. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.
RICK SCOTT SAYS MARCO RUBIO HAS DONE A ‘GOOD JOB’ AS FLORIDA’S U.S. SEN. via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Scott posted a statement last week upon Rubio’s re-emergence by seemingly going out of his way to praise … Carlos Beruff, the only Republican Senate candidate left standing after the GOP incumbent made his ambitions known. Scott did not endorse Beruff. However, it was a point he emphasized Monday while speaking to reporters after holding an event in Tampa. “Carlos is a friend, he’s a businessperson,” Scott said. “His race is similar to mine back in 2010, I was the outsider; I was the businessperson.” Scott said he never endorsed during the primary season, and wouldn’t now, but did say, “Marco Rubio has done a good job as U.S. senator. He’s also a friend. What I’ve said is, I’m not endorsing; let the voters decide.”
CARLOS BERUFF TAKES AIM AT RUBIO IN NEW ADVERTISEMENT via Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster of Florida Politics – The 35-second spot — called “Unequivocal”— splices together clips of Rubio, who announced last week he was running for re-election, responding to questions of whether he would commit to a full six-year term in the Senate with clips of broadcasters calling him robotic. In each of the clips, Rubio is saying essentially the same thing — that he will no longer make unequivocal statements. “The voters of Florida deserve a senator who is committed to doing the job he’s been hired to do, but that’s not what they’ll get with Marco Rubio, who won’t even commit to serving a full six-year term or deny he won’t use the seat to run for president again,” said Joanna Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Beruff campaign, in a statement. “Floridians are tired of Marco’s robotic responses and Washington-approved talking points. It’s time for a change. We can’t afford six (or less) more years of the same old Marco.”
FIRST IN SUNBURN — FLORIDA POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION ENDORSES PATRICK MURPHY FOR U.S. SENATE — PBA President John Rivera said, “The Florida PBA is proud to endorse Murphy because we know that he will stand with our police officers and first responders in the U.S. Senate. Patrick is the leader that our officers need to ensure that they can continue keeping our communities safe. As the organization that advocates for Florida’s police officers, we trust Patrick Murphy to advocate for us” … “I am proud to receive the endorsement of the brave men and women at the Florida PBA,” Murphy responded. “Every day, our officers put their lives on the line to protect us and they deserve our full support. In the U.S. Senate, I will stand with our police officers and first responders to make sure they have the resources necessary to keep Florida safe. Our communities and families are safer and stronger because of their hard work, and I am humbled to have them standing with me in this campaign.”
HIGH COURT’S STRIKING OF TEXAS ABORTION LAW RATTLES FLORIDA via John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post – Like Texas, the Florida law, which takes effect July 1, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the court majority, concluded the requirement places a “substantial obstacle in the path of women” seeking an abortion. The Florida measure, though, doesn’t go as far as the Texas law in forcing clinics to upgrade their facilities to ambulatory surgical centers, including new regulations on buildings, equipment and staff. Instead, the Florida law imposes new licensing and reporting requirements for clinics, that don’t seem to be directly addressed in the high court’s ruling. Another provision of Florida’s law will be reviewed this week by a federal judge in Tallahassee. Planned Parenthood is challenging the measure’s ban on public dollars going to organizations that perform abortions – even if the service is only part of their overall mission.
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MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT’S ALLIES TO TARGET SENIORS IN FLORIDA via Gary White of the Lakeland Ledger – With the return of a proposed state constitutional amendment allowing the medical use of marijuana, Floridians can expect to see a flurry of TV commercials airing during programs that generally draw older viewers. “We’re going to run more ads on ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” said Ben Pollara, campaign director of United for Care, when asked about the strategy to sway seniors on Amendment 2. “Honestly, that’s a flip answer, but it’s somewhat true.” Whether the measure, a revised version of one that failed in 2014, reaches the 60 percent approval threshold in round two might hinge on whether it gains more support from voters 65 and older. The measure will be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election … Pollara said United for Care, the political group created and heavily funded by Orlando lawyer John Morgan, ran only one TV commercial aimed at seniors in the 2014 campaign. Morgan used advertising time already purchased for his law firm to run additional commercials, but those didn’t specifically target older voters, Pollara said … both sides on the Amendment 2 campaign understand the importance of the senior vote. “We may have different pollsters, but public opinion is public opinion and seniors start out as the least supportive group and they’re one of the most persuadable to oppose medical marijuana,” Pollara said. “The difference between 2014 and 2016 is we’re going to spend considerably more money on TV ads targeted to seniors.”
VOTE NO ON 2 WEB AD WARNS OF ‘BUDTENDERS,’ URGES VOTERS TO REJECT MEDICINAL POT via Keith Morelli of Florida Politics – In announcing the ad, Vote No on 2, the campaign sponsored by Drug-Free Florida Committee, said the ad is “setting the record straight on what Amendment 2 really means for Floridians.” Titled “Budtender,” the ad says dispensers of medical marijuana in Florida would have no medical education or training of any kind. “This revelation continues to show that the authors of Amendment 2 didn’t close the loopholes or tighten the language of this dangerous constitutional amendment” … marijuana as medicine is a hoax, said Vote No on 2 campaign spokeswoman Christina Johnson. “The suggestion that Amendment 2 is about medicine is a false and dangerous one … This amendment replaces pharmacists with unlicensed amateurs whose knowledge of pot is typically limited to their personal experience. Budtenders have no clinical experience, no medical training, and no business dispensing Class A drugs. What’s the difference between a drug dealer and a budtender? Nothing.”
MATT GAETZ CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES FIRST SPOT IN CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN – … 30-second TV commercial, “Fight Back” … “Gaetz is ready to fight back against Washington, and we are excited to show Northwest Florida voters Matt’s conservative fighting spirit,” said campaign manager Ryan Smith. “Matt is running the strongest campaign for Florida’s 1st Congressional District, and he’s focused on talking directly to the voters. We have over 40,000 Facebook fans. We’ve made over 6,500 calls and knocked on more than 11,000 doors so far. As the Pensacola News Journal’s Andy Marlette recently said, Matt is the ‘thriller of conservatives and exasperator of liberals,’ and he’s ‘playing ball at a higher level’ than the rest of the field in this race,” Smith continued. “I’m not running for Congress because I want to go to Washington; I’m running for Congress because we can’t trust Washington,” said Matt Gaetz. “Northwest Florida voters are tired of the spineless politicians and lawless bureaucrats who are running our country into the ground,” he continued.
AT FORUM, JONATHAN CHANE SAYS ABSENT RANDY PERKINS ‘AFRAID’ OF VOTERS via George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post – Chaneand John (Juan) Xuna … answered questions for about an hour from Martin County activist and radio show host K.C. Ingram. The Democrats, six Republicans and an independent are running to replace Rep. Patrick Murphy … Both Chane and Xuna called for buying land south of Lake Okeechobee to store water and prevent harmful discharges into the Indian River Lagoon. Both oppose the All Aboard Florida train and are against cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Both favor more gun control measures than are on the books now. Both said they support decriminalizing marijuana. Xuna twice criticized AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, and on another occasion said “We need to protect people (in the Middle East), like Israel, right, but we shouldn’t be also the shield of David, going to war because Israel is not doing enough for peace in the area and everything they touch becomes in flame.” Chane used his closing remarks to take aim at Perkins, the millionaire founder of a disaster cleanup firm who is the favorite of the Washington Democratic establishment for the District 18 seat. Perkins has not agreed to attend any debates or candidate forums before the Aug. 30 Democratic primary, but his campaign has said he will debate Chane before the primary. Said Chane: “He’s afraid to answer these same questions or answer Democratic voters about the serious questions that have been raised about him and they deserve to have answers from him.” Said Chane: “He’s afraid to answer these same questions or answer Democratic voters about the serious questions that have been raised about him and they deserve to have answers from him.”
FIRST IN SUNBURN — NEW COMMITTEE LAUNCHES AD VS. “RITCH WRONGMAN” via StopCareerPoliticiansNow.com – Stop Career Politicians, a political committee formed in Senate District 17 … kicked off its campaign with its first television commercial, “Ritch Wrongman: Wrong on Immigration.” According to its website, the ad “shines light on the hypocrisy of Workman’s campaign rhetoric versus his actual record … Workman, says he is fighting illegal immigration, yet he voted to incentivize illegal immigration by giving college tuition discounts and law licenses to illegal immigrants.” Backed by Floridians interested in putting an end to career politicians, Stop Career Politicians will “hold Ritch Workman accountable for his moral, ethical and legal transgressions. Ritch Workman portrays himself as a true conservative, though his personal life and professional record show he is an incompetent leader with a penchant for liberal policy and an inability to properly manage his personal finances,” as stated in the official Mission Statement.
JOHN LEGG FILES FOR OFFICE – IN 2022 via Jeremy Wallace of the Tampa Bay Times – John Legg is getting a serious jump on his would-be opponents, filing to run for office again in 2022. The Pasco County Republican’s career in the Legislature appeared to be at an end earlier this year after redistricting put his home in the same district as Sen. Wilton Simpson … Rather than challenge Simpson for the newly drawn Senate District 10, Legg announced he would not seek re-election in 2016. But now, Legg is asking the Florida Division of Elections to move his campaign for the state Senate to the year 2022, in what would be the final year of Simpson’s eight years in office. That would allow him to move more than $170,000 in his 2016 campaign account to the race in 2022. “I would like to redesignate both the year and district for which I am a candidate to Senate District 10 for the 2022 election,” Legg wrote in a letter to the Florida Division of Elections.
HAPPENING WEDNESDAY: State Rep. Greg Steube is holding a fundraiser in support of his bid for Senate District 23. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Siesta Key Rum Tasting Room, 301 East Pine St., Suite 1400 – 2212 Industrial Blvd. – in Sarasota.
— “Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County endorse both Ben Diamond and Eric Lynn in HD 68 race” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
HD 70 CANDIDATE MANUEL SYKES FAILS TO SIGN DISCLOSURE FORM — DOESN’T MAKE IT ON THE BALLOT via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Sykes announced recently that he was a candidate in the House District 70 race … However, Sykes did not qualify for the ballot at the end of the day Friday, the deadline for all candidates to be eligible for the November ballot … on the Public Disclosure form required to be filled out, Sykes neglected to sign his name to it … the former NAACP head in St. Petersburg told the Tampa Bay Times that he mailed his qualifying check to the Divisions of Election Thursday, and knows that someone signed for it Friday … on Page 2 of the form, where the candidate must sign under oath that all of the information on the disclosure form is accurate, it is left blank. Democrats Wengay Newton, C.J. Czaia and Dan Florini did make the ballot, as did Republican Cori Fournier.
— “Manny Diaz says he’s raised $74K so far in June HD 103 fundraising” via Florida Politics
— “Associated Builders and Contractors unveils Miami-Dade legislative endorsements” via Florida Politics
HAPPENING WEDNESDAY: Alan Williams hosts a fundraiser in Leon County Supervisor of Elections re-election effort. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Edison, 470 Suwannee St. in Tallahassee, and includes a performance by Motown recording artist Royce Lovett. Suggested contribution is $50; maximum contribution $250.
***DINE OUT FOR ORLANDO UNITED*** This Thursday, June 30, Florida restaurants and their employees and guests will donate time and money to support Orlando’s healing. Led by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, the fundraiser, “Dine Out for Orlando United,” will be a day for Floridians to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the tragedy. All proceeds raised will be donated to the OneOrlando Fund, which is designed to provide a way to respond to the needs of the local community, now and in the time to come. Check here to see if your favorite restaurant is part of the more than 900 participating locations throughout the state – and don’t forget to Dine Out for Orlando United on Thursday!***
ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will participate in a round table discussion about the Zika virus at 10 a.m. at the Palm Beach County Health Department, 800 Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. He will then travel to Jacksonville for a similar round table discussion at 3:30 p.m. at Smith Auditorium at the Duval County Health Department, 900 University Boulevard North in Jacksonville.
DEMOCRATS’ CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION ON GUNS LIKELY GOING NOWHERE via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times – Democrats are demanding a special legislative session to propose new gun restrictions in response to the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub. If Congress won’t act, they argue, then the state should, by requiring more extensive background checks for gun buyers and a “no fly, no buy” law to deny firearms to someone who’s on a federal terrorist watch list. Gov. Scott could call a special session. He has made clear where he stands. “The Second Amendment didn’t kill anybody,” Scott told CNN five days after a deranged gunman took 49 innocent lives. “This is ISIS. This is evil.” Legislative leaders could call a session, but both Republicans oppose the idea. So Democrats, including two from Orlando who are running for Congress, will now try to force the issue themselves. They will probably fail, but they’ll get plenty of attention as both sides again stake out familiar positions on guns. Democrats will deliver a petition with 32 signatures to Secretary of State Ken Detzner … Within a week, Detzner must poll all 160 lawmakers. Three-fifths of both chambers must agree to a special session — an impossibly high hurdle even if this were not in the heat of a campaign.
— “Don Gaetz: we don’t need special session for gun control” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
BUDGET PROCESS FOR 2017 – 18 BEGINS via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools – The governor’s office has issued written instructions to state agencies to develop budget requests which will be considered in the upcoming legislative session. The issuance of instructions is considered the first step in the annual budget making process. The Office of Policy and Budget got an early start as instructions were not required until July 15 under state law. Legislative budget requests are not due until mid-October. Between now and then, agencies will unveil long-term policy goals and state economists will release the first projections of how much money the government has after it pays its bills.
DCF: WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE via Florence Snyder for Florida Politics – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is not the worst offender in Florida’s never-ending War on Open Government. It just gets caught in the act more often than fellow offenders at the state, county and municipal levels. That’s because DCF is one of the few agencies left which ever has to contend with watchdog journalism. DCF chieftains, lawyers and flacks are well-acquainted with the well-oiled BS detector of the Miami Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller, a veteran investigative reporter who knows the difference between transparency, and transparent nonsense. But they keep trying to buffalo her, anyway. The latest example involves the case of Sophia Hines. She’s currently residing in the Broward County jail, charged with suffocating her infant son and toddler daughter. Hines, a resident of Pennsylvania, had been receiving services from that state’s child welfare authorities. Marbin Miller “cobbled together” some of the sad story of how Hines ended up in Florida and the children ended up dead, but only after days of being diddled by DCF while its lawyers tried and failed to come up with a good excuse to keep secrets on Pennsylvania’s behalf. It’s been decades since Florida had an elected statewide official who paid much more than lip service to open government. The contempt for open government is entirely bipartisan; more than half those bills were approved unanimously by both Legislative chambers. The Senate, which loves to call itself the more “deliberative” chamber, has approved exemptions unanimously 151 times.
PANEL CLEARS PRISON WHISTLEBLOWER OF WRONGDOING via Mary Ellen Klas of the Tampa Bay Times – Doug Glisson, a senior investigator at the Department of Corrections, is now seeking reinstatement to his position as a supervisor in the agency’s Office of Inspector General, after a five-member Complaint Review Board concluded that the complaint against him was “unfounded.” Glisson was demoted and docked pay by the agency in April after six internal investigations were launched against him Feb. 3, 2015, — a day after his former boss, Inspector General Jeffery Beasley, was grilled by a Senate committee about allegations of cover-up and corruption. Three of those investigations were sustained, without interviewing Glisson, two were dismissed and one he challenged as violating his rights under the “Officers’ Bill of Rights.” Glisson was accused of hearing a complaint from an inmate who alleged officer-on-inmate abuse at the Franklin Correctional Institution but failed to investigate — in violation of agency procedure. He sued after the agency refused to provide a hearing, as required by law, to allow him to bring forward his allegations that the investigation was biased against him.
HAPPENING TODAY: Republican state Rep. Doug Broxson and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are hosting a public workshop to learn how to prevent bear activity around homes and property. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Navarre Fellowship Hall, 9302 Navarre Parkway in Navarre.
ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) will host the 2016 Helping Florida Work Town Hall Tour at the Turnberry Isle Resort from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 19999 West Country Club Drive in Aventura.
INSURER FILES PROTEST WITH STATE OVER HMO BIDS via Keith Morelli of Florida Politics – A health and life insurance company has filed a protest with the Florida Department of Management Services, which recently rejected bids to provide HMO benefits to the state’s employees. Aetna Life Insurance Company hand-delivered a copy of the protest to the state earlier this month and posted a $3.1 million protest bond, according to a letter from the insurer’s attorneys, Foley & Lardner of Tallahassee. The state began its procurement process in September seeking bids to provide its employees with insured Health and Maintenance Organization (HMO) benefits and self-insured health plan services. The contract was expected to total more than $300 million … insurers placing bids were to have them in by Nov. 12. They were scored by a team within the department and a handful were accepted to participate in the second phase of the procurement procedure. Aetna was among those chosen … The goal of the process, according to the petition, was “to enable the department to determine what vendor(s) presents the best value to establish the principle terms and conditions of such contract.” The state was intent on achieving a contract that was “the best value for the state.” Lengthy negotiations ensued, the petition said, “requiring great commitment of resources from both vendors and the department.”
FIRST IN SUNBURN — MICHAEL WILLIAMS DEPARTS SPEAKER’S OFFICE FOR COREMESSAGE via Florida Politics – He’s leaving his role as main spokesman for Steve Crisafulli and heading to PR shop CoreMessage in Tallahassee, the firm tells FloridaPolitics.com. Starting in July, he’ll be managing director of media relations. “CoreMessage is thrilled to add Michael to our team,” said Cory Tilley, the president of CoreMessage and former top communications aide to Gov. Jeb Bush. Williams, 36, has been spokesman for Crisafulli, a Merritt Island Republican, since 2014. Before that, he was deputy communications director for the House Majority (Republicans) Office. He’s also worked at Xcel Energy, the Florida Manufactured Housing Association and for Ramba Consulting Group.
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS
Joanna Lee Clary Bonfanti, Lila Jaber, Gregory Munson, J. Larry Williams, Cameron Yarbrough, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart: American Water Works Association (Florida Section); Henderson Beach Resort Hotel; Pemco Holdings
Matt Brockelman, Jim Smith, Southern Strategy Group: Florida Sheriffs Association; Jackson County School Board
Gary Riddle: Healthcare Distribution Alliance
William Turbeville, Ballard Partners: GreenPointe Communities
HAPPENING TODAY: The James Madison Institute holds its 2016 Panama City regional meeting starting 5 p.m. at the Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, 2003 Wild Heron Way in Panama City. Featured speakers include JMI President and CEO Dr. Bob McClure and former House Speaker Allan Bense, who serves as JMI Board Chairman. Cost is $20 for JMI members $20; $30 for non-members.
ON THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF THE ROTUNDA – As Florida’s tourism industry brace for the impact of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, British officials are calling on the world to remain calm following “Brexit.” On Trimmel Gomes’ latest episode of The Rotunda, British Consul-General David Prodger discusses the effects of Brexit on the Sunshine State. Gomes also talks with Sen. Darren Soto about his continued call for a special session of the Legislature to implement new gun restrictions after this month’s mass shooting in Orlando. Plus, reactions to the contest by Sen. Greg Evers to give away a custom-built AR-15 rifle, similar to the one used in the shooting massacre.
WHAT RYAN WIGGINS IS READING — BLUE ANGELS WILL RESUME FLIGHT DEMONSTRATIONS JULY 2 via The Associated Press – Navy officials say its Blue Angels will resume performances a month after one of their pilots was killed in a crash while practicing for an air show … Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi said the elite flight demonstration squadron was grateful for its fans’ patience as it “navigated through this very difficult loss of our teammate.” The Blue Angels canceled performances after the death of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss … when his F/A-18 jet crashed just after takeoff while practicing for a Tennessee air show. The Pensacola-based team will resume its schedule July 2 at the National Cherry Festival Air Show in Traverse City, Michigan. The Navy statement says the team will fly a modified five-jet demonstration along with the Blue Angels C-130 plane “Fat Albert.”
REST IN PEACE — TAMPA ATTORNEY AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST STACY FRANK DIES AT 61 via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Frank … the daughter of Hillsborough Clerk of the Courts Pat Frank … died Saturday, June 25, at the age of 61 from lung cancer. Frank was very involved in Hillsborough County politics, including assisting in her mother’s campaigns for Clerk of the Courts. “Stacy was a fighter, a believer and an inspiration to many. I always looked up to her as a strong woman and a successful businesswoman,” wrote Ashley Walker, the Fort Lauderdale political strategist who ran President Barack Obama’s re-election effort in Florida, on her Facebook page. “She helped guide me through many difficult decisions, and she was one of my first calls when making big professional decisions,” Walker added. “But most importantly, she had a huge heart and was always up for a good time. She’ll truly be missed.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only Brendan Farrington, one of the best reporters in the state and one of the best people we know.