Sunburn for 6/20 – A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

Today’s Rise and Shine Fact-iversary is brought to you by Sachs Media Group, the state’s dominant public affairs PR firm: Today is “Flip-Flop Day” – and not the political kind! This is the perfect excuse to ditch your stuffy shoes and expose those toes. Flip-flops may be a summertime icon, but in Florida they are a year-round phenomenon.

NEW HAMPSHIRE POLL SHOWS JEB LEADING MARCO 

A new Suffolk University poll of New Hampshire voters finds Jeb Bush trailing Chris Christie and Rand Paul but leading Marco Rubio in a hypothetical GOP presidential field.

The statewide survey relied on a subset of 419 likely Republican primary voters and has MOE of +/-4.8 percent.

See the poll results here.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Senator Marco Rubio will hold a media availability in Stuart, Florida following his visit to the St. Lucie River. During the visit, Rubio will participate in a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to hear concerns regarding the harmful water that was flushed from Lake Okeechobee into the Indian River Lagoon last July, consequently economically and ecologically damaging the surrounding area. … The St. Lucie River and Estuary is an ecological jewel on Florida’s Treasure Coast that is integral to the environmental and economic well-being of Martin and St. Lucie counties. The St. Lucie is part of the larger Indian River Lagoon system, the most diverse estuarine environment in North America with more than 4,000 plant and animal species, including manatees, oysters, dolphins, sea turtles and seahorses. City of Stuart City Hall, 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. 3:45 p.m.

ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN FUNDRAISING OFF HER 30TH ANNIVERSARY via POLITICO

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is using her upcoming 30th wedding anniversary to fundraise for her IRL PAC leadership PAC.

“IRL PAC invites you to Ileana & Dexter’s 30 Year Wedding Anniversary Pearl Fundraiser,” will be Saturday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Ritz-Carlton in Miami. Tables for 10 are $5,000 or $1,000 per couple.

SHOCK POLL SHOWS ALAN COHN IN POSITION TO COMPETE AGAINST DENNIS ROSS

A benchmark poll conducted earlier this month shows Democrat Alan Cohn in position to defeat Congressman Dennis Ross in Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

Despite having never run for office, Cohn starts the race down only seven.  After reading balanced positive paragraphs on each candidate, Cohn and Ross are statistically tied at 45-47.

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SCOOBY DOO CHECK, 12 NURSES WITH SAME LAST NAME, HOUSE OF 19 DONORS FOR GOVERNOR CANDIDATE via George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post

Even by Florida standards, the campaign contribution report of Republican governor candidate Yinka Abosede Adeshina is odd.

If her filings are to be believed, the political unknown has raised $182,080 — all of it in February and March. Her reported haul is six times greater than Libertarian governor candidate Adrian Wylie‘s and more than Democrat Nan Rich has collected over the last eight months.

Adeshina’s 2,007-square-foot townhouse in Tallahassee is listed as the address for 19 different contributors who are listed as giving a combined $19,580.

Twelve nurses with the last name “Savay” who list the same UPS store in Jacksonville as their address purportedly gave $250 apiece to Adeshina’s campaign on March 3. The Florida Board of Nursing doesn’t have a record of any nurse with that last name.

Thirteen people listing their last names as “Johnson,” their occupation as “waiter” and the same Tennessee Street address in Tallahassee are recorded as giving $250 apiece on March 26.

Adeshina qualified for the ballot Monday after submitting a $7,816.38 check to cover the filing fee for governor. She attempted to qualify in May using a check featuring cartoon characters Scooby Doo, Velma Dinkley and Daphne Blake on it, but the Division of Elections told her to wait until the official qualifying period began.

DEAN CANNON RIPS RICK SCOTT IN TOUGH AD via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

But it was in 2010, not 2014, when former House Speaker Cannon’s political committee paid for tough TV ads ripping Rick Scott as a sleazy businessman with no business in the governor’s mansion. At this point four years ago, Scott was a stranger and nearly a pariah to the Florida GOP establishment which was determined to hand the nomination to Bill McCollum. Today, Scott is the GOP establishment.

But just as the Florida GOP has dusted off old Democratic ads bashing Crist, the Florida Democratic party is now releasing old GOP ads bashing Scott.

GOP OFFICIAL FILES COMPLAIN AGAINST CHARLIE CRIST via The Associated Press

A Republican Party of Florida official is filing another complaint against Crist.

Juston Johnson, executive director for the party, contends Crist violated the state’s ethics laws before he left office.

The complaint alleges that Crist misused his office in December 2010 when he appointed a partner in the Morgan & Morgan law firm to a panel that nominates judges for appointment.

Crist made the appointment of Joseph Linnehan shortly before he joined the firm in early 2011.

Kevin Cate, a spokesman for Crist, called the ethics complaint “absurd.”

Johnson has also filed two election complaints against Crist over his appearance on Morgan & Morgan law firm billboards and his appearance in a television ad.

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ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will highlight Dignitas Technologies, a women owned small business in the Orlando area. Owner Elizabeth Burch, was named the 2013 State of Florida Woman Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Dignitas Technologies, 3504 Lake Lynda Drive, Suite 170, Orlando.

***The RSA team produces results for its clients through its extensive knowledge of the legislative process, longstanding relationships with elected officials and community leaders and strong work ethic.   RSA is a full service consulting firm specializing in community and government affairs, fundraising & event planning. RSA clients receive personal attention and commitment from a team of seasoned lobbyists, led by Ron Pierce. Learn how we can help your business, visit www.rsaconsultingllc.com.***

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NEW EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS OUT TODAY via The Associated Press

New unemployment numbers for Florida are coming out.

The May jobless numbers are scheduled to be released on Friday. The rate was 6.2 percent in April, and it has remained the same for all but one month this year.

Florida’s unemployment rate is just below the national unemployment rate.

The state did gain 34,000 jobs in April. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the strong job growth helped Florida have the third-highest gains in the nation, trailing only Texas and California.

Payroll provider ADP reported last week that the state added 17,280 private sector jobs during May. ADP’s survey is separate from the one that is conducted by government agencies.

EVERGLADES AND BEACH FUNDS ADVANCING via William Gibson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

The Everglades and beach projects in Florida stand to gain from a money bill moving through the U.S. House.

The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed a spending bill for the fiscal year that begins in October, including $65.5 million for Everglades restoration projects and $41 million to be divided nationwide for beach re-nourishment.

The $34-billion energy and water appropriations bill will fund agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy.

Broward County hopes to get a piece of the beach money to help pay for a widening project between Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach slated to start this fall.

The Everglades money, if finally approved by Congress, would help pay for a reservoir to restore the polluted Indian River Lagoon and complete restoration of Picayune Strand. “They are critical to South Florida, where there is no separating the health of our unique environment from the health of our robust economy,” Wasserman Schultz said.

NEW FLORIDA CHAMBER STATEWIDE SURVEY SHOWS STATE’S SMALL BUSINESSES ARE OPTIMISTIC AND SALES ARE INCREASING

With Florida’s economic recovery continuing to outpace the nation, small businesses reported higher company sales and increased optimism in a new Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey released today. The survey shows 43 percent of small businesses reporting higher company sales compared to this time last year.

Tied for the top issue facing small businesses was access to capital and economic uncertainty, both receiving 24% of the vote; those saying they has access to capital increased by 12%; economic uncertainty decreased by 10% and 43% of respondents reported higher sales compared to the same time period last year. Only 1-in-4 businesses reported lower sales.

Optimism is also on the rise; 58 % expect the economy to improve over the next year, up three percent from 2013. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents (67 %) expect the economy to improve in the next three years, up six percent from 2013.

TOURISM AND INVESTMENT SPENDING LEAD FLORIDA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY via Celia Ampel of the Miami Herald

Consumer spending in Florida grew 5.8 percent from last year, according to first-quarter data released by Coral Gables-based Washington Economics Group.

The moderate growth is a sign of a sustainable economic recovery led by tourism and investment spending, said Tony Villamil, founder and principal of the group.

Spending on Florida tourism and recreation increased 6.4 percent from the same quarter last year. That figure includes taxable sales on hotels, bars, restaurants, gift shops and sports.

Investment spending, or purchases of building materials and business supplies, hit $7.2 billion in March. That marks 7.4 percent growth from last year.

The recession hit Florida harder than most states, but its higher-than-average employment growth in 2014 is spurring consumer spending, Villamil said.

Total retail sales increased a healthy 5.3 percent from last year, reaching $17.7 billion.

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DECISION RAISES MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT DOCUMENTS IN REDISTRICTING CASE via Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times

The trial challenging Florida’s newly drawn congressional map ended two weeks ago and the judge could rule at any time on whether the revised boundaries violate the law.

Even so, a First District Court of Appeal opinion could jeopardize the use of 538 pages of confidential documents that were introduced as evidence.

The appeals court voted 5-4 that the Florida Supreme Court should ultimately decide whether the Leon County circuit judge assigned to the case was correct when he gave the plaintiffs in the case — a coalition of citizens groups — access to the secret e-mails, maps and planning documents held by political consultants to Republican legislators.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court will have to decide if it wants to take up the case. If so, the high court could agree with or overturn Circuit Judge Terry Lewis’ initial ruling that the secret documents were admissible in court.

It is unclear how much these documents are affecting the larger case. Mark Herron, a lawyer for the coalition that includes the League of Women Voters of Florida, said the dispute about this evidence is just one aspect of the case. The Republican Party of Florida declined comment.

The citizen groups have asked Lewis to invalidate the congressional map the Legislature approved in 2012.

RITCH WORKMAN, WILTON SIMPSON NAMED 2014 FRF LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR Full blog post here

The Florida Retail Federation named Rep. Ritch Workman and Sen. Wilton Simpson as 2014 “Legislators of the Year.”

As one of the highlights of the last session, FRF points to Workman’s F&T bill HB 5601 which established three tax holidays for 2014: Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, and a new holiday for purchases ENERGY STAR and WaterSense products.

During the 2014 session, Simpson served as chair of the Committee on Community Affairs, which handles growth management, economic development and environmental regulation.

In recognizing Simpson, FRF noted he was instrumental in promoting legislation protecting Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Program, which supports fuel retailers, site owners, operators and contractors in addressing abandoned and leaky underground storage tanks.

The Trilby Republican also championed legislation to create a statewide process for employers and employees to resolve wage disputes through the state’s court system, as well as sponsoring a bill to reduce the annual filing fees small business owners pay to the state.

QUALIFYING ENDS TODAY: The qualifying period for this year’s state elections will end at noon today.

AMID RIVERA RUMORS, TRUJILLO SAYS HE’S READY FOR ANY PRIMARY CHALLENGER via Matt Dixon of PoliticalFixFlorida.com

State Rep. Carlos Trujillo says he’s ready for a primary battle with anyone, including former Miami Congressman David Rivera.

Rivera, who would have to file to run by noon Friday, is currently qualified to run in the 26th Congressional District, which stretches from Miami to the Keys.

Rivera beat Democrat Joe Garcia in 2010, but lost to him by a 54-43 margin in 2012. If Rivera drops his bid to return to Washington, it would leave four Republicans in the race. The winner of the GOP primary will face Garcia, who does not have a primary opponent.

Rivera has not raised any money during the 2014 cycle, and his campaign has nearly $130,000 in debt, according to Federal Election Commission records.

He is currently under federal investigation related to a 2012 scheme to secretly fund a candidate to run against Garcia in the Democratic primary. That candidate, Justin Lamar Sternad, pled guilty to his role in the scheme, which was first reported to by the Miami Herald. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Trujillo said he had not heard about the Rivera rumor until reading it online.

BOB CORTES DOMINATES STRAW POLL IN HD 30 Full blog post here

Longwood City Commissioner and Mayor Bob Cortes could be on his way to taking the Republican nomination for House District 30 seat.

Both Cortes and his primary opponent, Scott Sturgill, attended the Seminole County Young Professional Republicans Hob Nob and Straw Poll this week.

The results of poll were not close: Cortes took 61% of ballots cast.

FUNNY EMAIL: “I’ve been endorsed by nobody” from House District 114 candidate Ross Hancock

MIKE MILLER RECEIVES KEY ENDORSEMENT IN HD 47 Full blog post here

Republican House candidate Mike Miller is having a momentous week; not only has he officially qualified for the House District 47 race, but he also received an endorsement from prominent Florida conservative U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

“As a conservative and community leader,” Rubio said in a statement. “Mike Miller has played an important role in helping others who share our values of lower taxes, less government and individual liberty.”

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APPOINTED: Fran Poppell and Robin Tabano to the Board of Cosmetology. Charles Clary and Edward “Butch” Simpson to the Board of Directors of Florida Health Choices Inc. and Mark Middlebrook to the Acquisition & Restoration Council.

REAPPOINTED: Walter Nason to the Board of Directors of Florida Health Choices Inc.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Brian Ballard, Christopher Hansen, Ballard Partners: Dunavant Gulf, LLC

Jim Naff, Smith,Bryan & Myers:Diligent Services, Inc.

SPOTTED: Chris Dudley in Jefferson County.

CONTEXT FLORIDA: LEGAL AID CUTS, DISNEY WORLD, EARLY LEARNING AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

On Context FloridaMartin Dyckman notes that Gov. Rick Scott demonstrated the hollowness of the premise that Americans are equal before the courts this week after vetoing a modest $2 million appropriation for Florida’s civil legal aid agencies. Walt Disney World is without a doubt an amazing enterprise, writes Gary Stein, but the magic is not real and the Magic Kingdom is a façade. The more Florida offers children in the earliest years of life by way of reading, exploring and playing, the more they will absorb, learn and grow, says former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings. As someone who researches digital media and identity, University of Central Florida’s Women’s Studies instructorLeandra Preston-Sidler wonders if brain development is affected by exposure to media at so young an age.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the best, Todd Josko.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.