Sunburn for 6/27 – A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

in Uncategorized by

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 “Sunglasses Day.” UV rays are at their peak in summer – especially here in the Sunshine State – so make sure to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses! (Did you know Elton John has more than a thousand pairs?)

Now on the ‘burn…

MICHELLE OBAMA IN ORLANDO NEXT TUESDAY via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at the American School Counselor Association Annual Conference on Tuesday, the WhIte House said.

“Mrs. Obama will highlight the critical role school counselors play in ensuring students and families have the resources and information they need to pursue postsecondary education,” according to a release.

REALITY CHECK via Larry J. Sabato for Politico Magazine, with Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley of Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Only a small number of House and Senate incumbents typically lose renomination every cycle-just 2 percent in the House, and 5 percent in the Senate, since World War II. So far this year, 273 of 275 House incumbents (99 percent) and all 18 of 18 Senate incumbents (100 percent) who sought another term have won renomination.

So the theory of an anti-incumbent wave, so prominent after Cantor’s loss, collides with the cold facts. Anti-establishment forces in the GOP might still go after Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, but their opponents are weaker than McDaniel. Cochran was very clearly the most vulnerable Republican Senate incumbent in this year’s primary season, and he has survived, albeit just barely.


A new Pew Research survey finds that just 40% of Americans can correctly identify the partisan balance in both the House of Representatives and the Senate (that Republicans have the majority in the former, and Democrats in the latter). The remaining six-in-ten know only one (33%) or neither (28%) of those facts.


U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross became the newest member of the five-person Senior Deputy Whip Team for the House of Representatives Republican Conference, named on Thursday by Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

As Senior Deputy Whips, the Lakeland Republican joins Reps. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Aaron Schock of Illinois, Steve Stivers of Ohio and Ann Wagner of Missouri. Rep. Patrick McHenry will serve as Chief Deputy Whip.

“I am honored to have the chance to serve,” Ross said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to have a positive impact.”

Senior Deputy Whips examine the issues relevant to the district of each Member of Congress, and ensures the legislation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives best reflects the interests and values of both the constituents of Ross’ 15th Congressional District and nationwide.


A group called Ocean Champions said it is paying for this TV ad against Rep. Steve Southerland, reflecting national Democrats’ hopes of knocking out the two-term Republican from Panama City.

Ocean Champions, in partnership with House Majority PAC and other groups, spent $300,000 last cycle against Southerland, according to Bob Doyle, the group’s independent expenditure director.

This time, he said, it will be a “more comprehensive campaign.” It begins with the 30-second TV ad that will run in the Panama City market for two weeks at a cost of $36,000.

Doyle, a vice president with ad-firm Main Street Communications, referred to Southerland as “Ocean enemy #1” in an email. Yet the ad mentions nothing about environmental policy.

Instead, it implies Southerland sold out for Washington and tries to link him with Democratic budget votes on corporate plane use and lobbyists.


Former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker during the Florida Democratic Party’s “Leadership Blue Gala,” which formerly was known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The dinner will be held after a series of caucus and committee meetings throughout the day.

TWEET, TWEET: @BethMatuga: Oh, Westin, it’s been too long #LeadBlue

***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you by Bright House Networks for Business, your trusted provider of industry leading communications and networking services for any size business from startup to enterprise, and everything in between. Our solutions are customized to fit your business, your budget, and your industry. Unlike some other providers, we own, manage and maintain our network, which means we are 100% accountable; and we’re locally based, which allows us to be immediately responsive to our customers.  Find out why so many businesses in your area trust their communications needs to Bright House Networks.***

IN FLORIDA, IT’S “ALL ABOUT THE BASE.” OR IS IT? via Gary Fineout of The Fine Print

State senator and former Republican Party of Florida chairman John Thrasher repeated the same mantra when Jeb Bush started his quest to become the first GOP governor to win a second term: “It’s all about the base.”

Translation: Motivate your core supporters in big enough numbers to negate any advantage the other person and other party may have.

That was 2002 but it might as well have been an eternity ago in Florida politics.

It’s been hinted at again and again – but let’s repeat it anyway: Charlie Crist is the candidate that Scott world wanted from the get-go. There were people in Scott world as it’s known who knew that Crist’s record as a governor along with his ongoing political transformation would make him an inviting target to contrast with against Scott.

Because at the same time Scott and his campaign have taken a variety of policy turns in the last two years that in essence go against the wishes of the tea party folks and those in the base that helped Scott four years ago. In other words, Scott’s campaign strategy is – Republicans hate Crist so they will get out in force – but at the same time we will court moderates and the middle.

Scott is taking a calculated risk that Common Core or immigration issues won’t come back to haunt him like they have other Republican candidates. In other words, he’s counting on Republicans to work hard for him despite taking positions that may antithetical to the base.

The bottom line remains – what happens if the make Crist a bad guy strategy doesn’t really work?


Rick Scott would not know transparency if it bit him in the nose, at least according to the folks at progressive watchdog group American Bridge 21st Century.

On Thursday, American Bridge issued a press release announcing the drop of “Transparency,” a new video calling out the Republican governor for his recent attack on Charlie Christ’s wife, who at the time had not released her federal tax returns.

The 60-second video questions if Scott truly “believes transparency matters,” a comment by the governor that strikes American Bridge as a hypocrisy and getting more “comical” each passing day.

Held up for special ridicule is the governor’s reaction to the case of a DEO employee-turned-whistleblower who exposed “systemic fraud that improperly inflicted economic hardship on 19,000 Floridians” and could cost the state nearly $2 billion.

Rick Scott’s response, the ad says, is that he had her fired.

Therefore, they reason, if Rick Scott really believes transparency matters, American Bridge suggests he “plead the 5th on that one.”


Crist on Thursday released 10 more years of individual income tax returns going back to 2001.

But he’s not releasing any returns for wife Carole Crist, whom he married in 2008. Gov. Scott, who released joint returns for himself and wife Ann Scott, has said Crist should reveal his wife’s finances and a TV ad by a pro-Scott committee accuses Crist of “hiding” the information.


“Crist released 10 more years of his federal tax returns Thursday, but he did not go far enough. Sooner rather than later, he should release his wife’s tax returns as well. Spouses of candidates for governor should anticipate they are giving up some personal privacy, and there are legitimate reasons that voters should see a complete picture of the personal finances of the families who want to move into the Governor’s Mansion.

… “The purpose of the release of tax returns by candidates for governor and their spouses is not financial voyeurism. There is too much potential for couples to mingle assets or for public officials to hide or benefit from financial interests held in their spouse’s name. An argument can be made that the release of tax returns by spouses of candidates for other public offices is unnecessary, but candidates for the most powerful elected office in Florida should be held to a higher standard and greater openness. The potential for conflicts of interest and corruption is simply too great.

“Politics and marriage are package deals. Crist married while he was governor, and he knows if he wins his old job back in November that Mrs. Crist will live in publicly financed housing in the Governor’s Mansion, enjoy protection from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and have a public role to play if she chooses. Like it or not, she became a public figure when she married a once and perhaps future governor who has spent much of his adult life in elected office. With that choice comes some loss of personal privacy, and Crist should release her income tax returns.”


During the special election in Congressional District 13, the Tampa Bay Times‘ Adam Smith jumped the shark (and ruined relationships with many politicos in the community) by reporting that “David Jolly killed a man” (as a young man, Congressman Jolly was involved in the accidental fatality of a pedestrian) and his surprisingly amateur-hour attacks on a local reporter who scooped him and a public relations pro who Smith accused of undercutting his reporting.

After that incident, I wondered aloud if Smith had permanently damaged his reputation? It’s up to Smith’s readers to answer that question, although it’s been interesting that Smith has played largely under the radar since the CD 13 special election. He was nowhere to be found during the 2014 legislative session and he’s been mostly quiet on the most interesting political race in the country — incumbent Republican Rick Scott vs. Democrat Charlie Crist.

That is, until today.

In a blog post which steals its title from an earlier blog post of Smith in which he questioned Crist’s relationship with me, Smith attempts to ‘welcome Charlie Crist to the NFL.’

Responding to the Crist campaigns complaints that recent attacks by Scottworld on Crist’s wife, Carole, are out of line, Smith asks, “Why shouldn’t the public have a look at the investments of the woman Crist says has the greatest influence on his decision-making?”

I don’t agree that Carole Crist or Ann Scott are fair game, but, for the purpose of this argument, I’ll concede for a moment that candidate spouses are no longer off-limits. What I want to know is why is Adam Smith so eager to ‘welcome Crist to the NFL?’

I believe it has to do with an end result Smith and the Tampa Bay Times are attempting to arrive at that is far worse than the Scott campaign’s questions about Carole Crist’s tax returns.

I think Adam Smith and the Times (I say the Times because enterprise reporter Michael Kruse is reportedly spending extensive time on a deep-dive profile of Crist which Smith’s reporting may or may not play a role) are going to go THERE.

Where is THERE? Read the full blog post to find out where THERE is.

***Mercury Florida is a full-service bipartisan public strategy firm with offices across the state. Our expertise comes from extensive must-win campaign experience and operating successfully at the highest levels of business, government, politics and media. We utilize strategic intelligence to mobilize the message and influence the toughest audiences. We know what it takes to win in difficult situations. Based in Florida, and part of a national network of the nation’s top experts, we have a history of proven results for prominent figures, leading advocacy groups and the world’s most successful companies.***

CENSUS SHOWS FLORIDA CONTINUES TO GET OLDER via Mike Schneider of the Associated Press

Florida’s population continued to get older last year from a combination of natural aging and new residents, and the state had the highest rate of residents older than 65 years old, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The estimates show Florida’s population grew by 1.2 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the state had about 19.5 million residents as of July 2013.

The Census estimate had Florida trailing New York by less than 150,000 residents to be the nation’s fourth most populous state, but that estimate is now likely outdated. Florida’s growth has outpaced New York and Florida likely surpassed New York in population earlier this year to qualify as the nation’s third most populous state.

More than 232,000 new residents were added between July 2012 and July 2013, a figure that is still less than the number of new Floridians at the height of the state’s last population boom in the middle of the last decade. But University of Florida demographer Stefan Rayer said it marks a return to decent growth following stagnant population change during the recession.

Florida’s overall population growth was driven by migration. New residents accounted for more than 90 percent of the population growth in the past three years, and more than 80 percent of the population change from 2012 to 2013. The new residents were almost evenly split between domestic and international migration.

The median age of Floridians continued to inch up, growing from 40.8 in 2010 to 41.5 in 2013.


Rep. Eagle has maintained all along that he drove recklessly the night he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol – but he was not drunk.

In an exclusive statement to Sunburn, Eagle says the state prosecutor agreed that reckless driving is the appropriate resolution, and the court has accepted that agreement.

“First, I want to again apologize to my constituents, family, and friends for the embarrassment this whole ordeal has caused. Today, I am very pleased to let you know that we can finally put this entire matter behind us.

“As I have maintained throughout, I did not drive under the influence. I did, however, exercise poor judgment that night, and in my carelessness I drove recklessly. … I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the penalties for the reckless driving sanction I have been issued.

“I sincerely appreciate the steadfast support I have received. I am relieved to have the incident behind me and remain committed to effectively representing the citizens of District 77.”



Based on new DNA evidence, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a death sentence for a man convicted nearly three decades ago of the strangulation murder of a Hernando County woman. The court ruled 5-2 on Thursday to vacate the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of Paul Christopher Hildwin based on newly discovered evidence obtained from DNA testing on a pair of women’s underwear and a white washcloth.

“This new scientific evidence completely discredits the scientific evidence that the state relied upon at trial when the state argued that Hildwin’s defense was not supported by the evidence,” the majority wrote. “In fact, exactly the opposite has now been shown to be true — the biological material matches the very person that Hildwin argued at trial was responsible for the murder.”

Hildwin, now 54, was convicted in 1986 for the September 1985 rape and murder of 42-year-old Vronzettie Cox. Hildwin admitted to stealing a checkbook, ring and radio from Cox but claimed another man, Cox’s boyfriend, committed the murder.

Recent tests on the underwear and washcloth, found in the vehicle in which Cox was located four days after she was murdered, showed the DNA belonged to Cox’s boyfriend, not Hildwin, according to the court ruling.


A divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a lower court in Polk County to look into whether a Death Row inmate’s medical condition could make the state’s lethal injection protocol unconstitutional in his case.

The 5-2 ruling comes in the latest challenge to the use of midazolam hydrochloride in the state’s three-drug cocktail. The first of three injections, midazolam renders the inmate unconscious, but has been controversial since it was introduced last year.

Lawyers for Eddie Wayne Davis, 45, who is scheduled to be executed July 10, say midazolam might not work as expected on him because he suffers from a condition known as porphyria.

The Supreme Court ordered the process in Polk County to wrap up by Tuesday, with legal briefs responding to the Polk County judge’s order to be filed with the high court by Thursday.


HISTORICAL COMMISSION MEETS BY PHONE: The Florida Historical Commission will hold a teleconference and discuss issues such as the 2014 legislative session.  Call-in number: 1-888-670-3525. Passcode: 7911101420. 9 a.m.

KIDCARE, MEDICAID DISCUSSED: The Social Services Estimating Conference will discuss expenditures in the KidCare program and Medicaid caseloads.117 Knott Building, the Capitol. 9 a.m.

MEDICAID DRUGS AT ISSUE: The Agency for Health Care Administration’s Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee, which makes recommendations for a Medicaid preferred-drug list, will meet in Tampa. Tampa Airport Marriott, Tampa International Airport, Tampa. 1 p.m.


House Speaker Will Weatherford tops the 2014 list of Distinguished Advocates, as the Florida Chamber of Commerce named the Wesley Chapel Republican Florida’s Most Valuable Legislator on Thursday.

The Chamber awarded Weatherford with the MVL, as well as announcing 40 outstanding lawmakers, during a ceremony at the annual board of directors conference in Miami.

At the same time, the Chamber issued its annual How They Voted legislative record, a scorecard on all of Florida’s 160 legislators ranking them on how they stood on issues of job creation and economic growth.

The Chamber’s Distinguished Advocates are state legislators who consistently advocate — no matter how challenging — a pro-job, competitive business environment, as well as supporting regulation boosting the free market, keeping businesses competitive, and delivering economic opportunity to all Floridians.

Recognized as MVL— the Chamber’s premier legislative award — Will Weatherford steadfastly championed a number of crucial (and sometimes difficult) issues, such as lawsuit abuse and pension reform and educational opportunities for every Florida student. Often, his support entailed foregoing short-term politics for long-term economic advancement.

In a statement announcing the awards, the Chamber also recognized Weatherford’s leadership skills, and his “ability to provide bipartisan and bicameral solutions to Florida’s biggest issues.”

“We wouldn’t have done the reforms we have been able to get accomplished in the last few years if it wasn’t for the Florida Chamber of Commerce,” Weatherford said. “[They] have been stalwart partners with us.


Florida’s largest statewide agricultural association named two state lawmakers as its Legislators of the Year, as well as releasing the annual list of Champions for Agriculture.

Florida Farm Bureau recognized Democratic state Sen. Bill Montford and Republican Rep. Jake Raburn for their leadership on agricultural issues, and efforts to advance the interests of Florida’s farmers and ranchers.

Montford took a leading role throughout the 2014 legislative session in supporting and promoting Florida agriculture as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He sponsored two of Florida Farm Bureau’s top legislative priorities: a bill expanding opportunities for agricultural education in schools and another strengthening Florida’s “Greenbelt” law, which allows farmland used for water storage to remain classified as agricultural.

Raburn sponsored legislation in 2014 to expand agricultural industry certifications in the Career and Professional Education Act. He was also main co-sponsor of HB 575, an unsuccessful attempt to save farmers $2.4 million in sales tax exemptions for irrigation equipment and repairs.

As well as naming Legislators of the Year, Florida Farm Bureau also released the annual Champions for Agriculture list, recognizing legislators for their role in promoting an agriculture-friendly legislation.

Farm Bureau singled out six state Senators and 18 Representatives who actively supported the state’s farmers and ranchers by sponsoring and co-sponsoring legislation, with a perfect voting record on the Bureau’s agenda.

***SUNBURN is brought to you in part by Bascom Communications & Consulting, LLC, a top-notch public affairs, political communications and public relations firm.  Visit to read about their growing team, success stories and case studies.***

***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***


Republican JB Bensmihen has dropped out of the race for Senate District 34.

“When I announced my intentions I was not aware my friend Ellyn was also preparing to run,” said Besmihen. “After speaking with her on my concerns about Tallahassee matters, I have decided to withdraw from this race and instead make innovative healthcare solutions and economic recovery at the Federal level my primary focus.”

With Bensmihen out of the race, the epic rematch between Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff vs. Democrat Maria Sachs will take place with Bogdanoff having to wage and expensive and resource-consuming primary. All that is at stake in this race is whether the GOP gets a 27th vote in the Florida Senate, thereby giving it a veto-proof majority — something Republicans may need if Democrat Charlie Crist takes the Governor’s Mansion.

Also at stake is the fate of the Senate Presidency, as Bogdanoff is expected to support Clearwater Republican Sen. Jack Latavala’s presidential ambitions. Currently, the race for Senate President for 2016-18, is all but deadlocked between Latvala and Joe Negron.

In 2012, Sachs defeated Bogdanoff by five percentage points in one of the most bitterly fought and expensive legislative campaigns of the 2012 election.

Senate District 34 is a slightly Democrat-leaning district that straddles Broward and Palm Beach counties. However, the seat can be more favorable to Republicans in non-presidential election cycles.

“I won’t have Obama on the top of the ticket,” Bogdanoff explained when first announcing her candidacy. “You can’t compare a presidential election race to an off-year race in terms of trying to overcome a national election and all the noise that is being made. . . . It was a banner year — a Democratic sweep. Everybody saw that.”


A lawsuit filed in Leon County Court seeks to remove Ronald L. Bray from the House District 96 race.

Bray filed to run as write-in candidate against Democrats Steve Perman and Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

As first reported by, Bray does not live in House District 96. According to Florida Statute 99.0615 states, “At the time of qualification, all write-in candidates must reside within the district represented by the office sought.” The presence of a write-in candidate closes the August 26 primary to non-Democrat voters.

Bray listed his address as 1711 S.W. 2nd Avenue in Pompano Beach. The Broward Supervisor of Elections records show Bray is registered to vote at this address.  According to these records, Bray lives in Florida house District 92 which is represented by Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed. Like Bray, Kristin Jacobs does not live in District 96 either. A July 2013 investigation showed Jacobs tried to hide her true residency from voters. In an affidavit filed with the State of Florida, Jacobs asked state elections officials to redact her home address even though numerous public records show Jacobs actually lives in District 93, which is represented by George Moraitis. Jacobs denied she asked State officials to hide her address.

The lawsuit lists Robert Adams, a registered independent from Coconut Creek, as plaintiff. Bray is the main defendant along with Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

The suit claims Adams, “will suffer immediate and irreparable harm if Defendant, Bray is not disqualified as a write-in candidate, because he will not be able to vote in the August 2014 primary election for district 96, State House of Representatives, as he is not a member of the Democratic Party and the only candidates who qualified to run, other than Defendant Bray, are Democratic candidates.”

The case is set to be heard by Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry P. Lewis.


State political candidates and committees face a deadline today for filing updated campaign-finance reports, which will show information about contributions and expenditures through June 20.


Last week may have been a hectic qualifying week (at least for a few candidates), but as the dust settles, a number of state lawmakers were rewarded with uncontested returns to Tallahassee.

On the other hand, the deadline left a few incumbents facing substantial challenges — such as freshman Republican Rep. David Santiago from House District 27 and Democratic Rep Joe. Saunders in House District 49.

Now comes the email blasts, bombarding voters, hats in hand, to request just a little more campaign cash as they gear up for “fierce battles” at the November ballot box.

Although both emails come from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two incumbents lean heavily on a similar formula. And like every good actor, each email hits it mark.

The political narrative goes as follows: Incumbent needs supporters to open wallets in a “grassroots” effort to support the “underdog,” (even though they are the incumbent) who is furiously busy getting ready to fend off an attacker. If they fail re-election (oh no!) that challenger will “turn back the clock” on all the great things the incumbent has accomplished for the good people in the “best district in the entire state.”


Florida’s leading advocate for pro-medicine candidates announced on Thursday its endorsements in two State House races.

The Florida Medical Association PAC (FMA PAC) announced its support of Democrat Sean Shaw in his bid for House District 61 and Republican state Rep. John Tobia in his re-election bid for House District 53.

“As Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate and founder of a statewide coalition, Sean Shaw has provided a voice for consumers to be heard at the state level,” said FMA PAC President Dr. Ralph Nobo. “We are pleased to endorse Sean Shaw and know he will continue to be a champion for the constituents he represents.”

“Representative John Tobia is a proven advocate for Florida’s physicians and their patients, continuously in support of cutting government red tape and ensuring Floridians have choices in their healthcare decisions,” Nobo added. “The FMA PAC is proud to endorse his candidacy.”

TWEET, TWEET: @JakeRaburn: Proud to have been named the 2014 Florida Farm Bureau Legislator of the Year!


Good luck keeps bouncing Teresa Jacobs’ way.

The only candidate the Orange County mayor faced for re-election on the August 26 primary ballot has been disqualified from running.

Dunel A. Cadely bounced the $6,118 check he submitted for a qualifying fee, meaning he can no longer run for mayor, said Election Supervisor Bill Cowles.

That means Jacobs faces only write-in candidate Jeffrey Clyde Tepper. And because just two candidates technically remain in the race, Jacobs’ name will now appear on the Nov. 4 ballot next to an empty write-in space.

Cadely said he was ill Friday, the last day to qualify, and wasn’t able to get money in the bank on time. But he said the campaign account has the funds now. Cadely, 54, who runs a Haitian outreach charity, said he felt he was being discriminated against but didn’t offer a detailed explanation of how.

Jacobs, a Republican, faced a re-election threat for a while when former Orlando police chief Val Demings, a Democrat, entered the race. But Demings dropped out in May.

***SUNBURN is sponsored in part by Floridian Partners, LLC, a statewide Public and Government Affairs firm with offices in Tallahassee, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Their firm’s success is measured by its clients’ success. Outreach and Public Advocacy; Strategic Issue and Campaign Development; Grassroots and Grasstops Coalition Building – Floridian Partners is a one-stop firm for clients needing assistance at all levels of government in Florida.***

APPOINTED: Sam Rashid to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

REAPPOINTED: Hobel Florido to the South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners.


Marty Fiorentino, Bo Bohannon, Joe Mobley, Mark Pinto: Fiorentino Group: Mitchell International, Inc.

Jordan Connors: MTC Management & Training Corporation

James Kotas: FCCI Insurance Group

Jim Smith, Southern Strategy Group: FCCI Insurance Group


Facing Florida with Mike Vasalinda: Oyster farming with Clay Lovel, Whiskey Florida Style with Dick and Marti Waters.

Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede: Broward Sheriff Scott Israel as well as a look at the effects of the 10-20-Life law on the 15th anniversary of its enactment.

Florida This Week on Tampa Bay’s WEDU:  Paula Dockery, Barry Edwards, Dan Ruth, and Steve Bousquet

Political Connections on Tampa Bay’s BayNews 9: Gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich

Political Connections on CF 13: U.S. House District 9 candidate Jorge Bonilla

The Usual Suspects which airs on WCTV-Tallahassee/Thomasville (CBS) and WJHG-Panama City (NBC): Steve Vancore, Gary Yordon, and Dr. Tom Serio

***CoreMessage is a full-service communications and issues advocacy firm with the experience, relationships and expertise to help you get your message out. Connected at the state capitol and throughout Florida, the CoreMessage team unites issues with advocates, messages with media and innovative solutions with traditional tactics to get results. Follow CoreMessage on Twitter and visit them on the Web at***

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to St Petersburg’s greatest mayor, Rick Baker and my good, good friend Tony DeSisto. Belatedly, let’s give a shout out to Jack Levine, whose birthday yesterday is “one short of the Beatles’ musical threshold of 64!” Levine, who says he’s advocate for all generations, says, “I take every stage of a lifetime as an opportunity to contribute to our quality of life.”

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.