Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunburn for 8.03.16 – Shock polls, Jax gets Trumped, Alan Grayson’s bus tour; Jon Costello appointed

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.

SHOCK POLLS

St. Pete Polls will release today the results from a self-sponsored set of surveys it conducted across the state. The results in some of the races are nothing less than shocking.

In the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, the fallout from Alan Grayson‘s weeks of bad press is having an impact. Patrick Murphy now leads him 45 percent to 20 percent, with seven percent for Pam Keith and a sizable 28 percent wanting someone else or are undecided.

Marco Rubio is still beating Carlos Beruff, but not by the embarrassing amounts we’ve seen in earlier polls. Here it’s 55 to 22 percent. If Beruff was a Bluth, you could say he’s moved from “Sell” to “Don’t Buy.”

Looking ahead to 2018, the two frontrunners are very familiar names and their leads are almost certainly built on that familiarity. Still, it’s just fascinating to see these numbers.

On the Democratic side, former Governor Charlie Crist is the way-out-front leader over Bob Buckhorn, Gwen Graham, and Phillip Levine. Crist is not even in Congress yet (and may not even get there), but 38 percent of Democrats say they would vote for him in 2018. Graham is second with 12 percent, while everyone else is in single digits.

As for the Republicans, this is the real shocker: Mike Huckabee, yes that Mike Huckabee, is the early frontrunner for the 2018 nom. As Florida Politics first reported last week, there is talk within Panhandle political circles that Huckabee may be interested in running in two years. These numbers will do nothing to slow that speculation. Coming in second on the GOP’s wish list is Pam Bondi. Surprisingly, Adam Putnam is in third place, barely polling ahead of Jeff Atwater and Will Weatherford.

JAX GETS TRUMPED

The big story today: Donald Trump returns to the Bold New City of the South.

It’s his first trip to Jacksonville since the nomination.

When Trump was last in town, on an Indian summer Saturday in October, nary a politician could be found. The rally was pure Tea Party, with only Billie Tucker playing a prominent role.

Back then, the ultimate “outsider candidate” packed the courtyard of Toney Sleiman’s Jacksonville Landing, and the crowd was light on Republican regulars, and heavy with what some mockingly call “low-information voters.”

Now, the outsider moved inside, and the entire Jacksonville political class seems to have been caught up in a populist groundswell.

Mayor Lenny Curry, a Marco Rubio guy until March, is scheduled to speak (though those close to Hizzonor are tight-lipped on what he’ll say).

Also expected to attend: Sheriff Mike Williams and, presumably, a boatload of other Republicans.

For Trump, who recently confused Thomas Kean with Tim Kaine, the names won’t matter much.

For pols, they anxiously await an opportunity to support the GOP nominee.

During the rally, the upper decks of Veterans’ Memorial Arena will be worth watching. With a capacity of 15,000, if Trump packs the house – somehow – it could be a tangible measure of local support.

In Duval County, the 2012 election between Republican Mitt Romney and President Obama was close; Romney won by a slim 3 percent.

If Trump does manage to fill the Arena legitimately, that will become the big story coming out of the event … assuming he doesn’t do something too Trumpian – validating Russian territorial claims, tossing out crying babies or calling Hillary Clinton the Devil (again).

In any case, for the Jacksonville GOP establishment, it will be the official crossing of the Rubicon, a point of no return.

It’s Trump’s party now. And they are just happy to be invited.

THE LAST 24 HOURS FOR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN via the New York Times — Trump did not stand down in his feud with the parents of a Pakistani-American soldier killed in Iraq, frustrating some campaign advisers and drawing President Obama’s strongest criticism yetObama urged Republican leaders to pull their support for his candidacy. Trump deepened tensions with Republican leaders by telling The Washington Post that he was “not quite there yet” in endorsing the re-election bid of Paul Ryan, the House speaker. Trump’s five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, including one for foot trouble, are under new scrutiny.

— Richard Hanna, a three-term representative from New York, became the first Republican member of Congress to join forces with Democrats against Trump.

SUPER PAC BACKING TRUMP RUNNING TWO ADS IN FLORIDA — Rebuilding America Now released two advertisements, which are hitting the airwaves in the Sunshine State. The super PAC, which Gov. Rick Scott chairs, released a one-minute spot called “America Soaring,” which focuses on getting the country back to work. “It will be American hands, American workers that remake this country. We’re going to be working again. We’re going to have great jobs again. We’re going to make America great again for everyone, greater than ever before,” an announcer says in the advertisement. The committee released a second ad — a 30-second spot called “Outsourcing” — that attempts to tie Democrat Hillary Clinton to an Indian businessman who attended a 2005 conclave where Clinton talked about outsourcing.

RICK SCOTT DEFENDS DONALD TRUMP; JEFF ATWATER CALLS FOR APOLOGY; ADAM PUTNAM CALLS REMARKS ‘ABHORRENT AND DISHONORABLE’ via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times – Trump is under increasing criticism from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Gold Star Families, military leaders and some fellow Republicans in Congress who demand that he apologize to the parents of a slain Muslim U.S. soldier. But Scott, Trump’s leading Florida supporter and chairman of a Trump Super PAC, made no such demand and spoke favorably about Trump as a candidate who will create jobs and improve the economy … Atwater said that if Trump questioned why Mrs. Khan did not address the DNC, that was “out of bounds” and that Trump owes the family an apology. Attorney General Pam Bondi said she won’t reconsider her support of Trump and did not call for him to apologize, but she disagreed with Trump’s comments. “He is an American patriot, an American hero, end of story … Would I have ever said anything about his mother standing up there, absolutely silent, not saying anything? Absolutely not.” Putnam, said: “Captain Khan is an American hero. There is no question about that, and any effort to say otherwise is abhorrent and dishonorable. It makes me question how badly he (Trump) wants to win. He keeps running his mouth about the most ridiculous things and attacking a family who has sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we all enjoy.”

GOP STATE HOUSE CANDIDATES WAFFLE ON TRUMP – EXCEPT FOR DAVID RIVERA via Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald – A hush fell over the audience at the Kendall Federation of Homeowners Associations candidate forum … when three Republican state House candidates were asked if they support presidential nominee Donald Trump. Carlos Pria, a Doral dentist clad in scrubs, argued “that is a personal question.” With that, the audience erupted. “Don’t answer the question!” an audience member shouted at Pria …  Steven Rojas Tallon, a small-business owner, also demurred on his support of Trump: “It’s a very personal question, but there are a lot of things he said that I vehemently disagree with.” Only one of the candidates had no problem answering: former U.S. Rep. David Rivera. He casually took the microphone, leaned back in his chair and said with a grin: “Yes, because I don’t trust Hillary [Clinton] as far as I can throw her.” A few audience members whooped in response. Rivera, Pria and Rojas Tallon appeared at [the] forum and none chose to attack each other. “The media and the bloggers, they focus on the mudslinging,” Rivera said.

HILLARY CLINTON COULD HAVE A VOLUSIA COUNTY PROBLEM via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times – It’s no fluke that Daytona Beach is center of the presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns this week, with Marco Rubio and Tim Kaine campaigning there … and Donald Trump Wednesday. The quarter million voters in the swing county of Volusia at the eastern end of the I-4 Corridor have long been top targets in statewide campaigns, but unlike most of the I-4 Corridor Democrats are not crazy about the Volusia trends recently. Democrat John Kerry won Volusia by about 4,000 votes in 2004, Barack Obama won it by nearly 14,000 votes in 2008 and then lost it nearly 3,000 in 2012. Rick Scott beat Alex Sink by more than his statewide margin in 2014. And this cycle Volusia has been among the biggest Trump strongholds in Florida. Volusia GOP Chairman Tony Ledbetter, an early Trump supporter, said his office started getting flooded with calls from fans last summer. In the March GOP primary, Trump beat Rubio by more than 33 percentage point in Volusia, while winning the state by 19.

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ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Sen. Marco Rubio will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. at his Senate office, 8669 NW 36th Street, Suite 110, in Doral to talk about the latest developments regarding Zika.

STORY YOU WON’T READ ON FLORIDA POLITICS: “Marco Rubio rolls out Tampa Bay team” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times — It’s August; how is it newsworthy that an incumbent, front-running campaign is releasing a list of supporters, comprised mainly of elected officials who have been with Rubio since he was first elected, if not before.

ALAN GRAYSON’S SEMI-SECRET BUS TOUR HITS THE ROAD via Marc Caputo of POLITICO – Fearing rival “trackers,” Congressman Alan Grayson‘s U.S. Senate campaign is keeping a tight lip about when and where he’ll be now that he has announced he’ll embark on a “Seniors Deserve a Raise” bus tour. … “We are not sending all the details of the routes, because we’ve got trackers who’d like to follow us,” Grayson’s spokeswoman Brook Hines said, noting that the candidate’s whereabouts will be disclosed to the news media with “about a day’s notice.” The Grayson campaign issued a press release Tuesday concerning the tour, but wouldn’t say when or where it would begin.

DARREN SOTO GETS FORMER PUERTO RICO LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S ENDORSEMENT via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – … in Soto’s quest for the heavily Puerto Rican voter support in Florida’s Kissimmee-based 9th Congressional District. Former Lt. Gov. Kenneth McClintock, who served from 2009-2013, traveled to the district over the weekend to support Soto … McClintock also served as Puerto Rico’s secretary of state. “I am happy to be here in Central Florida … to give Darren Soto my endorsement for Congress. Darren has proven that he is a strong leader for his community and one that will ensure that the Hispanic community has access to government leaders and services,” McClintock said, according to a Soto campaign press release. “Thousands of Puerto Ricans are coming to Central Florida to seek economic opportunity for their families. Now more than ever, we need a representative who will stand up for our people. That person is my friend, Darren Soto.”

Meanwhile, here’s a look at Darren Soto’s latest ad.

REBECCA NEGRON VOWS TO ‘TEACH WASHINGTON A LESSON’ IN NEW AD — The Stuart Republican released a new advertisement, where she promised to “teach Washington a lesson our children already understand.” The 30-second spot, called “Lesson,” shows a classroom, where Negron talks about congressional inaction. “We have a do nothing Congress. They did nothing as pollution threatened our St. Lucie River, the nation’s debt soared, and illegal grew totally out of control,” she said in the advertisement.

RANDY PERKINS FACED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN LEINS, UNPAID TAXES via Zachary Ferguson of POLITICO – In February 2001, Democratic congressional candidate Randy Perkins and wife Saily gave $4,000 to former Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson’s unsuccessful re-election bid, one of several high-profile candidates he backed as a longtime political donor to both major parties. Roughly a week later, a South Florida kitchen contractor who worked on their house in a tony Broward County neighborhood with million-dollar homes filed a lien against Perkins for not paying the $3,646 remaining on a $40,000 bill for a project that had been completed months earlier.

It’s among several instances where Perkins, who is running for the 18th Congressional District on Florida’s Treasure Coast, faced liens or unpaid taxes as he built both his business and personal wealth. Though all of the bills have since been settled, from 1997 to 2003 Perkins donated $11,000 to Republican candidates, while racking up more than $25,000 in overdue property taxes, income taxes, and contractor bills, according to the Broward County Clerk’s Office and Federal Election Commission data. To be sure, the overlap represents only a small portion of Perkins’ political contributions since 2000.

EMILY’S LIST POLL: JOE GARCIA, ANNETTE TADDEO CLOSE TO TIED via Marc Caputo of POLITICO – The Democratic race for one of the nation’s most competitive congressional primaries might be close to tied, according to a new poll that shows former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia nursing a 2-point lead over former Florida Lieutenant Governor candidate Annette Tadeo. Garcia’s 40-38 percent lead over Taddeo could evaporate in the final month of the primary because undecided voters appear more likely to break her way, according to a memo from the pollster that conducted the survey on behalf of the abortion-rights group Emily’s List, which backs Taddeo in the race for South Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “His advantage is entirely built on his advantage in name identification,” says the memo written last week by GBA Strategies, which conducted the survey of 400 likely Democratic primary voters. The error margin is 4.9 points.

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POLL: BOB BUESING, DANA YOUNG NECK AND NECK FOR TAMPA SENATE SEAT via Michael Auslen of the Tampa Bay Times – Young and Buesing are tied in the poll, with 36 percent of the vote each. Two percent say they would support a different candidate, and 27 percent don’t know. Two more candidates who are not registered with either party, Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove, will be on the ballot in November but were not included in the poll. Expedition Strategies conducted the poll July 7-10 among 600 likely voters in Senate District 18. It has a margin of error of 4 percent. The group has worked for major Democrats and Democratic groups. There’s good news in here for Young … She has better name recognition (19 percent to Buesing’s 11 percent) and higher net favorability (9 percent to Buesing’s 5 percent). But Democrats should see an opportunity if they can introduce Buesing, a Tampa children’s advocate, to the voters. The poll shows a generic Democrat would win the seat by 10 points, and after reading positive candidate bios to respondents, Buesing led by 5 points.

>>>Wait, didn’t a St. Pete Polls survey commissioned by FloridaPolitics.com show about the same results as this poll? Funny, I don’t remember Auslen writing about that poll.

NORA PATTERSON RELEASES HER FIRST TV AD IN SD 23 — The advertisement, a 30-second spot called “Courage,” says Patterson has the “courage to fight for us” in the Florida Senate. “Too many politicians are so used to yelling, they never listen. Too many work for the special interests, instead of ours,” an announcer says in the advertisement. “Nora Patterson isn’t one of them. She’s one of us.” Senate District 23 spans two media markets covering Sarasota and Charlotte counties, and the ad is expected to run on stations that cover all voters in the district.

FLORIDIANS FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ROLLS OUT AD BACKING JONATHAN TALLMAN — The 30-second spot, called “Hometown Conservative,” highlights the Niceville Republican’s biography and touts his conservative credentials. “A small business owner, not a career politician, Jonathan will hold government more accountable. A supporter of open carry, Jonathan is a strong defender of our Second Amendment rights. He’s pro-life and opposed to amnesty for illegals. Jonathan Tallman, the hometown conservative,” an announcer says in the television spot. Tallman is one of five Republicans vying to replace Rep. Matt Gaetz in House District 4.

HAPPENING TODAY: State Rep. Jennifer Sullivan hosts a fundraiser in support of her re-election bid to House District 31. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at Seacoast Bank, 345 East Main St. in Apopka.

HD 59 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE NAZE SAHEBZAMANI SAYS SHE’S OK THAT SHE’S NOT THE PARTY FAVORITE via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – Incoming House Minority Leader Janet Cruz is convinced the Democrats can flip six seats from red to blue in the state House elections this fall. To accomplish that ambitious goal, the party has invested resources into some of its competitive primaries this summer, including the House District 59 race between educator Sahebzamani and attorney Rena Frazier. Specifically, the party is paying for Frazier’s campaign manager. Sahebzamani says that’s disappointing, but she says it doesn’t affect her confidence that she can win the primary in eastern Hillsborough County … “They said that they weren’t going to take sides in the primary, and then they decided to,” she said in East Tampa, where she appeared at a news conference calling on the state to change the law banning ex-felons from having their rights automatically restored after serving their sentence. “But you know what?” Sahebzamani added. “I’m not worried about it. I have the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. So with the union behind me, and my teachers behind me, I think it’s going to be a great race.”

BEN DIAMOND PROPOSES PLAN FOR PROTECTING FLORIDA’S ENVIRONMENT, WATER QUALITY via Anne Lindberg of Florida Politics – Diamond held a news conference to unveil a six-point plan he says he’ll work to pass if elected. “I’m running for the Florida House because our state leaders need to do more to preserve and protect our water and our environment,” Diamond wrote in his proposal. “Like many of you, I’m devastated to see the green, toxic algae blooms washing on the sands of our Atlantic coast.” Diamond’s six-point plan: Buy land near Lake Okeechobee to provide more space to store and treat contaminated water; pass a more stringent timeline for polluters to “clean up their mess;” restore the budgets of regulatory agencies responsible for protecting the state’s waterways and environment; update and modernize Florida’s stormwater management standards and practices; restore oversight of septic systems; adopt the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations for establishing water quality standards.

ENDORSEMENT WATCH

Doug Broxson, running for Senate District 1, has been endorsed by the Associated Builders and Contractors.

Matt Hudson, running for Senate District 28, has been endorsed by the Florida Pharmacy Association.

Peter Vivaldi, running for Senate District 15, has been endorsed by Kissimmee vice Mayor Wanda Rentas.

Sean Shaw, running for House District 61, has been endorsed by Florida Professional Firefighters.

Joe Davidow, running for House District 80, has been endorsed by Naples Mayor Bill Barnett and Clewiston Mayor Phillip Roland.

GROUPS LIST SUPPORT FOR ENERGY BALLOT MEASURE AS OPPOSITION PAC IS ANNOUNCED via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida – Groups backing a renewable energy tax break on the Aug. 30 general primary ballot announced they have more than 150 supporting groups. Amendment 4 would extend a property tax exemption for renewable energy devices to commercial property. The Legislature earlier this year passed a bill and joint resolution to place the measure on the ballot … one group of supporters announced that 159 groups, individuals and solar businesses had endorsed the ballot measure. “This is supported by a large grassroots nonpartisan diverse group of organizations that is now close to 160 in strength,” Pamela Goodman, state president of the League of Women Voters, told reporters … there is no registered opposition to the amendment. But Jason Hoyt, an Orange County Republican and tea party activist, announced the creation of a political committee, Stop Playing Favorites PAC, to oppose Amendment 4. Tory Perfetti, chair of the Floridians 4 Lower Energy Costs political committee, told reporters that he could find no registered, active opposition to the amendment. He also is state director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “You will never win everybody,” Perfetti said. “However there are no carve-outs – there is simply removing onerous, highly-regulated taxes, which are impeding the growth to more options for energy in the state of Florida.” Hoyt said a property tax exemption is a carve-out – and there is a lot of confusion on the issue. “So I’m going to have ‘a battle’ for people ‘on the right,'” he said.

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ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will highlight job growth at AppRiver, a global cybersecurity firm, at 10:30 a.m. (CDT) at AppRiver, 1101 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Gulf Breeze. He’ll then head to Panama City where he’ll host a Zika preparedness round table at 3:15 p.m. (CDT) at the Bay County Health Department, 597 West 11th Street in Panama City.

CABINET APPROVES NEARLY 4K ACRES OF AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION EASEMENTS via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida – Gov. Scott and the Florida Cabinet voted to preserve nearly 4,000 acres of agricultural land through the purchase of four conservation easements. Conservation easements generally restrict development and other land uses on property while allowing continued private ownership. The easements will be purchased through state agriculture department program that received a big boost in funding in the 2016-17 state budget. The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program has conserved 22,314 acres across 28 projects. The agriculture department received $35 million for the program in the 2016-17 state budget, an increase over $15 million provided in the previous year’s state budget. The purchases approved are: Fussell Farms Old Town Creek project, Hardee County, 384 acres, $791,808; Candy Bar Ranch, DeSoto County, 834 acres, $1.7 million; Raymon and Annette Land, Dixie County, 1,966, $1.1 million; Ox Creek Ranch project, Indian River County, 752 acres, $1.1 million.

PERSONNEL NOTE: STEVEN FIELDER HEADS TO CORRECTIONS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – Fielder, who begins Aug. 19, comes from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV), where he was most recently director of administrative services … Fielder started at DHSMV in 1992, serving in several high-level roles. That experience should serve him well at one of Gov. Scott‘s most troubled departments. “We are excited to bring Steven on board,” said Corrections Secretary Julie Jones, who was executive director of the DHSMV in 2009-14. Fielder, a graduate of Florida State University, will oversee procurement and contracts, communications, inmate grievance appeals, research and data analysis, human resources, legislative affairs and community relations, the department said.

CLAIM BILLS FILED FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – According to the Florida Senate website, 22 of the bills — also known as relief acts — were turned in … Jennifer Wohlgemuth … was seriously injured in 2005 when a Pasco County sheriff’s deputy slammed into her car during a pursuit. The then 21-year-old’s “brain swelled so much, doctors had to remove a piece of her skull,” the Tribune reported. Now, her “behavior and impulse control are similar to those of a 10-year-old child and require that she be supervised 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” the 2017 bill says … Her current bill asks “$2.6 million as compensation for injuries and damages” … Another bill seeks recompense for the family of Devaughn Darling, a Florida State University freshman linebacker who died during a February 2001 practice … An autopsy couldn’t pinpoint a cause of death but discovered Darling, 18, had sickle cell trait … His parents are asking for $1.8 million “as relief for their losses” … State Rep. Jamie Grant … led a special committee in 2013 that “recommended changes to the process, including putting certain restrictions on lobbyists and raising the cap on damages paid by local governments to $1 million per person” … The panel’s recommendations were not adopted. Another bill that has been filed multiple times is for Brian Pitts, a Capitol gadfly known for haranguing lawmakers during Session on behalf of his St. Petersburg-based group, Justice-2-Jesus. In 2003, Pitts spent nearly four months in the Pinellas County jail on a charge of practicing law without a license, which he said was a wrongful arrest. This year’s claim bill … requests “not less than $1 million.”

NEW HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE STAFF DIRECTOR COMES FROM JEB BUSH’S REFORM FOUNDATION via Jessica Bakeman of POLITICO Florida – Joanna Hassell will be the senior staff director for the state House of Representatives education committee under incoming Republican speaker Richard Corcoran … she plans to start the new job in September. She’s leaving her position at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, through which Bush has maintained influence over education in Florida and pushed reform-oriented policies nationally. Hassell is not new to the House. She previously served as a legislative attorney for the education committee as well as the rules and calendar committee. She did not return requests for comment. Hassell will replace Kathy Mizereck, who has served as the education committee’s top staffer under outgoing speaker Steve Crisafulli.

FLORIDA STATE PENSION PLAN POSTS SEVENTH YEAR OF POSITIVE GAINS, NOW WORTH $141B via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools – The Florida State Board of Administration released preliminary investment performance figures for the fiscal year ending June 30. The numbers show the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan earning 0.61 percent, beating its benchmark and finishing the year with a market value of $141.42 billion. According to the report, three sectors had the highest performance: real estate, private equity and fixed income, with growth rates of 12.66 percent, 7.36 percent and 4.35 percent respectively. Strategic investments, cash and cash equivalents, and global equity showed somewhat slower returns: 1.83 percent, 0.33 percent, and -3.09 percent respectively. Florida Retirement System Investment Plan was established to provide Florida’s public employees with a flexible alternative to traditional pension plans, and has been posting seven years of gains in returns and participation.

JUDGE RULES POKER STYLE CARD GAMES BREAK STATE LAW via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – In what is considered a test case on wildly popular poker-type games, Judge Suzanne Van Wyk determined Jacksonville Kennel Club, operating as the bestbet Jacksonville poker room, was “conducting unauthorized card games” and recommended a $4,500 fine. Though such games reportedly bring in about $10 million a year to the pari-mutuels, “due to the precedential nature of the case, the (state) asks the undersigned not to impose any penalty beyond that amount,” she wrote. Her 54-page order is a recommendation that must be adopted by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates gambling in the state through its Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering. The challenge began when state regulators came down on card rooms across the state earlier this year, filing administrative complaints against seven racetracks that offer poker-style card games. That enforcement happened at the same time lawmakers were considering whether to approve a new revenue-sharing “compact” with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, whose casinos compete with tracks in South Florida and elsewhere that also offer cards and slots. Only the Seminole Tribe can offer “banked card games” such as blackjack. The Legislature did not act on the compact by session’s end, and a lawsuit by the state against the tribe is still pending in federal court.

APPOINTEDJon Costello and Samuel “Bo” Spring to the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

REAPPOINTEDDon Quincey and Gary Jones to the Suwannee River Water Management District.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Ron Greenstein, Ron Greenstein: STEP2 Progress

James McConnaughhay, McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern: Associated Industries of Florida

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to two classy ladies, Lisa Ard and Nancy Smith of Sunshine State News.

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.

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