***Today’s SUNBURN is sponsored by Ron Sachs Communications, Florida’s preeminent public affairs communications firm. Ron Sachs Communications provides its clients with a competitive advantage built on strategic relationships, dynamic creativity and smart and aggressive communications strategies that generate superior results. If you want to win, you’ll want to have Ron Sachs Communications on your side. www.RonSachs.com ***
OBAMA TO BARNSTORM FOR BUDGET DEAL
As President Obama begins budget talks to avoid the fiscal cliff, the New York Times notes he will not simply hunker down there for weeks of closed-door negotiations as he did in mid-2011, when partisan brinkmanship over raising the nation’s debt limit damaged the economy and his political standing. He will travel beyond the Beltway at times to rally public support for a deficit-cutting accord that mixes tax increases on the wealthy with spending cuts.
ROMNEY RECEIVED ZERO VOTES IN MANY URBAN COUNTIES
The Phildadelphia Inquirer reported today that, in 59 precincts in inner-city Philadelphia, the GOP nominee received not a single vote. And according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, nine precincts in Cleveland returned zero Romney votes.”
NATIONAL JOURNAL INSIDERS POLL: LOOK TO FLORIDA FOR STRONGEST GOP CANDIDATE IN 2016
The strongest GOP presidential nominee in 2016 will come from Florida, according to the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll. But Republicans and Democrats don’t agree if that person is Sen. Marco Rubio or former Gov. Jeb Bush.
Among Democrats, Bush received a near majority of the votes, 47 percent, among the eight choices presented. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received the second most tallies, at 28 percent, and no other contender managed to receive more than 15 percent of the vote share.
RUBIO HUDDLES WITH ADVISERS TO PLOT NEXT MOVE by Jonathan Martin of POLITCO
Marco Rubio, who has remained out of the public eye since the GOP’s shellacking Tuesday, huddled with some of his top advisers Friday to discuss politics and immigration.
“Rubio sat down with Todd Harris, Terry Sullivan and Heath Thompson, three of his political strategists, in Miami as Republicans assess the election and wrestle with how to find a way forward following a defeat caused in part by a weak performance among Hispanics…Some congressional Republicans and other influential party figures off the Hill are nudging him to take a lead on an immigration reform bill – and soon.”
***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you in part by Tucker/Hall — a top-notch public affairs and public relations firm. Visit TuckerHall.com to read about their team, success stories and case studies.***
ALLEN WEST DEEPLY TROUBLED BY RECOUNT by Nora McAlvanah of FLDemocracy2012.com
Rep. Allen West thanked supporters in a Facebook post Monday, calling his backers “guardians of America’s honor.”
While Florida officials certified Democrat Patrick Murphy as the winner on Saturday, West is still refusing to concede the race.
“If people are that adamant about getting rid of me, that’s fine,” West told Fox News on Monday. “But don’t do it at the expense of the integrity of our electoral process. That’s what disturbs me the most.”
In his Facebook post, West said he was “deeply troubled by the voting procedure issues” in St. Lucie County. “It is unconscionable to me to witness what is transpiring before our eyes,” West wrote.
WEST DIGS IN by Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO
West’s legal advisers could file a motion as soon as Tuesday preventing St. Lucie County from certifying the election results.
Tim Edson, West’s campaign manager, said the Republican had no intention of dragging out the race but added that the campaign is prepared to go to court until it’s satisfied.
“Our focus here is only to make sure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately, and once we do that the congressman will accept whatever the outcome is,” Edson said in an interview.
Some Republican officials, however, privately acknowledge that West has few legal avenues to pursue and that, absent a major shift in the trajectory of the vote count, will soon come under pressure to concede.
TWEET, TWEET: @dkpbpost: MSNBC’s @hardball_chris asks Patrick @MurphyforUSRep if @AllenWest is “certifiable.” Murphy: “I’m tired of talking about Allen West.”
IT’S NOT THE CHALLENGE THAT MAKES ALLEN WEST ‘THE UGLIEST REPUBLICAN’ by Nancy Smith of the Sunshine State News
People on the Treasure Coast know better who he is now. His supporters forgave him for the military decisions he made to avoid a court martial, largely because he was acting in wartime. They chalked up to ardent patriotism the intemperate language he used and the insults he hurled at those who disagree with him. They even forgave him pushing their beloved Congressman Tom Rooney into another district so he could have an easier ride.
What they won’t forgive or forget is his ingratitude, his choice not to recognize and acknowledge publicly the people who worked hardest and gave the most to put him in office.
In Martin County, where the motto is “Character Counts,” they found Allen West’s lacking.
JOHN MICA MEETING WITH SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER TO DISCUSS T&I CHAIRMANSHIP TERM LIMIT WAIVER
House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica will meet with Speaker John Boehner this week to discuss a possible term limit waiver, according to a Mica spokesman.
Rep. Bill Shuster officially put his hat in the ring this week, but Mica will have to be granted that waiver to spark a legitimate race for chairman between the two lawmakers. Mica’s election opponent Jason Kendall offered his own take via Facebook, writing of the situation and linking to a news report about Shuster’s bid: ‘If you only knew how many voters told me that they were going to vote for Mica because he was head of the transportation panel.”
Regardless of whether Mica is granted a waiver, he says he’s staying put on the T & I committee. “I’m not moving from transportation, even if I took another slot.”
***StudentsFirst and its 150,000 members across Florida would like to congratulate the 8 of 11 pro-reform candidates who were victorious in November’s general election. Despite being relatively new to the education reform space, and being vastly outspent by special interests, StudentsFirst helped several reform-minded champions such as Representative Michael Bileca defend highly targeted challenges and filled four previously non-reform seats with reformers. For a full list of candidates endorsed by StudentsFirst in Florida, visit: http://www.flstudentsfirst.com/pac/florida.***
FIRST IN SUNBURN: RPOF’S LENNY CURRY EXPECTED TO SEEK SECOND TERM AS CHAIRMAN
Lenny Curry, the media-savvy chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, is telling colleagues he intends to seek a second term (his first full-term) as head of the state GOP and will publicly announce his intentions sometime before Thanksgiving.
‘If I don’t call you over the weekend, assume I’m running for another term,’ Curry told one adviser who said they did not receive a call from Curry.
Although Florida Republicans suffered at the ballot box last Tuesday, the blame for many of those losses has landed at the feet of national Republicans and the Mitt Romney campaign.
Curry is an ardent supporter of Governor Rick Scott, who is up for re-election in 2014, and is expected to be a staunch advocate of Scott’s re-election.
The former Duval County party chairman enjoys wide support inside the party, especially from Republican leaders from his base in northeast Florida. Curry is credited with bringing stability to the party in the wake of the death of then-RPOF chair Dave Bitner.
Other candidates considering running for RPOF chair include Sarasota’s Joe Gruters. Sarasota County was one of the few bright spots for Republicans in 2012, but with Curry’s intention to seek a second term, Gruters will not challenge Curry; rather he will seek a seat on the Sarasota County Commission in 2014.
DOWN GOES DORWORTH
A hand recount completed Monday afternoon confirmed that the Lake Mary Republican, who was supposed to take over as speaker of the state House in just two years, has been defeated by Democratic challenger Mike Clelland.
The final tally showed Clelland defeating Dorworth by 146 votes out of nearly 74,000 cast — 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.
FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S ROD SMITH: “After counting and recounting the votes, Clelland has proven the upset that should send shockwaves across the Republican Party and the deep pocketed special interests in Tallahassee.”
STEVE CRISAFULLI CHOSEN UNANIMOUSLY AS DORWORTH’S REPLACEMENT FOR SPEAKER DESIGNATE by David Royse of the News Service of Florida
Crisafulli, of Merritt Island was chosen Monday by the caucus to be speaker-designate in the coming two years, which means he’ll follow incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford in November of 2014, assuming Crisafulli remains in office and Republicans, as expected, keep control of the chamber.
THE BOOK ON CRISAFULLI
>>>Crisafulli’s selection surprises many observers – he’s generally had a low key term in the Legislature, remaining largely out of the limelight since being elected in 2008. He was heavily involved in redistricting, however, and was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
>>>Crisafulli may have at least the initial support of Democrats, who are unlikely to be able to take over the House anytime soon, with the GOP going into the coming session with a majority 76 Republicans and 44 Democrats. Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, said last week that Crisafulli was respected on the other side of the aisle as well, and “an excellent choice.”
>>>Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford: “I am proud of the way our Republican House members have handled the adversity that has come our way over the past week. The maturity of the caucus and the seriousness in how they have approached this matter bodes well for the future of the House.”
>>>Republican consultant Brian Hughes, who has worked with Crisafulli: “In Tallahassee and politics, too often, people mistake bombast as a demonstration of power. Steve applies a quiet, steady effectiveness to everything he does. I imagine he will be a lot like Cretul. Soft-spoken and approachable but always in charge and getting the job done.”
TWEET, TWEET: @SaintPetersblog: One minute you’re a guy with a name that sounds like what Kramer made Jerry on Seinfeld, the next you’re Speaker Designate #sayfie
***Bascom Communications congratulates its 2012 election cycle clients: Senator John Thrasher, Senator Greg Evers, Senator-elect John Legg, Senator-elect Rob Bradley, Senator-elect Aaron Bean, Representative Doug Holder, Representative-elect Travis Cummings, Representative-elect Travis Hutson and also congratulates its strategic partners Marc Reichelderfer, Pat Bainter and the Data Targeting Team, David Johnson, Peret Pass and Andy Palmer. For more information on Bascom Communications and its political communications consulting team, visit www.bascomllc.com.***
CRITICS CALL FAILED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TOO CONSERVATIVE, TOO CONTROVERSIAL by Aaron DeSlatte of the Orlando Sentinel
None of the eight ideologically driven amendments defeated Tuesday garnered even a simple majority of the more than 7 million votes cast. Even the anti-Obamacare Amendment 1 drew only 48 percent support — even though the 2010 federal health-care law has consistently polled poorly in Florida.
Critics said the results were a stern rebuke of the conservative right turn the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott took two years ago.
But Republican policymakers countered that they erred by asking voters to bite off more than they could chew in one setting.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t think you can draw a clear inference other than to say conservatives and liberals … are sick and tired of a constitution that more resembles the book of Leviticus than the U.S. Constitution,” said incoming Senate President Don Gaetz.
HILLSBOROUGH BAN ON INTERNET CAFES SURVIVES LEGAL CHALLENGES by Mike Salinero of the Tampa Tribune
Hillsborough County’s ban on Internet sweepstakes cafés has survived a legal challenge and will likely eliminate the once-popular simulated-gambling parlors.
Four Internet sweepstakes companies that filed a lawsuit challenging the ban in December have dropped the case and the cafés have closed their doors, county officials say, signaling the end.
… The companies’ decision to abandon the court challenge means similar businesses are either closed or likely to close, at least for the time being, said Paul Johnston, senior assistant county attorney in Hillsborough. That situation could be reversed if a closely watched lawsuit challenging Seminole County’s sweepstakes café ban prevails.
Retiring Earl Lennard made a difference as a Hillsborough teacher, schools superintendent and elections supervisor, the Tampa Bay Times editorializes.
STAND YOUR GROUND PANEL MEETS TODAY IN PENSACOLA
Officially called the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, Gov. Rick Scott’s panel looking into the state’s Stand Your Ground law in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case meets Tuesday in Pensacola. Public comment will be taken.
TOM LEE MAY RUN FOR HILLSBOROUGH GOP CHAIR by William March of the Tampa Tribune
State Sen. Tom Lee is considering running to replace Art Wood as chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Party.
“I’ve been asked by a number of people to consider doing so, and I’ve talked to the state committeeman and committeewoman and some key Republican leaders in the community, to try to understand what the expectations of the chairman might be,” Lee said Friday. “I’ve told them I’d consider it if they thought I could be of some help.”
>>>Pinellas GOP chairman Jay Beyrouti announced on Monday that he will not be seeking a third term as head of the county’s Republicans. Mike Guju is expected to win the race to replace him, while Nick DiCeglie is widely considered the frontrunner to serve as vice chair.
***Capitol Consulting would like to thank the clients we were privileged to serve this election cycle. Congratulations to election winners Sheriff David Gee, Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, State Representative-Elect Dan Raulerson and State Representative-Elect Jake Raburn. To see some of the most creative work we produced, visit our YouTube Channel and to sign up to receive information from us visit here.***
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to uber lobbyist David Ramba.
10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN: The Chicago Tribune puts together some interesting trivia ahead of Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated film about America’s greatest president.
IDIOT WITH ROMNEY TATTOO ON HIS FACE: Eric Hartsburg — who was paid $15,000 to get a five inch Romney campaign tattoo on his face — now tells Politico he’s “totally disappointed, man. I’m the guy who has egg all over his face, but instead of egg, it’s a big Romney/Ryan tattoo. It’s there for life.”