Sunburn for 11/16 — A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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***Today’s SUNBURN is sponsored by Public Affairs Consultants Inc., one of the oldest and most well respected Public Affairs and Governmental Consulting firms in Florida. The PA Team of Jack and Keyna Cory and Erin Daly have represented clients before the Florida Legislature, state agencies and local governments for over 20 years. They don’t just show up for the legislative session.  Instead they custom design and implement a Grassroots Program for each of their Clients that functions all year long.  As one former legislator stated, “They are tough, well-organized, dedicated to their clients and in full command of the facts.”***

OBSERVATION OF THE DAY — “You know how you can tell he (President Obama) has a mandate? He didn’t brag about having one.”

11 TAKEAWAYS FROM 2012 via Larry Sabato

2012 mirrored 2008; Obama routed in Appalachia; Romney was crushed in the biggest counties; The gender gap is nothing new; Growing Hispanic vote more crucial in swing states; Ohio is a reliable predictor of who will win the Presidency; Virginia is the new bellwether state; Colorado playing a more decisive role; split tickets help Democrats in the Senate; but not in the House; disregard crowd sizes at rallies.

OTHER FIRSTS FROM LAST TUESDAY via Bil Browning

While the media has been drooling over the success of female candidates this year, there’s several other notable results. … We now have our first non-theist (Kyrsten Sinema – AZ), our first Hindus (Tulsi Gabbard – HI and Ami Bera – CA), and our first Buddhist senator (Mazie Hirono – HI). Sinema is also the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress. A THIRD OF THE COUNTRY FOLLOWED ELECTION RESULTS ONLINE A new Pew Research survey finds a third of the country followed the election returns last week online. And most of them were actually “second screeners,” who used both the TV and the Internet to keep up.

JINDAL REJECTS ROMNEY’S RATIONAL FOR GOP LOSSES

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal “forcefully rejected Mitt Romney’s claim that he lost because of President Obama’s ‘gifts‘ to minorities and young voters,” Politico reports.

“No, I think that’s absolutely wrong,” said Jindal. “Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.” Continued Jindal: “And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”

TWEET OF THE DAY: @MattYglesias: Was hoping for an iPad Mini from Obama, but will have to settle for universal health insurance coverage. #obamagifts

***Today’s SUNBURN is also 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 ***

ATTORNEYS FOR ALLEN WEST ASK FOR FULL RECOUNT via Alex Sanz of FLDemocracy2012.com

Amid worries over missing votes and a cloud of suspicion over the race for the 18th Congressional district, volunteer attorneys for U.S. Rep. Allen West have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to conduct a preliminary investigation into the election and for a machine recount in three counties. In a letter to Detzner, attorneys Mark Young and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro said 809 votes disappeared when the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections retabulated the final three days of early votes on Sunday. Young and Shapiro said the missing votes, which accounted for 3.2% of the retabulated votes, amounted to an irregularity. After the retabulation, West received a net increase of 535 votes over the projected winner, Patrick Murphy. “On faith and belief, if this trend continues, for the remaining votes, the final outcome of the Congressional election could change,” Yound and Shapiro said.

…SAY THEY HAVE PROOF OF VOTER DISCREPANCIESThe attorneys for West said late Thursday they had discovered possible discrepancies in St. Lucie County after a review of early and absentee ballot information. Nearly 1,000 votes may be in question, according to Tim Edson, Allen West for Congress campaign manager. In a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, attorneys said 110 early votes were cast in a precinct that didn’t have enough early voters to support the number of votes cast. Four hundred eighty-eight people cast early votes in precinct 28, they said, but election returns showed 499 early votes were counted. Attorneys also raised concerns about 121 voters they said had returned absentee ballots but did not appear to have been assigned precinct.

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SACHS NAMED MINORITY PRO TEM, SOTO TO BE DEPUTY WHIP

Sen. Maria Sachs will be minority pro-tempore and Sen. Darren Soto Will be deputy whip in the Florida Senate, Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, confirmed Thursday. “Sachs will do a good job,” Smith said. “I think she did a great job during this campaign season and proved herself to be a hard fighter and person of integrity. Even though she was attacked viciously during the campaign I think she held her head up and fought hard.”

SCOTT RANDOLPH DROPS BID FOR CHAIR OF FLA. DEMS 

“My recent election to the post of Orange County Tax Collector requires my full commitment to delivering service in the most efficient, fair, and ethical manner for the taxpayers of Orange County.

“While I will continue to work to strengthen the Democratic Party in the heart of the I-4 corridor through my involvement and leadership with the local party, my dedication to the Tax Collector’s office is my foremost priority. I am proud of what we accomplished In Orange County in the 2012 elections and believe that volunteering my time here will keep Orange County solidly blue in the coming elections.”

Randolph’s withdrawal now leaves Alan Clendenin of Hillsborough and Annette Tadeo of Miami left in the race for party chairman.

***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.***

COURT WONT BLOCK PSC FROM CONSIDERING FPL SETTLEMENT via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

An appeals court late Thursday rejected an effort to block the state Public Service Commission from considering a controversial settlement proposal in a rate case filed by Florida Power & Light. The 1st District Court of Appeal denied a petition filed by the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility cases and opposes the proposed settlement hammered out by FPL and groups of large electricity users. The Public Service Commission is scheduled to start a detailed hearing on the proposal Monday. The Office of Public Counsel took the highly unusual step last month of asking the Florida Supreme Court to block consideration of the settlement proposal. Earlier Thursday, the Supreme Court sent the dispute to the appeals court, with an instruction to “expedite consideration of the petition as it appears to be time-sensitive based upon the allegations.” A three-judge panel of the appeals court issued the opinion Thursday but did not explain its reasoning for denying the petition.

FLORIDA HOUSING MARKET STILL HEALING SLOWLY

New data on home foreclosures and negative home equity illustrate that Florida’s battered housing market is continuing to inch toward recovery but remains far from healthy. While fewer Florida homeowners are facing that initial grim news that lenders are moving to take their homes, Florida logged the highest foreclosure rate in the nation in October for the second month in a row.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Saturday to Attorney General Pam Bondi.

THREE LOBBYING FIRMS TOP $1 MILLION IN QUARTERLY REVENUES via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

The top earners were Ballard Partners, Ronald L. Book PA and Southern Strategy Group. Taking into account earlier reports, each of those firms has reported collecting at least $3 million this year as they represent dozens of clients before the Legislature.

>>>Ballard Partners reported receiving $82,000 during the three-month period from Automated HealthCare Solutions, a Miramar-based firm that has been embroiled in a long-running legislative debate about the costs of doctors dispensing drugs to workers-compensation insurance patients.

Firms that reported collecting between $500,000 and $999,999 during the quarter were Capital City Consulting; Coldony, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb; Corcoran & Johnston; Dutko Worldwide; Foley & Lardner; GrayRobinson; Johnson & Blanton; and The Rubin Group.

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.