Sunburn for 12/5 — A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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

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

POLL: AMERICANS SET TO BLAME REPUBLICANS FOR GOING OVER FISCAL CLIFF

A new Pew Research/Washington Post poll finds just 40% of Americans think President Obama and House Republicans will reach a deal on the fiscal cliff by January 1 to prevent automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect, while 49% say they will not.

If no deal is reached, 53% say congressional Republicans are to blame while just 27% think Obama is at fault.

THE RUBIO AND RYAN MAKEOVERS via Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei of POLITICO

Marco Rubio doesn’t want to be the ‘Hispanic candidate.’ Paul Ryan doesn’t want to be the ‘austerity guy.’ Both want to run for president, or keep the option wide open. So each is trying to change his own image – and with it, the Republican Party’s – starting with dueling speeches at the Jack Kemp Foundation’s awards dinner. While Congress dawdled this summer, Rubio, 41, assigned his policy experts to figure out ways to help make the middle class wealthier … Reaching out to academics and think tanks to build Rubio’s network, the senator and his staff developed a two-year reinvention project and an ‘upward mobility agenda,’ including programs like early childhood education, school choice and incentives for entrepreneurs. … ‘The answer,’ Rubio said in his after-dinner remarks, ‘is not to make rich people poorer. The answer is to make poor people richer.’ …

Ryan, 42, will kick off his own drive to redefine the party – and himself – as the pre-dinner keynote speaker, … detailing his thinking on how people of all classes can rise up economically and improve socially. Top Republicans tell us Ryan tried to push his ideas for a more creative ‘war on poverty’ during the presidential campaign but was muzzled by nervous Nellies at Mitt Romney’s Boston headquarters who didn’t see an immediate political payoff. So Ryan seethed when the ’47 percent’ tape emerged, convinced that the impact was worse because the campaign had no record on issues relating to inclusion or poverty, exacerbating the out-of-touch image that the hidden camera cemented. …

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association and himself a possibility for 2016 – told us[:] ‘The rich can defend themselves … It’s not about betraying our principles or becoming a second Democratic Party but, rather, showing how our principles work to help real families, and connecting that to the American dream.’ … Ryan spoke on strengthening civil society and improving social and economic mobility – areas where he believes serious Republicans and serious Democrats can find common ground in an otherwise bifurcated Washington.

TWEET, TWEET: @ByronYork: GOP message at Kemp Foundation dinner featuring Ryan/Rubio: We are really, really, really inclusive. We’re 100% people. Repeat, 100%.

MARCO SIT DOWN: Rubio will discuss Senate Republicans’ 2013 agenda and his hopes for the future of the party with Mike Allen of the POLITICO Playbook at 8 a.m. at The Newseum in Washington, D.C. A live stream of Playbook breakfast is available here.

BLOOMBERG URGED HILLARY TO RUN FOR NYC MAYOR

In a telephone call confirmed by three people, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg encouraged Hillary Clinton “to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale,” the New York Times reports.

“Much about the call, which occurred some months ago, remains shrouded in mystery. But Mr. Bloomberg’s overture to the former first lady highlights the level of his anxiety about the current crop of candidates, his eagerness to recruit a replacement who can rival his stature and his determination to become a kingmaker in the political arena he will soon exit…”

“During their conversation, Mrs. Clinton left little room for doubt: she was not interested in seeking the mayoralty.”

REPUBLICANS THINK PRESIDENTIAL RACE WAS STOLEN

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows finds that 49% of Republican voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama, as compared to 52% that thought ACORN stole the 2008 election, “a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.”

***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 ***

STATE WILL INVESTIGATE VOTING PROBLEMS IN FIVE COUNTIES

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner told a Senate committee Tuesday that he plans to dispatch a team of experts to Miami-Dade next week to investigate more fully the “problems” with the recent election, including long lines at the polls and an overwhelming surge of last-minute absentee ballots.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “”We had the eyes of our nation on us because, like it or not, Florida always seems to be one of the last states in the nation to make a decision in these close presidential races and it’s going to be up to us to determine if that’s a systemic problem or whether it’s just because our state is pretty evenly divided.” — Senator Jack Latvala during Tuesday’s meeting of the Senate Ethics and Election Committee.

RICK SCOTT’S JOBS CZAR RESIGNS

Department of Economic Opportunity Hunting F. Deutsch tendered his resignation Tuesday — effective Dec. 14 — a month after it was revealed that he received unemployment compensation benefits from 2009 to 2011 after he lost his job as a bank executive.

The irony here is that Scott’s DEO is the state agency responsible for administering what critics call the stingiest jobless benefits system in the country.

News that Deutsch has resigned gives the Florida Current, an online news service provided by the owners of LobbyTools, and its reporter Gray Rohrer quite the trophy kill to display.

DON’T BET AGAINST SCOTT IN ’14 by Bill Cotterell for Florida Voices

“Imagine these things in a re-election campaign ad: “He sold off the state jet (visual of a big executive plane, not the little eight-seater they actually got rid of)… He cut bureaucracy and taxes and made government workers pay for their pensions (on-screen shot of briefcase-toting bureaucrats leaving the Capitol)… He promoted school choice and put college within reach of working families (montage of Scott visiting schools)… He worked all his life and knows what makes success (video of Scott’s monthly work days)… He made the Legislature address education reform and clean up its ethics (shots from State of the State speeches, or having intense conversation with lawmakers).”

***Today’s SUNBURN is sponsored by the Smart Justice Summit. With an eye towards creating Smart Justice legislation for the state, the Florida Smart Justice Summit will convene December 12-14 to develop a far-reaching initiative that offers common sense ideas to improve outcomes, reduce costs and enhance public safety for the people of Florida. For more information, visit JusticeSummit.org.***

TOPPING THE DAY IN THE LEGISLATURE via the News Service of Florida

House Health and Human Services Committee hears a presentation from the Agency for Health Care Administration, including a status update on the effort to shift Medicaid patients statewide into managed care. 10:30 a.m., 17 House Office Building.

House State Affairs: Officials from The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services discuss possible legislative issues in the House State Affairs Committee. 9 a.m., 17 House Office Building.

Senate Appropriations holds its first meeting on Wednesday, and while it will be largely introductory, members will get an update on Florida’s economic outlook from Amy Baker, coordinator of the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The panel will also discuss Senate President Don Gaetz plan to have members intensively review the entire budget. 9 a.m., 412 Knott Building.

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee: Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty goes before the first meeting of the new members of the panel. The meeting is primarily introductory.2 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building.

Senate Health Policy: Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek and State Surgeon General John Armstrong go before the Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday. Both lead agencies under scrutiny in recent weeks. AHCA has been under fire from federal officials over the placement of disabled children in nursing homes. The Department of Justice issued a scathing report and threatened legal action in September over the issue. Meanwhile, Armstrong has been under fire for the Department of Health’s handling of a tuberculosis outbreak. Lawmakers in the Jacksonville area, where the outbreak occurred, said they found out about a spike in TB cases from newspaper reports. The meeting is supposed to be primarily introductory – neither of the controversies are specifically on the agenda for discussion. But “priority initiatives” of their agencies, and presumably, the committee, will be. 2 p.m., 412 Knott Building.

NEGRON TO MEET WITH SENATE APPROPRIATIONS LEADERSHIP TODAY

Joe Negron, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, will meet with leaders of the Senate Appropriations subcommittees and their staff today to outline and discuss the process by which the Senate will conduct an intensive budget review leading up to the production of the 2013-2014 General Appropriations Act.

***Today’s SUNBURN is also sponsored by Corcoran & Johnston Government Relations. With more than 45 years of combined legislative and regulatory knowledge and experience, Corcoran & Johnston’s ability to navigate through the processes and politics of government and deliver for their clients is unmatched.***

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION TO RELEASE ANNUAL RANKINGS OF FLA. LEGISLATORS TODAY

ACU Chairman Al Cardenas will hold a media availability on Wednesda to announce its second conservative Ratings of the Florida Legislature. The event will coincide with the announcement and release of the ACU’s second Florida 2012 Legislative Ratings Guide.

Last year, the American Conservative Union launched a new initiative to bring its annual Ratings of Congress – considered the gold standard of conservative voter education guides – to the state level, issuing inaugural ratings of state legislators in the states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. In its second year of this new program, the ACU is issuing these ratings in fifteen states, based on the legislators’ votes on conservative issues.

The ACU Ratings of the Florida Legislature include scores for each individual member in both the Senate and House of Representatives, a description of the votes scored, and lists of members receiving special recognition as “Defenders of Liberty,” “ACU Conservatives,” or “True Liberals of the Sunshine State.”

BILL FILED BY IRV SLOSBERG WOULD ALLOW ADS ON SCHOOL BUSES via The News Service of Florida

The first House bill filed for the 2013 legislative session would allow “family and child friendly” advertisements to be placed on the outsides of school buses.

HB 1, filed by Rep. Irv Slosbergwould allow buses to have up to two commercial advertisements that could not be larger than two feet high and six feet long. Revenues from selling the ads would go to school districts, with 50 percent of the money used for transportation costs, 15 percent for driver-education programs and the remainder for other school-district programs. The bill, however, would place a series of restrictions on the ads. For example, they could not promote the sale or use of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products or include sexually oriented material.

BILL WOULD OFFER IN-STATE TUITION TO STUDENTS WITH UNDOCUMENTED PARENTS by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times Union

State Rep. Reggie Fullwood has filed legislation that would make clear students who are born in the United States can’t be denied in-state tuition just because their parents are undocumented.

It’s his second time tacking a crack at the issue. He ran a failed bill during the 2012 legislative session that took a more nuanced approach to offering in-state tuition to students with undocumented parents.

JEFF TAKACS NAMED STAFF DIRECTOR FOR HOUSE MAJORITY OFFICE

Jeff Takacs has been named Staff Director in House Majority. Takacs is said to have earned the trust of Speaker Will Weatherford when Takacs served as a staffer on the House Redistricting Committee. Takacs was one of the legislative analysts who traveled the state with Weatherford for the public hearings as part of the reapportionment process.

I’m told there is quite a revamp underway in the House Majority, with Weatherford and other Republicans intent on making the office a more forceful advocate for GOP legislators.

Bringing in Takacs and Brad Herold is certainly a solid first step towards accomplishing that goal.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES CONVENES

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Fall Forum starts Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The group’s standing committees will examine issues including human trafficking, budget deficits, health care coverage, education and other issues. Actress Mira Sorvina addresses the group on human trafficking on Thursday.  On Friday, former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi address the group on bipartisanship.

PERSONNEL NOTE: REP. HOLLY RASCHEIN MAKES SMART HIRES

Key West’s Holly Raschein has made two smart hires in her legislative office, bringing in the bright, hardworking Erin Muir as her legislative aide and Kate DeFoor, daughter of Allison DeFoor, as her district secretary. Raschein has been on my radar since she first announced that she was running to replace Ron Saunders. If she’s not already, I suggest she get on your’s.

THAD ALTMAN, FOUR OTHERS FILE FOR RE-ELECTION

Thad Altma filed paperwork last week that is a first step toward seeking re-election in 2014, according to the state Division of Elections website. Altman cruised to victory in Senate District 16. Other incumbent lawmakers filing paperwork last week for the 2014 elections were Rep. Daniel Davis in House District 15, Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart in House District 17; Rep. Jake Raburn in House District 57; and Rep. Greg Steube in House District 73.

Filing the paperwork, at least in part, allows candidates to raise money.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Curtis Austin: Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges

Wilbur Brewton, Brewton Plante PA: Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

Don Cooper: Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies

Kari Hebrank, 4th Floor Advocacy: Wilson & Associates LLC

Joe McCann, Ballard Partners: Florida’s Children First, Inc

Jim McFaddin, Southern Strategies Group: Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Inc, d/b/a HPH Hospice

Alice Vickers: Public Interest Law Section of the Florida Bar

***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.***

BOARD OF EDUCATION NAMES THREE FINALISTS, WILL INTERVIEW NEXT WEEK

The applicants who will interview for Florida’s education commissioner post next week are Charles Hokanson, education consultant; Tony Bennett, outgoing Indiana superintendent of public instruction; Randy Dunn, former Illinois superintendent of education, currently president of Murray State University

The interviews are set for next week Tuesday at the Tampa Airport Mariott. They’re open to the public and should be broadcast on the internet. The board expects to make a selection the following day.

COUNTIES FEAR $100 MILLION PRICE OF STATE COST-CUTTING PROPOSAL

A state cost-cutting proposal that would shift about 5,600 inmates from state prisons to county jails would blow a $100-million hole in the budgets of counties already suffering from revenue losses in a down economy, according to the Florida Association of Counties. And that has many county officials, who say they can’t afford – or, in some cases, physically house – more inmates in their jails, on high alert.

SARAH BASCOM NAMED BOARD MEMBER OF ECONOMIC CLUB OF FLORIDA

Sarah Bascom was officially introduced as a new board member for the Economic Club of Florida today at their monthly meeting at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

Since its establishment in 1977, the Economic Club of Florida has become recognized as one of the South’s most important forums for distinguished speakers on issues of the day. The club’s membership of more than 400 includes leaders from government, higher education and the business community.

STATE SEEKS DECISION ON MEDICAID MANAGED CARE via The News Service of Florida

The federal government is expected to make a decision by the end of February about a key part of Florida’s proposal to transform its Medicaid program into a statewide managed-care system. Liz Dudek, secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, said Tuesday that what is known as a “90-day clock” began in late November for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to decide whether to approve a proposal to shift Florida seniors who need long-term care into HMOs and other types of managed care. Florida has been seeking approval of the proposal since August 2011, but the 90-day clock gives a deadline for the decision. The state expects to start awarding contracts to managed-care plans in early 2013, with seniors beginning to enroll later in the year. Dudek told a House subcommittee that Medicaid director Justin Senior and other staff will meet with federal officials Dec. 10 about getting approval of the proposal. “We are in weekly, if not daily, conversations with the federal government about the long-term care waiver (proposal),” she said. The deadline does not apply to another proposal that would shift the broader population of Medicaid beneficiaries into managed-care plans. That proposal also has been pending with the federal government for more than a year, but Florida is seeking to move forward first with the long-term care changes.

***The Florida Health Care Affordability Summit, taking place in Orlando, Fla., on January 10-11, 2013, will bring some of the most knowledgeable stakeholders in health care to the table – from health plans, hospital executives and health care providers, to some of Florida’s biggest employers and elected officials – to discuss how to make Florida healthier and bring affordable, accessible, quality health care to Floridians. To register to attend or for more information, please visit www.healthcareflorida.com.***

CONGRATS to my blogging colleagues at the Political Hurricane on reaching 250,000 page views. Taking SaintPetersBlog out of the equation, the Political Hurricane is the best non-media political blog in Florida.  The insights found there are as fresh and interesting as anything you will read in the Sunshine State’s fledgling blogosphere. If you have not bookmarked the Political Hurricane or added it to your Google Reader, etc., you are genuinely missing out.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bascom Communication’s Celina Parker.

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.