Sunburn for 5/16: A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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

Thank you for the feedback: “This is great!” — Rep. Dana Young; “It’s now on my ‘must-read’ and ‘to-do’ list!” – Vic DiMaio; “These emails are great” — Joe Gruters; “Congrats. Sunburn is an awesome title.” – @StoneRidgeGroup; “It’s a great summary of what’s happening & will keep me in the loop when I move to South Florida.” — Vivian Myrtetus.

BEST TWEET ABOUT SUNBURN: @ErinVanSickle: I’ve enjoyed getting Sunburned every morning the last few days.

If you also like SUNBURN, please forward it to your colleagues.

SHOW AND TELL: LOBBYING FIRMS GET BIG PAYDAYS

Three firms that topped $1 million in fees were Ballard Partners, Ronald L. Book PA and Southern Strategy Group.

Ballard Partners collected $77,000 from Automated HealthCare Solutions Inc.

Rob Book collected $50,000 or more from five clients, including $50,000 from Florida Power & Light & $50,000 from West Flagler Kennel Club.

Eight firms reported receiving between $500,000 and $999,999: Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate: Dutko Worldwide; Johnson & Blanton; Foley & Lardner; Fowler White Boggs; Smith, Bryan & Myers; The Rubin Group; and Tsamoutales Strategies.

WHO WERE THE BIG CORPORATE SPENDERS?

AT&T paid $50,000 or more to at least seven lobbying firms; paid between $40,000 and $49,999 to seven other firms; and paid $30,000 to $39,999 to five firms.

Genting (via Bayfront 2011 Development LLC) paid out at least $75,000 to Foley & Lardner and Western Hemisphere Strategies. The Harris Corp. paid $139,000 to Tsamoutales Strategies. South Florida Regional Transportation Authority reportedly paid $150,000 to Ericks Consultants.  U.S. Sugar Corp. paid $90,000 to Fowler White Boggs.

TWEET OF THE DAY: @gnewburn: I’m in the wrong business

MITT ROMNEY IN THE ‘BURG AND TAMPA ON WEDNESDAY

Mitt Romney will swing through the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday for an event in St. Petersburg and fundraiser in Tampa. … The Republican presidential candidate’s campaign released few details about the St. Pete event, which begins at 8 a.m. at Mirror Lake Lyceum, 737 3rd Ave. N. … Later Wednesday, Romney is expected to make a stop in Tampa for a fundraiser at the Avila Golf & Country Club, 943 Guisando De Avila. … A VIP reception for the event begins at 11:30 a.m. and costs $10,000 per person. A reception at noon costs $2,500 per person.

50K A PLATE TO SEE ROMNEY 

Romney will head to Coral Gables for a reception at the Biltmore and a dinner at the home of Phil and Pat Frost. There’s also a Romney reception and private lunch in Jacksonville on Thursday before the presumptive Republican nominee arrives in Boca for a Thursday evening reception at Woodfield Country Club and then dinner at Leder’s nearby home.

In each city, Romney’s schedule includes a general reception for $2,500 donors, a VIP event with a photo opportunity for $10,000 contributors and a private meal for those who pony up $50,000.

DRIP, DRIP, DRIP: WATER RECORDS SUGGEST CONNIE MACK RARELY COMES HOME TO FLORIDA

Somebody has flushed toilets and taken showers — or done something to use water — at Connie Mack IV’s Fort Myers townhouse at least a few days a month, reports the Orlando Sentinel. … The controversy began in 2006 when his then-wife, Ann, charged in divorce proceedings that he had misrepresented the Fort Myers townhouse as his home. Last week, U.S. Senate primary opponent George LeMieux alleged Mack lives in California. And Monday, seven Florida lawmakers who’ve endorsed LeMieux called on Mack to release detailed travel records.

MACK’S “CONSERVATIVE COALITION”: Christian Camara, Tallahassee; John Giotis, Tarpon Springs; Lois Jones, Homestead; Warren Lutz, Cutler Bay; Pat Neal, Bradenton; Mike Rodriguez, Miami; Leslie Steele, Tallahassee; Bob Touchston, Palm Bay.

SMART: Florida Democrats asking politicos to “Tweet your favorite Mack toilet ‘headlines’ ” to @FLADems.

BIG: GLORIA ROMERO ROSES ADDED TO EMILY’S LIST

Emily’s List, the powerful women’s group, announced that Gloria Romero Roses, the Democratic candidate in CD 26, is going on the “list”, just one step short of a full endorsement. This gives her access to the group membership. Romero Roses, managing partner of Nexus Homes, LLC, which helps provide more assisted living choices, is former Statewide Vice Chair & Region Chair of Ruth’s List Florida, an organization that works to elect pro-choice, Democratic women to state, county, and local office in Florida.

WHAT DOES A NEW CHIEF OF STAFF MEAN TO FLORIDA?

Lloyd Dunkelberger has four questions now that Adam Hollingsworth has been installed as Rick Scott’s new Chief of Staff: Does this mean Scott is returning to his Tea Party roots, which spurred his run as an outsider lambasting the “dealmakers” of Tallahassee? Will MacNamara’s departure hurt Scott’s relationship with the Legislature? Will Scott take a more contentious stand with the media? How does MacNamara’s departure impact Scott’s re-election plans?

RON SACH’S ADVICE/PREDICTION

“When a staff person becomes the story, as intensely as happened here, you don’t want them to be the focus of all your activity,” said Ron Sachs, who was a close aide to Lawton Chiles 20 years ago. … Sachs predicted that “a really low profile is what we’ll see out of Adam Hollingsworth” in the executive suite.

RICK SCOTT OFF TO SPAIN THIS WEEKEND…

Gov. Rick Scott is off to Spain this weekend, leading a four-day business development mission that will also include a meeting with King Juan Carlos and a whiff of Florida’s upcoming quincentennial celebrations.

…SAYS HE WANTS TO DELIVER PRIME-TIME ADDRESS AT RNC IN TAMPA

Scott, while addressing The News-Press editorial board, said he anticipates playing an active role in the Tampa convention. Asked if he will be featured in a prime-time keynote address, he said “I would hope so.”

PAM BONDI HOSTS NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BLACK COMMUNITY CRIME

The AG will host the annual National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community May 16 through May 18 in Tampa. The Florida Attorney General’s Office established the conference in 1986 in order to showcase ideas that encourage crime prevention in the black community. Additional information is available online here.

FLORIDA TAXWATCH: PUBLIC EMPLOYERS ARE TOP EMPLOYER IN 51 OF 67 COUNTIES

Public employers are the top employer (by number of employees) in 51 of the 67 counties in Florida, and one of the top five employers in every single county in the state. Additionally, Florida TaxWatch finds that 57 counties have at least 3 public entities in the top ten, and five counties have at least six public entities in their top ten.

JAMES MADISON INSTITUTE MOVING IN TO ‘THE COLUMNS’

With the 2012 Legislative Session – and Special Session – complete, the James Madison Institute is moving into its new downtown Tallahassee headquarter.  It’s not quite a move back to the 1830s, but it sure feels like it. “This is a beautiful old building, and we’ve given it a nice upgrade,” said Director of Operations Becky Liner. There is a fresh coat of paint on all the walls, new wood flooring and chandeliers in keeping with the historic nature of the building, among many other upgraded features. “We wanted to have an ‘old Florida’ theme with this building,” said Institute President Bob McClure. “The bones of the building were in great shape, it was just about sprucing it up.”

RICHARD CORCORAN, MATT GAETZ, JEFF CLEMENS FEATURED IN FLORIDA TREND

Nearly 17 months ago, 57 legislative novices arrived in Tallahassee eager to make their mark. Florida Trend profile three promising new Florida House members, — Richard Corcoran (profile here), Matt Gaetz (profile here) and Jeff Clemens (profile here)

SENATE PRESIDENT DESIGNATE ANDY GARDINER ENDORSES JIM FRISHE FOR STATE SENATE

“Today I am proud to endorse fellow conservative, Jim Frishe, for the Florida Senate. I have known Jim Frishe since he came to the Florida House in 2006 where I served with him for two years. Serving in the House, Jim has proven his credentials as a valuable member to the conservative cause as well as a fierce defender of Tampa Bay. Jim brings valuable experience to the legislative process, dedication to conservative principles, and foresight we need to continue making our state a better place to live. I would be honored to serve alongside Jim Frishe in the Florida Senate,” Majority Leader Gardiner said.

“Game. Set. Match.” for Frishe, says Senator Jack Latvala.

FIRST LOOK IN SUNBURN: SENATE CANDIDATE WILTON SIMPSON’S FIRST TV COMMERCIAL Watch here.

REP. GARY AUBUCHON ENDORSES DANE EAGLE AS HIS SUCCESSOR IN STATE HOUSE

“I have full confidence that Dane Eagle will represent Cape Coral well,” Representative Aubuchon said, “There is not a more qualified candidate to follow in my steps of keeping taxes low, the budget balanced and economic development a priority.”

JAX MAYOR ALVIN BROWN SAYS HE DID NOT KNOW HE WAS IN STATE PENSION PLAN

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has often said he wouldn’t take a pension, but he is enrolled, with 3 percent of his paycheck going into the Florida Retirement System. The state has contributed to his retirement account about $13,000 with about $3,000 having come out of his own pay. His office said it was a mistake, and has asked to leave the system.”He realized his enrollment last week and promptly asked the state to let him leave the system,” mayor’s office said in a statement to the Florida Times-Union, which reported Monday that Brown is in the pension system. “He will not accept a state pension.”

READ MORE, YOU SHOULD: The Miami Herald looks at voter behavior, while NPR looks at voter registration.  And in case you missed it, here’s a link to the Jeffrey Toobin article in the New Yorker on the Citizens United case that everybody who pays attention to campaign finance law has been reading.

EMAIL I DIDN’T RESPOND TO: Last call to RSVP for Alex Sink at the Palladium!

LIST OF THE DAY via KEVIN CATE with help from RICK WILSON: 10 Rules for Political Conference Calls: #1 – Never be on a call that that can be started without you. … #7 – Fire the person who asks “Who’s on?”

ALOE TO SOOTHE THE BURN: Roulette coming to Florida, just don’t call it roulette. Do you call it “roulette,” “electronic roulette” or “virtual roulette?” Whatever it is, Nick Sortal checked it out, and he thinks roulette players will like it — even those opposed to the expansion of gambling certainly won’t. Read his review here.

MORE ALOE: Former State Representative and Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist is a dad for the first time at age 54. Sophia Victoria Crist was born at 7:57 a.m. Friday, about eight weeks early, at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, where she will remain for a few weeks yet. She weighed in at 5 lbs. even and stretched 17 inches.

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.