Sunburn for 8/11: A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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

***The F3 reports, covering everything raised/spent July 21 to August 9 were due midnight Friday. This is the final report prior to the August 14 primary election. Be the first to secure this comprehensive report for your clients at www.On3PR.com — your one-stop shop for political, corporate and grassroots communications.***

IT’S PAUL RYAN

Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice presidential running mate, NBC News reports.

Full coverage at SaintPetersBlog.com.

RICK SCOTT’S APPROVAL NUMBERS AT HIGHEST POINT EVER IN PPP POLL

Make no mistake–Scott is still among the least popular governors in the country, tied for sixth least liked out of 36 we have polled on since the start of 2011.  39% approve of his job performance and 51% disapprove–still not good numbers, but the best we’ve ever found for him.  That is up from a 31-56 spread just a month earlier.  He reached lows in the mid-20s last year.

Scott’s improvement is a combination of a rise in his support from independents and his own party.  Independents now split on him, 43-43, when they were at 26-60 in June.  That is over half his improvement.  The rest comes from Republicans, who now sit at 64-27 on their governor, versus 53-31.  He has still upset too many of his own partisans, but he is coming back to safer territory.

>>>Scott has pulled to within three points of Charlie Crist in a hypothetical match-up 44 to 41 percent.

POLLING ODDS & ENDS

>>>73% have no opinion of LG Jennifer Carroll, and those who do split at 14% favorable and 13% unfavorable.

>>>Pam Bondi is better-known than Carroll but still not that well-recognized.  53% cannot say how they feel about her, and the rest break down at 28-19.

>>>CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are as little-known as Carroll.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS STRUGGLE FOR VOTER ATTENTION via The Orlando Sentinel

Florida’s statewide election ballot this November will ask voters to give their blessings to a collection of conservative causes — in some cases making significant changes to the state’s educational and tax policies. And that’s creating a major messaging nightmare for groups on both sides of those issues which will have to compete for airtime and voters’ attention spans in the midst of an onslaught of paid political media in a presidential election year.

THE RNC IS COMING TO TOWN!

>>>A group plans a protest march to a kickoff party for the Republican National Convention at Tropicana Field the night before the event begins in Tampa.

>>>Perhaps no restaurant in Tampa is as big, or will enjoy as great a view of the RNC, as Jackson’s Bistro on Harbour Island.

>>>Several business groups are partnering to co-host the ‘Spirits of Tampa’ event Aug. 27 at the Florida Aquarium. The event, which requires attendees to be at least 21 years of age, is being hosted by the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, theU.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

>>> St. Petersburg to get $1 million for RNC costs.

>>>Yet another fence is coming to downtown Tampa to protect public buildings from the thousands of protestors expected to gather during the Republican National Convention.

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FLORIDA GOP RAISES $9.1 MILLION DURING LAST FUNDRAISING PERIOD; DEMS $2.2 MILLION

The Republican Party of Florida collected nearly $9.1 million in contributions between April 1 and Aug.9, more than four times as much as the Florida Democratic Party brought in, according to newly filed reports. The GOP has raised a total of $12 million this year. The Democratic Party raised about $2.2 million during the recent period and has collected slightly more than $3.3 million this year. Progress Energy, which recently merged with Duke Energy, was one of the top donors to the GOP since April 1, contributing $560,000. Other big donors included Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who gave $250,000.

ACROSS FLORIDA, DEMOCRATS HAVE RAZOR-THIN LEAD IN GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT POLL

Democrats have a razor-thin one-point edge in the generic Congressional ballot in Public Policy Polling’s first likely-voter test of that measure.  45% of voters prefer the unnamed Democrat in their district, to 44% who side with the Republican.  That is similar to June’s 46-44.  The two parties are polarized, but the GOP leads 45-30 with independents.

JOHN MICA TO SANDY ADAMS: ‘I WILL DESTROY YOU’

“The two no longer speak, in large part, Ms. Adams said, because when she went to shake Mr. Mica’s hand at a recent event, he pulled her close and said, ‘You will regret this for the rest of your life. I’ll destroy you.'”

JEB BUSH RIPS ALAN GRAYSON FOR MEDDLING IN GOP PRIMARY FOR CD 9 by Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush weighs in on Democrat Alan Grayson’s efforts to pick his general election opponent by attacking John Quinones in the GOP primary for the Orlando-area District 9:

“I find it in utterly poor taste that Alan Grayson would use my statements, misquoted and out of context, for political gain,” Bush said. “I encourage Mr. Grayson to take down his ads, stay out of the Republican primary and let the voters of Central Florida to choose their nominee without his help.  There will be plenty of time for Mr. Grayson to defend his liberal tax-and-spend record in the fall.”

YOUNG GUNS RESERVE OVER 400K IN TV AIRTIME FOR ADAM HASNER IN CD 22

The YG Action Fund has reserved $5.5 million in advertising time for the fall, including $408,975 for CD 22 candidate Adam Hasner.

The mission of the Super PAC, started last year by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is to support the Young Gun movement – the next generation of Republican leaders. The average age of the candidate being supported is 42.5. (H/t to James Hohmann of POLITICO.)

MUST-SEE: MIKE WEINSTEIN’S NEW WONDERFULLY HORRIBLE TV SPOT via The News Service of Florida.

The Aaron Bean-Mike Weinstein race has been one of the least clean and nice among the Republican primaries – but Mike Weinstein’s new video seems to imply that that’s not really what Weinstein would like. His new video suggests, “Don’t be nasty and mean, let’s all keep it clean.”

And then it suggests doing the Weinstein Slide, and “breaking it on down with M-I-K-E”

This video might get the award for song that is least like the outward appearance of the candidate it backs.

NEW POLL SHOWS FRANK BRUNO VS. DOROTHY HUKILL RACE FOR SD 8 A “DEAD HEAT”

The newly redrawn district includes Volusia, Marion and Lake counties and can be categorized as a tossup seat that is winnable for a Democratic candidate. A new poll from Hamilton Campaigns shows several factors working in Bruno’s favor. Bruno has higher name identification than Hukill in the district, 36 to 25 percent. However, after voters hear biographical information followed by positive and negative messages about each candidate, Bruno opens up a +8 percentage point lead.

DESPITE LITTLE OPPOSITION, SD 18 CANDIDATE WILTON SIMPSON NOW AT 300K RAISED

Though he appears to face little opposition in Senate District 18, Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson has raised more than $300,000 for the fall election. Simpson collected $25,400 between July 21 and Aug. 9, bringing his overall total to $301,750, according to new campaign-finance reports via the News Service of Florida. The only other candidate in the race, Hudson Democrat Joshua Smith, had raised a total of $2,000 — and that money came from the Florida Democratic Party, largely to pay Smith’s fees to qualify for the race. The newly drawn District 18 includes parts of Hernando, Pasco and Sumter counties.

MARIA SACHS OUTRAISES ELLYN BOGDANOFF IN SD 34

Maria Sachs outraised her opponent, Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff by 30 percent.  Sachs raised nearly $31,000 to Bogdanoff’s $24,000.  The vast majority of Sachs’s contributions came from Palm Beach and Broward Counties.  Sachs’s campaign believes her financial advantage compliments her position of political strength: the new Senate District 34 supported Barack Obama and Alex Sink by double-digits in 2008 and 2010 and has a large Democratic registration advantage.

“I am humbled by this strong showing of support from the people of Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  As a forty-year resident of South Florida I know this community and understand and share its values.  It is clear that I will have the resources I need to take my message of better schools and a stronger economy to the voters,” Sachs said.

IN HD 7, JAMEY WESTBROOK PONYS UP ANOTHER $30K FOR HIS CAMPAIGN

Looking to return to the Florida House, District 7 candidate Jamey Westbrook has put another $30,000 of his own money into the campaign, according to newly filed reports via the News Service of Florida. Westbrook, a Port St. Joe Republican, earlier contributed $120,000 to the campaign. In all, he has self-funded $150,000 of the $152,450 that has gone into the campaign’s account. Westbrook, who served in the House from 1996 to 1998, faces three other Republicans in Tuesday’s primary in the sprawling, mostly rural North Florida district. Three Democrats also are competing for a spot on the November ballot.

IN HD 17, “DOC” RENUART RECEIVES BOOST FROM STATE GOP

Facing a tough primary race, state Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, raised $28,300 in cash between July 21 and Aug. 9 and also got behind-the-scenes help from the state Republican Party, new reports show via The News Service of Florida.

The party provided nearly $19,000 in in-kind services to Renuart, including polling, consulting and campaign staff. Renuart also tapped into major statewide GOP donors during the period, such as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and a Florida Chamber of Commerce political committee, the records show. Renuart is running in Tuesday’s primary in the newly drawn District 17 against St. Johns County Republicans Mike Davis and Kim Kendall.

IN HD 34, JIMMIE SMITH DWARFS NANCY ARGENZIANO, DEMS IN RAISING CASH

Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, collected $32,775 in contributions between July 21 and Aug. 9 and topped $100,000 for his overall total, according to newly filed reports via the News Service of Florida.

Smith, who is running in House District 34 in Citrus and Hernando counties, is far ahead of two Democratic candidates and former lawmaker Nancy Argenziano, who is running as an independent. Argenziano, for example, raised $1,550 during the most-recent period and reported an overall total of $5,395. Smith got money from major players such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and political committees linked to the Florida Association of Realtors.

IN HD 65, CARY PIGMAN ROOTS OUT CONTRIBUTORS

Getting support from companies and groups such as Publix Super Markets, Wal-Mart and the Florida Hospital Association, Republican House candidate Cary Pigman raised $33,675 in contributions between July 21 and Aug. 9, newly filed reports show via The News Service of Florida. Pigman, an Avon Park physician, reported an overall total of $94,919. He is running in House District 55, which includes all or parts of Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. Pigman is running in Tuesday’s GOP primary against former Rep. Randy Johnson, whose updated financial reports were not immediately available Friday morning.

CAMPAIGN PROFILES

The Florida Current on Senate District 27: In an election year with everyone talking about jobs, Florida legislative contests between business and labor interests usually pit conservative Republicans against working-folk Democrats. But in Palm Beach County, where Republicans didn’t even bother putting up a sacrificial lamb, next Tuesday’s primary is about which state representative is the “real” Democrat seeking the District 27 Senate seat. There’s also a racial angle.

CAMPAIGN MISCELLANY

>>>Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino’s claim of being a lifelong Republican doesn’t hold up.

>>>St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar endorsed Bev Slough in the Republican primary for CD 6.

>>>The two candidates for Martin superintendent are running a nasty campaign, the Stuart News reports.

CAN’T WAIT TO READ: Out next week: “Capitol Hell” by Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long. Two former staffers to former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) write a novel about a dysfunctional U.S. Senate office.

CHICK-FIL-A POPULAR IN FLORIDA:  54% see it favorably and 20% unfavorably

NOT A LIST ADAM HASNER WANTS TO BE ON: The former Florida House Majority Leader and congressional candidate is No. 3 on BuzzFeed’s list of the 8 craziest candidates of 2012.

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.