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Sunburn for November 13 – Fantasy Land

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Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry, Ryan Ray, and Jim Rosica.

FANTASY LAND

The inaugural Daily Fantasy Sports Players Conference kicked off this week in New York, reports Callum Borchers of the Washington Post.

That’s a pretty ironic location, since that same state’s attorney general said this week that such cash games pitting daily or weekly fantasy teams against one another constitute illegal gambling and need to stop operating in the state.

The legal status of fantasy contests will undoubtedly be a major topic at the three-day summit, and with good reason. New York is the first state to actually accuse companies like FanDuel and DraftKings of breaking the law, but others are conducting similar reviews, and some members of Congress want a hearing on the subject.

Now, if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wins the White House, the roughly 150 conference attendees who paid as much as $600 to “improve their games, socialize, network and gain insight to the industry” (oh, and the 56.8 million other people playing some kind of fantasy sports) might have nothing to worry about — at least at the federal level.

“Let people play. Who cares?” the Republican presidential candidate said in a debate two weeks ago.

But if Christie gets his way (on the letting-people-play thing) it probably won’t be because fantasy sports are no big deal, as he suggested. More likely, it will be because they’ve become, in a short period of time, a very big deal.

But, as Uber has discovered, “too big to ban” doesn’t mean too big to regulate. In the case of daily fantasy sports — which involve wagering money on your ability to “draft” an imaginary lineup of real athletes who will perform well in actual games and win you money — regulation likely means taxation.

MY TAKE: DON’T THROW OUT THE FANTASY SPORTS BABY WITH THE BATHWATER

An act of Congress has not kept regulators in Nevada and a hyperbolic attorney general in New York from trying to shut down FanDuel, DraftKings and other DFS sites.

“It is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when announcing he was sending cease-and-desist orders to DFS operators.

Fortunately in Florida, state lawmakers are not buying into the Yankee way.

Several powerful legislators, including the Senate President-Designate Joe Negron, have proposed sensible legislation that would put smart restrictions on DFS companies.

According to the bill’s language, game operators must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and pay related fees. The state would also require them to “implement certain procedures” that would prevent certain people from playing fantasy games, as well as restrict some information from being shared with third parties. In addition, the bill would make fantasy draft websites provide age verification for its players.

For their part, DraftKings, FanDuel and other DFS operators welcome the regulation — so long as they aren’t lumped in with the gambling industry.

Negron’s legislation — sponsored in the House by Rep. Matt Gaetz, while drawing bipartisan support from incoming Democratic leaders Sen. Oscar Braynon and Rep. Janet Cruz — is the right way to address an issue that enjoys broad support from Floridians.

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FORECAST FOR TODAY’S SUNSHINE SUMMIT

Today begins the first full day of the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, and the sexier of the two days when it comes to the GOP candidates for president who will be appearing.

The day begins and ends inside the Pensacola ballroom with comments from RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, who devised the idea of the Sunshine Summit as a fundraiser for the party. A few months ago, however, the event looked to be in shambles, with only native sons Rubio and Bush having committed to attend. That led to stories floating in the press that the RPOF might use their discretion to include only those who attending this weekend’s event to be placed on the March 15 presidential primary ballot.

The RPOF never resorted to that. Instead they gave the presidential candidates the option of filing a fee, submitting petitions with signatures from voters in every country, or attending the event to get ballot recognition. And in the end, virtually all of the candidates will be in Orlando over the next two days.

The top five contenders (based on most polls) for the Republican nomination for president: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, will all speak today, as will former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The RPOF will also show off several of its candidates for U.S. Senate  – Pinellas County Congressman David Jolly, former U.S. Army veteran Todd Wilcox, and Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera will get a chance to shine before their fellow Republicans.

Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner, Jacksonville Mayor (and former RPOF chair) Lenny Curry, House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran, and former RPOF Chair (and Jeb Bush booster) Al Cardenas round out the line-up on Friday.

SPOTTED AT THE STATESMAN’S DINNER: Jay Beyrouti with U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster; Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ignoglia with Rep. Chris Sprowls; Brock Mikosky back in the U.S.A.; Southern Strategy Group’s Laura Boehmer and Nelson Diaz with Rubio; Ballard Partners’ Monica Rodriguez posing with fmr. VP Cheney; Ana Maria Sanchez with Rubio; Sarah Rumpf with Michelle and Mike Ertel.

SPOTTED on an Orlando-bound Jet Blue flight tonight from Boston: This one-percenter headed for the Sunshine Summit. He was carrying his own bag and had one staff member. Much like his mentor McCain this time 8 years ago.

HAPPENING TODAYCruz is scheduled to take part in a campaign rally in Central Florida beginning 2:30 p.m. at the Faith Assembly of God, 9307 Curry Ford Road in Orlando.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: NextGen Climate and Organize Now, joined by concerned citizens, will call on GOP presidential candidates at the Sunshine Summit to lay out a “serious plan” to address climate change. News conference and rally began 10:30 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.

BUSH AND ALLIES LAP COMPETITORS IN TV AD-SPENDING RACE via Mark Murray of NBC News – Bush and his supporters continue to lead the 2016 TV ad-spending race, outpacing the nearest competition by more than 2-to-1 … Through this week, the pro-Bush Super PAC Right to Rise has spent a total of $17.5 million in TV ads, and the campaign has chipped in an additional $440,000 … next-biggest spender … is the pro-Rubio 501c4 group Conservative Solutions Project – which doesn’t have to disclose its donors … dropped $7.8 million so far in TV ads.

BUSH OFFERS A CHEST BUMP ‘FOR EVERY CONVERT’ via Ashley Parker of the New York Times – Bush posed for selfies, shook hands with voters and … a chest bump … Asked to explain … The man, he said, “was a co-chairman for Cruz, and he came up to me and said: ‘I’ve changed my mind after the debate. I’m for you’ … I do that for every convert.”

‘DAILY SHOW’ LAUNCHES PETITION TO FREE BUSH FROM ‘CRUEL’ CAMPAIGN via Caitlin Cruz of Talking Points Memo – “Jeb‘s been bred and trained for life,” host Trevor Noah explained, not unlike the orcas at Sea World. “Every night, no matter how bad he feels, he has to go out there and perform … I’m sorry to say this, but it’s obvious … Jeb Bush wants to be, no, he deserves to be set free. We know this because unlike an orca trapped in Sea World, Jeb Bush can voice his misery in a language we can understand.”

BUSH IS 2016’S JOHN KERRY via Bill Scher of POLITICO – Kerry‘s [2004 primary] victory was not predicated on getting a personality transplant. He stuck to his boring script, used his personal finances to keep the campaign afloat and waited for everyone else’s weaknesses to become apparent. Once the others flopped, voters flocked to him as a safe harbor. Written off a few months earlier, Kerry ended up running the table, winning virtually every primary and caucus. The lesson: You can be an uninspiring establishment candidate and still win the nomination. How? By being the last candidate left standing. Bush is in the same position … floundering with the public yet surrounded by untested candidates and stocked with institutional resources. These are the necessary ingredients for outlasting the competition.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Bush will participate in a town hall at the Franklin VFW, 26 Peabody Pl. in Franklin, New Hampshire. Event begins 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Next, the former governor flies to Florida for the Sunshine Summit. He is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. Afterward, Bush will attend on informal meet and greet at the summit, beginning 4:40 p.m.

THE RUBIO PARADOX via Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann of NBC News – Rubio looks to be the Republican frontrunner — at least in the “establishment” bracket of the GOP race … here’s what gives us a little pause … in this modern political era, every GOP nominee has won EITHER Iowa or New Hampshire … he’s standing in third place in public polling in both states … Of course, it’s more than possible that this newfound perception of Rubio creates momentum for him to surge … But here’s the question everyone should ask themselves: Can Rubio fall short in both Iowa and New Hampshire and still win the GOP nomination?

IMMIGRATION FIGHT BOILS OVER AS TED CRUZ AND MARCO RUBIO BATTLE via Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer of the New York Times – Cruz accused … Rubio, of “trying to jam this amnesty down the American people’s throats.” … the eruption of open warfare between … two candidates representing different wings of the party, showed the likely contours of the Republican presidential fight as it hurtles toward the Iowa caucuses in less than 90 days. Immigration is a key vulnerability for Rubio, who was initially part of an effort in 2013 to formulate a bipartisan bill in the Senate to overhaul the immigration system … subsequent moves to distance himself from his role in fashioning the bill has left some conservatives distrustful of his candidacy.

TWEET, TWEET: @RealDonaldTrump: Macy’s was very disloyal to me bc of my strong stance on illegal immigration. Their stock has crashed!

BOOK WARS: Trump’s new book, Crippled America, will debut on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list at #5, one spot below Ben Carson’s book, A More Perfect UnionBuzzfeed reports. Interestingly, when eBooks are added to the sales totals, Trump comes out on top.

BEN CARSON INVESTS WITH BUSINESS ASSOCIATE CONVICTED OF FRAUD via Michael Biesecker and Eileen Sullivan of the Associated Press – Carson has maintained a business relationship with a close friend convicted of defrauding insurance companies and testified on his behalf, even as the candidate has called for such crimes to be punished harshly. Pittsburgh dentist Alfonso A. Costa pleaded guilty to a felony count of health care fraud after an FBI probe into his oral surgery practice found he had charged for procedures he never performed. … Costa was able to avoid prison time after Carson helped petition a federal judge for leniency. That’s different from the position Carson took in 2013 … saying those convicted of health care fraud should go to prison for at least a decade and be forced to forfeit ‘all of one’s personal possessions.’ At Costa’s 2008 sentencing hearing, Carson described the dentist as “one my closest, if not my very closest friend.”

CRUZ BUYS TV TIME IN IOWA via David Drucker of the Washington Examiner – Cruz is poised to go on television in Iowa, as his presidential campaign … made its first substantial, albeit modest, advertising buy of the 2016 primary … purchased $140,500 of broadcast television time. … ads were initially scheduled to run in Iowa Nov. 16 through Dec. 6. … Keep The Promise III, an independent super PAC supporting Cruz, also purchased television time in Iowa … The outside group’s $18,750 buy was set to run Nov. 16 through Nov. 24.

PARAGRAPH OF THE DAY via Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post -“According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans, who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.”

DEMOCRATIC DEBATE STAMPED WITH IOWA IMPRINT via Gabriel Debenedetti of POLITICO – Iowa, Iowa, Iowa. That’s the not-particularly-subtle message pervading Democratic camps as the party’s three remaining presidential candidates prep for their second debate Saturday night in Des Moines, a recognition that the first-caucusing state will likely play an even more outsized role than usual in 2016 … direction of the questions may be squarely in the hands of debate host CBS News and moderator John Dickerson, each of the candidates has already started sharpening the message (and spin) that they think will specifically take them furthest with the state’s influential voters. “The Nevada debate was more of a national debate,” explained Bernie Sanders ‘ lead strategist … “I do expect [this one] to be a debate that has more focus on Iowa.” For Sanders, that means heading north to his Burlington headquarters for two days … a deep-dive rundown on Iowa issues outlined by his staff on the ground … He’s agreed to participate in mock debate run-throughs – after being resistant to such standard pre-debate fare last time … expects that he’ll prepare specific policy contrasts to unleash against front-runner Hillary Clinton.

CBS HOPES DEBATE COVERAGE WILL BOOST STREAMING SERVICE via David Bauder of the Associated Press – CBS News sees its coverage of Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate as a key moment in helping to establish CBSN, the streaming service that just celebrated its first birthday. Political reporter Major Garrett will host a preview of the debate an hour before it begins on CBSN. The free service will stream the debate live, accompanied by data and tweets provided by Twitter, with Garrett stepping in with reactions during commercial breaks of the televised contest. It is also being shown on the broadcast television network.

POLL DU JOURHillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 52-33% nationally, according to a new CBS News/New York Times pollMartin O’Malley takes 5%.

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DAVID JOLLY BASHES HILLARY CLINTON AGAIN ON VA, TRIES TO DRAW IN ALAN GRAYSON via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – “To suggest that this issue is somehow overblown, shows … Clinton does not truly understand what veterans across the United States are going through when they try to access care at the VA,” [Jolly said] … “There are candidates across the country, Democratic candidates like the one I’m running against in the United State Senate, Alan Grayson, who are on the ballot with Hillary Clinton. Are they going to stand by Hillary Clinton, and the statements that she made, that we’re so outrageous, or are they actually going to stand with our veterans, and insist that they have true health care choice, through legislation, like the Veteran Freedom Card that I’ve introduced?”

MY TAKE: EVEN AFTER A GLANCING BLOW, GRAYSON’S “GUTS” TURN TO MUSH via Florida Politics – Grayson says he is the wannabe Senator with “guts.” But when the tables turn — even slightly — those guts quickly turn to mush … the Orlando liberal believes his loyalty to the Party has limits – particularly when it comes to …  Murphy. “Listen, Patrick’s done some very vicious things to me in this campaign,” Grayson complained. “Now, I’m not looking for your sympathy. Politics is politics. But when you do what Patrick’s done to directly attack me personally you can’t seriously expect that that means I’m going to fall into line … I’m not a puppet. I’m not somebody on a string. I invite you to consider what Shakespeare said about this – ‘if you prick us, do we not bleed?’ You think about that.” So much for Grayson’s “guts.”

AFSCME UNION ENDORSES PATRICK MURPHY FOR U.S. SENATE via Kristen Clark of the Tampa Bay Times –AFSCME Florida Executive Director Andy Madtes said the union’s 15,000 members “just felt that Murphy was the best choice for us and our members” … they plan to mobilize to help Murphy’s campaign … the union vetted Murphy and … Grayson … on issues such as workers’ rights and income inequality … Madtes said AFSCME’s endorsement of Murphy is “not a reflection on anything negative,” in regards to Grayson … members want a candidate who will fight for workers in Washington, D.C., and it was a call of “who could do it best.”

EMILY’S LIST SUPPORT ISN’T EARLY ENOUGH FOR PAM KEITH via Nathan Gonzales of Roll Call – Pam Keith is a pro-choice Democratic woman running in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, but the first-time candidate is having trouble getting EMILY’s List interested in her candidacy in Florida. “‘Early’ to me means something different to them,” [she said] … Keith faces extremely long odds, up against Reps. Murphy and Grayson … two of the best-financed Senate candidates anywhere in the country. EMILY’s List endorsements are not automatic. Candidates have to reach a threshold of credibility in order for the group to throw its full weight behind a candidate. It often requires evidence of a promising campaign, including a quality campaign team and fundraising ability, and a path to victory.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 11 SEAT IS A TEMPTING PRIZE FOR REPUBLICANS via Dan DeWitt of the Tampa Bay Times – Democratic congressional candidate Dave Koller called it “another coronation” … Rich Nugent announced … he would not seek re-election … and, in almost the same breath, voiced support for … his longtime chief of staff, 33-year-old Justin Grabelle. Yes, it looked a lot like … Ginny Brown-Waite‘s last-minute hand-over of her job to Nugent, a Spring Hill Republican, in 2010. But it isn’t. There’s too much time for others to enter the race, too much temptation for Republican candidates in such a solidly red district … Daniel Webster… is interested in the District 11 seat … Because Webster owns Lake County property (not his primary residence) in the version of District 11 picked by the Leon County judge, he could have firmer claims as a District 11 native than Grabelle, who has made his local ties part of his platform.

FORT LAUDERDALE LAWYER CONSIDERS CONGRESSIONAL RUN, EVEN IF IT MEANS CHALLENGING TED DEUTCH OR LOIS FRANKEL of Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun Sentinel– Stephanie Toothaker, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer with ties to … Bob Graham and his family, is considering running in next year’s Democratic primary for Congress – even if it’s against … Deutch or … Frankel … Running for Congress is “something I have always been interested in,” [she said]. “It’s something I have always been interested in. It’s a unique opportunity. You don’t see an open seat come up very often.”

TWEET, TWEET: @Fineout: No quick turnaround from Fla. Supreme Court on fate of state’s 27 congressional districts. Not included in rulings released today

SENATE ASKS COURT TO HIRE REDISTRICTING EXPERT TO DRAW MAP, CHALLENGERS DISAGREE via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald – [The] Florida House and Senate … asked the court to hire an expert to draw a new map revising the state Senate boundaries instead of conducting a five-day trial … “The appointment of a consultant would streamline this litigation and reduce the burden to the parties and Florida’s taxpayers by eliminating the need for costly discovery and a five-day evidentiary hearing,” wrote the Senate lawyers to Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds. “It would also eliminate any suspicion that the adopted map was laden with improper intent.” But the lawyers for the challengers … are not happy. They have drawn three proposed Senate maps and expect to present them in court, along with the Legislature’s alternatives.

RICK SCOTT WANTS COLLEGES TO IMPROVE GRADUATION RATES via the Associated Press – Scott … challenged Florida’s 28 public colleges to boost the number of students who graduate … currently 43 percent of students graduate with an associate degree within three years. The governor wants that number to more than double to 100 percent. College presidents put out a statement saying they would accept Scott’s challenge … they need $80 million for their workforce programs in order to reach the goal.

PROPERTY-TAX BURDEN SHIFTS TO RENTERS, SECOND-HOME OWNERS via Mary Shanklin of the Orlando Sentinel – Renters and vacation-home owners now shoulder a bigger share of Florida property taxes than homeowners and owners of commercial property … A boom in apartment construction and declines in homeownership … have recast the property-tax landscape in a state where tax breaks favor longtime homeowners. In short, renters are picking up the biggest tab for property taxes in the state and get fewer tax exemptions than owner-occupied property. They rarely see the tax bill but still have to pay it.

TAMPA BAY LAWMAKERS PUSH TO END NUCLEAR POWER FEE, DEMAND BILLIONS IN REFUNDS via Michael Auslen of the Tampa Bay Times –Reps. Amanda Murphy … and Chris Latvala… have again filed legislation to repeal the Advanced Cost Recovery Fee. “Duke Energy has already collected over 3 billion dollars for failed projects that will never provide consumers with a single kilowatt of energy,” Murphy said in a statement … “We don’t need to wait and see the same thing happen on the East Coast of our state.”

SAVE THE DATE: House Majority 2016 is joining Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran, State Sen. Joe Negron, Chair José Oliva and Majority Leader Bill Galvano for a fundraising reception and dinner Thursday, Dec. 10, to benefit both House and Senate majorities. Reception begins 5 p.m. at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach. VIP dinner begins 7 p.m. at Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave., also in Miami Beach.

ERIC EISNAUGLE OPPONENT DROPS OUT OF HD 44, SETTING UP EASY RE-ELECTION via Florida Politics – Democrat Scott Cox filed for the Orange County House seat in May, though his campaign never showed any signs of life. The 19-year-old Valencia College student posted waivers in lieu of finance reports for each of the six months he was in the race.

— “Loranne Ausley strikes back, posts banner cash month in HD 9” race via Florida Politics

— “HD 114 lowercase DAISY BAEZ gains fundraising ground in Oct.” via Florida Politics

SAVE THE DATE: House Majority 2016 hosting a joint event for state Reps. Gayle Harrell and Ray Pilon Wednesday, Nov. 18, beginning 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Retail Federation, 227 South Adams St. in Tallahassee. On the same day, state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. will hold a 6 p.m. fundraiser nearby at Clyde’s and Costello’s, 210 South Adams St. in Tallahassee.

NO CASINOS JUMP-STARTS ANTI-GAMBLING CAMPAIGN WITH $195K CHECK via Florida Politics – Voters in Charge paperwork reached state elections officials Oct. 21 and the contribution followed two days later … chaired by No Casinos President John Sowinski and Abby Dupree is listed as the treasurer … The committee was formed to back a 2018 ballot initiative that would give Florida voters sole control over any future casino gambling expansions in the state though the change would not apply to tribal gaming, which falls under federal law.

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TRACY DUDA CHAPMAN TO CHAIR FLORIDA CHAMBER via Florida Politics – Chapman, a senior vice president of … A. Duda & Sons agricultural and land development company, has been elected the 2015-2016 chairwoman of the Florida Chamber … board of directors … Her “longtime leadership in agriculture, the backbone of Florida’s economy, makes her a forward thinking leader who can keep Florida moving in the right direction,” said Mark Wilson, the chamber’s president and CEO … Chapman replaces outgoing chairman Steve Knopik, CEO of Beall’s Inc.

PERSONNEL NOTE: MORGAN MCCORD NAMED NEW PRESS SECRETARY AT DEO via Florida Politics  The Department of Economic Opportunity announced Morgan L. McCord will take over as the agency’s new Press Secretary. DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio welcomed the longtime communications pro to the department Thursday. McCord comes to DEO via budget watchdog group Florida TaxWatch, where she was Director of Communications. The FSU alum was recognized as one of Florida Politics’ “30 Under 30” in 2014.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Julie Fess, Canopy Strategy Group: Florida Crystals

Dawn Steward, Dawn T. Steward: Christian Prison Ministries

CAN’T WAIT TO READThe Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House by McKay Coppins.

WEEKEND TV

Black Almanac with Dr. Ed James on WWSB, ABC 7 in Sarasota: Winners and losers of the 4th GOP debate with political analyst Dr. Lawrence Miller.

Facing Florida with Mike Vasilinda: A look at Rep. Irv Slosberg’s documentary “This Could Be You.”

Florida This Week on Tampa Bay’s WEDU: Laila Abdelaziz of CAIR Florida, attorney Danny Alvarez, Tim Heberlein of Florida Consumer Action Network, and 10 News WTSP’s Noah Pransky.

On Point with Shannon Ogden, on WFCN in Jacksonville: Sen. Audrey Gibson discusses redistricting and its political fallout, St. Johns Riverkeeper on declining water levels, and an investigative report on pediatric mis-diagnoses in area hospitals.

Political Connections on CF 13 in Orlando: An interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, plus analysts Lou Frey and Dick Batchelor break down the debate over GOP debate rules and PolitiFact rates a recent Debbie Wasserman Schultz claim about job growth.

The Usual Suspects on WCTV-Tallahassee/Thomasville (CBS) and WJHG-Panama City (NBC): Steve Vancore, Gary Yordon, and Ed Moore.

This Week in Jacksonville with Kent Justice on Channel 4 WJXT: U.S. Rep. David Jolly on his new Freedom Card VA proposal, former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and former RPOF Chair Leslie Dougher on women in the GOP, and Rep. Janet Adkins on dyslexia and other challenges for struggling K-12 readers.

ON THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF THE ROTUNDA

Trimmel Gomes’ newest episode of The Rotunda features retired U.S. Army Colonel Mike Prendergast, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Prendergast tells Gomes the problems at the state’s VA facilities have been tragic but not unique. With all the red tape in the way of providing immediate services to vets in need, Ray Pike, director of the Florida Military Family and Community Covenant talks about how her organization is filling the gaps by providing a one-stop shop for veterans and their families, without government assistance.

SOUTH FLORIDA MANSION HITS MARKET FOR $159 MILLION via the Associated Press – An 11-bedroom home with 22-carat gold leaf coated balconies, fountains, gates and doors has hit the market for $159 million. Called Le Palais Royal, the Hillsboro Beach home is modeled after the French royal palace Versailles … the 60,000-square-foot home is still under construction, but almost complete … building two guesthouses, a pool and an “underground entertainment complex” … ice skating rink, go-cart track, bowling alley and night club … 30-car garage, his and hers yacht docks and … beach only accessible to the public by boat.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to top lobbyist David Ramba.

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.

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