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Sunburn for April 18 – Will the Tampa Bay Times win another Pulitzer?

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

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Mitch Perry, Ryan Ray and Jim Rosica.

PULITZER ANYONE?

Readers of the Tampa Bay Times online and print editions read everyday that the paper has won 10 Pulitzer Prizes. Will that number increase to 11 later today?

Failure Factories,” the Times’ investigation into Pinellas County public schools, has won a slew of prestigious national awards since its publication last summer, but the Pulitzer is the big one, and it undoubtedly will be given strong consideration.

The investigation, researched and reported by Cara Fitzpatrick, Lisa Garter, Michael La Forgia and Nathalie Lash, showed how the school district abandoned integration efforts in 2007 and then failed to follow through with promised resources for elementary schools that became predominantly poor and black. The five schools in South St. Petersburg are falling at rates far worse than almost any other schools in Florida.

In the wake of the series’ publication, former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan flew to St. Petersburg with John King, his successor, to visit Campbell Park. During the visit, Duncan called the plight of the five schools a “man-made” disaster and said the School Board had committed “education malpractice.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education opened a civil rights investigation into whether the Pinellas County School District systematically discriminates against black children.

Among the awards the series has collected include winning the Philip Meyer award (administered through Investigative Reporters and Editors at the Missouri School of Journalism), the National Press Foundation’s Innovation in Journalism Award, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism  (administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University) and the IRE Award (Investigative Reporters and Editors).

The Times last won a Pulitzer in 2014, when reporters Will Hobson and LaForgia were the winners for Local Reporting for their investigation into the Hillsborough County Homeless Recovery Program.

Editorial writers Tim Nickens and Daniel Ruth were honored in 2013 for their “diligent campaign” as the Pulitzer judges wrote, that helped reverse the decision by the Pinellas County Commission to eliminate fluoride from the county’s water supply.

The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Nominated Finalists will be announced on Monday, April 18 at 3 p.m. in the World Room, Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University, New York City. This will be the 100th announcement of the Prizes.

COULD TAMPA BAY LOSE A DAILY NEWSPAPER? via Noah Pransky of WTSP – With an expiring lease and printing operations outsourced to the Tampa Bay Times, could the Tampa Tribune be on the market? Its owners won’t say, but an email inadvertently sent to 10Investigates suggests it might. After 10Investigates asked the Los Angeles-based firm that owns the Tribune about a possible sale, founder and managing partner Robert Loring Jr. replied with, “Guys see below there is a leak here somewhere this is bs.” The email was seemingly intended for management at the Revolution Capital Group. It indicates there might be active negotiations for the 121-year-old newspaper — the second-largest on Florida’s West Coast. Even though 10Investigates did not ask Revolution or the Times about any specific negotiations, Loring followed up his apparently-erroneous email with another response that suggests conversations with the Times. “We have a printing arrangement with them. I am not sure what your interests are. This is kind of bs as I said I am not sure where you are getting your information,” Loring wrote.

POLL: GETTING FACTS RIGHT KEY TO AMERICANS’ TRUST IN MEDIA via Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson of The Associated Press – Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions. In this presidential campaign year, Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents. But trust today also goes beyond the traditional journalistic principles of accuracy, balance and fairness. Faced with ever-increasing sources of information, Americans also are more likely to rely on news that is up-to-date, concise and cites expert sources or documents, according to a study by the Media Insight Project, a partnership of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. Nearly 90 percent of Americans say it’s extremely or very important that the media get their facts correct, according to the study. About 4 in 10 say they can remember a specific incident that eroded their confidence in the media, most often one that dealt with accuracy or a perception that it was one-sided. About 6 in 10 Americans watch, read, or hear news several times a day, as computers, smartphones and tablets make it easier for people to follow the news on an on-demand basis.

PERSONNEL NOTE: ROSANNE DUNKELBERGER JOINS EXTENSIVE ENTERPRISES — Veteran journalist and award-winning writer and editor Rosanne Dunkelberger has been named Editor at Large for INFLUENCE Magazine and the websites of Extensive Enterprises MediaRosanne was the editor of Tallahassee Magazine for more than 10 years. She previously worked in the newsroom and advertising departments at the Tallahassee Democrat and The Florida Bar. “We are blessed to have someone of Rosanne’s professional pedigree join our endeavors,” publisher Peter Schorsch said. “More importantly, she’s a class act who will inspire the best from our reporters, photographers, and other contributors.”

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RICK SCOTT BOOTS ALLAN BENSE FROM FSU BOARD OF TRUSTEES via Jeremy Wallace of the Tampa Bay Times – Scott … announced in a press release that Bense, a Panama City Republican, will be replaced on the board by Maximo Alvarez, of Doral, who is president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors Inc. Alvarez, a longtime political ally and support of Marco Rubio, owns nearly 400 gas stations in South Florida. Bense reapplied for the position he held since 2011 with two other board members, Emily “June” Duda of Oviedo and Joe Gruters of Sarasota. Duda and Gruters both were reappointed but Bense was passed over. “I don’t know why,” Bense said after learning he was not reappointed. Scott did not say why Bense was rejected, but his office issued a statement praising his service.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will hold a ceremonial bill signing at 3 p.m. at the Jewish Federation of Broward County, David Posnack JCC, Orlove Auditorium, 5850 South Pine Island Road in Davie. Scott will ceremonially sign a bill that creates the Florida Holocaust Memorial at the Florida Capitol complex.

SPOTTED at the wedding of former Gov. Scott chief of staff Melissa Sellers and Alan StoneRick and Ann Scott, Alan Levine; Bobby Jindal, Curt AndersonTim Cerio, Brecht Heuchan, Timmy Teepell. 

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Senate President-designate Joe Negron kicks off a four-day university system listening tour at 9 a.m. (CDT) at the University of West Florida. He will be at Florida State University at 3 p.m., before ending his day with a stop at Florida A&M University at 5 p.m.

APPOINTEDDarlene Jordan to the Board of Governors of the State University System.

APPOINTEDCraig Barker, Major General (Ret.) Robert ChedisterWilliam “Jeff” Floyd and Michael Flynt to the Northwest Florida State College District Board of Trustees.

ICYMI — STATE REP. REGGIE FULLWOOD INDICTED ON FRAUD, TAX CHARGES via Steve Patterson of the Florida Times-Union – The Jacksonville Democrat faces 10 counts of wire fraud and four charges of not filing income tax returns from 2011 to 2014. The indictment says Fullwood, 41, funneled money from a bank account used by his election campaign account into one created for a real-estate development business he owned, Rhino Harbor LLC. After that, the indictment says, the money was used for personal expenses ranging from grocery bills and gas to jewelry and liquor stores. Prosecutors are seeking a court order for Fullwood to forfeit about $65,000, which they said represents proceeds from crimes he committed. The indictment details 10 transfers, totaling $11,070, from Fullwood’s campaign account to his business in 2010 and 2011. State corporation records show Rhino Harbor was dissolved as inactive in September 2010, the last action on record, because it had not filed a required yearly report.

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FLORIDA ZIKA VIRUS UPDATE via FloridaHealth.gov – As of Friday, a single new travel-related case was reported in Miami-Dade County. Of all the cases in Florida, six still exhibit symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days. There are now 88 total cases in Florida; by county (number of cases): Miami-Dade (36), Broward (13), Orange (5), Alachua (4), Lee (4), Osceola (4), Palm Beach (4), Hillsborough (3), Polk (3), Brevard (2) and a single case each in Clay, Collier, Santa Rosa, Seminole and St. John’s and five cases involving pregnant women. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735. Women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant are strongly suggested to postpone travel to Zika affected areas. The CDC also recommends that if you have traveled to a country with local transmission of Zika, you should abstain from unprotected sex. The DOH also encourages Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; and covering windows with screens. Florida currently has the capacity to test 6,728 people for active Zika virus and 1,537 for Zika antibodies.

CDC CONFIRMS SEXUAL TRANSMISSION OF ZIKA VIRUS BETWEEN TWO MEN via Gillian Mohney of ABC News – CDC officials said this mode of transmission “might contribute to more illness than was anticipated when the outbreak was first recognized.” The transmission occurred when one man returned to Dallas, Texas, after a weeklong trip in Venezuela. Two days after arriving back in the U.S., the man developed classic symptoms of Zika virus including rash, fever and conjunctivitis. The man’s partner of 10 years developed symptoms five days later, including fever, fatigue and headache. Medical officials confirmed both men had the Zika virus through blood tests. They determined that sexual contact was the most likely cause for the second man’s infection since he had not been in a country where the virus was being transmitted from mosquitoes to people. Symptoms for both men cleared up in approximately a week.

WITH SUMMER COMING, CAN THE ZIKA VIRUS BE CONTAINED? via Joshua Lang of the New Yorker – Casey Stephenson … a vector-control specialist with San Mateo County [California] … And several of his colleagues … focus on the spots where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main carriers of the Zika virus, like to lay their eggs, which is any place with standing water — flower vases, marble basins, lawn toys, cracks in the headstones, decaying plants. For the moment, efforts by Stevenson and his counterparts across North and South America are the only reliable way of preventing a Zika outbreak. The eggs of Aedes aegypti, unlike those of almost any other kind of mosquito, can survive being completely dried out, and the species’ females love laying in man-made materials—used tires, plastic cups, freight containers, refuse and recycling. So although the mosquito can fly only a few hundred yards on its own, its eggs can travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles, piggybacking on trucks and ships, ready to hatch after the next rain. Aedes aegypti, once absent from North America, now stably inhabit much of the territory below the Mason-Dixon Line, stretching west into New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Stevenson’s department is responsible for monitoring eleven thousand active mosquito sources, 700 of which are potential sites for Aedes aegypti. The county employs nine full-time technicians, and has budgeted for 12 seasonal hires, including eight catch-basin drivers, whose job is to drive a truck around town all day and sample for mosquitoes. According to the most recent data, seven hundred cases of Zika have been reported so far in the United States, with most occurring in Puerto Rico. The scare has been limited to the winter months, when Aedes aegypti are least active, but with summer coming Stevenson and his crew are growing anxious. The virus is here, and so is the mosquito. The question is whether there will be enough of both to set off an epidemic.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE DISCHARGES INTO ST. LUCIE RIVER, INDIAN RIVER LAGOON TOP 100 BILLION GALLONS via Tyler Treadway of TCPalm – The St. Lucie Lock and Dam sometimes releases Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie (C-44) Canal. Sometimes it’s just rainfall runoff that collects in the canal. Sometimes it’s both. But the polluted freshwater always makes its way into the St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon, out the St. Lucie Inlet and into the ocean.

TALLAHASSEE POWER PLAY PAVED THE WAY FOR POSSIBLE CITY OF WESTLAKE via Andy Reid and Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun Sentinel – Lobbyist David Ramba … got a state law passed four years ago for the owners of Callery-Judge Grove — a roughly 4,000-acre property north of Wellington and west of Royal Palm Beach. The idea was to create leverage and avoid the Palm Beach County Commission imposing building conditions and costs that the landowners thought were unreasonable, Ramba said. “The threat of becoming a city was a negotiating tool,” Ramba said. “This was a nuclear option.” Now, the new owners who purchased the land from Callery-Judge stand to benefit, he said. That’s much to the chagrin of environmentalists and neighbors who have fought against development in the area for more than a decade. Thanks to the 2012 state law, forming a city at Westlake would require the support of just three of the five registered voters listed as living within the Seminole Improvement District — created decades ago by Callery-Judge to handle water supply for the property. The law allows special improvement districts to convert to a city, bypassing the laws and regulations that typically govern a city’s birth.

WHAT ASHLEY WALKER IS READING — AIRBNB COLLECTING HOTEL, TOURIST TAXES IN MORE FLORIDA COUNTIES via Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster of Florida Politics – In April, Airbnb began collecting the taxes in Lee, Orange and Brevard counties. The company will start collecting taxes in Hernando County May 1. “Our community — the vast majority of whom are regular people sharing the home in which they live — wants to pay their fair share, and we want to help them do so,” said Michael O’Neil, Airbnb’s regional head of public policy, in a statement. “Across Florida, Airbnb is working with local lawmakers to collect and remit hotel and tourist taxes on behalf of our hosts and guests.” On Dec. 1, Airbnb began collecting and remitting the Florida transient rental tax and sales tax, including count level tourist taxes, in 22 counties which were administered by the state. The company also started collecting and remitting these taxes in Pinellas County Dec. 1.

WHAT STEPHANIE SMITH IS READING — PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSION SET TO GREENLIGHT UBER RULES TUESDAY via Eliot Kleinberg of the Palm Beach Post – The companies say the rules are enough to guarantee they will operate safely. But taxi firms say they don’t go far enough to protect the public and give the ride services an unfair advantage. After spending more than 2½ hours on the issue April 5, the commission gave tentative approval to the package of rules, voting 7-0 on the first of two required votes. The second is scheduled for Tuesday. Both Uber-style outfits and taxis would be responsible for conducting their own background checks or hiring the county to do the more comprehensive and costly fingerprint-based “Level II” checks for them. Under the proposed ordinance, the county would offer a 50 percent discount in fees for drivers who get those “Level II” checks. Also to be discussed: “reciprocity” between Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. That means taxis and limos — and app ride outfits — who are licensed in one county may operate within another. But the commission won’t be voting on reciprocity Tuesday, county Public Safety Director Stephanie Sejnoha said … She said Palm Beach County is waiting for Broward to pass similar rules before it sends a proposal to Palm Beach County commissioners.

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HOW DONALD TRUMP CAN LOCK UP GOP NOMINATION BEFORE THE CONVENTION via Stephen Ohlemacher of The Associated Press – It’s still possible for Trump to clinch the nomination by the end of the primaries June 7. His path is narrow and perilous. But it’s plausible and starts with a big victory in his home state New York primary. Trump is the only candidate with a realistic chance of reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the July convention in Cleveland. … If Cruz and Kasich [can stop him from hitting the magic number], politicos across the country will have the summer of their dreams – a convention with an uncertain outcome. But Trump can put an end to those dreams, and he can do it without any of the 150 or so delegates who will go to the convention free to support the candidate of their choice. … JUNE 7: This could be Trump’s D-Day. Or his Waterloo. Five states vote June 7, with 303 delegates up for grabs. The biggest prize is California, along with New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and New Mexico. The only state Trump can afford to lose is New Mexico … Trump’s total: 1,238. Cue the balloons.

GOP OFFICIAL RAILS OVER EFFORT AIMED AT NOMINATION RULES via Alan Fram of The Associated Press – In an extraordinary display of internal discord, the chairman of the Republican Party’s rules committee accused top GOP officials of ‘a breach of our trust’ by improperly trying to impede a proposed change in bylaws that would make it harder for party leaders to nominate a fresh candidate for president. Bruce Ash, RNC committeeman from Arizona, wrote the harshly worded email to the other 55 members of the GOP rules committee that he chairs … days before party officials gather in Hollywood, Florida, for preliminary discussions about what rules the GOP will use at its presidential nominating convention this July. Ash … said the convention’s presiding officer could use existing rules to “unilaterally reopen nominations to allow a candidate to be nominated that is viewed as more acceptable, which is exactly what so many rank-and-file Republicans across America fear.” … In an email sent hours later, RNC chief counsel John Ryder said … “Major changes now are dangerous and not a good idea, in my humble opinion.”

TRUMP MASSACRED IN DELEGATE FIGHTS ONCE MORE via Kyle Cheney and Katie Glueck of POLITICO – The weekend was another delegate bloodbath for Trump. In Georgia. In Wyoming. In South Carolina. In Kansas. In Florida … Cruz put on a clinic, mobilizing his GOP activist base to capture at least 50 delegates … while Trump came away with about a dozen in another bruising defeat that undermines his chances to become the Republican presidential nominee … If Trump fails to clinch the nomination by the end of primary season June 7, the nomination will likely be decided at a contested convention in July. And Cruz, after picking up scores of loyal delegates who he expects will stick with him if the convention takes multiple votes to resolve, is radiating confidence about his ability to prevail in that scenario. Days like Saturday explain why. Local and statewide Republican Party organizations around the country held about 20 conventions and caucuses to elect national delegates, with more than 90 slots up for grabs in a shadow primary process that Trump has blasted as “rigged” against him. The contests, open only to registered Republican voters — and in some cases, only to party insiders — identify individuals to fill delegate slots earned by candidates in state primaries and caucuses. Who these delegates are is crucial: Though party rules require them to vote according to the will of their states’ voters at first, most would be able to vote freely if the convention deadlocks and requires multiple rounds of balloting to pick a nominee.

TED CRUZ OUTMANEUVERING TRUMP IN BATTLE FOR MARCO RUBIO DELEGATES via Brendan Bordelon and Eliana Johnson of the National Review – In a hotly contested Republican primary that looks increasingly likely to culminate in a contested convention this summer, those delegates will be critical. The battle for them is essentially throwing states such as Minnesota, which have already held their nominating contests, back into play as they elect delegates at state conventions. And Cruz’s campaign, which has run circles around Trump’s in the behind-the-scenes battle to elect friendly delegates from states that aren’t holding primaries or caucuses, is also a step ahead in the fight for the Rubio delegates who will be free to give him an extra boost on a first ballot at the convention. Of the 171 delegates Rubio won before dropping out of the race, the 17 he took home in Minnesota, the 12 in Oklahoma, and the two he picked up in New Hampshire are now free agents. In Minnesota and Oklahoma, Rubio’s delegates are obligated only to cast a ballot for him if he is formally nominated, while in New Hampshire they’re entirely unbound.

AS MIAMI GOP PICKS DELEGATES, TRUMP BACKERS SAY THEY’RE BEING LEFT OUT via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida – It wasn’t a smoke-filled room, but the building where South Florida Republicans picked delegates for the upcoming GOP presidential convention was the next-worse thing for Donald Trump backers: a cigar warehouse with limited public access. “We really don’t know what’s going on in this cigar warehouse. Only in Dade County,” said Brian Turner, one of more than a dozen Trump demonstrators who were kept behind yellow police tape across the street from the Oliva Cigar Co. building in Miami Lakes. Miami-Dade Republican Party officials denied the charges at the time and continued to do so Saturday evening after announcing 15 delegates. Trump backers said no “Trump people” were chosen in the “rigged” system and that the selections disproportionately favored Miami’s hometown son and former presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio. Two of the three selection-committee members, Miami-Dade Republican Chairman Nelson Diaz and Miami-Dade State Committeewoman Liliana Ros, chose themselves for two of the delegate spots, which also caused Trump backers to fume. Diaz acknowledged some people would be upset, but said that he, Ros and others chosen spend more time working for the party than many others who were not picked.

— “Trump insiders frustrated at Lewandowski’s attack on Florida GOP” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO

— “GOP delegate election ‘no smoke-filled room’” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat

— “Republicans choose District 25 delegates for GOP convention” via the Naples Daily News

— “Watching the GOP delegate selection process in Tampa Bay” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

TWEET, TWEET: @DavidMDrucker: “Just received email from a delegate candidate’s publicist. I’m glad, it’s helpful, but man – a delegate w/ PR.”

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PATRICK MURPHY BENEFITS FROM FATHER’S DEEP POCKET COMPANY via Isadora Rangel of TCPalm – A construction company owned by Murphy‘s father cut a $300,000 check last month to support his U.S. Senate bid … Miami-based Coastal Construction Group was the largest contributor in the first quarter of 2016 to the Super PAC Floridians for a Strong Middle Class, which is supporting Murphy’s candidacy. That was just days after Murphy’s campaign … raised about $2 million in the first quarter of 2016. Super PACs can receive unlimited contributions from each donor, while campaigns have a $2,700 per-race cap from each donor. Murphy has spoken many times against the influence Super PACs have in the political process and has called for campaign finance reform. His father, Thomas Murphy, gave $200,000 to Floridians for a Strong Middle Class last year and the PAC has raised $965,000, with $405,000 from January through April. Super PACs and candidates’ campaigns aren’t allowed to coordinate their efforts under federal law.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Murphy is hosting a joint news conference with the Florida Education Association at 10:15 a.m. RSVP and details at press@MurphyForFlorida.com.

SUPER PAC FORMS TO SUPPORT CARLOS BERUFF via Jeremy Wallace of the Tampa Bay Times – It took just 25 hours and six minutes after that announcement for Beruff’s campaign to benefit from one of the most insider moves in federal politics these days. Federal Election Commission records show that March 1, allies of Beruff created Let’s Clean Up Washington, a so-called super PAC that will support Beruff’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Like most super PACs, the committee cannot coordinate with Beruff’s campaign, but can raise unlimited donations from corporations and individuals and spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for him or against his opponents. Nationally, more than 2,200 super PACs have been created to support presidential campaigns and races for Congress. Though Lets Clean Up Washington has been up and running since March 1, campaign finance reports filed this week shows no money was raised or spent by the PAC.

U.S. SENATE TRACKER: Republican Todd Wilcox will be in Pasco County; Republican Carlos Beruff will be in Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Democrat Patrick Murphy will be in Palm Beach.

JOHN RUTHERFORD RUNNING FOR CONGRESS via First Coast News – Former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford announced Friday he’ll enter the race for the open 4th Congressional District seat recently made open by Representative Ander Crenshaw. Crenshaw announced earlier this month that he would not seek reelection after years representing areas of Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. Rutherford has racked up endorsements from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and GOP donor Peter Rummell before announcing.

CHARLIE CRIST NOW LEADS IN FUNDRAISING OVER ERIC LYNN IN CD 13 CONTEST via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – … despite the fact that Lynn began with a six-month head start. Crist raised more than $271,000 in the first quarter, and has now raised more than $778,00 since joining the race October. The Lynn campaign announced that he raised more than $100,000 in that same time span, and has raised over $753,000 to date since entering the contest a year ago. The Crist campaign also announced two endorsements in their Friday press release – Dunedin Mayor Julie Bujalski and the National Association of Police Organizations are now behind team Crist. Both candidates trotted out familiar terms to describe where they feel they’re in the race.

MY TAKE: IN CD 18, JONATHAN CHANE LAYS AN EGG via Florida Politics – So maybe an “egg” is a bit of an overstatement. But when you are running against a guy (Randy Perkins) who has the support of Democratic leaders from across the country, is willing (and more than able) to write his own checks, AND is raising money at a fairly brisk pace; raising mid-five figures might as well be a goose-egg for upstart Chane (who is challenging Perkins in the Democratic primary in Murphy’s open seat.) Chane posted a paltry $68,000 for the first quarter while Perkins more than quadrupled that pace (in dollars raised) posting $280,000 and to make matters worse for Chane, Perkins also tossed in another million bucks. Where does that leave the money race in the aggregate? Chane has about $300,000 cash on hand and frankly, barely enough to keep his head above the waterline, while Perkins has a robust $2 million + in the bank.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ HAS $840 K CASH ON HAND IN HER FIRST RE-ELECTION BATTLE via Amy Sherman of the Miami Herald – The Democratic National Committee chair remains ahead of Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor from Hollywood. But Canova had an impressive haul as a first-time candidate during his first quarter and had $461,000 cash on hand. Wasserman Schultz raised about $1.1 million in 2015 and about $621,000 during the first quarter of 2016, according to the report she filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. The bulk of her expenses were on consulting, fundraising, digital mail and media and travel. She paid her finance chair Courtney Whitney about $22,000, fundraising consultant Jason O’Malley $15,000 and BTS Strategies about $15,000. Canova raised about $559,000 during the quarter. Canova’s largest expense included about $23,000 paid to Revolution Messaging (same firm being used by Bernie Sanders) for digital media and about $11,000.

CARLOS CURBELO SAYS HE RAISED $362 K LAST QUARTER via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald – That number puts Curbelo ahead of one of his Democratic rivals, former Rep. Joe Garcia, whose campaign announced … a haul of about $325,000. The other Democrat in the running, Annette Taddeo, has yet to release her totals … Neither of the Democrats … is anywhere near Curbelo in terms of how much money they have in the bank. He has more than $1.7 million cash on hand remaining from the nearly $2.3 million he’s amassed so far … The campaign added that about a fifth of his contributions from Jan. 1 through March 31 came from the Florida Keys. The 26th Congressional District extends from Westchester to Key West.

— “Charlie Dean and Jimmie Smith endorse Justin Grabelle in CD 11 race” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: KIM DANIELS RETURNS TO JACKSONVILLE POLITICS IN HD 14’S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics – They thought that, after losing a bruising City Council re-election campaign, she wouldn’t want to run for office again. Or that she wouldn’t be viable. Daniels sees it differently … “House District 14 is the next level for me” … “I’m the only African-American to ever win an at-large seat,” Daniels notes, (albeit incorrectly, as a number of African-Americans have accomplished that feat), and “in Districts 7 through 10, I got 95 percent of the vote … I don’t think it’s time to stop.” Daniels, who was the last of the three to enter the race, notes that she was the first to qualify by petition, with 990 certified petitions out of the 2,009 she collected. Petitions, she said, “are not as easy to get as you’d think,” as it requires “boots on the ground” to talk to well over 2,000 people.

HAPPENING TONIGHT: State Rep. Marlene O’Toole will be holding a fundraising reception in support of her candidacy for state Senate District 12. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Realtors Association, 200 South Monroe St. in Tallahassee.

***Situated in the heart of Downtown Tallahassee, 101 Restaurant combines southern hospitality with big city style. Through Executive Chef Jason Bruner, 101 Restaurant adopted the Farm-to-Table approach where they use products from farmers and fishermen found within a 100-mile radius of their downtown restaurant. These locations include Quincy, Thomasville, Apalachicola, Panama City and many others. The goal at 101 Restaurant is to give guests a fine dining experience in a luxurious, casual environment. Plus, if you stop by any day from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., you can enjoy their Double Happy Hour! Call them today to make your reservation! (850) 391-1309.***

ON THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF THE ROTUNDA Trimmel Gomes’ latest episode of The Rotunda looks at Florida’s decision to choose sides in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As Gov. Scott celebrates the signing of the anti-BDS bill into law, Gomes talks with Albert Kishek, co-president of Students for Justice in Palestine at Florida State University and Dream Defender’s COO Ahmad Abuznaid who compares the Palestinian plight to African Americans fighting for equality in the U.S. Seattle-based award-winning author, filmmaker and playwright, Jen Marlowe goes beyond the politics and shares insight from her coverage of Israel. Gomes also checks out an anomaly in Florida’s media landscape as Extensive Enterprises Media (EEM) holds its first annual retreat in St. Petersburg. EEM’s Peter Schorsch celebrates the growth and expansion of his company by redefining political journalism in Florida.

REST IN PEACE — GENE CRYER, FORMER EDITOR OF SUN SENTINEL, DIES AT AGE 80 via The Associated Press – … following complications from a stroke … Described as “a tough-as-nails editor who guided the South Florida Sun Sentinel from a sleepy Fort Lauderdale newspaper into a regional media force,” Cryer was 80 years old … He came to what was then the Fort Lauderdale News in 1979 from Rockford, Illinois. He became editor of two newspapers – the News and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel – when both merged in 1982. The combined newspaper, owned by the Tribune Company, grew quickly and expanded to open bureaus in Washington, Atlanta, Miami and West Palm Beach.

SUPER BOWL REMATCH: PANTHERS BRONCOS OPENS SEASON via Barry Wilner of The Associated Press – The rematch will be Thursdaynight, Sept. 8 in Denver. … It is the first Super Bowl rematch on opening weekend since 1970, when Minnesota beat champion Kansas City 27-10. … Among the highlights for opening weekend is the Rams’ return to representing Los Angeles as they visit San Francisco in the nightcap of a Monday night doubleheader. Pittsburgh is at Washington in the first game. … The Rams get their first home game in the LA Coliseum in Week 2, hosting Seattle. That night, the Vikings open their new stadium in Minneapolis against Green Bay. … Week 16 will feature most games on a Saturday because Sunday is Christmas. There will be two games on Christmas Day: Baltimore at Pittsburgh in late afternoon, Denver at Kansas City at night. … Houston hosts Cincinnati in a Christmas Eve night game. A tripleheader on the other major holiday, Thanksgiving, will have the traditional home games for Detroit (versus Minnesota) and Dallas (against Washington). The prime-time matchup is Pittsburgh at Indianapolis. … Four games will be played abroad. Jacksonville will host Indianapolis in London Oct. 2, at Wembley Stadium. On Oct. 23, the first NFL game at Twickenham Stadium will have the Rams hosting the Giants. And the following Sunday, Cincinnati will host Washington at Wembley. The NFL returns to Mexico City for the first time in 11 years when Oakland hosts Houston Nov. 21. … Houston hosts the Super Bowl Feb. 5.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend, POLITICO Florida’s Christine Sexton.

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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