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Sunburn for March 30 – Sometimes, the news speaks for itself

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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.

Sometimes when assembling Sunburn, it’s best to let the news speak for itself…

DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER CHARGED WITH BATTERY BY JUPITER POLICE via Hadas Gold and Nick Gass of POLITICO – Corey Lewandowski was charged with simple battery related to an incident earlier this month in which a reporter for Breitbart accused Lewandowski of roughly grabbing her arm. Within minutes, Trump‘s campaign blasted out a statement defending its top aide, who turned himself into Florida authorities earlier in the day. Trump himself followed up on Twitter, strongly defending Lewandowski and asserting that footage of the encounter proves that he’s innocent. “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!” Trump wrote. He followed up with a further challenge to Michelle Fields, the reporter involved, cryptically referring to shifting statements from her. “Why aren’t people looking at this reporters earliest statement as to what happened, that is before she found out the episode was on tape?” Trump also tweeted. Fields, who has since resigned from Breitbart, shot back on Twitter: “Because my story never changed. Seriously, just stop lying.”

POLICE REPORT DETAILS BLOGGER JAVIER MANJARRES’ ASSAULT OF SISTER’S BOYFRIEND via Florida Politics – Manjarres, the 43-year-old behind The Shark Tank, was arrested Saturday by Broward County sheriff’s deputies. He was charged with attempted first degree murder with a firearm after police say he fired a weapon three times at an occupied vehicle. On Friday, Boca Raton police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of a shopping plaza. According to reports, neighbors heard five gunshots coming from the area. When police arrived they found what appeared to be blood and three 40-caliber shell casings on the ground. A short time later, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office called the department and said a man was at the University Hospital in Tamarc with a broken nose. The man, Jason Holowinski, said he was struck in the face and head by Manjarres. He also said Manjarres fired three shots from his firearm into the driver side door and bed of his pickup truck. The man said Manjarres is the brother of his girlfriend, Olga Manjarres. Holowinski told officers he knows his girlfriend calls her brother “when she needs something or when they are involved in an argument.”

TWEET, TWEET: @AdamSmithTimes: Alas, another FL Insider Poll participant arrested. Know of only 2 who did time after convictions, tho … Jim Greer, Jeff Garcia only FL Insiders known to have done time. Incarceration, btw, is not disqualifier

TWEET OF THE DAY: @GoMeteoric: ??? then ???? then ??? then??? then ?? then Peter ???

MEANWHILE … TIM TEBOW HINTS AT A CAREER IN POLITICS via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel – Asked by Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt whether he’s thought about politics – even in this election cycle – Tebow said that “I don’t know about this time in my life. But … if there’s a chance you could make a difference someday in something, then that would be intriguing.” The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner also had some political commentary about this year’s elections. “It’s been crazy, hadn’t it?” Tebow said. “It’s been a whirlwind watching everything.”

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BATTERY CASE AGAINST TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER SEEN AS STRONG via Marc Caputo of POLITICO – The strength of the allegations against Lewandowski revolve around multiple factors that most simple battery cases don’t have: video, audio and eyewitness evidence that indicates he grabbed reporter Michelle Fieldsby the arm and yanked her out of Trump’s way without her permission. The wording of Florida statute, 784.03 (1) (a) (1), cited by the Jupiter police officer who charged Lewandowski, is also broad and clear when it comes to the charge: “The offense of battery occurs when a person… Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other.” For veteran defense attorney Elizabeth L. Parker, the letter of the law and the wealth of evidence against Lewandowski make this a tough case for him to defend if prosecutors decide to pursue it.

TWEET, TWEET@CrowleyReport: Several times a campaign/gov staffer has put hands on me….they were greeted with a stern keep your friggin hands off. And we moved on.

TRUMP UPSET HE WASN’T INTERVIEWED BY FLORIDA POLICE via The Associated Press – Trump is upset that he wasn’t interviewed with by Florida police in the aftermath of the incident that led to his campaign manager being charged with simple battery … in an interview with Fox News … he thought it was “very unjust” that “nobody” from law enforcement called him after the early March incident. A Breitbart News reporter accused Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, of grabbing her. Lewandowski turned himself into Jupiter [police] … Trump played up his connections in the Florida town, where he owns a resort, while expressing his puzzlement over the police department’s actions. He suggested that his staffer acted to protect him and vowed not to fire him. “You know, they’re chopping off heads, they’re drowning people in the Middle East,” Trump said. “We’re going to destroy a man’s life?”

IF YOU READ ONE THING — THE SEXUAL POLITICS OF 2016 via David Brooks of The New York Times – Trump‘s presidential campaign is a revolution in manners, a rejection of the civility codes of the educated class. As part of this, he rejects the new and balanced masculine/feminine ideal that has emerged over the past generation. Trump embraces a masculine identity – old in some ways, new in others – built upon unvarnished misogyny. … Trump’s misogyny … has a commercial flavor. The central arena of life is male competition. Women are objects men use to win points in that competition. … One way to emasculate a rival man is to insult or conquer his woman. … Most of the episodes are pure dominance display. … When the commentator Tucker Carlson criticized him, Trump left a voice mail bragging about how much more sex he gets. … It’s not quite right to say that Trump is a throwback to midcentury sexism. At least in those days, negative behavior toward women and family members was restrained by the chivalry code. … Trump voters do need to be held to account. They are participating in a descent into darkness. … This is the world your daughters are going to grow up in.

TRUMP RESCINDS PLEDGE TO BACK GOP NOMINEE; SCOTT WALKER BACKS TED CRUZ via Thomas Beaumont of the Associated Press – Trump … said … he will no longer honor his pledge to support the eventual Republican pick for president. And his two Republican rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, also refused to say they would support Trump or whoever is the nominee. All three Republicans appeared at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee one week before Wisconsin’s April 5 primary. Both Democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, also campaigned in the state. Trump said he was rescinding his promise to back the GOP nominee because “I have been treated very unfairly.” He listed the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party and party establishment among those he believes have wronged him.

EPILOGUE — MARCO RUBIO WORKING TO PLAY A ROLE AT GOP NATIONAL CONVENTION via The Associated Press – Rubio has sent letters to Republican officials in states where he has won delegates, charging he wants to keep his delegates, even though he’s no longer an active candidate … the former candidate wants to retain his delegates in order to keep his options open in the coming months. Campaigns are preparing for the possibility of a contested national convention in July that could feature an intense fight for every available delegate. Selecting the people who will be delegates at the national convention is a tedious process governed by rules that vary from state to state. The system favors political insiders who understand the arcane rules.

RUBIO WANTS NAME OFF CALIFORNIA BALLOT via Rebecca Savransky of The Hill – Rubio … asked the California Secretary of State to take his name off the ballot ahead of the state’s June 7 primary. Candidates who drop out of the race must file an affidavit with the secretary of State’s office if they want their names taken off the California ballot. The request must be filed before April 1.

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RICK SCOTT INVITES YALE UNIVERSITY TO MOVE TO FLORIDA via Kyle Munzenrieder of the Miami New Times – Scott has publicly invited the 315-year-old university to pack up its campus and move on down to the Sunshine State like so many elderly Connecticut residents before it. “We would welcome a world-renowned university like Yale to our state,” Scott said in a news release that amounts to nothing more than a media attention grab … the State of Connecticut is facing a $220 billion budget shortfall this year, and to close the gap, a bill has been introduced in the state Senate’s finance committee that would specifically target Yale’s giant $26.5 billion endowment. The endowment is currently tax-exempt, but the bill would tax investment returns on any college’s endowment that is worth more than $10 billion. Yale happens to be the only university in the state that fits the bill. Yale’s endowment is the second-largest of any school in the nation, behind only Harvard’s. To put the $26.5 billion figure into perspective, the University of Miami’s endowment is only $887.3 million. The University of Florida’s is $1.55 billion. Each is a small fraction of the Ivy League’s nest egg.

SCOTT, CABINET MAKE NO DECISION ON NEXT INSURANCE COMMISSIONER via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – With no clear winner between finalists Jeffrey Bragg and Bill HagerScott and the Florida Cabinet decided to keep taking applications for state Insurance Commissioner. Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam agreed to extend the deadline to April 15; the next Cabinet meeting is April 26. Scott and Atwater, however, first must agree on one candidate under state law. The Office of Insurance Regulation is in the Department of Financial Services, which Atwater heads as CFO. The four did agree on another hire, unanimously picking current Department of Business and Professional Regulation deputy secretary Leon Biegalski to become the new executive director of the Department of Revenue.

TWEETS

— @SaintPetersBlog: It’s almost stunning how better an interview @RepBillHager gives vs. Jeff Bragg, but @FlGovScott wants someone who will follow orders, so…

— @SteveBousquet: Attorney General Pam Bondi says that if vote for state insurance commissioner had come to a vote, she favored Rep. Bill Hager.

— @Jason_Garcia: Time to turn the Tom Grady bat signal back on?

SCOTT, CABINET OK LAND PROTECTION DEAL ON HISTORIC PASCO RANCH via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times – The state and Pasco County will pay $3 million each for a conservation easement on the site, known as the Phillips-Mathis Ranch …  the property’s western boundary is a buffer between the rapidly-developing I-75 corridor and the nearby Cypress Creek preserve and wellfield, owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The ranch property is zoned R-3, for up to three homes per acre. It’s the 22nd tract on the Florida Forever land acquisition list to be acquired under Florida’s Rural and Family Lands program, totaling nearly 15,000 acres statewide. A second and much larger easement approved by Scott and the Cabinet Tuesday is in rural Dixie County, part of a much larger tract between the Suwannee and Steinhatchee rivers owned by the Lyme Timber Company of Hanover, New Hampshire. The 8,138-acre protection easement, at a price of $4.2 million, allows continued timber harvesting on the site while permanently limiting development in a North Florida county where timber is the largest employer and where the preservation of open space is vital to the popularity of hunting.

SCOTT AND CABINET OK PLAN TO ADD WATER TO PLANT CANALS via The Associated Press – Scott and members of the Cabinet are signing off on a plan to add millions of gallons’ water to canals at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point power plant … even though the owner of a nearby business said problems with the canals could soon force him to shut down his lime rock mining operation. Under the plan, FPL will draw up to 14 million gallons of water a day from wells and add it to the canals located near the nuclear power plant. FPL officials maintain this will help reduce saline levels in the canals. A plume of salt water is already moving westward from the plant location. The canals have had temperature and salinity issues since 2013, when FPL temporarily shut them down to increase power output, worsening an algae bloom.

SCOTT SIGNS MEASURE TO END DETENTION COST DISPUTES via News 4 Jax – The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala and Rep. Chris Latvala, will lead to a 50-50 split of detention costs between the state and counties. It also involves a new billing system and an agreement by counties to waive all previous claims against the state. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and counties have long battled about how the agency has carried out a 2004 law that required counties to help pay for “predisposition” costs, or the costs of detaining underage offenders before they are sentenced. Counties repeatedly filed legal challenges, arguing they were being forced to bear too much of the cost.

SCOTT FACES BILL-SIGNING DEADLINE: Among the 14 bills due for action today include them is SB 514, which increases the salaries of county supervisors of elections. Scott has said he intends to approve the legislation. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter and Rep. Frank Artiles, would increase the base salaries of the state’s 67 elected officials who oversee elections. Another bill (SB 708) authorizes the Department of State to reimburse next of kin up to $7,500 for expenses for each child’s remains recovered from the Arthur G. Dozier School for the Boys, the now defunct but still notorious reform school in the Panhandle. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Arthenia Joyner and Rep. Ed Narain, both Democrats, also calls on the Department of State to form a task force and look into creating and maintaining a memorial and interment site for unidentified remains.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will highlight job creation during a 10:30 a.m. press conference at Amazon, 3350 Laurel Ridge Avenue in Ruskin.

PAM BONDI ON DONALD TRUMP CONTRIBUTION: “I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – Bondi declined to say whether she’d return a $25,000 political contribution made in error to her by Trump‘s charitable foundation three years ago, but told reporters she did “nothing wrong.” Bondi took questions after [the] Florida Cabinet meeting. She also wouldn’t clarify who requested the contribution, which went to a now-defunct political fundraising panel that supported her 2014 re-election. Bondi, a Republican, is now supporting Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner. Foundations like Trump’s are banned under federal rules from political activity, including giving contributions. Trump’s representatives since have said the $25,000 check went out by mistake when an accounting clerk confused Bondi’s electioneering communications organization with a similarly-named group.

ACTUAL PRESS RELEASE via Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission: “April 15 marks start of Florida’s bat maternity season”

BEWARE OF RUNNING AFOUL OF TALLAHASSEE’S PROTOCOLS via Lloyd Brown of the Sunshine State News – As I have done for 40 years, I called a legislative committee during the session to get some information for a column … I got the House Education Committee and told the telephone answerer what I wanted. She told me I had to speak to the “press office” and transferred me – to the Speaker’s office. The puzzled person in that office transferred me back to the education committee where, after some griping on my part, I was allowed to speak personally to the committee staff director – a great honor, of course. When I told her what I wanted (some mundane detail on education funding), I was informed that the Legislature now has protocols and that one protocol is that I must speak to the press office, not directly to the person who (presumably) actually knows what she is talking about … I explained to her that would involve a day of runaround as the press office called her, got the information I wanted and called me back to give it to me. This, of course, would magnify the possibility of error and inevitably produce new questions that would start the process all over. She patiently replied that they have a protocol. I realize no one cares about the trials and tribulations of reporters in their quest for information. But I’m wondering if the Capital Press Corps is now frozen out in the same way in their day-to-day news coverage. And, if so, why they would put up with it, especially with the fetish they have for “government in the sunshine.”

RICHARD CORCORAN SAYS BILL THAT WOULD BENEFIT HIS WIFE’S CHARTER SCHOOL IS PART OF BROADER REFORM via Jeffrey Solocheck of the Tampa Bay Times – Classical Preparatory School, a charter school founded by [Corcoran’s] wife … has its sights set on expansion … its waiting list is twice the size of its 406-student enrollment. And its contract lets it grow to nearly 1,000 students through 12th grade. To explore its options, lawyers for the kindergarten through ninth-grade school last week asked to meet with Pasco County development planners about a possible 37,000 square foot addition. The request came two weeks after lawmakers approved a bill that would make it easier for Classical Prep to access state funding for construction projects. The perception, noted by some in Tallahassee, was of a powerful lawmaker benefiting from legislation he helped advance. But Corcoran said the two actions were not related, and he bristled at suggestions otherwise. The language allowing charters access to state money after two, rather than three, years of operation had a much bigger target, he explained. “The reason that law changed is because the Legislature is done allowing big, for-profit corporations to have in statute laws that protect their profits and squeeze out the competition,” Corcoran said.

WHAT DANA YOUNG IS READING — NEW LAW BRINGS HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY IN LINE WITH REST OF FLORIDA REGARDING RESTAURANT SIZE TO SELL ALCOHOL via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – State law requires that any restaurant that serves alcohol must be at least 2,500 square feet in size. However, in Hillsborough County, state law dictated that restaurants that sell booze must be at least 4,000 square feet. No longer. Scott signed a bill (HB 1417) sponsored by Tampa House Republican Dana Young that revises Hillsborough’s space requirements for liquor licenses for restaurants. “What was happening was our Hillsborough County restaurants were having to be significantly larger,” Young said, adding that while it may be a “little thing” compared to other actions performed by the Legislature, “little things matter to business people.”

HAPPENING TODAY: Pinellas County lawmakers will discuss the 2016 Legislative Session at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. Moderated by Peter Schorsch of FloridaPolitics.com, the panel includes Sens. Jeff Brandes and Jack Latvala; Reps. Kathleen PetersLarry AhernChris LatvalaDwight Dudley and Darryl Rouson. Event begins noon at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.

ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY TOP SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, FLORIDA CHAMBER FINDS via Florida Politics – Sunshine State small businesses say economic uncertainty is their top concern for the second quarter in a row according to a survey released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. About one in five businesses listed economic uncertainty as their top concern. Another 15 percent said workforce quality was their biggest challenge, followed by access to capital at 13 percent and government relations at 10 percent. The survey wasn’t all gloom, however, as 54 percent of respondents said they planned to make a hire in the next six months and 53 percent said they would increase investments in equipment over the next year, up from 50 percent who said the same last quarter.

CRUCIAL TRIAL OVER GAMBLING PUSHED BACK TO FALL via the Associated Press – U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle agreed to delay until October a trial that will decide whether the Seminole Tribe of Florida can have blackjack tables at their casinos. The trial was initially scheduled for this summer but attorneys for the state and the tribe asked for the delay. The tribe filed the lawsuit last year after key portions of a 5-year gambling deal with the state expired.

BREVARD LEADERS TACKLE BIG FISH KILL IN INDIAN RIVER LAGOON via Mike Schneider of The Associated Press – Brevard County commissioners approved a measure asking Scott and lawmakers to take steps to address a massive fish kill at Indian River Lagoon, but fell short of a resolution asking Scott to declare a state of emergency along Florida’s Space Coast. The approved measure asks officials in Tallahassee to require that septic tanks be inspected when a house is sold, increase funding for dredging and expedite permitting for dredging muck. The muck comes from a brown algae bloom that is being blamed for the fish kill. Some 65,000 pounds of fish have been cleaned up in the area in the past two weeks. The algae aren’t considered toxic to humans but has left behind clumps of rotted vegetation and depleted oxygen levels in those waters, officials said.

***LECRAE is heading back to school in 2016. The two-time Grammy® Award-winning hip-hop artist, known for his music message frequently at odds with his hip-hop peers, has fans buzzing with excitement at the announcement that he’ll be hitting the road in February 2016 for his HIGHER LEARNING TOUR including a Friday, April 8 show at Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Joining Lecrae in Tallahassee will be DJ Promote and Swoope. Tickets are on sale now at TuckerCivicCenter.com!***

POLITICAL COUPLE ALAN GRAYSON, DENA MINNING ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – Minning, Democrat from Orlando running in Congressional District 9, and Grayson, the district’s incumbent and a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, are engaged to be married, a source close to the couple confirmed … Minning, 45, and Grayson, 58, have been living together in his south Orange County home since at least last spring, and reportedly have been dating since 2014. Rumors of their possible engagement to marry have circulated at least since Grayson’s previous marriage to Lolita Grayson was ended last summer after extended and often ugly litigation. But nothing had been said publicly about Grayson’s and Minning’s relationship.

CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA SAYS CUBAN GOVERNMENT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF U.S. via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – “They’ve figured out our political system. They’ve seen how our political system works,” the Lieutenant Governor and U.S. Senate candidate said in a speech at the Tampa Economic Club … Because it’s a presidential election year with many in Congress running for re-election, he said, Cuban leaders are “taking advantage of this country right now. What they really want is to be eligible for aid, because they have no economy in Cuba.” Comparing it to the recent nuclear program accord with Iran, Lopez-Cantera said the president’s visit last week sent a “dangerous message to the rest of the world.”

PROGRESSIVE CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA LEE ENDORSES SUSANNAH RANDOLPH FOR CD 9 – Lee, who has represented the 13th District of California for over two decades, is known for a commitment to social and economic justice, protecting Women’s rights and international peace. Lee cast the lone vote against the authorization of military force in Iraq, what she warned would be an ill-defined and endless war. “A true Progressive, Susannah has been a strong voice for those who are underrepresented even when others remained silent,” said Lee. “I am proud to endorse her and I look forward to serving with her in Congress.”

FLORIDA POLITICS EXCLUSIVE — RICHARD CORCORAN, JOSE OLIVA WARN HOUSE CANDIDATES NOT TO BE “DISTRACTED” BY POLITICS OF HOUSE SPEAKER RACES via Florida Politics – In a letter emailed to the dozens of GOP candidates running in races where there is no incumbent seeking re-election, Speaker-designate Corcoran and Speaker-to-be Oliva say they are writing to share “some information and advice.” The first two bullets of this advice are straightforward campaign management: “Work hard … (F)amiliarize yourself with the Florida Election Code.” After that, Corcoran and Oliva remind the candidates that while House Majority 2016 staff are available as a resource to answer legal, financial and political questions, it is leadership’s policy “not to involve the state Republican Party apparatus in open seat primaries.” From there, Corcoran and Oliva get into the weeds of future House Speaker races. “We are encouraging you in the strongest possible terms to postpone these conversations until after you are elected” … Almost certainly, the warning to incoming House members to not “pledge” their support to one of their colleague’s ambitions to one day serve as Speaker is a reflection of the tumult which has rocked the Florida House the past two years.

FLORIDA CHAMBER RELEASES NEW AD PRAISING KATHLEEN PASSIDOMO via Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster of Florida Politics – The Florida Chamber of Commerce released an advertisement this week highlighting the Naples Republican’s work in the House. “As a mother, business leader and volunteer Kathleen Passidomo is looking out for us. She’s a proven leader who championed education, protected seniors, cut taxes and passed a balanced budget,” a man says in the 30-second spot. “Kathleen Passidomounderstands job killing regulations need to stop and our legal system needs to be reformed so small businesses can create more good-paying jobs.” The advertisement encourages people to call Passidmo’s office and tell her “to keep fighting for us.” Passidomo is not seeking re-election for her House District 106 seat; choosing instead to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Garrett Richter.

HAPPENING TONIGHT 

— Sen. Jeff Brandes is once again hosting his popular craft beer event in St. Petersburg’s up-and-coming Edge District. The St. Petersburg Republican invites friends and supporters to enjoy his latest “Brews with Brandes” starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Green Bench Brewing Company, 1133 Baum Avenue.

— State Sen. Anitere Flores will be fundraising in her campaign for Senate District 39. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Bulla Gastrobar, 2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables.

— Republican Kathleen Peters is holding a fundraiser for her re-election campaign in House District 69. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Edwards Group, 150 Second Ave. N., Suite 1600, in St. Petersburg. RSVP to Katie Ballard at (954) 803-3942 or Katie@KBallardconsult.com.

— Republican business executive Rebecca Smith is holding a fundraising reception in support of her campaign for House District 60. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Tampa Garden Club, 2929 Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. RSVP with Michelle Kazouris at Michelle@CorcoranFirm.com.

— Republican candidate Jackie Toledo will hold a fundraising reception in her bid for House District 60. The event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Carmel Kitchen and Wine Bar, 3601 West Swann Ave. in Tampa.

— House Majority 2016 is hosting a fundraiser for state. Manny Diaz, Jr. in his house District 103 re-election campaign. Event begins 6 p.m. in the Hialeah Park Third Floor Turf Room, 2200 East Fourth Avenue in Hialeah.

— State Rep. Holly Raschein is holding a kickoff party for her re-election to House District 120. Hosted by Tolley & Hill, PLLC, the event begins 5:30 p.m. at 102411 Overseas Hwy. in Key Largo.

SAVE THE DATE: Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense and state Sen. Jack Latvala headline a fundraising reception Wednesday, April 6, for Bay County Commissioner George Gainer, who is seeking Don Gaetz’s Senate District 2 seat. Event begins 4:30 p.m. at the Florida Retail Federation offices, 227 South Adams St. in Tallahassee. RSVP to Adam Potts at (850) 591-5921 or adam@georgegainer.com.

SAVE THE DATE: Republican State Rep. Ray Pilon is holding a special fundraising reception Thursday, April 14, in his campaign for Senate District 23. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at the Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, 7051 Wireless Court in Sarasota. RSVP to Erik.Arroyo@WinsElections.com or (941) 539-8646.

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THE FATE OF WUSF TV IS UP FOR GRABS via Margie Manning of the Tampa Bay Business Journal – University of South Florida has confirmed its commitment to take part in an auction to sell the spectrum rights for WUSF-TV, the university’s public television station. The confirmation comes one day before the beginning of the Federal Communications Commission’s broadcast incentive auction, an effort to free up broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use, as consumers and businesses increasingly demand wireless connectivity anywhere, anytime for smartphones and other mobile devices. USF could draw as much as $349.2 million if it sells the WUSF spectrum rights and the station goes off the air, according to an FCC list of opening bids. That price could go down during the auction process. The spectrum rights also could sell for less if WUSF, which currently is assigned UHF Channel 34, moves to a low or high VHF channel. Participation in the auction does not automatically mean a decision on selling the spectrum has been made.

APPOINTED: William “Buck” Burney to the Clay County Board of County Commissioners. He will serve during the military leave of absence of Commissioner Gavin Rollins

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Brett Howard Fitzgerald: Snook and Gamefish Foundation

Cynthia Henderson, Cynergy Consulting: CIOX Health; Shiver Properties

Scott Ingram, Kristen Kearney: KPMG

Carlos Muniz, McGuireWoods Consulting: MiMedx Group

Veronica Wong: Moon Capital Management

Cameron Yarbrough, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart: EPOC CNG

QUORUM — TAMPA BAY’S NOT-TOO-POLITICAL HAPPY HOUR — RETURNS via Florida Politics – Quorum features candidates, operatives, media and political enthusiasts of all stripes. The get-together will start with 5 p.m. hors d’oeuvres at its customary location: Cassis American Brasserie on Beach Drive. Sponsors of the first Quorum of 2016 – co-hosted by Michelle Todd and Peter Schorsch – are Alan SuskeyLaura BoehmerSeth McKeelDavid SheppFranco RippleAnthony Pedicini and Amanda Taylor. Cassis is located at 170 Beach Dr. NE. in St. Petersburg.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Tea Partier Tory Perfetti.

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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