Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Sunburn for 5.19.16 – Are voters really yearning for a third-party candidate?

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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.

Not happy with your choices for president?

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. And you certainly aren’t the only one wishing an independent candidate would jump into the race. At least not according to national polling conducted by Gainesville-based Data Targeting over the weekend.

The poll found 58 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Of the 997 registered voters polled, 55 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of likely Republican nominee Donald Trump; while 56 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Still, the poll found 41 percent of respondents said they would vote for support Clinton; while 40 percent said they would pick Trump. Throw in an independent candidate, and the state of the race gets a little hazy.

The poll found 65 percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat willing to support a candidate who isn’t Trump or Clinton. And while that may seem like good news for #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary voters, it’s unclear how an actual third party candidate would fare in this fall.

The poll found a generic “truly independent candidate” would receive 21 percent of the vote if the general election were held today. In that scenario, Trump would receive 34 percent of the vote; while Clinton would get 31 percent. Another 13 percent of respondents said they weren’t sure.

Could that have something to do with not knowing who the candidate is? Maybe. As Chris Cillizza with the Washington Post pointed out Wednesday, voters put the “traits they want to see in a politician onto that ‘truly independent candidate.’ But that person doesn’t exist.”

And just what do voters want? A vast majority of those polled said they wanted a president who wasn’t beholden to party or special interests.

THIS IS THE DUMBEST POLL I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME via Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post – [The] poll in question, which was conducted by a firm called Data Targeting Inc., which, as far as I can tell, is primarily an opposition research group based in Florida. And that poll is, not to put too fine a point on it, remarkably bad. Let’s start with what the poll, in the broadest terms, gets right. It finds that 58 percent of respondents to its national survey are dissatisfied with their remaining Democratic and Republican options for president. A majority of Americans also have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton (56 percent) and Donald Trump (55 percent) … Where the Data Targeting poll gets into deep trouble is in its quest to extrapolate out from the unpopularity of the two likely nominees to the viability of an independent candidate. We are told in the memo that “55 percent of respondents favor having an independent presidential ticket in 2016” and that “a shocking 91 percent of voters under the age of 29 favor having an independent candidate on the ballot.” The logic problem here is that conducting a ballot test question using the names “Hillary Clinton” and “Donald Trump” matched up against “independent” is totally wrong and misleading. Clinton and Trump are two real people with lots and lots of well-known warts between them. And we already know that people don’t really like either of them. So when you offer a third option that is not real — a “truly independent candidate” — then of course that option looks SUPER attractive to people. Think of it this way. You are really hungry. You have three options to eat. The first is blood pudding. The second is liverwurst. (Let’s assume you are a normal person and hate both of those things.) The third is an unidentified food. You immediately begin fantasizing about what that third food might be. A cherry pie? A nice steak?  Ice cream? Pizza? It’s something different for most people. But the fact that it’s an option without any specifics attached to it makes it instantly appealing. It could be the exact thing you have been craving! You inevitably would choose the third option for that reason.

DONALD TRUMP SAYS HIS BUSINESS FLOURISHING SINCE PRESIDENTIAL RUN via Jeff Horwitz and Chad Day of The Associated Press – The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said revenue at his businesses grew by $190 million over the past 17 months, and he had $557 million in earned income. The Federal Election Commission released the personal financial documents that Trump filed with the agency. Though the disclosure overlaps with one he filed last year – making straight comparisons difficult – revenues from his golf resort businesses are up, with Trump reporting $306 million in revenues from his courses around the world. About $132 million of that came from Trump’s course in Doral, Florida, up from $49 million in revenue the year before. The Mar-a-Lago club, a Trump vacation property and private club that has been a regular backdrop for campaign events, also saw a big jump. It reported $29 million in revenues, far more than the $16 million reported in Trump’s filing last year. The Miss Universe Pageant, which Trump sold after his comments on Mexican immigrants led to a dispute with television networks, went for $49 million. That was far more than the $5 million to $25 million the pageant was listed as worth on his financial disclosures from last year. Trump said the filing was “the largest in the history of the FEC” and he praised the timely submission.

BERNIE SANDERS’S BAD DELEGATE MATH JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE via Philip Bump of The Washington Post – Sanders needs to win 67 percent of the remaining pledged delegates in order to pass Clinton by the time voting ends. The vast majority of those delegates — about three-quarters of them — come from California and New Jersey, states where Clinton currently leads. Sanders needs big wins in both of those states or a giant win in California, which would require a stunning shift in the relatively static pattern we’ve seen so far in Democratic voting. And all of that is excluding superdelegates. If you include superdelegates, among whom Clinton has a big lead, Sanders needs to win more than 90 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. Which means, essentially, that he needs to win every delegate, since winning 85 percent of the vote in Democratic contests earns you 100 percent of the delegate total.

MARCO RUBIO HIRES WASHINGTON SUPERLAWYER TO FIELD JOB OFFERS via Marc Caputo of POLITICO – Robert Barnett, the Washington superlawyer who negotiated approximately $1.3 million worth of book deals for Rubio, has been hired by the U.S. senator to handle what Barnett describes as a crush of job offers ahead of his retirement from elected office in January. “Senator Rubio has already received many — and will receive many more — inquiries from interested individuals and entities. They come from a wide variety of sectors and reflect the fact that he will be in high demand,” Barnett said in an email.

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LYING TED, LITTLE MARCO, CROOKED HILLARY — MAKE WAY FOR ANGRY ALAN via John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post – Trump has cornered the market on nicknaming his opponents — Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary and more … But give Democrat Patrick Murphy a little time to catch up. Murphy … has begun tagging his primary opponent in the U.S. Senate race … Alan Grayson … as “Angry Alan.” A website highlighting Grayson’s media confrontations over a hedge fund he ran and the House ethics investigation it spawned was put up by the Murphy campaign. Meanwhile, Murphy may eventually earn his own nickname from the garrulous Grayson, who once dubbed Ted Cruz, “The Manitoban Candidate.”

CLC POLL SHOWS MIAMI-DADE AS STRONGHOLD IN SENATE PRIMARY via Marc Caputo of POLITICO — In Florida’s crowded Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is counting on his home county of Miami-Dade to be his fortress. It may turn out to be just that, according to a new survey from his campaign that shows Lopez-Cantera winning 51 percent of the county’s GOP vote in a theoretical match-up against the other four Republican candidates, all of whom are basically unknown in Miami-Dade when compared to the lieutenant governor. Businessman Carlos Beruff comes in a distant second (9 percent), followed by U.S. Rep. David Jolly (4 percent) and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and businessman Todd Wilcox (each with 3 percent), according to the survey of 1,635 Republicans conducted May 5 by Lopez-Cantera’s senior adviser, Rich Johnston.

U.S. SENATE TRACKER: Beruff will make several stops in north Florida, ending the day with a campaign stop in Hudson. Lopez-Cantera will be in Jacksonville. Wilcox will be in Apopka and Sumterville.

IN RIVAL POLLS, JOE GARCIA STILL LEADS ANNETTE TADDEO via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida – Taddeo, the former lieutenant governor candidate now running in the state’s southernmost congressional district, is making a surprise disclosure: Her own poll shows she’s losing the Democratic primary to former U.S. Rep. Garcia by 16 percentage points. But there’s a method to her campaign’s apparent madness. Taddeo released her survey when the campaign got word that Garcia was preparing to publicize his own poll numbers showing him up by 24 percentage points. Her poll also indicates she has a path to victory if voters just learn more about the candidates. It’s a finding that conflicts with Garcia’s survey.

MY TAKE: THE ‘ANIMAL HOUSE’ LOGIC OF ANNETTE TADDEO via Florida Politics – Remember this scene from “Animal House” where Boon and Otter hit Niedermeyer in the head with a golf shot because he’s hazing Flounder? Otter says, “He can’t do that to our pledges.” To which Boon replies, “Only we can do that to our pledges!” Well, it looks like the logic of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity has seeped into Annette Taddeo‘s congressional campaign. How else to explain the latest blunder from Taddeo? This week, she released an internal poll … showing her losing in a Democratic primary by 21 points to Joe Garcia. This was after Garcia released his own internal poll that showed him beating Taddeo by 25 points. I can just imagine Taddeo saying to some poor campaign staffer, “He can’t do that to our poll numbers. Only we can do that to our poll numbers.” Taddeo is such a bad candidate it’s as if she’s been hit in the head too many times with golf shots.

MARY THOMAS HITS OBAMA ADMIN BATHROOM DIRECTIVE IN NEW RADIO SPOT via Ryan Ray of Florida Politics – The one-minute radio spot features Thomas calling the new directive “outrageous.” “Men should use the men’s room, women should use the women’s room. It’s just common sense,” says Thomas. The ad opens with an ominous-sounding voice-over proclaiming an urgent “alert about our public schools … the Obama administration just ordered all public schools to allow boys who identify as women to use the same bathrooms as girls,” a narrator warns. “If we don’t comply, Obama will cut school funding.”

CORRINE BROWN SAYS SHE HAS ENOUGH PETITIONS TO QUALIFY FOR RE-ELECTION BID via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union – She may have fought valiantly against the newly drawn district, but now that the courts have ruled … Brown is moving forward with a re-election bid. Brown announced she has gathered enough petitions to qualify to be on the ballot for the August primary. Her main challenger, former state Sen. Al Lawson, met his petition goal last month. The district stretches from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and is drawn in a way that an African-American Democrat is likely to win.

JUSTIN GRABELLE AND DANIEL WEBSTER CAMPAIGNS DISPUTE WEBSTER’S MISSED VOTES EARLIER THIS WEEK via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – “I wish I could say I’m surprised that Congressman Webster decided to skip votes to campaign, but unfortunately, Congressman Webster is just another career politician looking to extend his taxpayer-funded job while not doing what the voters sent him to Washington to do,” Grabelle said … “It’s increasingly clear that voters here don’t support a career politician abandoning his constituents in Orlando just to move to our community in a vain attempt to keep himself in office.” Nonsense, replies the Webster campaign. They say the representative attended an event with the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) in The Villages … to discuss legislation he’s cosponsored that gives seniors and veterans a cost of living adjustment. “Rep. Webster did not have any campaign events Monday,” said spokesman Andrew Tyrrell. “He attended the AMAC event as a sitting Member of Congress to discuss legislation he has cosponsored to give seniors and veterans a cost of living adjustment. AMAC supports this legislation.” The Grabelle camp isn’t buying it.

PERSONNEL NOTE: KATHY CASTOR ADDS NEW OFFICE MANAGER, TAMPA OFFICE CHANGES via Florida Politics  Damaris “Dee” Gonzalez left her post as Castor’s office manager to become a constituent services representative. In the new role, she will focus on helping military families in CD 14 get access to their earned benefits, which plays into her background as a hospital officer for the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Department of Florida. Gonzalez replaces Stephanie Germon, who left the congresswoman’s office to work as a mental health therapist and consultant at Gulf Coast Rehabilitation. New hire Patricia Givens, who worked as a legislative aide for Democratic state Reps. Betty Reed and Ed Narain, will take over for Gonzalez as Castor’s office manager. Among her responsibilities is ensuring timely constituent services, assisting callers and walk-ins at Castor’s office and managing special projects.

TV ADS BEGIN TO FLY IN SD 8 RACE via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida – There was a soft opening this month in what’s likely to be one of the most heated and expensive state Senate races in 2016, as both parties try to grab one of the state’s top swing seats. Former Democratic state Sen. Rod Smith and Republican Rep. Keith Perry are running for the Gainesville-based Senate District 8, which is now slightly Democratic-leaning after being redrawn in a lengthy redistricting legal challenge.

MIKE CLELLAND DEBUTS TV COMMERCIAL IN SD 13 RACE via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – The 30-second commercial, “Blaring,” is designed to introduce Clelland to the area …  It begins with scenes of firetrucks and firefighters in action and then briefly turns to a couple of photographs of Clelland in uniform when he was a firefighter in Longwood, as he declares in a voice-over, “I may be a retired firefighter, but I still believe in service.” The spot then goes on to quickly touch on several issues including equal pay for equal work, support for public schools and even drinking water, a subtle nod to water quality issues arising in eastern Orange County, within SD 13 … there were no immediate details available about when, how often or on what stations.

SAVE THE DATE: State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo will hold a fundraising reception Tuesday, June 21, to support her campaign for Senate District 28. Event begins 5:30 p.m. at Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. West in Bradenton. RSVP with Ieva Smidt at or 850-657-8022.

SD 23 DEBATE TURNS TO THE RIGHT via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune – In a debate dominated by red-meat issues such as abortion and guns, most of the Republicans running for the District 23 state Senate seat competed to see how far right they could get, to the point one disavowed a past vote helping illegal immigrants and another touted a proposal similar to Donald Trump‘s controversial stance against Muslims entering the country. Meanwhile, former Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson again stood out for holding to more moderate views on a number of issues during the GOP candidate forum hosted by the Nokomis Osprey Venice Area Republican Club. After the crowd of about 50 clapped for state Rep. Greg Steube‘s spirited defense of legislation he sponsored that would have allowed students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, Patterson began her answer by saying, “I gather by the clapping this is not going to be a popular answer … The truth is I’m not about popular answers; I’m about common sense.”

DWIGHT BULLARD FINED $5K FOR CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – The Florida Elections Commission meted out the punishment … Bullard had been charged with failing to fix several reports that were incomplete – even after being told how to do so, staff told commissioners. He was given “multiple opportunities to respond” but never did, a commission report says. Because Bullard knew of the problem and failed to act, he was found in “willful violation” of the law and fined $1,000 for each of five reports from 2013 to 2015.

ANITERE FLORES, UNDER FIRE, DENOUNCES DRILLING IN SENSITIVE AREAS via Bruce Richie of POLITICO Florida – An advocacy group is challenging Flores on her stance on oil and gas drilling, prompting a response in which she denounced drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. Florida Strong, a 501(c)4 group that does not have to disclose its donors, issued a statement calling Flores “bought and paid for” by “big oil” because she hadn’t taken a stand against Big Cypress drilling. Florida Strong has overwhelmingly targeted Republican lawmakers and policies they support. In response, Flores said through her political committee that she is against drilling in Big Cypress and that she led Senate opposition this year to a bill that would have provided for regulation of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing. Environmental issues are emerging as a key re-election issue for Flores, a Republican from Miami whose new district includes a portion of Big Cypress and the left-leaning Florida Keys. She faces Democrat Andrew M. Korge and no-party candidate Sheila Y. Lucas George in her re-election bid.

HAPPENING TODAY: State Rep. Elizabeth Porter holds a fundraising reception for her re-election bid in House District 10. Event begins 5 p.m. at the Governors Club Board Room, 20 2 ½ S. Adams Street in Tallahassee.

DELTONA MAYOR BACKS WILLIAM MCBRIDE IN HD 27 via Florida Politics – McBride announced … John Masiarczyk is backing his bid to take over for Rep. David Santiago in the Volusia County seat. “Will McBride is a real conservative. He will be a great champion for Deltona and all of District 27,” Masiarczyk said. “As the mayor of Deltona, we need someone in the Legislature who will fight for our city, the jobs our citizens need and the quality of life they deserve. I am proud to stand with a true conservative like Will McBride.”

— “Alex Sink backs Jennifer Webb’s bid for Pinellas House seat” via POLITICO

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FLORIDA’S LUCKY, RECORD-SETTING HURRICANE DROUGHT WILL END, PERHAPS THIS SEASON via Jon Erdman of The Weather Channel – Since Category 3 Hurricane Wilma roared ashore in South Florida Oct. 24, 2005, the Sunshine State has gone over 10 years without a single hurricane landfall. Both the 1970s and 1980s featured relatively few strikes. However, that was also during the nadir of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a cycle of North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures, during which numbers of named storms and particularly stronger hurricanes can lessen during the cooler phase that was in place then. The AMO’s warmer phase beginning in 1995 has been found to correlate to a higher number of tropical storms becoming strong hurricanes. But the number of named storms and hurricanes are poorly correlated to landfalls, and the percentage of hurricanes impacting the U.S. since 2006 is a record low for any 10-year period … Despite this long run of fortune, Florida will be hit by a hurricane again, possibly this season. If you live where hurricanes and tropical storms threaten, you should be prepared every hurricane season, regardless of how long it’s been since the last one, and what the preseason hurricane season outlooks say. After all, it only takes one storm to turn any hurricane season into a disaster.

FLORIDA’S LOOKING FOR HELP IN REPLACING A CONFEDERATE via John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post – Henry FlaglerZora Neale HurstonJim Morrison? Floridians are being asked to submit names of deceased, famous natives or those known for living in the state and worthy of being honored with a statue at the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. An online survey from the Florida Department of State has been posted and will be up until June 10 to take recommendations, which also can be sent by mail. These recommendations will go to a panel from the state’s Division of Historical Resources, set to hold its first meeting June 22. Three names will be sent to the 2017 Legislature, which makes the final selection. There’s no shortage of famous dead Floridians.

TRANSGENDER BATHROOM DEBATE COMES TO FLORIDA via Kristen Clark of the Miami Herald – A conservative lawmaker in Florida who is running for Nassau County school superintendent wants state Attorney General Pam Bondi to issue an official opinion on what she believes to be the “constitutional encroach” of the Obama administration’s new guidance to public schools over transgender students’ bathroom access. State Rep. Janet Adkins … called the president’s new policy a “clear violation” of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “It is clear that the Obama administration is once again circumventing the Congress and even its own federal rule-making process to impose new federal rules and laws on Florida’s public schools,” Adkins said in a statement … But Bondi’s office isn’t wading into the issue. Deputy Attorney General Kent J. Perez wrote in a response to Adkins: “We do not issue legal opinions on federal law.”

FLORIDA ZIKA VIRUS UPDATE via – As of Wednesday, there were four new travel-related cases, with one in Brevard, one in Broward, one in Pinellas and one involving a pregnant woman. Five cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days. There are now 120 total cases in Florida; by county (number of cases): Miami Dade (45), Broward (16), Orange (9), Palm Beach (7), Alachua (4), Lee (4), Osceola (4), Brevard (3), Hillsborough (3), Polk (3), Pinellas (3), Clay (2), Seminole (2), Volusia (2) and a single case each in Collier, Martin, Pasco, Santa Rosa and St. John’s, with eight cases involving pregnant women. The DOH recommends women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas. The department also urges Floridians to drain standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small. A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes. Residents and visitors also need to use repellents when enjoying the Florida outdoors. Florida currently has the capacity to test 6,331 people for active Zika virus and 1,991 for Zika antibodies. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.

THREE FLORIDA REPUBLICANS OBJECT AS HOUSE APPROVES $622 MILLION FOR ZIKA via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times – Those against were Reps. Vern Buchanan, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo. The other Republican against it was Justin Amash of Michigan. All Democrats but three voted against the proposal, which is at odds with the $1.1 billion approved Tuesday by the Senate and the $1.9 billion the White House wants.

NEW SURGEON GENERAL AIMS TO MAKE FLORIDA A LEADER IN PUBLIC HEALTH via Christine Sexton of POLITICO — In an email to Department of Health employees on Wednesday, newly appointed state surgeon general Celeste Philip said she was “dedicated” to making Florida “a national leader in public health.” Gov. Rick Scott removed the “interim” tag from Philip’s title Wednesday morning, naming her state surgeon general and health secretary. “The work we do is important — each part of this agency has the ability to improve the health and well-being of our fellow Floridians and the many visitors who come to our great state. I look forward to working with you all and our many state and local partners to address the health needs in our communities,” Philip wrote in the email.

FMA REAX TO PHILLIPS’ APPOINTMENT: “As the State of Florida is preparing to combat the further spread of the Zika virus, it is critical to have a public health physician leading the Department of Health. Dr. Celeste Philip, a family and preventative medicine physician with a Masters degree in public health, is the perfect choice by Governor Scott to be Florida’s Surgeon General. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) congratulates Dr. Philip, a member of the FMA, on being appointed to this important position and we look forward to working with her to address the health needs of the citizens of our state.”

HEALTH INSURANCE MERGERS A CONCERN FOR THE MAJORITY OF FLORIDIANS via Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster of Florida Politics – The Florida Campaign for Consumer Choice … once again called on Attorney General Pam Bondi to investigate the proposed mergers of Aetna and Humana, and Anthem and Cigna. The calls for investigation come as a majority of Floridians expressed concern about the mergers. “Mergers mean less access and competition,” said Dr. Mona Mangat, chairwoman of the national board of Doctors for America … “The merger of health insurance companies will lead to less competition in the marketplace.” And less competition, advocates said, could make it difficult for Floridians to find health insurance options. “Floridians already feel the pain from a lack of expanded Medicaid access in the state,” said Sen. Geraldine Thompson … “But, with the mergers of five major insurance carriers, more Floridians will without a doubt see higher prices due to less competition in Florida’s health care marketplace.”

NO-FAULT INSURANCE: FLORIDA STUDIES KILLING IT IN REPORT DUE SEPTEMBER 2 via Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post – State officials are putting in motion a $125,000 study on the possibility of dropping the state’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection car insurance system. Officials plan to choose a vendor to work on the report by June, with a draft due Aug. 26 and a final report due Sept. 2, records from the Department of Financial Services show. Among the report’s objectives: Study “the potential impact to Floridians if the personal injury protection coverage requirements were repealed and replaced with varying levels of bodily injury coverage, or if the current requirements to purchase auto insurance were completely repealed.” The findings could help legislators as they explore dumping PIP. One option is requiring bodily-injury liability insurance, which most states do. More than 90 percent of Florida drivers already have that coverage.

ANIMAL RESEARCH LAB SUING TO PREVENT RELEASE OF RECORDS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics – An animal research lab has filed suit to prevent the release of public records it says contain “trade secrets.” Primate Products, Inc. first wants a temporary injunction to prevent the state’s Department of Agriculture from releasing those records until the case’s final disposition. The company, with offices in Immokalee and Miami, breeds and sells “nonhuman primates for use in biomedical research,” the suit says. Primate Products’ Hendry County facility came under fire last year after undercover animal-rights activists filmed “thin, wounded monkeys and workers manhandling them,” according to a Fort Myers News-Press story … That “triggered a federal investigation of the farm, where more than 3,000 monkeys destined for biomedical research live” … “The USDA found violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and gave Primate Products a timeline to fix each problem while detailing future quality standards it would have to meet” … Federal investigators later declared the facility in “compliance with animal welfare guidelines after admitting ‘weaknesses’ in some of its practices.”

MY TAKE: CRUSHED BY YOUR OWN CONDO DOCS via Florida Politics – Miami Beach. It’s where people go to … invest in real estate with values that have nowhere to go but up. Unless, that is, you happen to own a unit in the Carillon Miami Beach … Until recently, the development was the southern outpost of the “healthy luxury” brand, Canyon Ranch, but was purchased in 2014 by an Illinois-based private equity firm, Z Capital. Since the acquisition, the new owners have engaged in a concerted campaign to “de-condoize” the property, by using every tactic at their disposal to bully unit owners, make their once luxurious living situation undesirable and artificially drive down property values so Z can swoop in like vultures and gobble them up at sub-market prices. At least, that’s what the condo board of Carillon’s Central Tower is alleging in a lawsuit … And before that filing, the board of the South Tower entered a similar, though narrower in scope, complaint against Z Capital, charging a lack of transparency in the condo documents Z is trying to impose on that board. The Central Tower’s suit is stunning in both the volume and content of its allegations against Z Capital … nearly 70 pages long, with 16 separate complaints against Z, backed up by 282 allegations. A press release from the Central Tower’s board …  Smmarizes their suit by claiming Z Capital has, “engaged in an unlawful against … owners” to “artificially drive down property values,” as well as other acts in “clear violation of the Florida Condominium Act.”

SLOTS MACHINES IN JACKSONVILLE? via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union – The bill was filed by Councilman Aaron Bowman … could be up for final approval as early as June 28Susie Wiles, who represents bestbet on the issue, said the referendum would be the first step toward adding slots to its existing facility on Monument Road that is the state’s largest poker room and also simulcasts greyhound racing. “It is simply asking the voters to suggest whether they want to have slot machines in Duval County,” Wiles said. The owners of bestbet, formally known as Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, have a sister facility in Orange Park and a third license, which is currently not being used, in St. Johns County. Asked whether a similar slots referendum may be proposed in St. Johns, Wiles said that decision has not been made. “We’re concentrating on Duval County right now,” she said.

APPOINTEDTom Napier to the State Retirement System.


Albert Balido, Anfield Consulting: AltMed; Robert Allan Smith

Jorge Chamizo, Floridian Partners: The Garage Inc.

Rob FieldsDanny JordanJeanette Yaeger: One Eighty Consulting: Knowledge Services

Thomas Griffin, The Fiorentino Group: Murphy & Anderson

Nick IarossiRonald LaFaceScott Ross, Capital City Consulting: George Hackney

Bennett Miller, Dunn & Miller: Riviera Shores

MIAMI AND FSU PERSONNEL PLAYFULLY FEUD OVER STAR RECRUIT ON TWITTER via Kyle Munzenrieder of the Miami New Times – We already noted that one of the first noticeable changes new coach Mark Richt made to the ways the Miami Hurricanes operate is a tendency to use Twitter aggressively during the recruiting process. Richt and his assistants have been broadcasting their recruiting trips in 140 characters or fewer to all of their followers. That’s fun and all, but you know what people really, really loves to see on Twitter? Fights. That’s exactly what FSU recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster and UM assistant director of player personnel Jorge Baez got into last night. Miami Central’s Navaughn Donaldson is a four-star prospect who has been rated one of the top 20 linemen in the nation. He has already verbally committed to the Canes, but other teams are still actively trying to sway him. Baez took to Twitter to remind everyone where Donaldson stood without mentioning the player directly. Jorge Baez ‎@Coach_Baez; “The Best OL in the #305 is staying in the 305,Make sure U know U are Not welcome in the 305#COMEPLAY4THE[]_[] ???” But Brewster reminded him verbal commits aren’t set in stone, and that he’ll be in Miami this week to recruit: “@TimBrewster @Coach_Baez Lmao!!! I ll be in my backyard tomorrow! It’s a NoleNation!” We guess this is just what college football recruiting is nowadays: old men trying to be hip on the Twitter.

PUBLISHERS AND BRANDS, GET READY FOR THE SNAPCHAT ALGORITHM via Garett Sloane of – Snapchat is developing an algorithm that will act as a gatekeeper between publishers and brands and their audiences, according to sources. Many publishers and brands are earmarking resources for Snapchat, the platform of the moment for reaching a large, young and active audience. Users currently see all the messages from accounts they follow in chronological order, but with an algorithm, Snapchat would act as curator of content from publishers and, especially, brands, according to sources. “It’s going to be the same model Facebook has: It’s free for everybody to share content, but an algorithm will penalize some people and boost others. That’s why you don’t want to be beholden to any one of these platforms or you’re suddenly stuck when the game changes,” said a top publishing source close to Snapchat.

TWITTER IS TESTING A PERISCOPE LIVE STREAMING BUTTON INSIDE ITS MOBILE APPS via Jon Russell of TechCrunch – Facebook is heaping focus on live video with an entirely dedicated tab for streams, which prioritizes in-the-moment broadcasts, so it’s no surprise to see that Twitter is fighting back in the streaming war with an integration between Periscope, its live-streaming platform and the Twitter mobile apps. In what the company [calls] a test, a small number of Twitter for Android users have a ‘Go Live’ button alongside existing media options, such as record video or attach image, when they create a tweet. Those with the app already installed on their phone are directed to Periscope when they click the button, all others are sent to the app store where they can download the live-streaming app. “Over time, all users will have the ability to start a Periscope broadcast from Twitter,” the company [said] a statement.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Rep. Daphne Campbell.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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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