Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD: Will Holden, son of Mollie and Greg Holden (the incoming chair of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and someone who should be on your radar screens as potential political candidate). Greg writes, “Will was born happy and healthy (Tuesday) at 755 a.m. 7 pounds exactly and 19 inches long. He is exhausted after his arrival party so he and mom are getting much needed rest.”
On to politics…
FIRST IN SUNBURN — POLL NUMBERS FROM A REDRAWN CD 13 Full poll results here
No wonder Charlie Crist said he’ll run in a redrawn south Pinellas congressional seat. Look at these numbers from a poll conducted after he made his announcement.
Charlie Crist favorability: 75%
Democratic primary: Charlie Crist 72%, Eric Lynn 10%, Dwight Dudley 8%, Undecided 10%
Democratic primary: Charlie Crist 75%, Eric Lynn 12%, Undecided 13%
JEB BUSH VS. SCOTT WALKER: ROUND 1 OF A LONG BRAWL via Eli Stokols of POLITICO
Suddenly, the gloves are off between Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Surprisingly, Bush threw the first punch, sparking a back-and-forth between the two leading Republican candidates in early-state polls, both eager to highlight what they see as the other’s fatal flaw — Bush as the establishment shill and Walker as the foreign policy lightweight.
It started during a town hall in Nevada … when Bush took an unprovoked shot at Walker, portraying him as unserious and unsophisticated over a promise he made in his announcement speech … to repeal the nuclear deal with Iran “on the very first day in office.”
“One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day,'” Bush said after criticizing the deal itself before a crowd of 100 people.” Walker hit back … telling reporters he didn’t “want a president who is not prepared to act on Day One,” including taking military action. Neither mentioned the other by name. Far from being put on the defensive, Walker’s campaign saw an opening to go after Bush as someone too plodding, in Walker’s view, to be a tough commander in chief.
JEB BUSH IS MEANER THAN HE LOOKS via Larry Sabato of POLITICO
An examination of the Bush family legacy in campaigning makes clear that Jeb Bush’s “Mr. Nice Guy” routine isn’t likely to last all that long. Most presidential candidates have a streak of ruthlessness in them—even the nice guys. Make that especially the nice guys. They’re mild-mannered and courteous in public, so someone else has to do the dirty work of winning for them.
Jeb Bush will prove this again. It’s an easy prediction that he’ll follow his brother and father in bushwhacking any opponent standing between him and the presidency. With the Bushes, do not take too seriously their assertions of personal sweetness.
George H.W. Bush called for “a kinder, gentler nation” while accepting the Republican presidential nomination in August 1988. George W. Bush set the goal of “compassionate conservatism” when his turn came in 2000. And now, Jeb Bush promises to “show [his] heart” during his 2016 campaign—one he says he wants to be full of “hugging and kissing.”
The Bushes have the empathetic pitch down pat, but beware the brass knuckles hiding beneath the velvet glove of their rhetoric. Jeb Bush is likely to have far more money than any other rival, especially because of his Right to Rise super PAC, which has collected $103 million already. This committee is run by the shrewd and talented Mike Murphy, who has declared he will “weaponize” Bush’s fundraising advantage.
Politics is as tough and nasty a business as you can find, and the Bushes are highly skilled at the dark art of negative campaigning. While they talk a good game about compassion, very little of it is shown to their opponents.
Considering this history, it ought to be obvious what’s coming down the pike. Marco Rubio may be Jeb’s friend and mentee, but he had the temerity to challenge Bush. The one-term senator will pay for it by being defined in Bush’s spots as a not ready for prime-time Republican Obama. Scott Walker should expect an assault on several grounds: no experience in foreign policy (though Bush himself has only been a state governor) and manager of an economy that doesn’t measure up to Florida’s under Bush. Rand Paul’s face will dissolve into Neville Chamberlain’s. Ted Cruz and Chris Christie have already provided the film footage to be depicted as ranting, unstable men whose fingers should be nowhere near the nuclear button. Mike Huckabee will be a tax-raising populist, with a Dukakis-like tendency to let dangerous criminals out early. John Kasich is going to get pegged as an Obamacare lover. And Donald Trump? Well, the imagination runs wild.
In reality, Bush won’t bother to launch most of these attacks because it will be clear most of his opponents can’t prevail. However, any GOP candidates high in the polls later this year should spend some money to construct a bomb shelter. The Bush family knows how it’s done. When you’re playing the nice guy, you can’t afford to be seen with dirty hands.
TWEET OF THE DAY: @MarcoRubio: Anyone know a good theatre in Manchester or Des Moines to catch #straightouttacompton? Trailer looks amazing.
WHO WILL MAKE THE DEBATE CUT?
Ahead of the first GOP debate Aug. 6, check out this interactive graphic from the New York Times to get an estimate of which candidates have a chance of participating.
— “Which 2016 candidate has the worst logo?” via POLITICO Magazine
ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Bush visits a crisis pregnancy center in Spartanburg, S.C. (h/t POLITICO). Later, he will speak at Americans for Prosperity’s “Road to Reform” discussion in Manchester, N.H.
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INSIDER POLL: DAVID JOLLY EDGES CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA AS MOST ELECTABLE SEN. CANDIDATE via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times
David Jolly has a lot of work and challenges ahead of him to win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, but so far it appears he is winning the expectations primary among Florida’s political elites. A plurality in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll see the Pinellas Republican not only as the most likely winner of the Republican senate nomination but also as the strongest Republican for the general election.
Among more than 160 Florida political operatives, lobbyists, fundraisers and academics, nearly 37 percent predicted Jolly would win the nomination, 22 percent predicted Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 21 percent predicted U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, 14 percent predicted former Attorney Gen. Bill McCollum, and 6 percent predicted U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller. Asked who would be the strongest Republican for the general election, 43 percent said Jolly, 32 percent Lopez-Cantera, 11 percent McCollum, 9 percent DeSantis, 4 percent Miller, and 1 percent Todd Wilcox, a defense contractor from Orlando.
“David Jolly is the Florida center both in temperament and ideology, he is the model of past winners,” said one Democrat. “Jolly is more polished and self-assured then Murphy, due in no small part to Murphy’s youth.”
Offered a Republican: “David Jolly’s Tampa Bay cheerleaders are missing a key point: He’s ranked the most liberal of the FL GOP delegation. Republican primary, remember? Wildly-overpriced stock…The Florida and national a Democrats did CLC a big favor this week; by going so over the top in their attacks they signaled he’s the one they most worried about in the general.”
JOLLY SUPPORTS EXPANDING AMERICANS ABILITY TO TRAVEL TO CUBA via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
(O)fficial resumption of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba was met with full throated denunciations from Republican elected officials up and down the Sunshine State, and David Jolly, the latest entrant into the GOP 2016 Senate race, was no exception.
“Look, I oppose the president’s decision,” Jolly told Florida Politics … regarding President Obama’s diplomatic breakthrough with Cuba that he announced last December. “I think it has been too aggressive, too quickly.”
But there is one place where Jolly has recently shown some flexibility regarding the Communist island, and that’s in allowing for expanding private travel for Americans.
“I do think that travel is the one piece that we can begin to effectively move on and see where it develops between the two countries in terms of bringing the Cuban people together with the American people … I have voted to restrict funding for the president’s plan to open an embassy, for normalizing trade with the Cuban government, or for trade with the intelligence services of Cuba.”
But on travel?
“I have actually embraced the current private travel allowances, and have voted recently to allow to expand it.”
Specifically, Jolly voted on an amendment sponsored by South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford and California Democrat Barbara Lee that would strike newly-proposed language creating travel restrictions from the FY16 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. The legislation was supported by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and a host of agricultural based organizations, but fell on a 247-176 vote. Jolly was one of just 18 Republicans to support the measure.
— “Florida Republicans remain opposed to normalization with Cuba” via Kevin Derby of the Sunshine State News
ALAN GRAYSON MAY HAVE VIOLATED ETHICS RULES WITH CAMPAIGN INTERVIEW FROM OFFICIAL HOUSE OFFICE via Phil Ammann of Florida Politics
From the outset, Congressman Alan Grayson may have violated congressional ethics rules in his U.S. Senate campaign, according a former legal counsel for House leadership.
By holding a July 9 campaign-related interview from his House office, the brash Orlando liberal may have broken rules prohibiting congressional members from engaging in campaign activity within an official office space.
Grayson’s conversation with Huffington Post Live was held on the morning he announced entering Florida’s Democratic Senate primary. Huffpost Live reporter Alyona Minkovski focused on Grayson’s decision to enter the race.
The freshly minted Senate candidate began the interview sitting at a computer, with flags in his Washington, D.C. office clearly visible behind him. Later, Grayson goes from appearing on the screen as a video interview to “on the phone” without a break or explanation. The 15-minute interview focused on his Senate campaign.
Former in-house counsel on ethics Elliot Berke, a managing partner at Berke Farah LLP, noted that engaging in interviews and other campaign activity from an official office is expressly forbidden.
“There’s a very clear prohibition on engaging in campaign activity within an official office or using official resources,” Berke told Joe Schoffstall of the Washington Free Beacon.
PATRICK MURPHY GETS ENDORSEMENTS FROM FIVE MAYORS via Kevin Derby of the Sunshine State News
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy … reeled in the support of five mayors as he continues his bid to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio … Palm Bay Mayor William Capote, Tamarac Mayor Harry Dressler, Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson, Jr., Palm Beach County Mayor Shelley Vana and Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan all fell in line behind Murphy …
“I am humbled and honored to have the support of these mayors from across the state,” Murphy said … “From the Space Coast to Southwest Florida, our campaign is gaining momentum every day, and I look forward to working with these true community leaders to strengthen Florida’s middle class and fight for our state in the U.S. Senate.”
HAPPENING TODAY — MARY THOMAS TO FORMALLY ANNOUNCE RUN FOR CD 2 via Ryan Ray of Florida Politics
Republican Mary Thomas will announce her candidacy for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District today at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee.
A first-generation American, Thomas – “a mom, a wife, an attorney, a first-generation American and a strong conservative” – would be the first Indian-American woman in Congress.
Thomas is seeking the GOP nomination in a seat almost certain to be significantly altered when the Legislature convenes August 10 to redraw eight congressional districts, including North Florida’s 5th Congressional District.
That would likely split CD 2 – currently represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham – in half, opening the door for a challenge.
Experts expect the reconstituted CD 2 to skew heavily Republican – about R+16 or so, though the presence of former “Dixiecrats” and former “Yellow dog” Democrats in the district still show Dems with a registration advantage.
Thomas currently serves in the administration of Gov. Rick Scott as general counsel in the Department of Elder Affairs.
According to her website, Thomas has worked on a number of key issues of state and regional significance as a lawyer with the state including “negotiations regarding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; developing strategies to protect the Apalachicola Bay from Georgia’s unchecked consumption of water… and helping to solve military base encroachment issues around the Panhandle’s military installations.”
The announcement is set for noon at the Press Center on 336 E. College Avenue in downtown Tallahassee.
THOMAS KICKOFF LUNCH REPLETE WITH NORTH FLORIDA GOP STALWARTS
Dozens of supporters will join Thomas for a post-announcement lunch on College Avenue downtown.
Among them are Jeb Bush bundler Dr. George Thomas; former FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad; former DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard; former state attorney and chief in-house Scott admin counsel Peter Antonacci; Leon GOP committeewoman Cynthia Henderson; Bay GOP committeewoman Thelma Rohan; and Liberty GOP committeewoman Hannah Causseaux.
SEE THE INVITE here.
TWEET – SHOT: @SteveSchale: .@logo is a cut & paste of the trademarked @ logo. Wonder if her ideas are more original.
TWEET – CHASER: JohnKonkus: @#that’s because @ went to FSU Law while @ went to law school in favorite city…Washington DC
PINELLAS’ TOP DEM FUNDRAISER ON CRIST CANDIDACY: SORRY CHARLIE, I’M ALREADY COMMITTED via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times
There is probably no fundraiser/power broker sought after by Pinellas County Democrats than Craig Sher, executive chairman of the Sembler Co. development firm. He currently serves as finance chairman of Democrat Eric Lynn‘s campaign for congress, just as he played a big role in helping Alex Sink‘s campaign for that same congressional seat and Rick Kriseman‘s campaign for mayor.
So might Sher shift candidates when and if a heavyweight like Charlie Crist enters the race?
“Once I pick my horse, I stick with it,” said Sher, who helped Lynn raise an impressive $400,000 in the three month period ending June 30. “(Crist’s interest) just makes us re-double our efforts. We’ve had a really good July, and we’re going to keep going.”
Sher has known Crist for much of his (Republican) political career, but gubernatorial candidate Crist was not among the Democrats the St. Pete Beach Democrat donated to in 2014.
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ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott announces new job creation at a 9 a.m. press conference at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, 7500 Centurion Parkway in Jacksonville.
ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding will make the third stop on its “Spotlight Transparency Tour” in Miami on Thursday, July 23 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek will discuss the letter she sent to insurance companies on Medicaid Managed Care rates. Meeting is at Miami Dade College Medical Campus, 950 NW 20th Street, Room 1175 in Miami. Attendees making presentations at the meeting: Carlos Migoya, President and CEO, Jackson Health System; Eric Johnson, Director of Life and Health Product Review, Office of Insurance Regulation; and David Pollack, President, Molina Healthcare of Florida, Inc.
GROUP PROPOSES AMENDMENT TO OPEN FLORIDA’S PRIMARIES TO ALL VOTERS via Mary Ellen Klas of the Tampa Bay Times
Armed with data that shows that the fastest growing segment of Florida’s electorate is choosing no party affiliation, a bipartisan group of activists is pushing for a constitutional amendment to open Florida’s closed primary system to all voters.
The All Voters Vote amendment will be delivered … to the Florida Division of Elections with the hope of getting enough signatures to place it on the 2016 ballot.
Miami lawyer Gene Stearns, who is leading the effort, said the goal is to encourage elected officials to listen to a broader swath of voters by giving voice to the growing number of Floridians who are written out of the state’s primary election system because they choose not to register with any political party.
Under the proposal, also known as a “jungle primary,” all registered voters could vote in primaries for congressional and state partisan elected offices regardless of the party affiliation of the voter or candidate.
The candidate who receives the most votes and the runner-up top two vote getters would advance to the general election. In state elections, the candidate who gets more than 50 percent of votes in the primary wins the election.
If the measure makes it to the ballot and is approved by 60 percent of voters, it would take effect in the 2018 election cycle.
IS LINDA STEWART RUNNING FOR STATE SENATE? WEBSITE MIGHT HOLD CLUE
For Linda Stewart, the secret might be out.
Although the former Orange County Commissioner and State Representative has not officially announced intentions for 2016, a new website — lindastewartforsenate.com – may have let it slip.
Campaign website notwithstanding, Stewart’s announcement brings little surprise; for several months, she had been hinting at a run.
If she runs, Stewart faces a Republican field that includes Dean Asher and Chuck Sheridan, who have both filed. Another possibility is the inclusion of Camille Gardiner, who could run to replace her husband in SD 13, the term-limited Senate President Andy Gardiner. Another hint at a possible campaign is that both Gardiners have increased their visibility at several local political events.
Term-limited after serving eight years on the Orange County Commission, Stewart briefly campaigned for State Senate District 12, changing to House District 47, where she won and served a single term. Last November, Stewart lost her re-election bid to Rep. Mike Miller.
CROSS-BAY MAY NOT PLAY IN STATE SENATE DISTRICTS via James Rosica of the Tampa Tribune
A recent state Supreme Court ruling that forces Florida to draw new congressional districts also may throw into turmoil two state Senate districts in the Tampa Bay area. The problem: Like one of the flawed congressional districts, the boundaries of the Senate districts in question also cross the bay.
Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the maps for eight of the state’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, saying the most recent redistricting process was “tainted by unconstitutional intent to favor the Republican Party and incumbents.”
The decision targeted, among others, the 14th Congressional District now represented by Democrat Kathy Castor of Tampa. The court said the district’s map must now be reconfigured “to avoid crossing Tampa Bay.” Castor’s district sweeps from Tampa over the water to envelop St. Petersburg.
The court said such boundaries “added more Democratic voters to an already safely Democratic District 14, while ensuring that District 13 was more favorable to the Republican Party.”
The district represented by GOP state Sen. Jeff Brandes takes in south Tampa then sweeps through the bay to the Gulf of Mexico to include Pinellas Park, Madeira Beach, South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach.
Similarly, the district of Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner includes a good chunk of Tampa and Hillsborough County then reaches over to St. Petersburg. Joyner’s district even crosses the water again to envelop Bradenton in Manatee County.
The league’s lawsuit says both districts are the result of unconstitutional gerrymandering.
SEVEN FLORIDA HOUSE REPUBLICANS ATTENDING ALEC CONFERENCE THIS WEEK via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
In advance of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) national meeting … in San Diego, the good government group Common Cause Florida is calling on two state lawmakers to disclose any corporate or special interest funding that is paying for state lawmakers to travel to the west coast for the meeting. ALEC meetings place business executives with state legislators from across the country, where so-called model legislation espoused by business interests often gets exposed to lawmakers, who frequently will then introduce similar bills when they next convene with their state legislatures.
“Common Cause Florida is urging state Representative John Wood … and state Senator Kelli Stargel … ALEC’s state chairs in Florida, to disclose any corporate or special interest funding to ALEC scholarships that is paying for Florida legislators’ travel to the ALEC event,” the group’s president, Peter Butzin writes in a statement.
“In the past there have been scholarships awarded to various new members who are attending an ALEC conference. We have not made any decisions concerning that” … Wood told Florida Politics from Southern California, where he will be attending the conference this week … each legislator who attends the conference makes his or her own decision about whether to seek out any reimbursement for their travel expenses. One account in which they can dip into is a so-called state “inter-district account” that requires approval by the House administration. Wood also said that were also “special accounts” comprised of leftover campaign funds that allow lawmakers to use for office and travel expenses.
Stargel agreed, saying that there are several conferences each year that lawmakers can choose to attend. “I believe the Senate has rules where you typically can only attend one, but you can always attend others and use excess campaign funds. I think they all (conferences) offer scholarships if I’m not mistaken, so I don’t know where they’re trying to go with the story,” referring to Common Cause Florida’s request. “It’s not an unusual thing. We all go to conferences on like-minded issues.”
Seven Florida House Republicans are attending the conference: In addition to Wood, Representatives Dennis Baxley from Ocala, Colleen Burton from Lakeland, Neil Combee from Auburndale, Mike Hill from Pensacola, Larry Metz from Eustis and Kathleen Peters from South Pasadena are in San Diego this week.
SAVE THE DATE: Republican candidate Leslie Dougher is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday, July 28 for her House District 19 campaign. Reception begins 5 p.m. at the Club Continental, 2143 Astor St. in Orange Park.
HAPPENING TONIGHT – State Rep. Bob Cortes hosts his 2016 re-election kickoff for House District 30. Event starts 5:30 p.m. at the Altamonte Springs Hilton, 350 North Lake Blvd. in Altamonte Springs.
HILLSBOROUGH DEMOCRAT NAZE SABEBZAMANI TO TAKE ON ROSS SPANO IN HD 59 RACE via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
Although east Hillsborough County has been the graveyard for Democrats in legislative races for a while, the party came awfully close in 2012 to winning the House District 59 seat. That’s when Gail Gottlieb fell just short of beating Republican Ross Spano for the open seat, ultimately losing 51-49 percent. The district covers Brandon, Riverview and Valrico.
Spano easily won re-election in 2014 over Democrat Donna Lee Fore, and will no doubt be considered the early favorite going into 2016.
But Democrat Naze Sabebzamani hopes to prevent that from happening.
An educator in the Hillsborough County School District for the past decade, Sabebzamani (Sah-heb-za-mah-nee) blasts Spano for dereliction of duty in joining with his House of Representatives colleagues in prematurely leaving the Regular Legislative Session in April.
“I think we need someone who is going to be an advocate for education and for our kids and families, and I don’t think that he has done the best job possible,” she told Florida Politics at a Panera Bread franchise in the Westfield Brandon mall …
Sabebzamani, 45, an Iranian native, came with her parents to Brandon when she was 7. A Brandon High School graduate, she studied at Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a political science degree. She then went to Washington, where she worked as a staff assistant to Michigan U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin and then as a legislative aide to West Virginia Democrat Bob Wise, a congressman 18 years before being elected governor.
When asked why run for state House now, she said, “I feel strongly about being a champion for the people of my community, for working families and for our children … and I think that this is the best route to take at this time.”
MANATEE TEA PARTY UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO REJECT SOLAR AMENDMENT via Phil Ammann of Florida Politics
Another Florida Tea Party chapter has rejected the proposed solar energy constitutional amendment.
On July 16, Tea Party Manatee unanimously voted against the initiative put forward by Floridians for Solar Choice for the 2016 ballot. The vote came after presentations from lobbyist Danielle Alexandre and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie supporting the amendment, and Tampa 912 Project board member Karen Jaroch and Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor in opposition.
The vote – a third rejection of the solar proposal by local Tea Party groups — illustrates the widening rift between conservative groups over the amendment.
Tea Party Manatee joined other Florida chapters that see the change as giving exclusive rights to the solar power industry for generating electricity from rooftop and other small-production solar equipment. That energy could then be sold to nearby property owners.
Supporters of the amendment have been meeting with Tea Party and libertarian groups, attempting to sway opinion by saying the measure would bolster free markets with a new electricity marketplace, one that would challenge existing utility monopolies.
Critics counter the free market argument with concerns that the amendment would prohibit all power generation except solar – an expensive and subsidized power source – leading to a deeply politically connected solar industry monopoly.
FAMU TRUSTEES AVOID DRAMA IN EVALUATION OF EMBATTLED PRESIDENT ELMIRA MANGUM via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union
Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum said she accepts the Board of Trustees’ criticism about her performance and will work to fix and address the issues. … A majority have said she does not meet expectations in four areas: organizational management, internal relations, board and governance relations, and personal characteristics.
As part of her annual evaluation, she submitted a self-evaluation and generally gave herself high marks in 10 categories, including leadership, fundraising and communication with stakeholder groups.
The 13 trustees were far more critical. In no category did more than four trustees say she exceeded expectations.
Mangum responded to trustees’ written comments and provide a defense of her tenure at FAMU in lengthy remarks … She said she arrived in April 2014 with a mission to clean house at an institution dealing with academic and managerial issues. Her personality might rub people the wrong way at times, she said, but many FAMU supporters have told her she is on the right track.
Mangum said she is open to ideas and willing to collaborate, but she has concerns that trustees occasionally cross the boundaries of governance and step on her responsibilities as CEO. “I do continue to struggle with the line between day-to-day operations and policy,” she said.
The full Board of Trustees will discuss Mangum’s evaluation in August, as well as a list of goals for Mangum for the 2015-16 academic year like better faculty recruitment, engaging more stakeholders in decision-making and improving student academic success. Mangum also said she will make reducing the operating deficit at the athletic department a priority.
CITRUS COMMISSION CHIEF RESIGNS AFTER DUI ARREST IN LAKELAND via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times
The Florida Citrus Commission is scheduled to … accept the resignation of executive director Doug Ackerman of the Department of Citrus, who was charged with driving under the influence and four driving infractions last week after a car crash in Polk County. Ackerman, 45, was paid $191,000 a year at the agency responsible for promoting Florida citrus.
UBER TO OPEN MIAMI HEADQUARTERS via the Associated Press
The popular ridesharing service Uber has announced plans to set up a Miami headquarters … has signed a lease for about 9,300 square feet of office space at Brickell City Tower, located in Miami’s financial district. The company didn’t say how many people would be working in the office.
… Uber recently announced plans to suspend operations in Broward County after July 31 because of what it called “onerous” regulations there.
The San Francisco-based company will continue to operate in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
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DID JEB BUSH JUST SAVE FLORIDA’S MALIGNED LOBBYIST GIFT BAN? via Gary Fineout of the Fine Print
Bush returned to the state capital … to outline his plans to overhaul the culture of Washington D.C. And in doing so … he may have to the consternation of some of those in the audience helped preserve the state’s lobbyist gift ban.
The ban was enacted in late 2005 – one of the strictest regulations in the country at the time – and came after legislative wrangling that was an outgrowth of changes sought by then-Senate President Tom Lee.
For a national audience it may have sounded … as if Bush was the instigator of the ban.
“I know how that culture works … I saw it here in Tallahassee. Over time, lobbyists and legislators grew a little too comfortable in each other’s company, cutting deals that didn’t have much to do with the public interest. So along with the other changes we made, the Florida Legislature passed a law that I signed into law that created the strictest lobbying reforms in the country.”
There’s nothing inaccurate in that statement. But it does kind of brush aside a bit of the back story that existed in the development of the ban since it was legislators, not the governor, who was the main driver of the change.
Lee’s goal was never to ban anything. He advocated two things: Disclosure of the freebies that lobbyists gave to legislators – and disclosure of how much money lobbyists were paid … told reporters at the time that they would be surprised how much money was in the system, and how that disclosure would shed a light on why the Legislature did some of the things that it did.
One example: Legislators couldn’t accept anything more than $100 – and items lower than that but higher than $25 were supposed to be reported. Lobbyists would routinely agree to split the costs among themselves and spread it to multiple legislators to sidestep this requirement.
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS
Patrick Bell, Capitol Solutions: Webb’s Oyster Point
Ellyn Bogdanoff, EBS Consulting: Florida East Coast Industries
Joanna Lee Clary Bonfanti, Lila Jaber, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart: PayMaxs USA
Richard Kip: CompTIA Member Services
Michael Rogers: Florida Home Partnership; Florida Weatherization Network; Indiantown Non Profit Housing; St. Johns Housing Partnership,
David Shepp, Southern Strategy Group: Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Sanford
Jean Louise Van Smith: Florida Hospital
Christopher Warren: University of North Florida
PERSONNEL NOTE: DEAN CANNON’S CAPITOL INSIGHT WELCOMES JOSEPH SALZVERG TO FIRM Full story here
Capitol Insight, the Tallahassee-based government relations and political consulting firm headed by former House Speakers Dean Cannon and Larry Cretul, today announced the addition of Joseph Salzverg to its team.
A Miami native, Salzverg joins Capitol Insight with several years of experience in Florida’s political and public policy arena.
“Named one of the 30 under 30 rising stars in Florida politics by SaintPetersBlog in 2014, Joseph Salzverg will be a great addition to our team, and is someone to continue to watch grow in the political and public policy arenas here in Florida,” said Cannon. “His background in Miami, as well as his knowledge of an array of issues that are brought before the Florida legislative and executive branches of government will be a valuable asset to our clients.”
Most recently, Salzverg served as a campaign manager and political consultant to several members of the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation during the past several election cycles. He also served as a legislative affairs consultant and law clerk for a regulatory insurance and administrative law firm in Tallahassee … advocated on behalf of clients before the Florida legislative and executive branches of government on issues relating to insurance, health care and regulated industries.
“I’m excited to join such a well-rounded group of consultants at Capitol Insight, and I look forward to expanding our brand to the South Florida market,” Salzverg said. “I really feel that my experience in South Florida will be a great complement to the team in our state’s Capitol, and I’m looking forward to not only working alongside these seasoned consultants, but learning from them as well.”
Additionally, Salzverg was a member of the 2013-2014 Legislative Intern Program, where he served as a legislative analyst on the Regulatory Affairs Committee in the Florida House of Representatives. During this time, Salzverg was responsible for analyzing proposed legislation relating to banking and insurance regulation, business and professions regulation, and energy and utilities regulation.
TWITTER JUST REMOVED YOUR HOMEPAGE WALLPAPER, AND PEOPLE ARE FURIOUS via Karissa Bell of Mashable
If Twitter.com is looking a little different right now, it’s not just you.
The company has removed wallpapers from users’ home and notifications timelines on Twitter.com Monday, Twitter confirmed … Users now see a stark all-white background in place of their usual customized backgrounds, when viewing their profile, notifications and main timeline.
“We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable … “Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages). You can find help center content about customizing your design and where it’s visible on Twitter here.”
Twitter’s preset backgrounds or users’ customized wallpapers are replaced with a solid white background that many are calling “blinding white.” Previously, users were able to change the background image on their profile, which also showed up as their wallpaper elsewhere on Twitter’s website.
Needless to say, users are furious.
This new white-centric design isn’t entirely new. The company appears to have started to remove backgrounds from new user profiles last year, when profiles were redesigned. The new “more fun” user profiles were introduced to new users first and slowly rolled out to more people. Twitter never commented specifically on the wallpaper of profiles, or when the update was available to all users, but screenshots from the update show new profiles, with the colorless backgrounds.
Though there’s no way to change it back on your home feed or profile, your old Twitter background still appears in places here “logged-in users will see them publicly,” the company says. Backgrounds still appear behind individual tweets, on topic-based collection pages and lists.
YOUR BUTT-DIALS CAN BE RECORDED, FEDERAL COURT SAYS via Sam Baker of the National Journal
Next time you’re talking trash, or about sensitive business, double-check your cell phone — because if you’ve accidentally butt-dialed someone, it’s perfectly legal for them to record everything you say.
A federal appeals court ruled … accidental phone calls aren’t private. You might not have intended for the recipient of the call to hear what you were saying, but you still called them, and that means they’re entitled to listen as long as they want — and even to record what they hear, the court said.
A pocket- or butt-dial is comparable to leaving your blinds open, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court said — it’s not an invasion of your privacy for someone to look in the open window.
The pocket-dial in question could have come straight out of a sitcom: It happened while two members of the Cincinnati airport’s governing board were discussing business matters — including whether to replace the airport’s CEO. But one of them had accidentally pocket-dialed the CEO’s executive assistant.
She said “hello” into the phone multiple times, trying to get their attention, but once she realized what they were discussing, she grabbed a coworker (for a second set of ears), took extensive notes about the conversation, and even used an iPhone to record part of it. She listened in for roughly 90 minutes, according to the court’s ruling.
James Huff, one of the board members, sued. He said the CEO’s assistant had illegally intercepted his private conversations. But the 6th Circuit disagreed.
But the court felt differently about Huff’s wife, who was also in the room during her husband’s pocket-dial, and discussed private family matters with him that the CEO’s assistant also heard. Because Bertha Huff didn’t place the phone call, was in the confines of her hotel room, and had no reason to suspect that her husband’s phone was connected, she could have reasonably expected that what she said was private, the court said.