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Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics – July 29

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

By Peter Schorsch (Peter@FloridaPolitics.com; @SaintPetersBlog) with Phil Ammann(Phil@FloridaPolitics.com; @PhilAmmann) and Ryan Ray (Ryan@FloridaPolitics.com @RyanRay_Fla)

FOUR YEARS AGO, BLOGGER PROPOSED TO GIRLFRIEND — YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT from Sabrina Rocco’s original story, “Power brokers witness the proposal” via the Tampa Bay Times

One night (in July of 2011), at a “not-too-political happy hour,” a special quorum of power brokers was called at Cassis, the French restaurant on downtown St. Petersburg’s posh Beach Drive.

Peter, executive editor of city watchdog SaintPetersblog.com, and Michelle, former special assistant to former Gov. Charlie Crist, had gathered a gaggle of politicos and journos before, but this shindig felt different.

“Senator, what are you doing here?” Michelle asked Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who had just endured a total hip replacement the week before. “I wouldn’t miss this one for the world,” he replied, propped up on crutches.

Weird, she thought.

Peter and Michelle met in 2010 at Judge Thomas Minkoff‘s investiture. “In a room full of politicians, I found Michelle to be the most fascinating person,” Peter recalled. Before long, he charmed her into a date.

During Crist’s senate campaign, they worked late into the night. But the couple ended one night a week at Cassis with a few bubbly flutes of Champagne. They fell fast over their shared passion for politics and fervor for their city, St. Petersburg.

Back at that July happy hour, Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, introduced Peter, who told the crowd how his late father always wished his son would meet and marry a special woman. He had found that woman in Michelle. And he proposed.

When Michelle and Peter booked their wedding, they wanted swank and sentiment. Beach Drive, Vinoy Park, the waterfront were all special places where they spent great chunks of time: “That section of the world is the center of our universe,” Peter said. The Museum of Fine Arts was a perfect pick. Underneath the banyan trees, Peter and Michelle said their vows.

IN REMEMBRANCE: Peter J. Schorsch, who would have been 74-years-old today. There isn’t a day that goes by without me missing my beloved father and friend.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: It will be a late night for the Sunburn crew as we will be at the Dave Matthews Band concert. It’s doubtful there will be a Thursday edition, but we will be back Friday.

THE REDISTRICTING TRILOGY via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press

Legislative leaders announced Tuesday they will hold a special session to redraw the state’s 40 Senate districts after the chamber acknowledged it violated the state constitution by creating maps that benefit Republicans and incumbents.

The decision comes less than three weeks after the state Supreme Court threw out the congressional districts the GOP-dominated Legislature approved, saying those maps were drawn to favor Republicans. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner said that ruling would have implications for the Senate maps, which are also being challenged in court by a coalition of groups including the Florida League of Women Voters.

The special session was called in an effort to settle that lawsuit. It will begin Oct. 19 and end Nov. 6.

The Senate took full responsibility for violating the constitution, saying in a court filing that the House had no input on the Senate districts.

“The Florida House of Representatives did not amend the Senate Plan and had no role in its creation. The Florida House of Representatives did not intend to favor or disfavor any political party or incumbent, and had no knowledge of any constitutional infirmities relating to the Senate Plan,” lawyers for the Senate wrote.

Lawmakers are already scheduled to return to the Capitol next month to draw new congressional maps, as they did last year after a circuit court judge ruled they violated the constitution. The Supreme Court ruled this month that the redraw still didn’t meet constitutional requirements.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 requiring compact political districts that don’t benefit parties or incumbents. Republicans have a 26-14 majority in the state Senate.

TWEET, TWEET: @SaintPetersBlog: Kudos to @MaryEllenKlas for sniffing out a deal to redraw the state Senate map before court order.

READ the joint memo here.

READ the notice filing here.

REAX — Pamela Goodman, President of the Florida League of Women Voters: “This is a huge victory for all Floridians and the belief that we all have a right to honest, open government.”

TWEET, TWEET: @BylineBrandon: David King on Senate map: “Let’s hope the third time is the charm”

TWEET, TWEET: @Fineout: Note the timing of 3rd special session: Coincides with end of 90-day period when Seminole Tribe is supposed to pull blackjack tables

TWEET, TWEET: @MarcACaputo: So who looks like the shining white knight in legislative redistricting drama? Former House Speaker @willweatherford — chamber’s maps=clean

HOW THE REDISTRICTING RULING IS PLAYING

Miami HeraldAnother special session scheduled to redraw Senate map – “… yet another special session, this time for late October to redraw the Florida Senate district lines …” POLITICO, Fla. Senate broke law, will redraw districts – “… surprising admission spares top Republican consultants and legislative leaders … Senate president Andy Gardiner .. former president Don Gaetz–from depositions and discovery …” Tampa TribuneState Senate districts next to be redrawn in third special session of year – “… David King, pointed out … state Senate’s “remarkable” admission … That they knew their maps were gerrymandered to protect incumbents and favor Republicans.” Tallahassee DemocratDon’t divide Leon County – “… if in one district … Leon County has about 42 percent of the total vote within the congressional district … political power and political respect for the county.” SpaceCoastDaily.comLeague scores historic redistricting victory, districts to be redrawn by 2016 – “This is a new chapter in Florida political misbehavior and in Florida constitutional law …” TCPlam.comLegislature to redraw Senate maps after lawsuit challenged Treasure Coast, other districts – “(Joe) Negron’s Senate District 32 … was drawn like that because his constituents said they wanted him to focus on the region’s needs during a 2012 redistricting hearing …”

SHOCKING — GWEN GRAHAM OPPOSES SPLITTING LEON COUNTY DURING REDISTRICTING via Bill Cotterell of the Tallahassee Democrat

Graham does not want to see Leon County split in the coming special legislative session on redistricting … said in an interview that she’s running again for the U.S. House — but that could change, due to circumstances beyond her control. The Florida Supreme Court ordered an east-west configuration for the minority access district now held by Rep. Corrine Brown, whose disputed district runs from Orlando to Jacksonville.

It’s possible to run a district across North Florida without splitting Leon and surrounding counties, but it’s also possible that Graham and Brown could be pitted in the same district … Graham expects to see the newly aligned districts challenged in court, so we may not know the boundaries until next year.

NEW MAP POSES CHALLENGES FOR FLORIDA SENATORS via Matt Dixon of POLITICO

The Tampa Bay region will be one of the messiest areas for lawmakers to address, with six senators representing the region’s two largest counties.

One of the area’s most important seats is held by state Sen. Arthenia Joyner … If lawmakers decide the seat can be drawn in a way that allows black voters to elect a candidate of their choosing without dipping down into Manatee County, it will have ripple effects throughout the region.

Senate District 22, held by Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, is also a likely target when lawmakers redraw the lines. Brandes’ seat covers portions of Pinellas County and jumps across Tampa Bay to grab roughly 100,000 Hillsborough County voters, a move the plaintiffs said was done to keep the seat Republican-leaning.

“If the district were drawn entirely in Pinellas, it would be a naturally-occurring toss-up district,” read the 2012 lawsuit.

If lawmakers agree and put Brandes’ seat completely in Pinellas County it could have ramifications on the long-running fight for the two-year Senate presidency term beginning in 2017. A Pinellas-only seat could wrap in the North Pinellas home of state Sen. Jack Latvala, who is contending for the Senate presidency against state Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart.

That could force Latvala to focus his attention and campaign cash on his re-election rather than supporting other senators in their own races, an important step to securing enough votes for the presidency.

NEVER TOO EARLY TOO SUGGEST: “Dana Young for Florida Senate?” via Ryan Ray of Florida Politics

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HILLARY CLINTON TO GIVE POLICY SPEECH AT FIU ON FRIDAY via Amy Sherman of the Miami Herald

Clinton will first give a speech at the National Urban League’s annual conference at the Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale which starts at 8 a.m. Other candidates who will speak include former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The details about Clinton’s FIU event are still being worked out but the event will be held at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus in West Miami-Dade County following the event in Fort Lauderdale. The Clinton campaign wouldn’t yet confirm if the FIU event will be open to the public or invite only.

CLINTON CRITIC DAVID SIROTA’S TIES TO BERNIE SANDERS NOT PROPERLY DISCLOSED TO IBT READERS Full story here

David Sirota … is a Democratic operative turned political reporter for the International Business Times … also was an aide to current Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

But few readers of the Times would know that, even though Sirota has penned or co-written nearly a dozen stories since April critical of Hillary Clinton – Sanders’ primary rival for the Democratic nomination.

IBT headlines tell the story of Sirota’s true loyalties: “Firms Paid Bill Clinton Millions As They Lobbied Hillary Clinton,” “Clinton Family Continues Raking In Personal Cash From Firms That Lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department” and “Clintons And Foundation Raked In Cash From Banks That Admitted Wrongdoing.”

Clinton was not the only target of Sirota and frequent co-writer Andrew Perez. Republican candidates have also been under scrutiny, particularly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But there has been nothing about Sanders’ campaign from Sirota …

“There’s no mystery or secrecy here,” IBT global editor-in-chief Peter Goodman told the Examiner. “All of this information is available prominently on David’s website.”

In his online biography … Sirota did have a blurb that he was “press secretary for Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders, the longest-serving independent in congressional history.” However, it should be noted the mention is at the end of the second-to-last paragraph, in a not-very-prominent 8-point font.

LATEST NEW HAMPSHIRE POLL: DONALD TRUMP 24% – JEB BUSH 12% via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics

Another GOP presidential poll shows … Donald Trump’s comments about John McCain’s war service 10 days ago did not implode his campaign … A Monmouth University Poll of likely New Hampshire Republican votes shows … 24 percent support, double the next closest competitor, Jeb Bush, who is at 12 percent … Marco Rubio is at 6 percent, Ben Carson and Rand Paul is at 5 percent, Chris Christie at 4 percent, Carly Florina and Ted Cruz are at 3 percent … Another 14% of likely primary voters are undecided.

Trump’s success seems to be hurting Christie, Walker and Cruz the most … if Trump was not in the race, more than 4-in-10 of his voters say they would switch their support to one of three candidates – Christie (15%), Walker (14%), or Cruz (14%) … Trump’s appeal is wide spread. Trump does better among independents and new voters (29 percent) likely to go the polls next February than he does among already registered Republicans (21 percent) … New Hampshire’s open primary system allows undeclared voters to participate in party primaries.

Trump is killing it with conservative voters, getting 36 percent support; Walker and Cruz are next, at 10 percent and nine percent, respectively.

DONALD TRUMP’S SURGE IS ALL ABOUT LESS-EDUCATED AMERICANS via Janell Ross of the Washington Post

In the last few weeks, Americans (and the media) have watched in awe as a New York real estate magnate prone to bellicose behavior and hyperbole has become the GOP’s leading candidate for the White House. But how did this come to be? A lot of it has to do with education.

Trump‘s support is strongest with Republicans in the Midwest, conservatives across the country who do not have a college degree and (perhaps not surprisingly) those who report the most negative views of immigration and Mexican immigrants in particular, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week.

To be clear, the poll found that 60 percent of all Americans support the idea of offering undocumented immigrants currently in the United States some form of legal status, and 57 percent told pollsters they believe that immigrants strengthen the country … there are plenty of people who see things differently. And those people appear to be concentrated among whites, Republicans and those with lower levels of education.

TWEET, TWEET: @TimothyPMurphy: Weird. Candidate whose support stems from saying nasty things about people unaffected by nasty comments.

JEB BUSH SUPER PAC RECEIVEDS CHECKS FROM OUL MEN, WALL STREET AND OTHERS TO SUSTAIN LONG PRIMARY BATTLE via Beth Reinhard and Christopher Stewart of the Wall Street Journal

A Texas oil man, a Wall Street financier, and several former U.S. ambassadors are among the top donors to Jeb Bush’s super PAC, providing hard evidence the Republican establishment is rallying to his presidential candidacy as he girds for a long primary battle.

Mike Fernandez, a Cuban-American billionaire who gave $3 million, is the biggest donor to the Right to Rise super PAC…

… At the center of the Right to Rise machine is an executive committee of 13 fundraisers who donated or raised at least $1 million and speak regularly by phone about finance strategy. The team, which is expected to expand in the coming months, is led by Mason Fink, who served as national finance director for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Beyond Mr. Freeman, they include Florida developer Al HoffmanAlex Navab, head of KKR’s private equity in the Americas; Duchossois Group CEO Craig Duchossois of Illinois; Eric Tanenblatt of Atlanta, head of the public policy practice at a global law firm; Jeanne L. Phillips, a senior vice president of Hunt Consolidated Inc. of Texas; Florida real-estate investor John Rood; TCW Group Chairman Marc Stern of California; Chicago investor Muneer Satter; Kinder Foundation co-founder Nancy Kinder of Texas; oil man Ray Hunt of Hunt Consolidated Inc.; Barclays managing director Steve Lessing of New York; and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Stephenson.

Another dozen people outside of the committee gave or raised $1 million, including Florida businessmen Mel Sembler and Francis Rooney and California billionaire Robert Day.

… The super PAC has spent $5 million, so far, including $147,000 for digital ads that paint Mr. Bush as a paragon of transparency and accuse Mrs. Clinton of hiding emails and other records from the public when she was secretary of state and at her family’s charitable foundation. Those are the only specific expenses that have been reported with the FEC; the rest will be made public Friday.

BUSH TEAM BULLISH ON IOWA via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics

When Jeb Bush announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t participate in the Iowa Straw poll in August, it was immediately viewed by some pundits as the equivalent of the Bush campaign pulling out the white flag, essentially giving up on the socially conservative state.

In retrospect, his pullout was ahead of the curve in other Republicans bailing out on the event, which was officially canceled a few weeks later … according to the latest polls, Bush is competitive in the Hawkeye State.

Leading his campaign in Iowa is Annie Kelly, who was working with Bush’s Right to Rise Pac before she was placed in charge of Iowa. In 2011, she was deputy state director for Tim Pawlenty’s Iowa campaign, and then managed then-U.S. Rep. Tom Latham’s successful Iowa re-election campaign.

“We are 27 weeks out of the caucuses. We’re in full campaign swing out here,” Kelly told Bush donors on a nationwide conference call … Kelly predicted that the winning candidate is likely to need only to get to 17 or 18 percent to be successful – or a total of 23,000 votes.

“The difference between first and third place could be a couple of hundred (votes) … I say that to emphasize that the stakes are very high here – media coverage all is really driven by the performance in Iowa.”

STORY YOU WON’T READ IN SUNBURN: “Jeb Bush is winning the battle of the campaign bulge” by Ian Mohr of the NYPost.com

OUTSIDE GROUP SPENDS BIG ON MARCO RUBIO AHEAD OF FIRST DEBATE via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

A political group that does not disclose its donors has put Marco Rubio in the lead of early TV advertising, spending $2.6 million already in advance of next week’s GOP debate.

Conservative Solutions Project’s ads have focused on the Iran deal, producing spots before it was announced and on the day. “July 14th, 2015 – Barack Obama makes a deal giving Iran a clear path to a nuclear bomb,” a narrator says. “Congress can stop it. Marco Rubio is leading the fight.”

Rubio has been missing a lot of work in Washington to campaign but returned last week for a Foreign Relations hearing on the deal, his campaign using social media to highlight his confrontation with Secretary of State John Kerry.

NBC News … put the pro-Rubio group first in ad spending. He was followed by a pro-John Kasich group, New Day for America, with $2.1 million. Kasich is trying to lift his profile so he can make the cut for the first debate next week in Cleveland … Total spending so far: almost $8 million, NBC News reports.

SCOTT WALKER TELLS PRIVATE GROUP HE’LL SKIP FLORIDA PRIMARY via Rebecca Berg of Real Clear Politics

Scott Walker … does not plan to compete in Florida, contradicting his own public assertions that he would not skip that primary. … Walker reasoned that it “doesn’t make a ton of sense for him to pour cash into Florida” with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in the race …

Instead, Walker suggested he will focus on the Midwestern states with primaries around the same time, the source said — including Missouri, Illinois and Ohio, which are slated to hold their primaries March 15, the same day as Florida’s.

Walker also predicted that the Republican primary contest could extend into April … which would make any one primary, even in a large state such as Florida, less important to Walker’s overall strategy.

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GRAYROBINSION ORLANDO TO HOLD RON DESANTIS CENTRAL FLORIDA KICKOFF EVENT 

GrayRobinson Orlando shareholders Benjamin Newman and Chris Carmody will host a kickoff event Friday to introduce U.S. Senate candidate Ron DeSantis to the central Florida community. GrayRobinson offices are at 301 East Pine Street, Suite 1400 in Orlando. The event will include friends, supporters, and influencers, many who will serve on the DeSantis local finance committee.

VID DU JOUR here of former Gov. Charlie Crist on E!’s reality TV show “Stewarts & Hamiltons.”

TED YOHO CONSIDERING ENTERING 2016 RACE TO REPLACE MARCO RUBIO IN SENATE via Kevin Derby of the Sunshine State News

With a new poll showing around half of Florida Republicans remain undecided on who they want to see replace … RubioTed Yoho … is looking at entering the race but is far from making a final decision on it.

“He’s looking closely at it … This isn’t prompted by redistricting, though that could be a factor depending on how it goes. Ted’s concerned that too many members of the Republican establishment, the guys who promised to clean up Washington but didn’t, are in the primary. There’s no one who can be the voice of grassroot conservatives across the state and that is what Ted can be.”

(O)n the Agriculture and Foreign Affairs committees, Yoho has been one of the leading conservatives in the Florida delegation and a favorite of the tea party movement … voted against U.S. House Speaker John Boehner … even challenged him for the gavel earlier this year.

STEVE SOUTHERLAND WILL NOT RUN FOR ELECTION IN 2016 via the Panama City News-Herald

Former Congressman Steve Southerland … will not be a candidate for the 2016 race … speculation the former representative would run again, pending Florida congressional redistricting. However, he released a statement saying he would not seek another term in office for Florida’s Second Congressional District.

“It is after great thought and prayerful consideration that I’ve decided not to be a candidate for Congress in 2016. I’ve been blessed with the support of Susan and our daughters throughout this process, and we appreciate the words of encouragement we’ve received from so many people across North and Northwest Florida.”

POLL: FLORIDIANS SUPPORT SOLAR ENERGY BUT WOULD VOTE DOWN INDUSTRY-BACKED AMENDMENT via Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times

A new poll shows that Florida voters would vote down a constitutional amendment proposed by the solar industry despite Floridians’ overwhelming support for more solar energy in the state.

“Limits or Prevents Barriers to Local Solar Electricity Supply,” promises … “Limits or prevents government and electric utility imposed barriers to supplying local solar electricity.” Just 30 percent of voters support this proposal, compared with 45 percent who oppose it, per the poll … Floridians widely favor an amendment from the utility companies that “establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use.” 66 percent of voters polled said they would support this deal, compared with just 22 percent who would not.

The difference between the support for the two amendments can be attributed to the confusing wording of the first proposal and the relatively clear wording of the second, according to the poll’s analysis.

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COURT SAYS STATE CAN ENFORCE ‘DOCS VS. GLOCKS’ LAW via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press

Florida can start enforcing a contentious law that restricts what doctors can say to patients about guns … first adopted by the Florida Legislature four years ago, but had been caught in a lengthy court battle in which a federal judge in Miami had blocked the law from taking effect.

But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta … issued a new ruling that lifts the injunction that had blocked enforcement of the law. The measure … prohibited doctors from asking patients about their gun ownership or recording that information in medical records unless it was medically necessary.

A panel split 2-1 over the law with the majority of judges finding that the law is constitutional and doesn’t violate First Amendment speech rights of doctors … decision is likely to be appealed.

Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature adopted the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act after an Ocala couple complained that a doctor had asked them about guns. The two say they refused to answer and the physician refused to see them again.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will hold a media availability to highlight Building Homes for Heroes, a non-profit organization that builds or modifies homes and gifts them mortgage‐free to injured veterans and their families. The Budget Highlight Ceremony begins 2 p.m. at Marriott World Center, Canary Ballroom, 8701 World Center Dr. in Orlando.

JEFF ATWATER NAMES SHA’RON JAMES AS INSURANCE CONSUMER ADVOCATE via Phil Ammann of Florida Politics

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater named longtime consumer activist Sha’Ron James as the Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate effective August 3.

Insurance Consumer Advocates act as independent agents, representing insurance policyholders statewide. Previously, James served as the Director of the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Rehabilitation & Liquidation, which oversees litigation when a Florida insurance company faces financial failure. James spoke for consumers, those impacted most by the collapse of a firm’s ability to provide coverage.

James will replace Steve Burgess, who recently retired. Toma Wilkerson, current Assistant Director of the Division of Rehabilitation & Liquidation, has also been named Director.

SAVE THE DATE: Florida Leadership Committee, the political group from state Sen. Jack Latvala, is holding a cocktail reception fundraiser on Thursday, Aug. 13 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Marsh Landing home of Jerome Fletcher, 141 Harbourmaster Court in Ponte Vedra Beach. RSVP at rsvp@JackLatvala.com.

DID A MIAMI-DADE COMMISSIONER SPILL THE BEANS ON LAUREN BOOK’S FLORIDA SENATE RUN? via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald

Lauren Book, daughter of mega-lobbyist Ron Book, plans to announce her candidacy for the Florida Senate on Sept. 1. At least that’s according to an invitation Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman sent her friends … asking them to attend a fundraiser for Book at Il Gabbiano, a posh Italian restaurant in downtown Miami, on Sept. 18.

“As you have probably heard, my very close personal friend, Lauren Book, is planning to launch a campaign for an open Senate seat on September 1, 2015,” read Heyman’s email, which was obtained by the Miami Herald. But Book herself has not revealed her plans … she has yet to make up her mind. Book recently got married.

FORMER TEA PARTY LEADER RUNNING FOR GREG STEUBE’S HOUSE SEAT via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Steve Vernon, a former tea party leader and IBM employee who lives in Lakewood Ranch, filed paperwork this week challenging Sarasota GOP Chairman Joe Gruters in the Republican primary for a state House seat covering much of eastern Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Vernon is president of the Lakewood Ranch Republican Club and the former president of Tea Party Manatee. Like Gruters, Vernon said he will end his bid for the District 73 House seat if the current officeholder, Sarasota GOP Rep. Greg Steube, opts to seek reelection in the House. Steube plans to run for the state Senate seat held by Sen. Nancy Detert … if she resigns to run for the Sarasota County Commission, as expected.

FMA PAC ENDORSES ONE OF THEIR OWN, RALPH MASSULLO FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 34 via Phil Ammann of Florida Politics

Florida Medical Association PAC (FMA PAC) is endorsing dermatologist Dr. Ralph Massullo in his bid for Florida House District 34 … FMA PAC President Dr. Chris Pittman noted the importance of supporting one of their own.

“As founder and president of his dermatology practice,” Pittman said … “Dr. Massullo has a unique perspective on the economic boosts that physicians’ offices have on a local economy and the struggle that many private practice physicians face to stay independent. That insight will be valuable in helping shape healthcare policy on those issues in coming years.”

Massullo, a Republican and native of West Virginia who has lived in Citrus County since 1989, is seeking the House District 34 seat, which includes all of Citrus and part of Hernando Counties. State Rep. Jimmie T. Smith currently represents District 34. Smith filed to run for Senate District 5.

JIM BOYD NAMED TO ENTERPRISE FLORIDA BOARD OF DIRECTORS via Florida Politics

State Rep. Jim Boyd has joined Enterprise Florida as an appointed member of the Board of Directors.

The Bradenton Republican, who is serving as Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip through 2016, will advocate for the state-run nonprofit economic development organization within the Florida Legislature.

“Realizing that business is the backbone of our economy, I am excited to join Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors,” Boyd said Monday in a statement. “EFI’s goal is to ensure current Florida businesses grow and thrive and also recruit new businesses to the great State of Florida by creating the best business climate in the country and I’m glad to be a part of this important organization.”

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PERSONNEL NOTE: ANOSH GILL JOINS SACHS MEDIA GROUP via Florida Politics

Sachs Media Group … named internationally acclaimed designer and creative director Anosh Gill to lead its creative team.

“Anosh is an outstanding creative strategist and gifted designer with deep experience positioning national brands for success,” said SMG Chief Operating Officer Michelle Ubben. “We are excited to have his leadership of a creative team that has been honored again and again for its work.”

Gill brings a career of more than 20 years in art and design. After graduating Ohio State University, Gill worked with global advertising network McCann Erickson Worldwide, earning more than 60 awards in advertising, design and illustration. As a visiting design instructor at Florida A&M University, Gill’s students won in the 2015 ADDY Awards for nearly every category for which they were nominated.

PERSONNEL NOTE: JUSTIN THAMES NAMED DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS FOR FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF CPAS via Phil Ammann of Florida Politics

Lobbyist Justin Thames was named … Director of Governmental Affairs for the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) … previously served more than four years as Governmental Affairs manager …

Thames developed an intimate knowledge of Florida politics though his time as a political action coordinator for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.

Currently, Thames — a member of Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists — serves as liaison to a number of internal committees, including the FICPA State and Legislative Policy, Florida State Tax, State and Local Government and Common Interest Realty Associations.

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CONTEXT FLORIDA: MARCO RUBIO A BUSH-SPOILER, OBNOXIOUS DONALD TRUMP AND PENSACOLA INVESTMENT

On Context Florida: Marco Rubio has already raised more than $12 million for his White House bid, says Peter Schorsch, with outside groups aligned with Rubio have raised twice that. So far, raising money and handcuffing Jeb Bush are about all Rubio’s been able to accomplish on the presidential campaign trail. According to Martin Dyckman, there hasn’t been a presidential candidate as fat-headed, obnoxious and unqualified as Donald Trump. Yet more Republicans seem to favor him than any of the others. That says as much about them as about him, Dyckman says. But what if Trump doesn’t come down, as so many think wishfully that he will? Shannon Nickinson asks if we can put our money where our mouth is. That’s the question the Studer Community Institute’s metro dashboard is meant to ask — and hopefully answer. It’s a road map to help build citizen-powered change, to make Pensacola a stronger, more vibrant community. A guide to know if our community is putting its resources where they will yield a meaningful return. That’s not an investment mix Pensacola has always gotten right.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

OFFICIALS PREP FOR ANNUAL LOBSTER MINI-SEASON via WVSN.com

Hundreds of boaters are expected to take part in this year’s lobster mini-season off the Florida coast … In anticipation for the event … officials from MDFR’s Marine Operations Bureau, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local law enforcement agencies held a news conference …

In South Florida, there is a strict limit on the number of lobsters fishermen are allowed to haul in. “Miami-Dade County [fishermen] are allowed 12 per person, per day; Monroe County: six per person, per day” … length requirements … “The top of the lobster has to be at least three inches long; if it’s shorter than three inches, then you’re not allowed to harvest the lobster …”

(N)ew rule going into effect in 2015 … Divers who catch 10 lionfish can harvest one extra lobster a day. Lionfish, an exotic and invasive species, pose a major threat to native fish populations.

Additional advice … If you have been absent from diving for at least a year, ask your local retailer about taking a diving refresher program and include training in first aid and CPR. Always dive with a buddy. This primary rule of diving makes for a safer experience as well as easier lobster hunting. Make sure your diving equipment has received recent service and is streamlined … Know where the nearest medical and chamber facilities are and how to get there. Consider obtaining dive insurance before the dive season begins to assist in the event of a dive-related emergency. File a boating “float plan” with family and friends.

FACEBOOK STATUS OF THE DAY via Ryan Michael ReiterThank you all for the birthday wishes. I plan on making my last year as a twenty-something a memorable one, and with friends and family like you, I know it will be. I only have one more year to make Peter Schorsch‘s 30 under 30 like my brother Skylar, so ‪#‎letsgettowork‬

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the absolute smartest, savviest operators in Florida politics, Tre Evers. Also celebrating today are three other smart folks, lobbyists Sarah Busk, Rich Reidy, and Crystal Stickle. A special shout-out to devoted reader, Debbie Ressler.

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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