Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry, Ryan Ray, and Jim Rosica.
WHO ARE THE RISING STARS OF FLORIDA POLITICS?
To mangle Shakespeare, some people are born into politics, some fall into it, and some have politics thrust upon them. This year’s crew of the “30 Under 30” fall into all those categories.
Take Keaton Alexander, a scion of a political family. She’s the great-granddaughter of Ben Hill Griffin Jr., longtime lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate in the 1970s, and daughter of JD Alexander, a former legislator who rose to chair the Senate’s influential budget panel. She’s now with the Jeb Bush campaign.
There’s Phillip Singleton, who was fired from the DoubleTree hotel in Tallahassee and decided to live off his credit cards so he could do an unpaid internship at the Capitol. He now runs his own consulting firm, where he’s known as the “Hip Hop Lobbyist.”
And Samantha Sexton, who went along with her parents on hurricane relief efforts and coastal cleanups, developing her sense of service. She went on to become a Bob Graham Civic Scholar.
What they all share is a level of accomplishment at a (relatively) early age.
Some may be an arm’s reach from power; others are working behind the scenes, arranging meetings or grinding out research reports.
Many can claim significant campaign or lobbying experience. All can credit one or more mentors who took notice and helped them focus their interests or gave them a break.
Florida Politics/SaintPetersBlog received over 2,500 nominations from political veterans, lobbyists, public officials and others for those they see as rising stars on Florida’s political scene.
As always, those nominations were reduced to 30 up-and-comers under the age of 30 who represent different backgrounds, outlooks and walks of life.
So, without further delay, the start of the “30 under 30” for 2015 begins today at 10 a.m. We’ll reveal five or six names every day, so keep checking both sites.
And certainly keep an eye on the honorees!
The overall list will be updated throughout the week at the story which can be read by clicking here.
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WELCOME TO SPECIAL SESSION — PART DEJA VU
HERE’S THE SCHEDULE via Florida Politics
Majority Leader state Sen. Bill Galvano … released a detailed outline of the schedule lawmakers will follow as they redraw Senate maps … A quick look at the schedule the majority leader wants Senate President Andy Gardiner to implement: Monday … Special Session convenes … Concurrent meeting of the Senate Committee on Reapportionment addresses any questions concerning the process or a senator’s conduct in the process. Wednesday … Senate Committee on Reapportionment will workshop the six remedial base maps. Thursday … Amendment deadline for amendments to be filed to Senate Bill 2-C for the Senate Reapportionment Committee… Friday … Senate Committee on Reapportionment will meet to consider Senate Bill 2-C and any corresponding amendments. Monday, October 26 … Amendment deadline for bills on the Special Order Calendar … Tuesday, October 27 … The full Senate will convene to consider bills on the Special Order Calendar.
TWEET, TWEET: @TheDaraKam: Special session, sked 2 end 11/6, 2 craft new Senate map could end 10 days early under timeline laid out by Sen Rules Chair Bill Galvano
HERE’S WHAT COULD THROW A MONKEY INTO THE WORKS — SENATE LAWYER: MEMBERS WILL PERCEIVE HOUSE ATTEMPT TO ‘SCREW’ THEM via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida
A … meeting of legislative staff and attorneys tasked with redrawing the state Senate maps descended into conflict after the Senate’s top attorney pushed a proposal that would have helped several members of his chamber avoid having to run for re-election next year. The Senate lawyer’s proposal, which would have entailed having staff assign initial numbers to specific, newly redrawn Senate districts, prompted a heated back-and-forth with House attorneys and staff.
“I will have senators, if those numbers come out the way they are, saying that those map drawers, especially once this conversation comes out — that the House was doing something to screw the Senate,” Senate general counsel George Levesque said during the meeting, in a tone of annoyance.
His plan was to number districts on six proposed “base” maps to correspond as closely as possible to the numbers of current districts with which they share the most geographically, rather than using a random numbering system, which is ultimately what occurred. Levesque said it would be the best way to maintain consistency, and could help prevent the entire chamber from having to run for re-election in 2016.
TWEET, TWEET: @Fineout: Let’s just say this if @tries to prevent a bunch of senators from having to be on ballot — I’ll predict we’ll be back in court
GET SMART FAST — THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE SIX STATE SENATE BASE MAPS via Matthew Isbell for Florida Politics
[Just] a few days before special session begins, the state Legislature released six proposed base maps for its state Senate lines. From these six proposals the Legislature must try to come to an agreement on one final map … only one Senate district is guaranteed to see no change from its current makeup, Senate District 3. A vast majority of voters are going to see their Senate districts change.
The Western Panhandle … The Panhandle will see very minimal changes. Three plans keep the first three Senate Districts exactly the same as they are now, while the other three shift the borders in Okaloosa. These border shifts shouldn’t affect much if they are enacted.
Northeast Florida … Each map has different borders for Northeast Florida. Some proposals force incumbent senators into the same districts … This region is heavily Republican. Gibson’s African-American district in Duval is the only safe Democratic seat …
Tampa Bay … In every map a district … takes in African-American and Hispanic voters from Tampa and south Saint Petersburg by crossing the water of the bay. The argument is this is needed to create an African-American or coalition seat. I disagree …
An African-American seat in Hillsborough … The Legislature has a district cross the bay from Tampa to south Pinellas in every proposal. Their argument is that this is needed to maintain the African-American seat (currently numbered the 19th) that currently exists and has existed for decades. However, the legislative staff is using out-of-date data … The issue of Tampa Bay is likely to be a contentious point during the special session and the inevitable trial that follows.
Orlando Region … The Orlando region has some districts remaining pretty much the same while others shift quite a bit … One issue that will be debated is the removal of the Hispanic seat centered in Orange and Osceola. … The issue of a less compact but more diverse district versus a compact but marginally diverse district will likely come up during session.
Southwest and South Central Florida … The inland counties of this region are low population and dominated by agriculture while the coastal counties are more suburban. Some interesting pairings can happen here.
Palm Beach and Broward … There are only three distinct plans for Southeast Florida, as the region is the same in two maps each … In all plans you can expect the Broward and Palm Beach delegations to remain entirely Democratic.
Miami-Dade … There are three different plans for Miami-Dade … A great deal is likely to happen … final map is far from being certain.
MORE REDISTRICTING READS
— “State Senate map proposals divide Northeast Florida in new ways” via Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union
— “Legislature ready for Round 2 of redistricting” via the Sun Sentinel
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— 2016 TRAIL —
SCOOPLET: Look for Charlie Crist to tap Matthew Van Name to manage his campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
WAR BETWEEN JEB BUSH AND MARCO RUBIO HEATING UP via Thomas Beaumont and Sergio Bustos of The Associated Press
Bush and Rubio are on course for a collision. There once was mutual public deference. But that has eroded … Bush now routinely compares Rubio’s background to Barack Obama‘s before the Democrat became president. Rubio says it’s “time to turn the page,” a reference that strikes as hard at Bush’s long family legacy as it does at Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
From Bush, there’s a sense of urgency in his contention that Rubio, in his first Senate term, has not proved his leadership credentials. The ex-governor and his team are frustrated, too, that this shortcoming they attribute to Rubio has not become more of a liability for him … part of the mantra Bush has repeated since the Republicans’ second debate … “We’ve got a president that the American people supported based on the fact that he was an eloquent guy,” Bush said in Iowa … “And he had nothing in his background that would suggest he could lead.”
Rubio’s campaign, minutes after the Bush organization announced raising $13.4 million in the last quarter … reported having nearly $11 million in his coffers compared with Bush’s $10 million. But about $1 million of Rubio’s cash cannot be accessed unless he wins the GOP nomination, a point Bush pounced on via Twitter … “Lying about budgets. Guess Marco picked up something in the Senate.”
— “Can the presidential race hold both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio?” via Nick Nehamas, Amy Sherman and Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald
— “Why the fight between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio is getting ugly” via Chuck Todd and Carrie Dann
BUSH SAYS RUBIO ‘MISLED’ ON FUNDRAISING via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times
Rubio “misled” the public about his fundraising … Bush said in an interview … on CNN.
Jake Tapper: “After campaign fund-raising numbers were — were put out this week, your spokesman, Tim Miller, had a rather arch comment about your former protégé … Rubio … ‘Lying about budgets, guess Marco picked up something in the Senate.’ Them’s fighting words, governor.”
Bush: “Yes, I’m not — I’m not into all that. But he — he kind of misled people about his — about his fundraising results. That’s fine. Look, the process part of this is not my motivation to run. I believe we can grow our economy at a far faster rate and have a set of concrete plans to do that. And I think, on foreign policy, we’ve done the exact same thing. So, each and every day that I campaign, I focus on those things.”
RUBIO’S WAKE-UP CALL via Kyle Cheney of POLITICO
The hype surrounding … Rubio‘s presidential campaign just smashed into the wall of reality. First, the … team insisted it had stashed more campaign cash in the bank than … Bush — only it hadn’t … those aren’t even the most troublesome parts of the Florida senator’s most recent campaign finance report. Rubio may be slowly rising in the polls, but his third-quarter filing revealed a campaign that’s also out-manned by many of its rivals in the early-voting states. His staff is largely concentrated in Washington, with just a small umbrella of on-the-ground, early-state operatives — and he’s already at a disadvantage because he hasn’t invested the time in early-state visits that some of his opponents have.
For all the recent buzz surrounding his candidacy … Rubio isn’t raising enough money to keep pace with his rivals in the top tier and he’s running out of time … Rubio has spent a combined three weeks in Iowa and New Hampshire this year — by comparison … Christie, who badly trails Rubio in the polls, has spent six weeks in New Hampshire alone.
A longtime New Hampshire operative … added that the senator has “missed a lot of opportunities over the year where he could’ve been here more regularly.”
The quarterly report released Thursday shows Rubio’s doing just fine in terms of cash-on-hand at the moment — he’s sitting on $9.7 million cash-on-hand for the primary season, trailing only Ben Carson and Bush in cash … And at a recent summit for donors in Las Vegas, the Rubio campaign told the group that it had set a fundraising target of $15 million for the next quarter … There’s just one problem — that’s more than double what Rubio raised between the end of June and the end of September … And Rubio is hampered in his hunt for home state dollars by … Bush … who released a bundler list… studded with Florida heavyweights.
There’s little margin for error for a candidate who isn’t cash-flush — after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada vote in February, there’s a burst of Southern primaries on March 1, and then the do-or-die Florida primary on March 15 — a map that will require a more vigorous fundraising operation than Rubio has showed so far.
A RUBIO CAMPAIGN MAILER IN FLORIDA — INVOKING CHARLIE CRIST via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald
A pollster for … Rubio must have tested several competing campaign messages … found that his underdog 2010 U.S. Senate victory over …Crist still resonates with voters. How else to explain that as part of Rubio’s first batch of 2016 presidential campaign mailers in Florida, the Republican invokes a foe from five years ago? … Rubio’s message to voters in the Tampa Bay area — near Crist’s hometown of St. Petersburg — got a different mailer, without mention of the ex-governor.
WHAT THE RUBIO CAMP IS THINKING via Mike Allen of POLITICO
“Team Jeb’s epic freakout over reports that Marco has more COH [cash on hand] than Jeb (which we do) says a lot about how scared they are that their donors will leave Jeb for Marco. Marco is on track to fully funding his ad buy and run competitive campaigns in each of the first four states. Jeb is on a trajectory where he’ll be out by February without running any more TV. (Jeb is spending $1m/week — and it’s 20 weeks until Iowa.
“Under no realistic finance plan will he be able to afford his current operation until then. (And it’s too late for him to try a McCain-style reset.) Also worth noting, none of the sniping from Jeb at Marco is targeted at early-state voters. This is all about convincing nervous Jeb donors to not jump to Marco.”
IS BUSH’S STOCK UNDERVALUED OR A TRUE MEASURE OF A TROUBLED CANDIDACY? via Dan Balz of The Washington Post
Bush’s political stock has fallen sharply over the past few months. The debate now taking [place]… is whether that stock is undervalued or a fair reading of the current shape of his campaign.
The latest quarterly financial reports brought new questions for the candidate who began the campaign with assets none of his rivals could match … advisers cry foul at some of the interpretation of his fundraising prowess … you can see the potential trap Bush’s team has set for itself. By this time four years ago, Romney had raised just over $34 million. That compares with Bush’s total of about $25 million to date. Romney then had almost $15 million in cash available. Bush has about $10 million … Bush’s campaign account is competitive with that of Cruz, Carson and Rubio, and it is well ahead of two other mainstream conservative candidates … Kasich and … Christie … Trump, the self-funder, is in a different category.
Bush’s financial advantages now rest almost exclusively with his super PAC. The committee raised $103 million through the second quarter … That amount dwarfs what all the other Republicans have available, save for Trump’s personal fortune. There’s little evidence that the money spent over the past month has begun to boost Bush’s stock, although his advisers say there are signs of improvement in his personal image, which they hope is a precursor to improvement in his overall standing.
WALL STREET STILL BETTING BIG ON BUSH, OVERLOOKING SLIDE IN POLLS via Beth Reinhard and Christopher Stewart of The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street is still betting on … Bush … despite a precipitous slide in the polls that cost him his front-running status. But in a sign of how Bush’s fundraising pace has slowed down, he raised less from the financial industry in the last three months than he did in the first 15 days of his campaign alone.
Of the top 10 employers listed by Bush’s donors, half are financial firms: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Neuberger Berman and Barclays, where Bush previously worked as a consultant making about $2 million a year.
In the three months that ended Sept. 30 … Bush raised about $200,000 from the employees of 11 major financial firms, less than 60 percent of what he raised from those firms in the first 15 days of his campaign … roughly seven times the amount collected apiece by … Rubio … Christie and … Kasich, and 11 times the amount collected by … Cruz, whose wife is on leave from her job as a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
— “Columba Bush steps out, gingerly, into the political spotlight” via Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald
NEW BUSH VIDEO WHACKS DONALD TRUMP FOR BEING STUMPED ON FOREIGN POLICY via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
Bush … is taking a shot at … Trump’s abilities to be the next commander in chief … a new web video … shows that, in fact, Bush has little confidence that Trump knows what he’s talking about at all when it comes to national security issues.
Called “Judgment,” it begins somberly, with haunting music underscoring a graphic reading how the president of the United States is the most powerful commander in chief in the world, responsible for 4,650 nuclear weapons … segues into an image of Trump brushing his hair and making dubious statements about his foreign policy acumen, such as telling Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd that he “watches the shows,” when asked whom he relies upon for foreign policy advice.
TRUMP SAYS HIS POLICIES WOULD HAVE PREVENTED 9/11
Trump says that his immigration policies would have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “I am extremely, extremely tough on illegal immigration. I am extremely tough on people coming into this country. I believe that if I were running things, I doubt that those people would have been in the country.”
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ICYMI: FLORIDA’S JOBLESS RATE DIPS SLIGHTLY AGAIN via The Associated Press
Florida’s unemployment rate continues to nudge slowly downward.
The September unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in August. According to figures released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state added 2,100 jobs last month.
The jobless rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.1 percent with approximately 497,000 unemployed Floridians.
STATE PRISON DEATHS SPARK CALL FOR FEDERAL PROBE via Julie Brown of the Miami Herald, as published in the Orlando Sentinel
A coalition of 14 human rights groups … called for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Florida state prisons, contending that “immediate intervention” is necessary to stop the widespread abuse, neglect, torture and deaths of inmates in the Florida Department of Corrections.
In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the group cited a list of suspected criminal and civil rights violations against prisoners, including: torture and death by starvation, excessive use of force, medical neglect, misuse of solitary confinement, suicide, sexual assault and death and torture by scalding. [The] letter cites 17 inmates who allegedly died under one or more of those conditions, as well as three others who continue to suffer as a result of violence and neglect suffered in the state prison system.
The group, headed by Florida’s ACLU, expressed particular concern about the abuse and deaths of inmates who suffer from mental illnesses, citing several who have died in recent years under suspicious circumstances. One of those inmates, Darren Rainey, died in 2012 after he was left for more than two hours in a shower with temperatures in excess of 180 degrees.
FLORIDA BAR PUNTS ON CONTROVERSIAL EVIDENCE STANDARD via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors on Friday postponed consideration of taking a formal stand on an evidence law change favored by … Scott and conservative lawmakers. The change was actually passed into law two years ago but the courts have yet to follow it.
[The] board, meeting in Atlantic Beach, “tabled” an agenda item on the Daubert standard … Florida historically has used the Frye standard, which asks whether expert testimony is “generally accepted” in a particular scientific community. Daubert … is stricter scientifically and can often require a kind of “mini-trial” even before an expert can appear in front of jurors … generally considered easier for plaintiffs to get damaging expert testimony … became a favorite of the defense bar and its big business clients.
But two years ago, the Legislature approved and Scott signed into law the changing of Florida’s expert evidence standard from Frye to Daubert, used by federal courts and most states.
JOE ABRUZZO’S ESTRANGED WIFE SAYS HE WON’T GIVE BACK BABY; HE SAYS NOT TRUE via John Pacenti of The Palm Beach Post
The estranged wife of state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo claims the lawmaker refuses to return their 7-month-old son as previously agreed upon in a first salvo to a custody battle. The lawmaker denies the allegation that he was required to return the child. Brandy Abruzzo … said Abruzzo picked up their son Joseph on Oct. 10 but did not return him Oct. 11. Sen. Abruzzo … claimed Brandy Abruzzo agreed for him keep the child in a series of text messages last weekend, saying she said: “You want full custody? Take it. You want 50/50? Take it. You want none? I’ll take it. Just please get it over with so I can move on with my life.”
The lawmaker then says, “I want full custody.” Wife: “So in that case … You’ll take everything and I’ll take NOTHING. Just as expected.” Abruzzo: “Is that an agreement?” Wife: “Wtf do you think?” Abruzzo: “Yes”
Brandy Abruzzo denied ever ceding custody and said the text messages were taken out of context. “I am confident of the mother that I am. I don’t want to give up my baby. Of course not,” she said.
YAHOO PULLS THE PLUG ON DAILY FANTASY IN FLORIDA via Mike Florio of NBC Sports
Nine years ago, Congress laid out the foundation for the phenomenon now known as daily fantasy fueled by the 2015 football season … DraftKings and FanDuel … multiple states are now trying to blow the house down … Yahoo … has alerted customers that it will suspend operations in Florida, where a federal grand jury is exploring whether daily fantasy violates Florida law and, in turn, federal law regarding gambling operations of a certain size that violate the gambling laws of any given states … federal prosecutors in Florida have served a subpoena to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which confirms the existence of the grand-jury investigation.
FINANCIER REID NAGLE VOICES OPPOSITION TO HORSE RACE DECOUPLING via Florida Politics
Nagle had spent more than 30 years in the world of high finance … founded SNL Financial, the premier multi-industry business intelligence service that caters to Wall Street and public companies worldwide … Currently, Nagle has 20 horses in training … operates a high-end barn rental operation at Oak Ridge, and owns the largest manure removal and shavings delivery company serving the Ocala area … “Decoupling casinos from horse racing will cripple our businesses,” he explained … “Opposing it is a no-brainer.”
“I’d very likely have to race my horses elsewhere … because, at that point, Florida just won’t be able to compete effectively with the many other states that have kept the linkage between casino gambling and horse racing. Our other horse-related businesses would shrink dramatically as well.”
POLICY NOTES via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools
MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROPOSAL EXAMINED
The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will discuss the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. Meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. in Room 117 of the Knott Building.
MASSIVE MORMON RANCH PLAN IN FLORIDA DRAWS SCRUTINY via the Associated Press
Under one of the biggest land development plans ever proposed in Florida … more than six times the size of Manhattan … could be transformed … into new housing developments for half a million people.
Over the next six decades, the plan being developed by the Mormon church-owned Deseret Ranch promises to convert the largest undeveloped section of metro Orlando into more than a dozen bustling neighborhoods. In the process, it would radically reshape Osceola County, a suburb that has been transitioning from cowboy culture into a major destination for Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland.
Opponents … worry that Osceola County has been doing the bidding of Deseret Ranch, one of the nation’s largest ranches. County commissioners approved the ranch’s plan unanimously … now it awaits a state review … other environmentalists who once opposed Deseret’s proposal have dropped their objections, saying the plan shifts population growth to east of the county’s urban core, rather than to its south where development might pose a greater threat to the headwaters of the Everglades.
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HAPPENING TUESDAY: A fundraising reception is planned for four Florida House Republican candidates: John Couriel, running in Miami-Dade County’s District 114; Randy Fine, running in Brevard County’s District 53; Michael Grant, running in Charlotte County’s District 75; and Ralph Massullo, running in District 34 in Citrus and Hernando counties. Event begins 5 p.m. at the Governor’s Club, 202 South Adams St. in Tallahassee.
PERSONNEL NOTE — SCOTT ROSS EXITS FLORIDIAN PARTNERS FOR CAPITAL CITY CONSULTING Full story here
Ross, the former Deputy Secretary at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation turned contract lobbyist and Nick Iarossi, one of the founders of Capital City Consulting, first met at Florida State University where they were both deeply involved with student government and Greek life.
After college, Ross would eventually go to work for Las Vegas Sands, the gambling behemoth headed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson. While Ross worked in-house from 2005-07 for LVS, Iarossi in 2009 signed on to represent the company in Florida.
Different paths. Same Adams Street destination.
Ross informed his colleagues at Floridian Partners that he is crossing the street. He tells Florida Politics he is both excited and grateful.
“I want to thank the team at Floridian Partners for an outstanding five years and I wish them continued success,” said Ross. “I’m honored to join the team at Capital City Consulting and I look forward to helping them continue to build the premier lobbying and public affairs firm in Florida.” said Ross. “This is an exciting move for me and my family and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with an elite group of professionals that set the standard in this business.”
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS
Jorge Alvarez: Dade Medical College; University of Southernmost Florida
Brian Ballard, Chris Dorworth, Ballard Partners: Viesel Fuel
Fred Baggett, Agustin Corbella, Hayden Dempsey, Leslie Dughi, Fred Karlinsky, Greenberg Traurig: SAP Public Services; TSA Consulting Group; NOVUM
Stephen Birtman, Into the Breach Consulting: Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Jose Boscan, Boscan & Associates: Romix North America
Nelson Diaz, Stacey Webb, Southern Strategy Group: Broward College Foundation
Carl Eldred, Hopping Green & Sams: Rollins
Ron Greenstein, Ron Greenstein: Florida Association of Community Health Centers
Matthew Land: Southeast Laborers’ District Council
Carl Joseph Mikyska: Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council
John Russell: Russell and Associates Investigators
Stephanie Smith: Uber Technologies
Steven Uhlfelder, Uhlfelder & Associates: Canaveral Port Authority
Jason Unger, GrayRobinson: Canaveral Port Authority
SPOTTED at the nuptials of Melody Selis & William Arnold (both “30 under 30 — Rising Stars of Florida Politics”) at the Old Exchange building in Charleston, S.C.: Kevin Cleary and Allie Mattice, Michael Wickersheim, Dan and Virginia Dawson, Jonathan Rees & Nicole Elliott, Justin & Dorothy Thames, and Tim and Natalie Nungesser.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY belatedly to Disney’s Adam Babington and Ballard Partners’ Monica Rodriguez. Celebrating today is our friend Rick Lindstrom.