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Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics – October 20

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

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry, Ryan Ray, and Jim Rosica.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHARLIE — AGAIN! 

When Charlie Crist announces later today in Childs Park that he is running for Congress in Florida’s 13th Congressional District in 2016, it will be his third major speech given in a St. Petersburg park declaring his candidacy in the last five-and-half-years, but the prospects are much sunnier than his last two attempts at higher office.

In late April of 2010, Crist spoke to about 500 supporters in Straub Park, where he declared that he would run as an independent in the U.S. Senate race against Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek, after Rubio had superseded him in the polls in the GOP race.

It did not go well, with Rubio thrashing Crist by 19 percentage points that November.

After becoming an advocate for President Obama’s re-election and earning a speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention in September of 2012, Crist officially became a Democrat that December while making an appearance at a White House Christmas Party. And on the first Monday of November in 2013, Crist in a St. Petersburg park that he would attempt to win back the seat that he left in 2010 and would challenge Rick Scott as the Democratic nominee for governor.

That too, did not go according to plan, as Scott defeated Crist by just a little more than a single percentage point, 48.2 to 47 percent, last November.

At that point, there were some who said then that his political career was over. Crist himself was non-committal, though rumors percolated that he was eyeing another run for Governor in 2018.

Flash forward to this past July 9, when the Florida Supreme Court rejected political maps drawn up by GOP state legislators in 2012 as being unconstitutional, with the new maps for CD 13 likely to become heavily more Democratic leaning.

Immediately afterward Crist said that, based upon the final drawing of the map, he was interested in running for the seat. The new maps approved by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis just needs a final seal of approval from the Florida Supreme Court to become law, but Crist has now decided that he’s ready to jump into the race.

He is not running unopposed, though he will be a heavy favorite.

37-year-old Eric Lynn, a former Defense Department official with the Obama administration, is the only obstacle in his way, though one poll showed that Crist might have a difficult time if former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker were to become the Republican nominee.

That will be known in the coming days and weeks. Tuesday it will be all about Charlie Crist – once again.

For a man who wanted to be John McCain’s running mate in 2008, it isn’t the same thing – but it is Washington politics.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORSCrist will make speak at Child’s Park, followed by visits to the War Veteran’s Memorial Park and Pier 60. Announcement is at 10:30 a.m., visits are at 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Child’s Park is at 4301 13th Ave. S., St. Petersburg near the recreation center. War Veterans’ Memorial Park is at 9600 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg. Pier 60 is at 1 Causeway Blvd. in Clearwater.

CONGRESSIONAL COVERAGE FOR DUMMIES — “Former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker may take on Charlie Crist” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. FLASHBACK: “Former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker examining run in redrawn CD 13” via SaintPetersBlog ON JULY 13.

MY TAKE: LET’S WIN THIS ONE FOR MARGARET, CHARLIE

Dear Charlie:

I can’t imagine how difficult the past year has been for you and the rest of the Crist family.

I am not referring to your loss last November to Rick Scott. As hard as that must have been, I know the real loss for you was the passing of your beautiful, graceful sister Margaret.

That’s why, as you prepare to embark on a campaign to represent the people of Pinellas County in the United States House of Representatives, I can give you only one piece of advice…

Let’s win this one for Margaret.

]The truth is I originally planned to title this post, “Don’t screw this up, Charlie.” That’s because this race is your last chance in the big game. As Amarillo Slim might say, you are down to a chip and a chair. There is no margin for error. But you know all of this already.

Still, I hope you learned something from your narrow defeat in 2014.

I hope, for your sake, you run your campaign more like you did when you were a Republican than how you did after you became a Democrat.

I hope you do not take lightly Eric Lynn. He has enough of the tools necessary — strong resume, ability to raise money — to upset you, even in St. Pete.

I hope you know our friend, Republican Rick Baker is still out there, considering running against you. The best way to keep him on the sidelines is not by posting an eye-popping fundraising report but by showing him you are committed to a career in Congress and that your priority is our beloved St. Pete, not your beloved ambition.

I hope you mean what you recently told me about why you are running for this seat — about wanting to continue the legacy of Bill Young’s storied level of constituent service, about wanting to make sure St. Pete has a seat at the table again when it comes to budget issues.

Finally, I hope you realize the absolute providence of what has happened to line up this opportunity for you, Charlie. You should have been relegated, Alex Sink-style, to the sidelines of Florida politics.

Instead, you could overnight become the most recognizable face of Florida’s congressional district.

You could be St. Petersburg’s and Pinellas’ voice in Washington, D.C. You could be back on the path to something truly great.

Certainly, all this would make Margaret very proud.

GET SMART FAST via Smart Politics

— A Smart Politics analysis finds that if Crist is elected to the U.S. House in 2016 he would add his name to 28 governors who subsequently won a U.S. House seat during the 20th and 21st Centuries, although only four have done so over the last 50+ years.

— The four ex- or sitting governors to win a U.S. House seat since the early 1960s are Maine Democrat Joseph Brennan in 1986, Delaware Republican Mike Castle in 1992, South Dakota Republican Bill Janklow in 2002, and South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford in 2013.

— In the early to mid-20th Century, it was much more common for sitting or former governors to become U.S. Representatives. Two did so in the 1900s with five in the 1910s, one in the 1920s, six in the 1930s, four in the 1940s, four in the 1950s, and two in the 1960s.

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DONALD TRUMP AND BEN CARSON GAIN STRENGTH IN NATIONAL POLL OF REPUBLICANS via Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal

Trump and … Carson continue to broaden their appeal among Republican primary voters and have widened their lead over… Bush and many other more-experienced candidates, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. Bush … is also lagging behind … Rubio, who is emerging as a leading contender to rally the party’s establishment wing against the rise of insurgent outsiders … The new poll … underscores the durability—even the gathering strength—of anti-Washington candidates who had long been viewed as likely to be flash-in-the-pan political phenomena.

Trump … was the first choice of GOP primary voters, with 25% support, up from 21% in a late September Journal/NBC News poll. Carson … placed second in the new survey, with 22% support, a slight rise over last month … Behind them was Rubio, who rose to 13% in the poll from 11% last month. He was the only other GOP candidate to draw double-digit support. Bush … drew 8% … in the same league as… Ted Cruz, the antiestablishment conservative … and Carly Fiorina.

TRUMP TO CAMPAIGN IN FLORIDA THIS WEEK via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump will campaign Friday in Miami and Saturday in Jacksonville … The Republican front-runner will have an event at Trump National Doral on Friday evening (doors at 5 p.m.; event at 7). On Saturday, he’s at Jacksonville Landing for a noon event.

TRUMP, CARSON REQUEST SECRET SERVICE PROTECTION via the Associated Press

Trump and … Carson, have requested protection from the U.S. Secret Service … the two campaigns have submitted requests, which kick off an evaluation period during which Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson consults with five senior members of Congress and issues his decision … Carson held a book signing … in Austin, Texas, where he told reporters, “I don’t feel the need for it, quite frankly, but the Secret Service thinks that I need it, so it is what it is.”

MEANWHILE … JEB BUSH PLUMMETS TO SINGLE DIGITS IN NEW FLORIDA POLL via Marc Caputo of POLITICO

For the first time, Bush has fallen into single digits in a home-state Republican primary poll that shows Donald Trump still in front, trailed by Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bush’s 9-percent, fourth-place showing in the University of North Florida poll is his worst showing in any survey of likely Florida Republican voters.

The poll also shows that 54 percent of those voters favor various immigration policies that allow “unauthorized immigrants” the ability to legally stay in the United States.

ALREADY EYEING GENERAL ELECTION, BUSH BUILDS DATA OPERATION via Thomas Beaumont and Julie Pace of the Associated Press

Months before the first primaries … Bush and his allies are building a data-driven operation to turn out voters in the general election much later — spending heavily on the assumption he will overcome his sluggish start and win the Republican presidential nomination … a strategy aimed at avoiding a 2016 repeat of the GOP’s glaring deficiencies in using technology to get their supporters to vote four years ago … it’s already hit a roadblock.

Bush and his advisers have abandoned plans to link some of the technology efforts of his formal campaign and an allied super PAC by contracting with a single company … could have provided both groups with the same data on the electorate … illustrate both the ambitions and limitations of Bush’s 2016 experiment to expand the role of his super PAC beyond paying for television advertising and into work traditionally performed by campaigns … But they cannot coordinate their actions with candidates’ campaigns. By sharing the vendor, Right to Rise would have had a good idea who the campaign was trying to reach — and could complement that effort or expand on it … would have required a complicated firewall to keep the information separate.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORSBush heads to Los Angeles and San Francisco for closed events, before traveling to Reno, Nevada.

MARCO RUBIO SAYS HE DIDN’T ‘MISLEAD’ ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio disputes … Bush‘s claim that he “misled” the public about his fundraising … “We didn’t mislead, the numbers are there and it shows what we raised. Here’s the bottom line, we’re very comfortable with where we are as an organization and how we spend our money and the progress we’ve made as a campaign.”

K STREET LOBBYISTS STILL LOVE MARCO RUBIO via Eliza Newlin Carney of Roll Call

Rubio … remains K Street’s favorite in the Republican column, having collected just under $500,000 since January with lobbyists’ help … the only senator seeking the White House who’s relying on lobbyists to bundle, or round up, money on his behalf … Rubio has relied exclusively on three lobbyist bundlers: Joseph C. Wall, vice president of government affairs for Goldman Sachs; Geoffrey K. Verhoff, a senior policy adviser at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; and Scott Weaver, who co-chairs the public policy practice at Wiley, Rein.

The only other GOP presidential candidate getting a meaningful leg up from K Street rainmakers is … Bush, who’s collected just under $408,000 in contributions bundled by lobbyists … almost $100,000 less than Rubio has. K Street appears to be cooling to Bush in favor of Rubio … lobbyists bundled $179,525 for Bush from July 1 through Sept. 30, and $365,605 for Rubio in the third quarter.

REPUBLICANS TO CHARGE MEDIA FOR SEATS TO COVER 2016 CONVENTION via the Associated Press

News organizations that plan to cover next summer’s convention are protesting a move by the Republican National Committee to charge them $150 for seats on the press stand. Seats on risers built for newspapers, magazines, wire services and online print publications have been awarded without charge in the past. Representatives for daily and periodical press galleries in the Capitol protested Monday that the media “should not be charged to cover elected officials at an event of enormous interest to the public.”

The RNC says the $150 charge covers a fraction of the $750-per-seat construction cost. In addition to the precedent, the fee could prove burdensome to smaller news organizations. Television networks generally cover the cost of constructing their skyboxes.

SPOTTED in POLITICO’s list of third quarter fundraising winnersPatrick Murphy.

TWEET, TWEET: @LedgeKing: 3rd quarter fundraising shows .@RepGwenGraham has 2X as much cash on hand ($1.37M) as of 9/30 as both her GOP challengers combined ($1.24M)

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LEGISLATORS ALREADY AT ODDS OVER NEW SENATE MAPS via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press

Florida’s Republican-led Legislature, which has split this year over everything from health care spending to new congressional districts, could be engulfed in a new political firestorm … it didn’t take long for the latest round of map drawing to come under fire … because top Senate Republicans are now saying that several senators can keep their current seats, even if the boundaries are changed during the special session.

Sen. Bill Galvano … in charge of the Senate redistricting committee, argued that that the normal rules don’t apply because the Senate is not following the once-a-decade process laid out in the state constitution … “There is a legal argument to be made that the members who have been elected to four-year terms have a right to those seats … We are balancing between the rights of the members and the rights of the people who elected those members.”

Senate Democrats, however, suggested it could violate the state’s “Fair Districts” standards approved by voters.

AN ANGRY TOM LEE QUESTIONS SENATE BASE MAPS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

A fiery state … Lee lashed out At the Senate’s outside attorney … questioning why he didn’t object to specific allegations of unconstitutionality over the chamber’s current districts … asked why all of the replacement maps contain districts that cross Tampa Bay when the Supreme Court, in a similar challenge over the state’s congressional districts, said they shouldn’t jump the bay.

“What we did is the basis for why we are here … When we just ignore the court’s direction to us, this thing is just going to get kicked out again.”

Raoul Cantero, the Senate’s outside counsel and a former state Supreme Court justice, clarified that the Senate only admitted that the entire map was unconstitutional, not individual districts … plaintiffs who sued specifically called out three Tampa-area districts as unconstitutionally drawn: Those seats are now held by Jeff Brandes … Arthenia Joyner … John Legg.

BEST OF THE REDISTRICTING TWEETS

— @BylineBrandon: “TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 9, 2073 — The Florida Supreme Court today approved the first legal redistricting maps since 2002 …”

— @MaryEllenKlas: House attorney George Meros admits the House software ‘does not have primary turnout’ after 2010 #four years and $11 m later – @StephenWolfUNC: Absurd. @mcimaps has repeatedly used this data while operating on a fraction of the Republican legislature’s budget

— @Daniel_Sweeney: Palm Beach Co. lobbyist says county should get 4 state senate seats, as it currently has — new maps all move @joenegronfl out of Palm Beach

— @JKennedyReport: .@FLSenate staff says “there were no sneak peak previews” given anyone of six redistricting maps. OK, I’ve heard THAT before.

— @HymnForRachel: just to give you guys an idea of what we’re doing.. we’re still dealing with reapportionment from 2012…

CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG WILL BE REMOVED FROM FLORIDA SENATE SEAL via Kristen Clark of the Tampa Bay Times

In an unscheduled action — and after some confusion and back-and-forth — the Florida Senate voted … to remove the Confederate battle flag from its official seal … The Senate wasn’t expected to consider changing the seal until the regular session in January — although the Senate Rules Committee unanimously endorsed changing the seal earlier this month to a design that replaces the rebel flag with the Florida state flag.

But after Rob Bradley … raised questions on the Senate floor — protesting why other alterations to the seal weren’t considered – [AndyGardiner initially postponed the vote … A half-hour later, after senators had time to huddle together privately on the floor, Gardiner brought the discussion back up again, and the chamber adopted the recommendation from the Rules Committee without any objections. That procedural action doesn’t require a recorded vote by each senator.

LEGISLATIVE STAFFING MERRY-GO-ROUND via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools

With a tip of the hat to Legislative IQ powered by LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round.

On: Bobbye Iseminger is the new senior administrative assistant for the House Select Committee on Affordable Healthcare Access.

On: Jasmine Govan and Ambar Pimentel became legislative assistants for Democratic state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo of Wellington.

Off: Rick Kendust is no longer legislative assistant for Republican state Sen. Thad Altman of Rockledge.

Off: Jessica Crawford is no longer a legislative assistant for Republican state Sen. Alan Hays of Umatilla.

Off: John Schrader is no longer a legislative analyst for the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

On: Sean Smith has become the new legislative analyst for the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

On: Sean White is now a legislative analyst House Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee.

On: Derick Dehmer is now an attorney for the House Education Committee.

On: Vincent Aldridge has become the senior attorney for the House Finance & Tax Committee.

On: Yolanda Siples is the newest senior attorney for the House Health & Human Services Committee.

On: Crystal Anderson is now an attorney for the House Business & Professions Subcommittee.

Off: Jonathan Riveras is no longer legislative assistant for Republican state Rep. Bryan Avila of Hialeah.

On: Gabe Peters is Avila’s new legislative assistant.

Off: George Fossett is no longer the district secretary for Democratic state Rep. Katie Edwards of Plantation.

Off: Santino Andrews and Christi Fearnley are no longer legislative assistants for Democratic state Rep. Kristin Jacobs of Coconut Creek.

On: Katherine Bedley is now the district secretary for Democratic state Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Coral Springs.

Off: Ashley Fairbrother is no longer district secretary for Gainesville Republican state Rep. Keith Perry.

On: Skylar Swanson is now Perry’s district secretary.

On: Robert Roach is the new district secretary for Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Porter of Lake City.

Off & On: Sheree Vann and Donna Ellerkamp are now administrative assistant for all five House Health committees and subcommittees, and are no longer Porter’s district secretaries.

On: Clarice Redding is the new district secretary for Democratic state Rep. Bobby Powell of Riviera Beach.

Off: Delano Allen is no longer Powell’s district secretary.

On: Robert Vaughn has become the new legislative assistant for Democratic state Rep. Kevin Rader of Delray Beach.

Off: Alexis Andres is no longer Rader’s legislative assistant.

Off & On: Macey Smith moved from district secretary to legislative assistant for Republican state Rep. John Tobia of Melbourne Beach.

POLICY NOTES via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools

HOSPITAL FUNDING COMMISSION MEETS

The Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding meets 9 a.m. in the Cabinet Meeting Room.

HIV/AIDS PILOT NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM DISCUSSED 

The House Health Quality Subcommittee will examine a pilot needle exchange program proposed by the University of Miami. Miami-Dade is experiencing one of the highest rates of new HIV infections in the United States, with over 10,000 injection drug users. Meeting starts at 9 a.m.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Gov. Scott will visit Lockheed Martin at 10 a.m., 3655 Tampa Rd. in Oldsmar. Later, the governor will highlight proposed funding in his upcoming Florida budget for creating STEM Summer residency programs for Florida teachers. Event begins 2 p.m. at SAFT America, 13575 Waterworks St. in Jacksonville.

WHAT BRIAN BALLARD IS READING — LAW FIRM’S REPORT SAYS DRAFTKINGS EMPLOYEE LOCKED IN ROSTER BEFORE RECEIVING DATA via David Putnam of ESPN

A DraftKings employee who accidentally published internal data on the same weekend he won $350,000 on a rival site did not have access to the information before he set his winning lineup, according to an investigation performed by an outside law firm for DraftKings … the investigation determined that written content manager Ethan Haskell did not receive the internal data until after he had locked his lineup … Haskell received an Excel file containing aggregate player ownership percentages for all weekend NFL games for use on a weekly story he composed. The data was not previously available to the public. The report shows a FanDuel account registered to Haskell submitted a lineup in the $25 buy-in, $5 million guaranteed NFL Sunday contest at 3:28 a.m. on Sept. 27.

HAPPENING TODAY: GOP HOUSE CANDIDATE FUNDRAISERS

Four Republicans will hold fundraisers in their bids for the state House in 2016. The candidates are John Couriel, running in Miami-Dade County’s House District 114; Randy Fine, running in Brevard County’s House District 53; Michael Grant, running in Charlotte County’s House District 75; and Ralph Massullo, running in House District 34, which covers Citrus and Hernando counties. Events begin at 5 p.m. in the Governor’s Club, 202 South Adams St. in Tallahassee.

SAVE THE DATE: State Rep. Ed Narain will hold a fundraising reception on Tuesday, November 10 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Ulele Restaurant at 1810 N. Highland Avenue in Tampa. RSVP at events@EdforFlorida.com or (813) 336-1913.

PERSONNEL NOTE: HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES FLORIDA PROMOTES RON BARTLETT AND ALIA FARAJ-JOHNSON

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) is promoting Ron Bartlett to deputy general manager of H+K’s Florida operations. Alia Faraj-Johnson will become the Florida public affairs practice leader.

Bartlett, who is senior vice president, most recently served as head of the Florida public affairs practice, the company’s largest state-based public affairs practice. Faraj-Johnson served as senior vice president in the company’s Tallahassee public affairs office.

H+K has also expanded its public affairs team with Susan Thurston, a new senior account executive in the Tampa office. Thurston joins Ryan Duffy and Bob Lotane, both H+K Tallahassee vice presidents, as a core public affairs team member serving clients seeking to advance issues in the state legislature.

FIRST BATCH OF “30 UNDER 30” RISING STARS OF FLORIDA POLITICS via Florida Politics

Keaton Alexander didn’t fall far from the family tree … She is the Florida financial coordinator … Bush‘s 2016 presidential campaign … At the ripe old age of 29, Contribution Link’s William Arnold already has built a reputation as a data wizard … Christina Barker has been working as … Bob Buckhorn’s special assistant since December, but her public profile rose … when City Hall staffing changes made her Buckhorn’s interim director of communications … son of Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael ErtelZane Beard is one of the youngest members … at 21. He worked on his father’s successful re-election in 2012 and will do so in 2016. Ed Briggs… says his entry into politics was purely by accident – or fate … working with Joel Springer with the Senate Victory for the Republican Party of Florida … led to working on Tom Lee’s 2012 successful re-entry into state politics, and he’s maintained his gig at RSA Consulting  since.

4TH FLOOR FILES TALKS WITH HEATHER TURNBULL ABOUT DAVID BECKHAM AND OTHER PASSIONS IN THE CAPITAL CITY via Read her file here

Rubin Group partner Heather Turnbull … started with Rubin in 2003 as a consultant and promoted to vice president last year … began her career in as a legislative assistant in the Florida House and previously worked as a governmental consultant before the Florida Legislature for a former member of Congress … “After years of working in the political process, I’ve learned my clients generally appreciate me keeping my mouth shut on this topic, so I will keep it brief. I’ve evolved from very partisan beliefs to learning the best policies usually come from the center. I most enjoy working with moderate and pragmatic elected and government officials rather than those with extreme views.” If you have one, what is your motto? “If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.”

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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