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Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics – October 8

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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.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Prayers for TJ, Stephanie Smith’s courageous son who is having open heart surgery this morning. Major props to Anna Alexopoulos and Matt Farrar for having Jameis Winston send TJ an encouragement video.

Now on to politics…

RELEASED THIS MORNING — Q-POLL ON FLORIDA’S U.S. SENATE RACE, THE MARIJUANA INITIATIVE AND APPROVAL RATINGS

Florida voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 51 – 45 percent. Men support it 57 – 41 percent, with women narrowly opposed 49 – 46 percent. Support is 66 – 30 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 52 – 44 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old and 55 – 43 percent among voters 50 to 64 years old. Voters over 65 are opposed 56 – 39 percent. But 65 percent of voters say they would “definitely not” use marijuana if it were legalized.

Voters support legalizing medical marijuana 87 – 12 percent.

In Florida’s 2016 U.S. Senate race, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera 37 – 29 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis 37 – 30 percent. Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson gets 35 percent to Lopez-Cantera’s 32 percent and leads DeSantis 37 – 31 percent.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gets a negative 41 – 47 percent job approval rating, down from 45 – 44 percent in an August 25 Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters approve 46 – 27 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is doing and give U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio a 52 – 36 percent job approval rating.

President Barack Obama gets a negative 45 – 51 percent job approval rating.

“The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough. In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the State Constitution,” Brown said.

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POLL: DONAL TRUM TOPS GOP FIELD IN FLORIDA BUT WOULD LOSE GENERAL ELECTION via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida

Trump remains the top dog in Florida’s GOP primary but would be in the dog house against top Democrats, all of whom would beat him in the general election, according to Quinnipiac University’s latest survey of the presidential race in the nation’s most important swing state.

According to the poll, Trump leads the Republican field in Florida with 28 percent support, a 7 percentage point increase since Quinnipiac’s last poll in late August. At the same time, Bush has fallen 5 percentage points, to 12 percent, putting the one-time frontrunner in fourth place.

Carson … is now in second place among Florida Republicans, with 16 percent of the vote, a 5-point improvement since August.

Rubio is in third with 14 percent, a 3-point spike since the last poll.

In a general election matchup, Trump is the only top-tier Republican who would lose in Florida to all three Democrats, the poll found. Clinton and Sanders each beat Trump by 5 percentage points (46 percent to 41 percent) while Biden tops him by 14 points, 52 percent to 38 percent.

DONALD TRUMP PLOTS HIS SECOND ACT via Robert Costa, Philip Rucker and Dan Balz of The Washington Post

Trump is preparing his first television ads with a Florida media firm that is new to politics … will spend considerably more than $20 million on paid media later this year – or “whatever it takes.” … ads would be “non-traditional,” saying the firm … declined to name … had never done political work. Trump has reportedly only spent about $2 million on his campaign, far less than his main rivals … he originally budgeted up to $20 million through mid-September for TV advertising but didn’t need to spend it because he was earning so much free media.

His wife and daughter will become more active surrogates … Melania and Ivanka are planning public appearances highlighting women’s health issues to help close Trump’s empathy gap with female voters … asked if they shared his opposition to abortion, Trump demurred…

A campaign manifesto … “Crippled America,” will be released later this month … central to Trump’s fall strategy … Trump showed off the cover and held up pages of the galleys, which he was editing by hand. “It’s actually the hardest I’ve worked on a book since ‘The Art of the Deal’” … promises to roll out policy proposals soon on trade, reforming the VA, and China’s currency manipulation.

The campaign is building an organization beyond the early states … between seven and 12 paid aides each in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina … hiring in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. “One delegate or 2,000 and change, we’re going to the convention, and there’s nobody who can get him out of the race.”

Trump does not see the field winnowing for a while … he’ll be more forceful in the third debate than he was in the last one: “I was angry about the second debate … You can’t hold people’s attention,” he said. “‘Gone with the Wind’ was three hours, okay?” … in the next face-off … he will change tactics and insert himself more energetically into the conversation.

HOW THE Q-POLL SHOWING TRUMP LEADING FLORIDA PLAYED

Orlando SentinelQ Poll: Trump, Clinton still lead in Florida – “… Trump has expanded his lead among Florida Republicans … Clinton continues to have a solid though shrinking lead among Democrats … neither of them would do as well as a couple of other candidates … in Florida.” CBS MiamiFlorida Flirts With Outsiders in Presidential Campaign – “Bush falling into fourth place … in Florida, trailing consummate outsiders … Trump and Ben Carson, along with … Rubio. Establishment favorite … Clinton continues to hold a comfortable primary lead …” Tampa TribuneTrump’s GOP lead widens; Clinton tops among Dems – “In a general election, Florida voters would opt for Clinton over Trump, 46-41 percent … Clinton against Bush and Rubio would be closer, with Bush edging Clinton 44-43 percent and Rubio besting her 45-44 percent …” Palm Beach PostTrump increases GOP lead in Florida since August – “Both Trump and Clinton continue to have high negatives … though Clinton’s numbers have improved slightly … Trump tops the Republican field, 29 percent of GOP voters say they definitely would not support him …” Miami New TimesTrump top among Florida GOP, but would lose to Bernie Sanders in general election  — “Yes, an avowed Democratic Socialist would beat Trump in a state that currently has Rick Scott at its governor.” Washington PostJoe Biden’s secret weapon against Hillary Clinton? Honesty. – “New polling … provides a clue as to where Biden might be able to draw a sharp — and winning — contrast with Clinton: on honesty … Clinton has the worst ratings of any of the candidates tested on the question.”

TWEET, TWEET: @realDonaldTrump I wonder why somebody doesn’t do something about the clowns @politico and their totally dishonest reporting.

BUSH: DONALD TRUMP IS EVOLVING HIS VIEWS TOWARD THE RIGHT PLACE via Nick Gass of POLITICO

Bush said he thinks he would vote for … Trump if his Republican rival for the presidency becomes the GOP nominee, even though he says the real estate mogul once held views that “clearly put him right in the middle of the Democratic Party.”

“That’s a good question. I think you’d have to see how it plays out, but I think I would,” Bush said … Asked whether he would vote for Trump simply because he was the GOP nominee rather than potentially voting for Hillary Clinton, Bush was firm.

“I’m a conservative, I know Hillary isn’t. That’s one thing we know for sure. It’s not to say that she’s not capable of being president, but I think her world view is not the right one. And Trump’s views are evolving, at least, towards the right place,” he said, remarking that Trump has had “views in the past that clearly put him right in the middle of the Democratic Party and now he’s transforming himself into something different.”

AS BUSH CAMPAIGNS, FLORIDA STRUGGLES WITH HIS SCHOOLS LEGACY via Gary Fineout and Sergio Bustos of The Associated Press

Bush‘s signature achievement in education policy as Florida governor may be at risk of coming apart …  any mention of Common Core is a red flag for conservatives and Bush rarely talks about the program by its name … he has not backed down on what is the core of Common Core — the conviction that states need to raise their school standards.

In Florida, a troubled rollout of new standardized testing linked to the standards has created a large enough backlash that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature agreed to spend nearly $600,000 to study whether the tests should continue. The study … affirmed the value of the tests … appears to be giving momentum to a push to junk the testing regimen that Bush put into place … may begin to mar the “Florida model” that Bush talks about in his presidential campaign.

ASSIGNMENT EDITORSBush will speak at the Greater Des Moines Partnership 2016 Caucus Candidate Forum at the State Historical building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The event begins at 8 a.m. CT. He then wraps up his Iowa swing at a meet and greet at Pizza Ranch at 1709 N Jefferson Way in Indianola at 12 p.m. CT. That evening, Bush will be in Illinois for a fundraising event, closed to the press.

A PICTURE WITH A MARCO RUBIO SUPPORTER? SURE, SAYS BUSH via Matt Fiegenheimer of The New York Times

Bush had been working the room for several minutes, doling out firm handshakes and abbreviated small talk among the mostly middle-age and older voters who came here to hear him speak … Stephanie Pedersen stuck out for two reasons at the Scott County Republicans annual Ronald Reagan Dinner … She is 22 and was wearing, quite conspicuously, a … Rubio sticker.

Bush seemed skeptical as she approached, positioning herself behind a small throng of photo-seeking attendees. “Do you want a picture?” he asked through the din … She said she did. “Want to do it with the sticker?” Yes. “Oh,” Bush said flatly. “That’s great.” He smiled dutifully and swung his arm around her. Click.

KOCH BROTHERS EYEING RUBIO FOR NEARLY $1B CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION via The New York Daily News

Slowly but surely, the GOP is narrowing down its list of presidential candidates. The big prize … is still the nearly $1 billion contribution the kingmaking Koch brothers, Charles and David, will reportedly throw behind the conservative agenda next year … Rubio is the front-runner for dough now that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is out of the race. “It’s sad. I think (Walker) just ran out of money,” our source heard David Koch tell friends. “But I think he’ll be back for another presidential run in the future.”

Trump wasn’t discussed at the event … Koch appeared dismissive when … Bush’s name came up briefly. The Koch Brothers have also warmed up to Carly Fiorina, according to recent reports.

HOW RUBIO PLAYS IN IOWA via Danny Freeman and Vaughn Hillyard of NBC News

Iowa Republicans are publicly and privately baffled by how little … Rubio has been to the first-in-the-nation caucus state compared to other candidates. … Rubio’s been just the ninth most frequent visitor to the Hawkeye state since 2012 among GOP candidates still in the race, according to the Des Moines Register Candidate Tracker. When he has visited the state, he has not strayed far from major metropolitan areas … the campaign will not commit to completing a “Full Grassley” by visiting all 99 counties in Iowa, the team did say they are working towards a goal to have campaign chairs in each county–something several Republican candidates have already done.

TWEET, TWEET: @MViser: Asked if, since running for president is more important than Senate votes, he’d resign his Senate seat, Marco Rubio says, “No.”

GOP KINGMAKER AL CARDENAS ‘TORN EMOTIONALLY’ THAT PALS BUSH, RUBIO ARE ELECTION RIVALS via Elizabeth Llorente of Fox News Latino

As … Rubio and … Bush run for president, one long-time friend and mentor gave insight on how bittersweet it is to watch them compete against each other. Al Cardenas … has been an important muse to both Rubio and Bush.

“I’m torn emotionally,” said Cardenas … who for years chaired the American Conservative Union … “Who wants to have two people you care about so much get involved in a contest that as time goes on will get more and more competitive? … I’ve seen his evolution,” said Cardenas, who sometimes becomes visibly sentimental when speaking about the former Florida governor, “his judgment and his wisdom, listening to others, his seeking counsel. He’s just [become] a wiser man. That comes with age and experience … Marco could well get to where Jeb is today, but he’s not.”

IS PRO-BUSH SUPER PAC OBSCURING SPENDING? via Carrie Levine of the Center for Public Integrity

Super PACs are supposed to be both transparent and independent from the politicians they are supporting … it’s not clear that Right to Rise USA, the super PAC formed by … Jeb Bush  … is either.

The … biggest single vendor this year through June is a mysterious limited liability company, LKJ, LLC, whose owners are hidden behind the state of Delaware’s opaque registration laws … It’s only known address: a Washington, D.C., post office box — one it shares with a company run by Heather Larrison, the national finance director for Bush’s official presidential campaign … makes it impossible to determine whether a chief Bush lieutenant is embedded in — and profiting from — the cash-flush tangle of entities created to boost his bid.

The arrangement is also a prime example, in the post-Citizens United era of politics, of how the borders separating presidential campaigns and super PACs can be simultaneously porous and difficult to penetrate.

GALLUP GIVES UP THE HORSE RACE via Steven Shepard of POLITICO

[After] a bruising 2012 cycle, in which its polls were farther off than most of its competitors, Gallup told POLITICO it isn’t planning any polls for the presidential primary horse race this cycle … Gallup won’t commit to tracking the general election next year. … [Gallup editor-in-chief FrankNewport told POLITICO that Gallup has shifted its resources into understanding issues facing voters … and won’t be following the primary horse races, other than asking about how Americans feel about the individual candidates.

Its horse-race polls have been missed this time around, because the number of candidates on the Republican side and the ways in which news organizations have attempted to winnow the field for debates have made polls more consequential than they’ve ever been.

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PATRICK MURPHY JABS ALAN GRAYSON WITH FIRST WEB AD via Kristen Clark of the Tampa Bay Times

Murphy … took a swipe at his main opponent in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate by launching his first web ad … the 45-second bit … juxtaposes two contradictory statements from … Grayson … as a means to illustrate what appears to be double-speak on Grayson’s part.

“Home ownership is, in fact, the American dream. There’s no other way to put it,” a video clip shows Grayson telling the Florida Realtors Conference … an audio clip of Grayson a month later telling the Democratic Women’s Caucus of Florida: “The American dream is not the ability to buy a home. Despite what the National Association of Realtors may want you to think.”

SCOOPLET — DAVID JOLLY CAMPAIGN HIRES FUNDRAISERS TREY MCCARLEY AND KRIS MONEY via Florida Politics

Jolly has hired Trey McCarley and Kris Money to raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign … The fundraising duo was in the news last month after they parted ways with Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign … reports indicate that they are still raising money for Right to Rise, the super PAC raising money in support of Bush’s candidacy. McCarley and Money are well known in Florida political circles: McCarley for his connections to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Money for his work for former House Speaker Will Weatherford.

JOLLY ONLY REPUBLICAN TO VOTE AGAINST NEW COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

Jolly … who is running for Senate, explained his vote on Facebook. “I strongly support investigating these allegations but voted against today’s measure for one very important reason — we simply don’t need a new special committee to do the job Congress is already sworn to do … There are currently three House committees investigating this matter, engaging in document requests, receiving testimony from Planned Parenthood personnel, reviewing troves of information, and committing taxpayer resources to this most important effort … Simply put, because three panels currently have jurisdiction to investigate, we do not need to create a fourth.”

SENATE CANDIDATE SOL AUGUSTUS INVICTUS NO ‘CARTOON CHARACTER,’ FRIEND SAYS via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

Augustus Sol Invictus, a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida, has been called a fascist and is a pagan who once killed and drank a goat’s blood. He’s also a lawyer licensed to practice in four states and federal court, a small-business owner, and is genially known as “Auggie Sunshine” to his law school pals.

Shortly after declaring his candidacy for the Senate … the 32-year-old Invictus (his full name means “majestic unconquered sun” in Latin) has been ridiculed as a walking freak-show – unfairly, one friend says.

“He and I chatted a little bit about it … it sounds like it’s a circus down there,” says Heather Kuruvilla, an independent museum professional in Pennsylvania. She’s been friends with Invictus since their days as law students at DePaul University in Chicago from 2008-11. “I actually feel a little bad for him but I know he can take it … We hung out fairly regularly and got along really well … A lot of people found him to be strange but he never said anything offensive in my presence … I guess people found it weird he was pagan … He was open about it and his religious beliefs. But he was respectful about other people’s beliefs; he never talked down about other people’s religious beliefs.”

DAN WEBSTER GETS A BOOST IN BID FOR HOUSE SPEAKER via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

Webster got a boost … in his bid to replace House Speaker John Boehner when the House Freedom Caucus endorsed him … The group of hard-line Republicans helped push Boehner out and was not inclined to support U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Boehner’s No. 2.

“It is clear that our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo, and that the viability of the Republican Party depends on whether we start listening to our voters and fighting to keep our promises … Webster would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people as Speaker of the House.”

ALCEE HASTINGS AND 10 OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS IMPLICATED IN ALLEGED BRIBERY SCHEME via Dan Christensen of FloridaBulldog.org

Congressional ethics investigators will review allegations that … Alcee Hastings and 10 other House members took bribes by accepting campaign contributions from the payday lending industry shortly before or after taking official actions in support of the industry.

The Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based watchdog group, asked for the probe … to the Office of Congressional Ethics … The official actions allegedly included sponsoring or co-sponsoring legislation to impair the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate the payday lending industry and eliminate consumer protections against certain payday lending practices … Other anti-corruption measures … were possibly violated: honest services fraud and the illegal gratuity statute.

Hastings, is accused of … co-sponsor(ing) HR 1566, legislation that Allied Progress said would “undermine oversight of payday lenders by allowing them to bypass the regulatory authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and stronger state laws.” On March 27, 2013, he received a $2,500 campaign contribution from payday lending executive Ian MacKechnie of Amscot Financial. MacKechnie contributed another $500 to Hasting’s campaign on June 28, following Hasting’s support for HR 1566. In all, Hastings and five other congressmen who supported the measure, or similar legislation, received a total of more than $72,000 in contributions from industry executives or PACs.

22 MEMBERS OF FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION CALL ON FEDS TO RECONSIDER APALACHICOLA BASIN PLANS via Ryan Ray of Florida Politics

Most of Florida’s 29 congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., signed a letter to a high-ranking U.S. Army official on Tuesday calling for federal action to help revive the ailing Apalachicola River.

Some 22 members of Congress — an evenly divided with 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats — wrote Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to express their concern over newly released federal documents regarding the ecologically sensitive Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

The bipartisan group of senators and representatives told Darcy an environmental impact report on the region and a Master Water Control Manual — a set of guidelines used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains several massive water projects in Florida — amounts to “mismanagement” of a key natural resource.

“We are very disappointed that this latest plan falls short of fixing the long-running failure of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to properly operate the dams and reservoirs along the ACF river basin,” wrote the group in an open letter penned Wednesday. “The Corps’ recommended changes will do nothing to protect the health of the full ACT system.”

MARY THOMAS TO ANNOUNCE $190K IN Q3 FUNDRAISING FOR CD 2 RACE via Florida Politics

Thomas is ready to confirm another healthy round of fundraising in her bid for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. On October 15 … will report to the Federal Elections Commission that the first-time candidate has taken in over $190,000 in contributions during the third quarter of 2015. She will also end Q3 with over $160K cash on hand.

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STAFF HAS STARTED DRAFTING SENATE MAPS AND SENATE DEMOCRATS HIRE SEPARATE COUNSEL via Mary Ellen Klas of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate Redistricting Chairman Bill Galvano said … drawing of Senate districts is well underway by House and Senate staff for the three-week special session that begins Oct. 19 but the Senate Democrats will not have a separate lawyer at the table. Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner — with funds from the Florida Democratic Party — has hired Tallahassee attorney Mark Herron to represent the Senate in the redistricting process, after Senate President Andy Gardiner twice rejected her request to allow the Democratic caucus to have its own lawyer to advise them during the drawing of the Senate redistricting map.

The Republican-led Senate and House have hired outside lawyers to advise both chambers in the fight but Joyner had objected, claiming they were representing only Republican interests.

JACK LATVALA AGAIN CALLS RICK SCOTT’S VETOES POLITICAL via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

Latvala said … Scott’s lengthy veto list … was driven by politics and individual lobbyists and members who supported specific projects, not public policy … he saw few differences when comparing things like estimated return on investment from projects that were vetoed and those that made the final budget.

“Mainly, the differences were in who supported those projects and who lobbied for those projects,” he said.

At the time, Scott said he vetoed projects that did not return money to the state, or if they were added to the budget late in the process without going through a proper vetting from state officials.

“I went through the budget saying, what is a statewide priority, can I get a good return on investment, has it gone through a state process?” he said.

FACING CUTS TO UNINSURED HEALTHCARE POOL, LAWMAKERS AREN’T READY TO TALK SOLUTIONS via Michael Auslen of the Tampa Bay Times

State Sen. Rene Garcia … the healthcare budget chairman … is aware the state has only been authorized for $608 million in its so-called Low Income Pool (LIP) funds from the federal government to reimburse hospitals for unpaid care. But he’s not ready to suggest a back-up plan to help hospitals, some of whom rely heavily on LIP funds. “I think it’s premature,” he said.

State agency staff who have been negotiating with the federal government on the LIP say the fund is all but guaranteed to shrink next year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the state this summer that the program could not exceed $608 million … which includes both federal and local tax dollars — would be $400 million smaller than the current year, and more than $1 billion smaller than the pool from 2014.

BILL WOULD STANDARDIZE STATE CIGARETTE TAX via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

A bill filed in the Legislature … would erase the state’s hodgepodge system of taxing cigarettes and instead impose a standard $2 surcharge on each pack sold in Florida … also end the practice of allowing manufacturers to give away free sample packs of cigarettes.

The legislation … by Democratic state Rep. Richard Stark … aims to make “the tax on cigarettes … uniform throughout the state.” The $2 surcharge would apply to the usual package of 20 cigarettes. An additional surcharge of 4.2 cents per cigarette applies to all other packages … also tacks on an “excise or privilege tax” of 33.9 cents per pack of 20 and an additional tax of 1.41 cents per cigarette on every other kind of pack.

BILL WOULD ALLOW FLORIDA CHURCHES TO SAY NO TO GAY MARRIAGES via Brendan Farrington of The Associated Press

A bill that would allow churches to refuse to marry gay couples won its first approval … even though its sponsor said churches already have that right and he knows of no cases in which a church has been forced to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony. After listening to dozens of pastors, most of whom supported the proposed law and some of whom opposed it, the House Civil Justice Committee approved the bill on a 9-4 vote, with all Republicans supporting it and all Democrats opposed.

While the bill … doesn’t specifically mention gay marriage, it says that churches and clergy do not have to perform a wedding or allow a reception if it goes against sincerely held religious belief … it was clear during questions, testimony and debate on the bill that it is a response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision giving gay couples the right to marry.

BILL WOULD EXPAND ‘RIGHT TO TRY ACT’ TO INCLUDE MARIJUANA via Joe Reedy of The Associated Press

State Rep. Matt Gaetz … has filed a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs to include non-smokable marijuana of all strengths and doses. State Sen. Rob Bradley is expected to sponsor a similar bill in the Senate … to expand the Right to Try Act, which was passed earlier this year. It allows terminal patients to try any medicine that has passed phase one of a FDA clinical trial. Lawmakers rejected proposals to include marijuana in the law.

STATE’S AGING BUILDINGS COULD LEAD TO TALLAHASSEE FACELIFT via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

Scott’s administration is in the initial stages of setting a blueprint for how Florida should handle infrastructure needs moving forward, one that could drastically alter a downtown Tallahassee landscape largely defined by state agency headquarters … requesting nearly $800,000 from lawmakers to hire an outside firm that would assess aged state-owned infrastructure, and make recommendations on how the state should handle both buildings it owns and a handful of leases that are set to expire starting in 2019.

Roughly 60 percent of all state buildings are in Tallahassee, with many located in a downtown area known as the “Capitol complex” … leases on roughly 1 million square-feet the state rents will start to expire in 2019 … expiration of leases that house 4,000 state employees will force state agencies and departments to simultaneously scramble to find new homes.

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LAUREN BOOK AND THE EMPTY BOX via Florida Politics

Most first-time candidates take a while to get their campaigns up and running. They generally need a few weeks of sorting out details, getting used to the lay of the land, setting up events, and just getting into the rhythm of making calls and so on. Lauren Book is not your typical first-time candidate.

A few moments ago, Lauren posted that she just finished a complete box of thank-you notes to donors and supporters. We found this tidbit interesting as it may shed light on how her first 30 days on the campaign trail is going.

For those of you who know Book … you know she is fastidious … about sending hand-written thank you notes … one of her things and anyone who has ever donated to her foundation or even stopped in to thank her for her work was sure to get her trademark note … Book’s campaign has had to order a second box of thank-you notes.

— “HD 11 Donnie Horner breaches $73k in fundraising” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

— “Democratic HD 30 challenger passes Bob Cortes in cash on hand, for now” via Florida Politics

HAPPENING TODAY: State Rep. Brad Drake will hold a fundraising event beginning 4:30 p.m. in the Governors Club. At 5 p.m., the Governors Club Library Room will host state Reps. Halsey Beshears, Dane Eagle, Mike LaRosa, and Ray Rodrigues. Both events are at 202 1/2 South Adams Street in Tallahassee.

SAVE THE DATE: State Rep. Jimmie Smith will hold a meet and greet fundraising reception for his state Senate campaign on October 18 from 1-3 p.m. at the home of Buz Heuchan, 10063 W. Riverwood Drive in Crystal River. RSVP with Robert Roux at (386) 623-0987.

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS

Griffan Finan: DraftKings, Inc.

Cory Fox: FanDuel, Inc.

Marnie George, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney: Daiichi Sanyko, Inc.

Todd Lewis: Tri-State Archeological Society

Kim McGlynn, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney: Habitat for Humanity of Florida

Scott Ward, DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc.

PERSONNEL NOTE: PAMELA EPTING APPOINTED DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF OFFICE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION via Florida Politics

Pamela Epting … was appointed deputy commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation … will be second in charge under Commissioner Drew Breakspear. Epting has been with the state since 1986, most recently as director of OFR’s Division of Securities.

PERSONNEL NOTE — TOBY PHILPOT LEAVES LOTTERY FOR AHCA via Florida Politics

Toby Philpot is leaving his chief of staff role at the Florida Lottery to take the same position at the Agency for Health Care Administration … He replaces Jennifer Ungru, who left AHCA to become a “corporate affairs adviser” for Jones Walker LLP’s Tallahassee office. Philpot leaves an agency rocked by the departure of Secretary Cynthia O’Connell, whose work habits, travel schedule and spending had begun to be questioned by news media.

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CONTEXT FLORIDA: RELATIVELY & THE GOP, THE BEST LEAP AND NEW MARTIN ROW HOUSES

On Context Florida: The race for the Republican presidential nomination is a dilemma of who might do the least harm rather than the most good, says Martin Dyckman. It’s stretching relativity to the breaking point. Traci Evison writes that the best leap of her life could be yours, too. She recently gave herself a tandem skydiving jump to celebrate her 40th birthday. If you feel like you have hit a certain age and missed these things, and have an extensive bucket list of ever-growing wishes, then Evison suggests that jumping out of an airplane may be just the thing you need. A proposed new gated community of 92 upscale “row houses,” priced from the high $200s to the middle $300,000s, has south Martin County residents talking, says Sally Swartz. Some wonder whether expensive row houses belong in a CRA. Others worry that plopping a fancy gated community next to a neighborhood faced with challenges is asking for trouble.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

TWITTER’S ‘MOMENTS’ WILL TRY TO TAME THE CHAOS via Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times

A long-awaited new feature aimed squarely at attracting people who now find Twitter too confusing to use … Moments, attempts to transform Twitter’s chaotic timeline into a series of narratives that are easily navigated by people who aren’t indoctrinated into the service’s strange rituals … As seen in Moments, Twitter is the one place to find out exactly what has been happening in the world very recently … the company could stake out a unique position among rival social networks.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen and Vivian Rudd Myrtetus.

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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