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 debate night in America!
The second prime-time GOP debate, hosted by CNN, begins at 8 p.m. The “kids’ table” debate begins at 6 p.m.
A TALE OF TWO DEBATES
There’s a good chance there will be two different debates going on at the main GOP debate in California tomorrow night.
The first sub-debate is among the outsiders Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, who all need momentum to continue feeding off the 2016 beast (given that they don’t have infrastructure and establishment support). Yes, Trump is likely to be the center of attention again, but Carson and Fiorina have extra pressure to deliver. After all, when you’re an outsider and have the momentum, you can’t afford to lose it. And if you lose it, you usually don’t get it back.
The second sub-debate is among the insider/establishment Republicans — Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, even John Kasich. Bush and Walker, in particular, are fighting to regain momentum (see the NYT/CBS poll). Don’t be surprised if some of these insiders decide to target Jeb instead of Trump. Why? Going after Jeb (or the last name Bush) might be an easier path to prove your conservative bona fides than standing toe-to-toe with The Donald.
WHAT HAS CHANGED HEADING INTO THE SECOND GOP DEBATE via NBC’s First Read
— Trump has solidified his lead in the polls, and the critical coverage he received in July/August has been replaced by a perception that he’s bulletproof — at least for now;
— Carson has surged into second place, despite what originally seemed like a lackluster performance at the first debate and despite very little campaign activity;
— Bush and Walker have dropped — with Walker’s fall even more striking than Hillary Clinton’s decline over the past month;
— On the issues front, the Iran deal is essentially a done deal, while the odds of a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood have increased;
— Fiorina has made it to the main debate stage, with CNN changing its debate criteria to allow for 11 to participate in the main debate, instead of the 10 we saw last month;
— And Rick Perry became the first casualty of the GOP race after he dropped out on Friday afternoon. That means that there will be one fewer Republican on the smaller debate stage Wednesday.
One other thing worth noting: There is going to be a significant time gap between Wednesday’s debate and the next one (in late October). That means some extra pressure on the GOP candidates — and maybe even more incentive to go a bit negative. Remember, the current fundraising quarter ends on Sept. 30.
JAKE TAPPER: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE CNN REAGAN LIBRARY DEBATE via Brian Stelter of CNN’s Reliable Sources
“[W]hat the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other — specific candidates on the stage, on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy or politics or leadership. Let’s actually have them discuss and debate. … [T]hey’re going to want to talk to the camera and they’re going to get out their talking points, but I am going to attempt to get them to address each other and actually debate.”
On handling Trump: “[I]f there are interruptions, … you want to sit back and let that happen and let candidates debate and let the organic process run its course. If it gets out of control, if it gets out of hand, you want to say, ‘Excuse me. I’m sorry, we’d like to let everybody have a turn,’ or ‘Let’s try to follow the rules of the debate. …
On being attacked: “I anticipate that somebody … is going to take a shot at me as the straw man, as the stand-in for the media writ large. … I mean, the media is a whipping boy, and it’s a Republican debate. Let’s be frank. Republicans often take issue with the media writ large. … My job is … if they’re raising an issue that I think needs explaining, to explain quickly but generally just to move on to the next question, because … ISIS, health care, jobs – these are topics that are much more important than me.”
MEET DEBATE MODERATOR HUGH HEWITT, TRUMP’S GRAND INQUISITOR via Todd Purdum of POLITICO
Hugh Hewitt [who will join Tapper in asking questions tomorrow night, along with Dana Bash] drew Trump’s ire with a smart question … With his skeletal radio staff, Hewitt is a one-man mini media empire, churning out columns and books and distributing daily transcripts of the most newsworthy interview excerpts from his show. … As he taped interviews the other day with Carson, Rubio, Graham and McCain-armed with a spiral notebook, iPhone and iPad to do on-the-spot research-Hewitt … showed off a spreadsheet grid he’s made to keep track of each candidate’s “at-bats,” in an effort to assure that all are heard from.
To those who know Hewitt, it’s no surprise that he caught up Trump with a question on national security, the area where he’s best known as a party sage … Hewitt is one of the few current figures in the party who retains credibility with all three elements of the old Reagan coalition: social conservatives, national security conservatives and economic conservatives.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: CARLY FIORINA ASSIGNED TO TAKE OUT DONALD TRUMP AT DEBATE via RushLimbaugh.com
“I’m just telling you, I’m not an insider. I’ll tell you what I’ve heard. I’ve heard that it is Fiorina who has drawn the assignment to take out Trump, that arrangements were made together on that eight o’clock stage. You know, there are 11 instead of 10. It’s gonna be the top 10. Something’s happened and Carly’s there…
“Before the Fox debate, the word went out that it was the donors who had given all the other candidates strict orders to take Trump out and be done with this. Well, the story now is that it’s Fiorina who was given that assignment, coming right off the face comment that Trump is ripe for being cut down to size and Fiorina is the one to do it because she’s the one that’s shown the most gonads of any of them throughout this process. This is the theory that I’m hearing.”
Jim Gilmore’s steamed that CNN has excluded him, and only him, from Wednesday’s Republican debates, but he’s going to jump into the fray anyway—on Twitter.
The former Virginia governor, who was a late addition to the first GOP debate in Cleveland last month and is currently polling at just a hair above 0 percent nationally, is planning to hunker down in his Alexandria, VA headquarters while his rivals clash again out in California. From afar, Gilmore will offer rebuttals and retorts in 140 characters or less. He’ll also be on Facebook.
“I just wish I had an opportunity at this point to take them on. At the Cleveland debate, we were just getting started,” he told POLITICO in a phone interview late Tuesday. “CNN and the RNC have decided to muzzle me,” he continued, blaming the Republican National Committee for its decision to partner with the network.
It’s unclear, he added, whether future debates will rely on similar criteria to exclude him. “It is out of my control. But what is in my control is to appropriately campaign for the presidency.”
WHITE HOUSE RECYCLES JOKE ABOUT GOP DEBATE via Eliza Collins of POLITICO
The White House has a simple explanation for why President Barack Obama will not likely be tuning into Wednesday’sGOP debate—he’s got better things to do.
It’s not the first time White House press secretary Josh Earnest has used the line, or one similar to it. Last month, with intense public interest building in Trump‘s first primetime performance on a debate stage, Earnest said he’d “be surprised if the president spent a lot of his evening devoted to watching the debate.”
On Tuesday, Earnest said Obama is obviously a “keenly interested observer” in the overall 2016 race. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to kick back and revel in the GOP slugfest expected during CNN’s debate night.
“He feels like he’s got better things to do, with all due respect to CNN,” Earnest said when asked why the Democratic president would not be tuning in during a press briefing.
AHEAD OF DEBATE, NEXTGEN CLIMATE USES RONALD REAGAN CLIP TO PUSH ON CLIMATE CHANGE via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
NextGen Climate … released a new digital ad featuring footage of Ronald Reagan as a way to prod Republicans to begin addressing climate change … called “Common Sense,” featuring the former President addressing Congress and the nation in his 1986 State of the Union Speech.
“Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, but it’s common sense,” Reagan says. The video then shoots to another clip of that speech, where he says, “Let us be sure that those who come after us, will say of us in our time we did everything that could be done.”
NextGen Climate also urges CNN’s Jake Tapper, one of three moderators for Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, to ask the candidates about climate change, and more specifically, about NextGen Climate’s goal to have a U.S. energy strategy that is more than 50 percent clean energy by the year 2030. The ad will run as part of a six-figure buy targeting Republican voters on CNN.com, Fox.com and other video channels.
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FOR BUSH, THE CAVALRY IS COMING via James Pindell of the Boston Globe
The super PAC supporting Bush plans to begin airing what could be the most expensive television advertising campaign in the history of presidential primary politics.
On Tuesday, Right to Rise, began airing $1.2 million worth of ads on Boston, New Hampshire, and cable stations. A digital campaign and radio advertising will also begin in days. In addition to New Hampshire, the ads will air in Iowa, followed by the next week beginning in South Carolina.
The group then plans to continue advertising for at least six months — straight to the March 8 contests, a month after the New Hampshire primary.
In all, the group’s strategist, Mike Murphy, said group will spend at least $24 million in 2015 alone.
The first 30-second spot focuses on Bush’s record as governor of Florida, and doesn’t mention any of Bush’s rivals by name, including Trump.
Murphy said the messages in the ad were driven by internal polling that showed while voters in early primary states knew who Bush was, they didn’t know much about his record as governor.
“Our main opponent now is ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Tell me more’,” Murphy said referring to answers given in their poll.
RIGHT TO RISE ALSO GOING NEGATIVE via the New York Times
(A) minute-long online ad that the group, Right to Rise, put on its YouTube channel contrasts Trump‘s language with Mr. Bush’s. ‘One candidate is in a dark place,’ reads text at the beginning of the ad, which PAC officials said would run only on the web. Mr. Trump’s face emerges, along with many of his most caustic remarks.
— “Jeb Bush Super PAC video about America uses stock footage from overseas” via Daniel Strauss of POLITICO
RUBIO CAMPAIGN SNAGS FORMER MITT ROMNEY POLICY DIRECTOR via Eliana Johnson of the National Review
Lanhee Chen, the Hoover Institution fellow who served as policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, is signing on as a policy adviser to Rubio’s presidential campaign … underscores Rubio’s commitment to being one of the 2016 candidates most conversant and fluent on policy issues. Chen will advise Rubio on both domestic and foreign policy and also lend a hand on debate prep … joins policy director Jonathan Slemrod … and Jamie Fly, the senator’s longtime national security and foreign policy adviser.
He’ll also have company from a number of former Romney strategists … Rich Beeson, who served as political director for the Romney campaign in 2012, is Rubio’s deputy campaign manager. Jim Merrill, Romney’s New Hampshire strategist, is playing the same role for Rubio. Chen is the first outside adviser announced by the Rubio campaign, which has remained a small circle even as some of the senator’s challengers, such as Bush and Walker, have brought on marquee names.
EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
SHOT: “Look, I don’t have anything against Florida State. I think there has to be a school where people who can’t get into University of Florida can go to college.” — Rubio in an interview with KXNO-AM.
CHASER: “He’s a nice kid. I’m sure he’s frustrated by his low standing in the polls, which I believe could be a reflection of where he got his education.” — FSU president John Thrasher as quoted by the Tallahassee Democrat.
TRUMP, CARSON FIRST AND SECOND IN LATEST FLORIDA PRESIDENTIAL POLL via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
The latest Public Policy Poll … shows that … Trump and Carson are the top two favorites of Republican presidential primary voters in Florida, more than four months before the first votes start counting … bad news for Florida native sons Bush and Rubio, who now reside in third and fourth place, respectively … Trump is on top with 28 percent … Carson trails Trump by 11 percentage points, and currently has 17 percent support. Bush is third with 13 percent, Rubio fourth with 10 percent. Cruz follows at 9 percent, Fiorina is at 7 percent and Kasich at 5 percent. Beyond that group Huckabee‘s at 3 percent, Christie and Walker at 2 percent, Jindal and Santorum at 1 percent, and Gilmore, Graham, Pataki, and Paul are all at less than 1 percent.
PPP POLL: PLURALITY OF FLORIDIANS WANT JEB BUSH AND MARCO RUBIO TO DROP TO OUT via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
A new survey in Florida shows 47 percent of voters want Bush to drop out of the GOP presidential race, and 48 percent would prefer Rubio do the same … a new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, which shows that Trump continues to lead all Republican candidates in Florida with 28 percent support. In second place is Carson with 17 percent … Bush is in third place with 13 percent support, while Rubio gets 10 percent and is in fourth place. Only 40 percent of voters in the state think Bush should keep running … Just 42 percent believe Rubio should continue on with his campaign.
WHY PPP’S POLL IS ROUGH FOR BUSH, BUT NOT AS BAD FOR RUBIO via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida
The PPP survey — the fourth in Florida showing Trump ahead and once-frontrunner Bush trailing — challenges two beliefs of the former governor’s campaign strategy: that he’s best equipped to take on Trump and that he’ll do better once voters are exposed to “the Florida story” of Bush’s governance.
But in Florida, Bush’s Republican base isn’t moved enough by his record right now and, in a head-to-head GOP matchup against Trump, Bush loses 55-38 percent. In contrast, Rubio leads Trump 49-46, essentially a tie for the Republican portion of the poll, which has a 5.1 percent margin of error.
“I would much rather be in Marco’s position than Jeb’s,” said Tom Jensen, PPP’s director.
FLORIDA GOP LEADERS: CANDIDATES WHO SKIP FLORIDA SHOULD NOT BE ON THE BALLOT via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida
Concerned that Florida is being overshadowed by other early presidential primary states, officials from the Republican Party of Florida are considering not allowing GOP candidates on the primary ballot if they don’t attend a November candidate summit.
The plan is to strong-arm presidential candidates into attending the nationally televised Sunshine State Summit, an Orlando event that’s the brainchild of Blaise Ingoglia, the new party chairman.
Ingoglia rolled out the event in August as a way for presidential candidates to speak to more than 2,500 state GOP activists, but it has failed to gain momentum. Of the 16 major Republican candidates, only Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have confirmed they will attend.
“The idea is that we potentially would tie ballot access in Florida … to participation in the Sunshine Summit,” Brad Herold, state GOP executive director, said during a private conference call Tuesday evening with member’s of the state party’s executive committee.
MEANWHILE … HILLARY CLINTON CONTINUES TO DOMINATE IN FLORIDA via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics
Clinton may be struggling against … Bernie Sanders in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, but Berniemania hasn’t come to the Sunshine State, according to a Public Policy Polling survey … The former secretary of state and New York U.S. senator dominates … with 55 percent of the vote. Sanders is a distant second with 18 percent, followed closely by Vice President Joe Biden at 17 percent despite him not running yet.
Despite Sanders’ relatively modest showing against Clinton, it’s actually an increase in 15 percentage points for him since March … Clinton is down 3 points from that poll, with Biden up by 3 points … numbers continue to indicate that if Biden enters the race it will hurt Clinton a lot more than it does Sanders. Fifty-four percent of Biden voters say Clinton is their second choice, to 14 percent who say Sanders is. If you reallocate Biden’s voters to their second choice, Clinton’s lead over Sanders in the state goes up to 64/21.
TWITTER TOOL LETS PREZ CAMPAIGNS RAISE CASH IN TWEETS via Hadas Gold of POLITICO
Twitter rolls out a feature … that allows campaigns and candidates to raise money directly from a tweet. Each campaign will have a customizable link … Once tweeted, the link triggers a donation box, which appears within the tweet on a user’s timeline, similar to how an image now appears within a tweet … click on the box, put in relevant personal and payment information and donate to a campaign without leaving the Twitter application.
The feature is part of a partnership with Square, the mobile payments company whose CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey is a co-founder of Twitter and its interim CEO.
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CREAKY BUREACRACY SENDS BUDGET WISH LIST TO RICK SCOTT via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times
The Florida Lottery wants to offer cash bonuses to its sales staff. The Department of Environmental Protection needs to replace trucks that are unsafe to drive. The Department of Corrections wants new software to track down emails and respond faster to “prepare for lawsuits and investigations.”
These are among hundreds of requests by state agencies to Gov. Scott. The agencies faced an earlier-than-usual deadline of Tuesday to submit their annual LBRs or legislative budget requests, which Scott will consider as he prepares his budget recommendations to the Legislature in advance of the next regular session in January 2016.
Scott faces a fiscal balancing act as he weighs his agencies’ requests against his 2014 campaign promise to cut taxes by $1 billion over a two-year period (he got almost to the halfway point in the 2015 session).
In a likely preview of another battle between Scott and the Senate, the Department of Economic Opportunity wants $75 million for an array of incentive programs to lure jobs to the state. It’s highly doubtful the Senate would agree to that after the Legislature gave Scott $43 million of the $85 million he asked for in the current year’s budget.
“If this request is not funded, the department will not be able to meet contractually obligated state of Florida payments and Enterprise Florida will not be able to compete for new competitive projects,” DEO writes.
The reams of budget requests portray a creaky bureaucracy where equipment failures are common. For example, the Department of Juvenile Justice wants $700,000 to replace 200 aging computer switches in juvenile detention centers, assessment centers and probation offices that are prone to breakdowns, resulting in a lack of communication with families and providers. “At this point the devices become a security risk,” the agency says.
ADAM PUTNAM MAKES NEW PUSH FOR FLORIDA FORESTRY FIREFIGHTER PAY RAISES via Jeremy Wallace of the Miami Herald
Three months after Scott vetoed a plan to give the state forestry firefighters a $2,000 pay increase … Adam Putnam is making a new pitch to get those raises. In a new budget request for 2016 … Putnam is asking the Legislature to give him $2.3 million to help him hand out $2,000 per-person pay raises to the state’s 959 forest fighters and support teams.
“If additional funding for the firefighter positions is not available, the turnover rate will continue to increase … The Florida Forest Service will lose critical expertise in its firefighter and fire management/support ranks, which increases the potential for fire suppression accidents because of lack of experience.”
ENTERPRISE FLORIDA DROPS TIE FROM LOGO via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
Enterprise Florida … raised hackles a couple of years ago when it debuted a new logo that used a tie in place of the “i” in Florida … A slew of commenters took to the agency’s Facebook page to lambaste the logo as sexist … Now, an eagle-eyed reader … noted that Enterprise Florida tweaked the logo. An advertisement in the latest edition of a national business magazine shows an agency logo — with no tie.
“The tie logo from 2013 is being phased out,” agency spokesman Stephen Lawson confirmed … “With new leadership comes new ideas for marketing Florida as the best state for business.”
But the logo doesn’t really look “new;” it’s just missing a tie.
OLD DISPUTES SIMMER AS LEGISLATORS RETURN FOR COMMITTEE MEETINGS via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat
The Florida Legislature returns to the Capitol … meetings come at a tense time in House and Senate relations. Earlier this year, the House had walked out on the Senate, abruptly adjourning the spring session three days early when the Senate refused to withdraw a proposal expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor … Neither dispute is resolved and involve lawmakers in line to lead their respective chambers. (When) state economists reported they expect lawmakers to have an additional half billion dollars to work with when they begin writing next year’s budget, Senate President Andy Gardiner indicated he’s willing to give Medicaid expansion another shot … “It’s going to be a very interesting Legislature to watch” … said Tallahassee Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda.
MIKE FASANO OP-ED ON RICHARD CORCORAN: “A FINER PUBLIC SERVANT WOULD BE HARD TO FIND” via Florida Politics
My good friend Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran is poised to take over the reins of the Florida House of Representatives … I have known Richard for over 30 years. A finer public servant than he would be hard to find. He has the skills, abilities and Tallahassee “know-how” to be an effective leader. He knows how to “get the job done.” He is also a committed family man whose wife and six children are truly his pride and joy … Richard has the opportunity to enact change in Tallahassee that will have a lasting impact on the way state government may be run for potentially a generation to come. Like his predecessor and early mentor, former speaker and now congressman Dan Webster, Richard Corcoran will come into his speakership with a plan to completely restructure the way in which the House is run, literally turning it on its head. In a time when special interests have far too much control over policy and legislation, Richard’s plan to empower the members of his chamber will return the control of that body to those to whom it belongs: the elected official and the people of Florida.
GAMBLING OR FUN? LAWMAKERS MAY MAKE CALL ON FANTASY SPORTS via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press
The growing fantasy sports industry … is now setting its sights on getting the blessings of the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature. Two rival fantasy sports companies, FanDuel and DraftKings, have joined forces to hire one of Tallahassee’s most prominent lobbying firms led by a well-known GOP fundraiser. The reason? Despite promises to players that fantasy sports are completely legal, questions remain about whether participating in such games violates Florida’s gambling laws.
Fantasy Sports Trade Association … decided to hire lobbyist Brian Ballard … because it’s “important to establish a presence in Tallahassee and begin educating legislators about the dynamics of fantasy sports.” … But a well-known gambling and sports law attorney warns that as the industry grows and becomes more lucrative it could invite scrutiny. While federal law has an exception utilized by those in the fantasy sports industry, the legal situation in Florida in murkier, thanks in part to a 1991 opinion authored by then-Attorney General Bob Butterworth … flatly stated that an NFL fantasy league — where team owners paid $100 to join and won money based on the performance of their team — was illegal gambling.
UBER-FRIENDLY LEGISLATION TOPS HILLSBOROUGH POLITICIANS’ WISH LIST via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
The Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation will consider five proposed “local bills” … on the operations of “transportation network companies,” such as Uber and Lyft … The 14-member delegation … from both parties will go over the proposed legislation at its meeting next Friday … Local bills, as opposed to general bills, apply “to an area or group that is less than the total area or population of the state …” Some of the local bills specifically target the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission … But one proposed bill would “remove PTC authority over TNCs and limos” … Another would remove the commission’s power to issue citations for local ordinance violations … another would get rid of the commission altogether.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES’ AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools
Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson discusses Florida’s economic development incentive programs with the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee during a 9 a.m. presentation in Room 110 of the Senate building.
GUN BILLS EXAMINED
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee considers several firearm bills at a meeting starting 9 a.m. in Room 37 of the Senate building. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee also addresses gun legislation at 10:30 a.m. in Room 404 of the House building.
EDUCATION BUDGET REQUESTS
The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee will review Legislative Budget Requests by the state’s education agen for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Meeting begins 10:30 a.m. in Room 17 of the House building.
TRANSPORTATION BUDGET REQUESTS
The House Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will review Legislative Budget Requests from its associated agencies for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Meeting begins 10:30 a.m. in Room 102 of the House building.
JUSTICE BUDGET REQUESTS
The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will review Legislative Budget Requests from the State Court System and the Commission on Offender Review for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Meeting starts 4 p.m. in Room 17 of the House building.
AARON BEAN PUTS ON HIS DANCING SHOES via Melissa Ross of Florida Politics
Jacksonville state Sen. Aaron Bean … is one of the North Florida “stars” who will compete Saturday night in the 2015 First Coast Dancing with the Stars event supporting the Beaches Fine Arts Series … he and his partner, professional dance instructor Krista Thomas, are doing the cha-cha.
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” … Bean says about the competition. “It is much more intense than I ever thought it could be. But I’m competitive, and I want to win. So I’m learning the ‘advanced’ cha-cha!”
JOE ABRUZZO FILES FOR DIVORCE via John Pacenti of the Palm Beach Post
Abruzzo filed for divorce from his wife Brandy six months after she gave birth to the couple’s first child … petition for dissolution of marriage … does not give a reason for the split-up except to say it’s “irretrievably broken.” Court documents show that Brandy Abruzzo was served divorce papers at the couple’s Boynton Beach home. Brandy Abruzzo took to Twitter over the weekend with a post ending in the hashtag #Typicalcommittmentofapolitician #divorce … “When you make a commitment to a marriage and family. You don’t just give up after 1 yr and a baby.”
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HAPPENING TONIGHT — House Majority 2016 will hold a fundraiser for Miami Republican state Rep. Carlos Trujillo at 5 p.m. in the Governors Club Private Dining Room, 202 1/2 South Adams Street in Tallahassee.
GEORGE COLLINS TO CHALLENGE PLASENCIA IN HD 50 via Jacob Engels of the East Orlando Post
Frequent candidate and college professor George Collins has decided to challenge Republican State Representative Rene Plasencia … Collins, who challenged GOP incumbent State Representative Tom Goodson last election cycle, is capable of self-funding his campaign. Plasencia, who is finishing his first term in the Florida legislature, opted out of seeking re-election in his home district 49 – instead deciding to seek election in the GOP leaning House District 50 … Collins entry reignites those problems and presents a primary that could have a great effect on the outcome of the eventual general election.
FIRST IN SUNBURN — FLORIDA CHAMBER AND VOLUNTEER FLORIDA ANNOUNCE FUTURE OF FLORIDA FORUM #BRINGABOOK INITIATIVE via Florida Politics
Business leaders, experts and elected officials will gather together to discuss securing Florida’s future at the first annual Future of Florida Forum, a new partnership of Volunteer Florida and the Florida Chamber Foundation … Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29 at the Omni Orlando Resort, 1500 Masters Boulevard in ChampionsGate.
As part of the first-ever event is the #BringABook initiative, where organizers asks business, community and elected leaders attending the Forum to bring new or gently used elementary school level books. Volunteer Florida and the Foundation will collect the books at the registration area … encourage attendees and supporters to use the hashtag #BringABook to help promote the initiative.
NEW LOBBYING REGISRATIONS
Fred Karlinsky, Greenberg Traurig: TSA Consulting Group
Kirk Pepper, Capitol Insight: Self Storage Association
Phillip Singleton, Singleton Consulting: Wayman Community Development Corporation
PERSONNEL NOTE: LEGISLATIVE VETERAN JULIE FESS JOINS WILSON & ASSOCIATES via Florida Politics
Lobbying firm Wilson & Associates LLC is reinforcing its governmental affairs team with the addition of state legislative and appropriations veteran Julie Fess … offers longstanding political connections, serving in the offices of both former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate Budget Chair and Majority Leader Locke Burt. As a senior legislative staffer, Fess developed extensive professional relationships in the environmental, gaming, and insurance industries.
SPOTTED at a friends-and-family soft opening of Edison, the gorgeous new restaurant helmed by Adam Corey and Ryan Grinder: Reps. Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Irv Slosberg, Fred Leonhardt, Sean Pittman.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY belatedly to Democratic strategist Barry Edwards and the Florida League of Cities Jenna Titcomb. Celebrating today is Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.