Sunburn for 5/17: A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

By on May 17, 2012

A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

Reader reactions: “Ease edge & early insight make this a must.” — Tony Carvajal, The Collins Center; “Nothing like Sunburn to start the day off right!” – Stephen Gately, aide to US Rep. Dennis Ross

TWEET OF THE DAY ABOUT SUNBURN: @steevfitz: I must say, @SaintPetersblog’s Sunburn is a great read in my morning shower. Thank Science for waterproof phone cases!

MAYBE EVEN BETTER: @TimStapleton: If you don’t read Sunburn every morning, you really don’t know what is going on in FL politics. Great work @SaintPetersblog.

LET’S JUST START WITH THE DISTURBING STAT OF THE DAY: There are 53,000 dead people on the voter rolls in Florida.

ALL HAIL JACK LATVALA

More than 330 people came to kiss-the-the ring of Senator Jack Latvala at a lunchtime fundraiser in Clearwater yesterday. Contributors were asked to donate $125 a piece to Latvala’s leadership fund, with table sponsorships running an even $5K. All told, Latvala raked in at least $150,000.

SPOTTED AT LATVALA’S FUNDRAISER: Carol Dover, president of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Bob Martinez, John McKay, Andy Palmer and Steve Schale.

JIM GREER, SHAKEDOWN ARTIST?

About a year after former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer was indicted on felony charges of organized fraud, theft and money laundering, the Tampa Bay Times reports he left a message for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: “Listen I just wanted to call and tell you something as a man, not like these other people that have put knives in your back and never had the courtesy of calling you directly or talking to you… there’ll probably be things coming out that are going to be very hurtful to both you and Carole (Crist’s wife), but I’ll be honest with you, I don’t care any more because I did everything I could for you.” To Crist, it sounded like Greer was attempting to extort money from him and he reported the messages to law enforcement.

 LISA GREER GOES NUCLEAR ON FACEBOOK

“So, a convicted felon and Charlie Crist whining like the girl that he is are the best the papers and others can come up with today to continue the bs campaign against my husband, even though sworn affadavits keep coming out that prove Charlie Crist and Party leadership (“I don’t know how my signature got on that agreement”!) to be a bunch of liars. The only thing Jim can be found guilty of would be if it were a crime to trust in the lies and so called friendship of that scumbag Charlie Crist. The transcript and recording of the phone call have been released and there is no extortion there. Clearly FDLE agreed or they would have talked to Jim over a year ago. The truth of the matter is the phone call was the result of Charlie having his minions call Jim begging him not to include him in any book that he might write and indicating that he would ” help” if this occured. Charlie will do and say anything to be somebody again (perhaps a run for Governor as a Democrat?). He cleary showed his lack of honor and character when he flip flopped on everything he once stood for in his desparate efforts near the end of his FAILED Senate campaign. Charlie, remember directing Jim to deliver Marco Rubio’s AMEX statements in an unmarked envelope to the Miami Herald? I once loved and trusted Charlie Crist, I now know he would whore himself out to anyone that will put him in power again. I am sick of the games and lies, I have a family to protect and a precious baby girl on the way, the truth must come out to clear Jim’s name. So go ahead Charlie, use what little juice you have left, why don’t you make one of your cheesy, demeaning commercials to spread your lies. Jim Greer can’t wait to face you and the rest of the Party in court, the truth will come out and Jim will be found not guilty on ALL counts.”

MORNING MUST-READ FROM NY TIMES: TRAYVON MARTIN CASE SHADOWED BY A SERIES OF POLICE MISSTEPS

An examination of the Sanford Police Department’s handling of the case shows a series of missteps — including sloppy work — and circumstances beyond its control that impeded the investigation and may make it harder to pursue a case that is already difficult enough. Four-page story here.

FLORIDA VOTERS DISAPPROVE OF PREZ OBAMA’S HANDLING OF HOUSING MESS

An automated Florida poll by Public Policy Polling for the Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a network of labor and other Democratic leaning groups wanting more accountability for banks, found that only 36 percent of Florida voters approve of President Obama’s handing of the housing and mortgage crisis. Nearly six in 10 agreed Obama “has not done enough to hold the banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse. A huge majority – including 66 percent of independents, 57 percemt of Republicans, and 69 percent of Democrats – felt that Wall Street criminal acts led to the crisis. View the polling memo here.

ROVE’S CROSSROADS DROPPING $25 MIL IN FLORIDA, OTHER STATES ON MONTH-LONG TV BUY

Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) announced a new $25 million issue advocacy initiative over the next four weeks in ten states, including Florida, to frame the national debate on jobs, the economy, ObamaCare and government debt. … The first phase of the initiative launches Thursday with a new Crossroads GPS TV ad, “Broken Promises” which will air in Florida for a total buy of $1.5 million.  The spot details the Obama Administration’s poor results on fixing the troubled economy, cutting the debt, keeping taxes low, and other key issues.

DIDN’T HE DO THIS ALREADY? ROMNEY ENDORSES MACK

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney endorsed U.S. Rep. Connie Mack in his bid for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Romney’s campaign issued a short statement today saying Mack should be the party’s choice to take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson in the fall. “Connie Mack is a friend, a strong conservative and the type of principled leader we need in Washington to restore fiscal responsibility,” Romney said. “By electing Connie Mack, the people of Florida will be sending a clear message to Senator Nelson and President Obama that their failed policies have not worked to change the borrow and spend ways of Washington.” Mack is facing former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and tea-party favorite Mike McCalister in the Republican primary.

LEMIEUX ON MSNBC’S THE DAILY RUNDOWN

George LeMieux will appear on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd at approximately 9:30 a.m.

THE HILL NAMES SANDY ADAMS ITS ‘PLAYER OF THE WEEK’ 

“It is clear that many freshmen will be pulling for Adams, whose campaign strategy is to pin blame for the nation’s deficit problem on Mica,” reports The Hill.

RANDOM ENDORSEMENT OF THE DAY: Former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich Endorses Gineen Bresso for Congress.

RICK SCOTT CHATS ABOUT ADAM HOLLINGSWORTH

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday said he thinks his new chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, will “do a great job,” and praised him for help in the past. Scott said when he was running for governor he had never been in a debate before. “He helped me a lot with debate prep, he was helpful in my transition,” Scott said in a morning interview on WFLA radio in Tallahassee. “I think Adam’s going to do a great job.” Hollingsworth, also a former chief of staff to former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, was named over the weekend to replace Steve MacNamara, who resigned.

$2.2 MILLION SPENT ON LOBBYING TIED TO GAMBLING DEBATE

Casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and business groups paid lobbyists between $1.4 million and $2.2 million to argue their case to legislators and members of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, according to a Times/Herald analysis of the reports covering January through March. Among the details:

  • Las Vegas Sands paid two firms up to $105,000 to lobbying the legislative and executive branches.
  • Wynn Resorts paid up to $100,000.
  • Caesar Entertainment had a contract with Tsamoutales Strategies worth up to $60,000.
  • Isles of Capri Casinos had a contract with Bitner Associates worth up to $30,000.
  • Magic City Casino had a contract with Akerman Senterfitt worth up to $20,000.
  • Mardi Gras Casino had a contract with Greenspoon Marder worth up to $20,000

FLORIDA DEMOCRATS’ STRATEGY TO WIN STATE SENATE SEATS CONTINUING TO FAIL

“While (House) Democrats, under Leaders Doug Wiles, Chris Smith and Dan Gelber, continued to recruit good candidates for competitive State House seats, the upper chamber has been marked by a strategy of defeatism,” writes Kartik Krishnaiyer of the Political Hurricane in the blog post of the day. “Despite a new map that gives the Democrats opportunities to compete in several Republican-leaning seats, the party still does not have its act together. While it is certainly true the Republicans have institutional advantages and were rewarded by the Supreme Court for defying the will of the voters who passed the Fair Districts Constitutional Amendment, the Democrats appear to be doing the bare minimum to take advantage of changing demographics and voter attitudes in the state.”

BUT THE DEMS DID OUTREGISTER THE GOP AGAIN (IF ONLY REGISTRATION TRANSLATED INTO LEGISLATIVE WINS)

The state Democratic Party said Wednesday that it continues to lead in voter registration, releasing state Division of Elections data showing the Democrats out-registered Republicans in April by 10 percentage points. New voters have been registering with the Democratic Party more than the Republican Party for a few months in Florida.  State data – the reporting of which by the state elections office lags that by the parties – showed Democrats registered 5,459 more voters in April than did the Republican Party. Democrats have a 4 percent overall registration advantage over Republicans in Florida.

ARONBERG RAISING COIN IN THE ‘BURG NEXT WEEK: Host committee includes uber-fundraiser Jim Holton and State Representative Darryl Rouson.

MAJOR FUNDRAISER FOR JIM FRISHE’S SENATE CAMPAIGN TONIGHT: Invitation here.

BOB HENRIQUEZ TO RETURN TO THE STATE HOUSE? Rumor here; I’ll check with Carrie later on today.

STATE HOUSE MEMBERS PAY $8.34 A MONTH FOR HEALTH INSURANCE

Eight bucks. These days it can’t even buy you a movie ticket, let alone something substantial. But that’s because you’re not one of the 120 members of the Florida House of Representatives, the last “state employees” still paying $8.34 a month for health insurance. Investigation here.

DON GLISSON APPOINTED TO BOARD OF CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE

Don Glisson Jr., CEO of Triad Financial Services, a Jacksonville-based manufactured home financing company, was appointed to the Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s board of governors by CFO Jeff Atwater.

APPLICATION PROCESS BEGINS FOR SEAT ON PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

With Commissioner Lisa Edgar’s term expiring Jan. 1, a state nominating panel this week opened the application process for a spot on the Florida Public Service Commission. Candidates for the job must submit applications to the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council by June 14. The council will winnow the list of applicants and submit names by Sept. 15 to Gov. Rick Scott, who will make the appointment.

YOUNGER CUBAN-AMERICANS NOT LOCKED INTO VOTING FOR THE GOP

Used to be that to be Cuban and live in Miami meant you were not only Republican but staunchly so. It goes back to Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs, and the GOP’s stance over the years on communism and the Castro regime. But a half century after Castro took over, the picture of Cuban-Americans in Florida is now more subtle, and the GOP can’t take them for granted, reports Alex Leary.

WHAT IF PEOPLE NO LONGER TALK TO POLLSTERS?

It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate. The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed — the response rate — has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.

NOT SO MUCH ALOE: A RANT ABOUT POLITICIANS AND THEIR FACEBOOK POSTS:  From my friend and attorney Paul Phillips.  It’s short, sweet and right-on-target:

As one who recieves many politician status updates, it is always interesting to see how each post is written. Sometimes I think they have just one person writing everyone’s posts. They always say “So proud to have (done this) today!” or “Today I was honored with (blah, blah) and am so thankful to these great (insert veterans, old people, or children).” Who the hell talks like that? How about using this forum to ask subject matter experts complex questions regarding complex issues? Find our what we, your constituents and fellow citizens really think. Most of us could care less that you had tea and scrumpets with some “Sisters of the Grecian Urn Committee”

ALOE, TO SOOTHE THE BURN: Nearly 23.5 million visitors came to Florida during the first three months of 2012, a 2.9-percent increase from the same period a year ago, according to figures released Wednesday by VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s tourism marketing corporation. Meanwhile, direct travel-related employment in Florida also rose 1.9 percent, adding 19,200 jobs since May 2011 and representing the largest employment total since first quarter 2008.

CHECK OUT: Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel’s new website.

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