A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
NEW SUNBURN FANS: “I love your news service” — Gail D. Cordial, Executive Director, Florida Partners in Crisis; “This is a great read!” — Sonya Dean, VP, JM Family Enterprises; “It’s a great way to start the day! Sunburn cuts through the clutter and gives you what you most want to know” — climate and energy advocate Susan Glickman
SHAMELESS ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT INTO SUNBURN: “The only way Sunburn could be more helpful in launching my day is if it served breakfast in bed.” — Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida.
TWEET OF THE DAY ‘BOUT SUNBURN: @Aronberg: Congrats on Sunburn…SPF 20/20!
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN UNVEILS DONOR PERKS
With all eyes on the general election, the Romney campaign sent out an 11-page fundraising document today outlining its major giving and bundler programs. The document details what high dollar donors and fundraisers get in exchange for cutting checks, including his bundling program. The highest contribution for donors called “Founding Partners” is $100,000. The first 500 contributors to hit that level receive several perks, including a summer retreat in Park City, Utah, as well as “green room level” access during debates, the Republican National Convention, election night and finance event general receptions. The booklet also released its highest level bundling program. Romney Stripes and Romney Stars pledge to raise $500,000 and $250,000, respectively. The “stripes” bundlers receive access at debates, the convention and election night, as well as dedicated briefings and their names being published in the Stars and Stripes commemorative book. Click here for full story.
HILLSBOROUGH, PINELLAS NAMED TWO MOST IMPORTANT COUNTIES IN U.S. FOR ROMNEY’S CAMPAIGN
Number one and two on Campaigns and Elections’ list of “10 counties Romney needs to win” are none other than Hillsborough and Pinellas. About Pinellas: “Every precinct could make the difference between winning and losing.” About Hillsborough: “Whoever wins Hillsborough County in November is most likely the next occupant of the White House.”
I’m thinking: Lord help the Obama Campaign if its fate rests in the hands of the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee.
MEET THE RUBIOS
In case you missed it, Politico profiled Marco Rubio’s family.
Marco keynoted Saturday’s South Carolina Silver Elephant dinner in Columbia. The smart money is on him getting passed over for VP and then running outright in 2016, assuming Romney loses. The Palmetto State will be a linchpin of Rubio’s nominating strategy, so he’s laying the groundwork early.
KEY QUOTE FROM RUBIO’S SPEECH
Marco Rubio: “For all the policy disagreements that we may have with the president, it is hard to understate how much he inspired people across this country four years ago, with his promises to unite America and lift it up. The man who today occupies the White House and is running for president is a very different person. We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history as we have over the last three and a half years.
WHY RUBIO DOESN’T WANT TO BE VP
Walter Shapiro says the “modern history of what happens to losing vice presidential nominees is enough to make any politician recoil in horror.” … “Since 1972, there are eight people in this camp. (There have been ten elections, but two of the losing running mates — Walter Mondale and Dan Quayle — were sitting vice presidents who were voted out of office.) Exactly one of them, Lloyd Bentsen, who ran with Michael Dukakis in 1988, had his reputation burnished by the experience. Nearly all the others would have been much better off had they turned down the invitation.”
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME READING: The Bilderberg conspiracy about Marco Rubio. Alright go ahead and read it here. The speculation holds, the Bilderberg Group is set to hold its annual meeting in the coming weeks at a Northern Virginia hotel where, among other things, they likely will select Rubio as Romney’s running mate.
GREER: LEMIEUX PRESSURED CRIST FOR APPOINTMENT TO US SENATE
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp was former Governor Charlie Crist’s top choice for the 2009 U.S. Senate appointment, not George LeMieux, according to former RPOF Chair Jim Greer, who also says LeMieux convinced Crist to reverse his decision with “a strategy that included direct pressure on Crist.” But, Greer said that he is not ready to tell the rest of the story yet. A TBO.com article reports that this account was partially confirmed by Kottcamp. What Kottkamp confirmed was that he was told he would receive the appointment, and was surprised when Crist instead appointed LeMieux.
BUT IS PRESSURING CRIST ENOUGH TO CALL FOR AN INVESTIGATION?
Blogger Tom Tillson: “After drawing attention last week to just how fast and loose the Mack team plays with facts, the latest from the gang that can’t shoot straight is a shrill release put out Saturday that’s calling for a criminal investigation of stubborn opponent George LeMieux for… using “a strategy that included direct pressure” on former Gov. Charlie Crist to gain the U.S. Senate appointment in 2009.”
“Never mind that the article makes no mention of what this alleged pressure may have consisted of. Whether LeMieux said ‘pretty please’ until Crist relented, threatened to take away his annual membership to the local tanning salon or twisted his arm until he cried ‘uncle’, we don’t know.”
“Yet, the leading Republican candidate feels this is enough to launch an investigation. A candidate who, by the way, claims to be a fiscal conservative looking out for your tax dollars.”
STILL THE QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Hey Governor, it’s Jim. I’m sure you know our friendship has ended, is over, and I’m just very saddened by that. But I wanted you to know personally from me that in the future there’s probably going to be things coming out that are going to be very hurtful to both you and Carole (Crist). But I’ll be honest with you, I don’t care anymore because I did everything that I could for you.” — part of a 2011 voicemail message that former state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer left for former Gov. Charlie Crist.
MUST-READ FROM SUNDAY: FRED GRIMM ON ‘HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION’
Florida seems to be spending a lot of time and effort and money trying to stomp out theoretical corruption instead of going after actual, real-life voter fraud. In 2011 the Legislature passed a 128-page election “reform” bill that cut back on early voting, put new restrictions on third-party registration groups (like that famously subversive League of Women Voters), and eliminated the long-honored practice in Florida of allowing voters who have moved since the last election to register the change of address at the polls on election day. … The Miami Herald won a Pulitzer Prize deconstructing the 1997 Miami election after Joe Carollo won a majority at the polls but lost to Xavier Suarez with his very suspicious 2-to-1 advantage in absentee votes. That ‘s how it’s really done. How elections are pilfered. With absentee ballots. Full story here.
ADAM SMITH’S WINNER AND LOSER OF THE WEEK IN FLORIDA POLITICS
Winner, Smith says, is Connie Mack because he was endorsed by Mitt Romney. The loser, according to Smith, is Ken Detzner who “may be in a no-win situation as state leaders seek to rid voter rolls of noncitizens ineligible to vote without clean data.”
COULD “HURRICANE GISPERT” DISRUPT RNC?
With the 2012 hurricane season now only two weeks away, state emergency responders will begin a statewide hurricane training session at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. The four-day event will follow a mock hurricane, “Hurricane Gispert,” making landfall in the Tampa Bay area during a “special event with increased population” (can anyone envision such an event this summer in say, Tampa?) and use the scenario to test the coordination of local state and federal responders.
TIME TO PICK THE CONVENTION SPEAKERS!
Just 100 days away from the Republican convention and the Tampa Bay Times reports organizers are “starting to tackle one of the trickiest and most important elements of the convention — selecting the speakers.”
“It’s a matter of juggling monumental political egos, precious little time for maximum TV exposure, appeasing people whose help is needed, and ensuring the best message comes through to win over swing voters just starting to focus on the presidential contest.”
“The job is daunting. The networks at best will devote five or six hours over four days to convention coverage, and a good chunk of that is taken by all-but required speeches — the nominee, his spouse, the vice presidential nominee — so planners have to make the very most of the limited time they have.”
AT HILLSBOROUGH GOP PICNIC, GEORGE LEMIEUX WINS STRAW POLL; DENNIS ROSS ENDORSES CONNIE MACK
At a political picnic event on Saturday in Hillsborough County, Dennis Ross endorsed Connie Mack for US Senate, but it was George LeMieux who won a straw poll of those attending.
DOCKERY: MACNAMARA A ‘POLITICAL CONSULTANT’ NOT A PUBLIC SERVANT
“While the governor needed experienced help to run the executive branch, he reached out to an opportunistic political insider with a questionable record, instead of enlisting the help of a proven, fiscally conservative, experienced manager with a public servant’s heart.” Read the rest of Dockery’s op-ed here.
CHRIS SMITH: BATTERED WOMEN NOT PROTECTED BY ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’
Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith ratcheted up criticism of Florida’s “stand your ground” law Friday, pointing to a loophole that could endanger some women, rather than protect them. Story here.
DON GAETZ SCOOPS UP KATIE BETTA, LISA VICKERS
Department of Revenue Executive Director Lisa Vickers has announced her resignation as the state’s top tax collector Thursday and has been lured away to work for Florida Senate, where she will serve as incoming Senate President Don Gaetz’s senior policy advisor for government operations, Gaetz said Friday. … Gaetz also announced that his long-time aide, Chris Clark, will be his chief of staff, replacing Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ chief Craig Meyer. Katie Betta, communications director for outgoing House Speaker Dean Cannon, will play the same role for Gaetz, replacing Haridopolos’ spokewoman, Lyndsey Cruley.
POLITICAL AD WATCH: STILL LAUGHING AT DAVE WELDON’S INTRO VIDEO
Put out your hand and meet P.A.W. — the Political Ad Watch club coming together to offer a critical take on the soon-to-be-unending stream of political commercials. As new commercials are released by candidates and campaigns running in the Sunshine State, a not-too-select group of political aficionados will offer their expert opinions on these ads. First installment: Dave Weldon’s intro video, described like it “feels like a short video from ‘Saturday Night Live.’ If Lorne Michaels walked into the writers’ room and asked them to script a mock political commercial, this may be what they’d come up with.”
ANOTHER PERSONNEL NOTE: Hogan Gidley to run Weldon’s campaign
With the announcement that Weldon was jumping into the U.S. Senate race, we also learned that he has an accomplished media guy: Hogan Gidley, who recently finished a stint as director of communications for presidential candidate Rick Santorum is the spokesman for Weldon’s campaign. Gidley has also worked on media operations for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, was press secretary on David Beasley’s Senate campaign and also worked on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s campaign.
LINEUP OF POLITICAL FUNDRAISERS FOR THIS WEEK: Click here.
ADAM HASNER SAYS HE’S QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT BY PETITION
Republican congressional candidate Adam Hasner (CD 22) announced he’s qualified by petition. “We needed 2,298 petitions to qualify and I’m happy to report that we had over 2,500 certified by county supervisors of elections, and the petitions are now on their way to the State Division of Elections,” Hasner said in an email to supporters.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BEV SLOUGH PROFILED
The latest of five Republicans to announce for the open seat along the northeast coast, the veteran St. Johns County School Board member is no red-meat barker. Rather, she fashions herself as a “realist” who can loosen the gridlock on Capitol Hill. … Slough sees her decade on the St. Johns School Board as a “microcosm” of the country. Where adversarial politics, union obstinance and dysfunction bedevil many public school systems, St. Johns has been the top-scoring district in the state for the past three years. Read Kenric Ward’s write-up here.
SPOTTED: Justin Day of Tew Cardenas, Denise Lasher from All Children Matter and Donna Simmons from TECO at legislative candidate interviews for Associated Industries.
STAT OF THE DAY: $24,655,654 – the total amount donated to date to the state parties, legislative candidates and statewide judicial candidates on the ballot in 2012, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
JEFF ATWATER ENDORSES AARON BEAN FOR THE FLORIDA SENATE
Republican Aaron Bean announced that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has endorsed him in his candidacy for the newly-drawn Florida Senate District 4 seat, which includes Duval and Nassau Counties.
HOUSE CANDIDATE TRAVIS HUTSON ENDORSED BY REP. BILL PROCTOR
Republican House candidate Travis Hutson was endorsed Friday by Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine. Hutson is running for the newly drawn House District 24, which includes parts of Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia Counties “His real world business experience is just what we need in the Legislature,” Proctor said in a statement. “He understands the policies needed to free up small businesses to create jobs and lead our economic recovery.”
MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN RACE FOR HD 57: JOE WICKERS DROPS OUT, ENDORSES JAKE RABURN
Joe Wicker, former fellow candidate for State House District 57, announced today his endorsement of Jake Raburn for State House, District 57. … “Jake Raburn and I share the same, strong family values, which are important and respected by the residents of State House District 57,” said Joe Wicker. “Jake is committed to addressing the most important issues facing residents of southeastern Hillsborough County. I support Jake as he advocates for common-sense legislation, which creates jobs and strengthens our economy. Jake Raburn has my support and I hope you’ll cast your vote for him on Election Day.” … Raburn’s not out of the woods yet. Brandon Chamber President Jeff Reynolds is said to be eyeing the race.
LEGISLATIVE STAFFING MERRY-GO-ROUND
Off: Rivers Buford, from his position as staff director of the Senate Agriculture and Transportation committees.
On: Katherine Halley, who was previously a deputy chief of staff to Senate President Mike Haridopolos, takes over for Buford.
Off: Jennifer Torres, from her position as legislative aide to Haridopolos; Charlyn Thompson has left her position as a legislative aide to Sen. Evelyn Lynn.
On: Jonothan Bellamy, now working for Rep. Debbie Mayfield.
RODERICK KING NAMED DEP. DIRECTOR OF FL. PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE
Roderick King is the new deputy director of the Florida Public Health Institute, which works to develop public-private partnerships to work on public health issues. King, who has an engineering degree from Johns Hopkins, an MD from Cornell and a master’s in public health from Harvard, is currently president of Next Generation Consulting Group, an organization that works to promote health. King formerly worked for the Health Resources and Services Administration and as a Commander in the US Public Health Service.
NAT’L EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: From Sarah Jessica Parker — ‘I’m hosting’ for Barack Obama
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Nancy Loehr