A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
MY PLEASURE: “You made my day!” — Wayne Bertsch
MORE KIND WORDS: “(I)t is a must have.” — W. Pierce Schuessler, Leg. Affairs Director, Florida Department of State
GREAT TWEETS ABOUT SUNBURN: @SPBevil: Couldn’t ask for a better shout out than seeing my name in today’s SUNBURN! I think I may need some Aloe after this; @wakullawriter: Sunburn was scorching today, great read, thank you!
GOP GROUPS PLAN $1 BIL PUSH FOR ROMNEY — HOW MUCH OF THAT WILL COME TO FLORIDA?
“Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives — including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress,” Politico reports.
“That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states… Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections — twice what they had been expected to commit.”
EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: Romney releases new “Soul Mate” video
PAUL-PALOOZA: SUPPORTERS OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PLAN 3-DAY FEST IN TAMPA BEFORE RNC
“Supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul are negotiating to hold a three-day festival of music, entertainment and activism at the Florida State Fairgrounds immediately before the Republican National Convention,” the Tampa Bay Times reports. “Paul Festival 2012 would run from Aug. 24 to 26, ending the day before the convention begins. Details like ticket prices and who would be on stage have not been announced, but the festival could draw 20,000 or more people a day, estimated Deborah Robinet, an organizer who lives near San Diego.”
JEB’S NOT GONNA BE VP; NOT IN ENGLISH, NOT IN ITALIAN
Remember yesterday’s headline about Jeb Bush leaving open the door to being Mitt Romney’s VP? Well, the Tampa Bay Times‘ Adam Smith was contacted by Bush’s spokesman and informed that the paper used quotes that Bush gave NewsMax months ago.
“Nothing has changed, Gov Bush will not be candidate for VP,” Bush’s spokesman said.
MEDIA ALERT: Senator Marco Rubio will address The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) today. During his remarks and a question and answer session, Rubio will discuss his views on America’s role in the world as well as top issues of the day in foreign affairs.
STAT OF THE DAY: Connie Mack and his allies have run 6,464 TV spots so far with no response from Bill Nelson. Via Michael Bender of Bloomberg News.
INVESTIGATION OF DAVID RIVERA STILL RAISING QUESTIONS
The Miami Herald reports: “Buried amid the records compiled in the recently concluded criminal probe of Republican Congressman David Rivera is a $50,000 mystery. Why did an obscure Republican organization pay $25,000 in 2006 to a defunct company founded by Rivera’s mother? Why did a political consultant with close ties to Rivera receive another $25,000 on the very same day? And where did the money come from in the first place? Further adding to the mystery: The Republican Party of Florida reportedly made a $50,000 payment to a Central Florida nonprofit group – money the group never received – on the same day the payments went to Rivera’s mother and consultant. Are the payments connected? These questions are among many left unanswered after an 18-month investigation of Rivera’s finances by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, a probe prosecutors concluded last month without filing charges against the Miami lawmaker.”
STATE LEADS THE NATION IN CORRUPTION, INTEGRITY FLORIDA STUDY REPORTS
An upcoming study by the new Integrity Florida watchdog group that analyzed federal prosecutions for public corruption says Florida leads the nation in that category. … The study will be the second major production of Integrity Florida, a new public interest watchdog group that’s trying to get off the ground in Tallahassee.
CHECKING IN with Justin Snyder, who is now heading up CREDO SuperPAC: “Instead of spending millions on TV advertising, CREDO SuperPAC has hired five full time organizers, opened an office in Palm Beach Gardens, and is partnering with local constituents in Rep. West’s district to mobilize voters, and spread the word about the radical policies championed by Rep. West,” said Snyder. “The Take Down Allen West Campaign primary concern is to bring Allen West’s extremist voting record, rhetoric, and vitriol to the forefront so voters in his new district, find out who the real Allen West is- a tea party extremist concerned only with his own ambitions and not on improving the lives of those he is supposed to be serving.”
RICK SCOTT LOVES HIM SOME TAMPA
The state ethics commission will decide next month whether it’s appropriate for a recorded message from Gov. Rick Scott may greet travelers on shuttle buses at Tampa International Airport
Gov. Scott will be in Tampa on Thursday for a bill signing ceremony and to attend the 18thAnnual Heroes Luncheon.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Never say never.” — Charlie Crist when asked if would run for Governor as a Democrat in 2014.
MANY WONDER WHY PAM BONDI’S WEDDING WASN’T
Attorney General Pam Bondi says no ceremony took place at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman on Saturday. And many questions remain about when and why Bondi made the last-minute decision not to get married. Story here.
>>>Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham continues for a second day a hearing on a challenge to the way school districts evaluate teachers for merit pay filed by the Florida Education Association and two teachers.
>>>Cypress Property & Casualty Insurance Co. seeks a rate increase averaging 19.7 percent for homeowners and 11.5 percent for condo owners. The overall state rate request is 17.7 percent and must be approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation.
>>>The Florida Public Service Commission will begin holding a series of hearings about a proposal by Florida Power & Light to raise base electric rates.
GROUP FORMS TO PROMOTE FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
Community and business leaders from all across Polk County will gather today at the United Way of Central Florida building, to announce the creation of a support system for Florida Polytechnic University, 60 members strong and growing. This event can be viewed online at www.floridapolyvision.com and attended virtually through registering here.
MORE POLY: With a Thursday deadline for applications to be on the board of trustees for Florida Polytechnic University approaching, a trickle of applications for the positions to be filled by the Florida Board of Governors has turned into a flood, reports the News Service of Florida.
IS REP. SCOTT RANDOLPH CAMPAIGNING FOR FDP CHAIR TOO EARLY?
Speaking to Creative Loafing Tuesday afternoon Alan Clendenin, who is both a Democratic National Committeeman and Hillsborough County State Committeeman, said that he is still very much interested in being the party chair in 2013, but thinks it’s way too early to be campaigning for such a position, taking a dig at his potential challenger in the process, reports Mitch Perry.
“I’m not particularly enamored of Representative Randolph making that announcement today because what I believe we really need to be doing within the party is stay focused,” Clendenin said, adding that “there’s going to be a time and a place to vet this out and discuss the future of the party. But right now, across the state from Escambia down to Monroe, we’ve got to be singularly focused to insure that our voters know how important the election is this fall.”
THE TAMPA BAY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE LAUNCHING SECOND CLASS TODAY
The Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute (www.TampaBayLeader.org) is launching its second annual class today with a two-day Leaders School at Eckerd College, Leadership Development Institute, program director Mark Mills tells me.
On Thursday evening, the program will graduate members of the 2011 inaugural class and welcome 2012 participants. Only about 25 members are selected each year from five Tampa Bay-area counties.
SPOTTED: Steve Cona, President of the Hillsborough Associated Builders & Contractors, throwing out first pitch at Tampa Bay Rays game on Wednesday.
The TBPLI is a non-partisan program that encourages professionals in the region to explore elected office and learn about candidacy, regional issues and leadership. There is no cost to the participant.
JOHN MICA HOLDS 30 POINT LEAD OVER SANDY ADAMS IN CD 7
U.S. Rep. John Mica has a commanding lead over freshman U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams in District 7, according to a new poll, reports Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel. The poll … gave Mica a 55.3 percent to 24.8 percent lead in a head-to-head match-up with Adams.
Republican congressional candidate Ron DeSantis was endorsed in his bid for the 6th Congressional District seat Wednesday by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
FLORIDA CHAMBER ENDORSES AARON BEAN IN SENATE DISTRICT 4
Aaron Bean, a small business owner and former Florida State Representative, today announced that the Florida Chamber of Commerce has endorsed him in his candidacy for the newly-drawn Florida Senate District 4 seat, which includes Duval and Nassau Counties.
“Aaron Bean knows the Jacksonville business community and understands what it takes to be a small business owner in Florida,” said MarianJohnson, senior vice president of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber supports Aaron Bean for Senate District 4 and encourages its members to do the same. Aaron has what it takes to get the job done in Tallahassee for the hardworking taxpayers in his district and across the state.”
LINDA STEWART OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES FOR HD 47
Former Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart announced her campaign to represent District 47 in the Florida House of Representatives. Stewart, who was joined at the news conference by Orlando area Representatives Scott Randolph and Darren Soto, held the announcement outside the Church Street Sun Rail Station … Polling from Hamilton Campaigns indicates that voters in the district have a favorable image of Linda Stewart and she currently has a commanding lead in the race. A recent survey shows Stewart with a 14-percent lead against likely Republican candidate Bob Brooks, and Stewart has a 16-percent lead among independents. Click here to download Hamilton Campaign’s FL-47 Polling Memo.
ALOE TO SOOTHE THE BURN: Politwoops uncovers tweets that politicians shared on Twitter and then quickly deleted.