***If it’s Friday, it must be Campaign Finance Day! F2 reports, covering everything raised/spent July 7 to July 20 are due Friday. Only one, the pre-primary report due August 10, remains before the Florida Primary. Be the first to secure this comprehensive report for your clients at www.On3PR.com — your one-stop shop for political, corporate and grassroots communications.***
TWEETAGE FOR SUNBURN: @CrowleyReport: I am overdue mentioning this but @SaintPetersblog Sunburn is the kind of thing that Florida newspapers should have been doing.
MITT ROMNEY OFFICIALLY THE LEAST LIKEABLE GOP NOMINEE IN MODERN HISTORY
The latest NBC-WSJ poll finds Mitt Romney’s “overall favorable/unfavorable score remains a net negative — a trait no other modern presumptive GOP presidential nominee (whether Bob Dole, George W. Bush or John McCain) has shared.”
VEEPSTAKES: IS ROMNEY GIVING RUBIO ONE LAST LOOK? Via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times
In a CNN interview from London, Mitt Romney brings up U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in a discussion about wealth and success.
“I heard Marco Rubio the other day … he said ‘You know we were poor living in Miami. We saw these all these big homes across town. My parents never said ‘Gee, why don’t those people give us some of what they have?’ they said instead, ‘Aren’t we lucky to live in a country with education and hard work, we might be able to achieve that ourselves.’ “
Rubio watchers have noticed an uptick in Romney mentions of him lately. Maybe, they hope, Romney is giving him a harder look for VP than thought. Jeb Bush told the AP yesterday that he personally lobbied Romney to pick Rubio. And this weekend Rubio will campaign for Romney in Nevada.
>>>Rubio will raise money for Romney in San Antonio, Texas on Aug. 15.
ROMNEY SURROGATES ALL OVER FLORIDA THIS WEEKEND
No matter what part of Florida you live in, it will be difficult to avoid a Romney surrogate campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani will attend “Cafecito con Rudy” in Miami followed by an opening for Romney’s Boca Raton campaign office.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is coming to South Florida Saturday for the grand opening of Romney’s Coral Springs campaign office.
While Giuliani and Jindal will be in Florida, two of his supporters from the Sunshine State will be campaigning for the former Massacusetts governor in other battleground states. Sen. Marco Rubio will make his first set of solo campaign appearances for Romney on Saturday at his old elementary school in Las Vegas as well as an event in Des Moines, Iowa.
And Attorney General Pam Bondi is scheduled to head to the battleground state of New Hampshire this weekend. Bondi will headline a series of events including a “Women for Mitt” breakfast in Concord and a lunch with supporters in Bedford.
MUST-READ FROM THE ATLANTIC: WILL FLORIDA’S VOTER PURGE COST OBAMA THE ELECTION
It is November 7, the day after the 2012 presidential election, and Barack Obama has narrowly lost his bid for reelection. What clinched it: a photo-finish defeat in Florida — a few thousand votes in a state of more than 11 million voters. And then the reports start to trickle in from Floridians who say they were disenfranchised. Shortly before the election, they got an official letter telling them they couldn’t vote, even though they’re U.S. citizens. Most of them are Hispanic and say they would have voted Democratic.
This is the nightmare scenario envisioned by Florida Democrats: The Republican voter purge has cost them the election.
>>>ProPublica offers a guide to ‘Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws’
CONNIE MACK HOPING TO RAISE MONEY OFF BILL NELSON’S TAX VOTE
Mack’s US Senate Campaign is seeking to raise money off Sen. Bill Nelson’s vote yesterday supporting a tax plan he originally opposed. Nelson wanted to keep the Bush era tax cuts for anyone earning less than $1 million, but since that wasn’t an option he joined other Democrats in supporting Obama’s plan keeping the tax cuts for anyone earning less than $250,000.
“For weeks Bill Nelson has told Floridians he didn’t support the president’s plan. But then he cast the deciding vote for it,” Mack’s fundraising email states. “It’s the same old Bill Nelson we’ve come to expect. He talks like a moderate in Florida, but he votes like a LockStep Liberal with President Obama. Enough’s enough. We cannot tax ourselves out of the economic mess Obama and Nelson have driven our economy into – we need real spending cuts and tax relief to revive job growth in Florida. As he showed once again yesterday, we cannot depend on Bill Nelson to fight for Florida jobs in the US Senate.”
DID CONNIE MACK SEND THIS MAILER ATTACKING THE TAMPA BAY TIMES ADAM SMITH?
TAMPA TRIB’S JOE HENDERSON ON CHARLIE CRIST’S POSSIBLE COMEBACK
In the ever-nuanced world of political speak, saying he doesn’t have an idea could be a clue. His stock response in the past has simply been to say how much he likes life as Charlie The Lawyer for the Morgan & Morgan firm. He hasn’t added the caveat about having no idea, which means he has thought of running. … Maybe.
NO MORE JIM GREER GOSSIP IN SUNBURN
If you want to read about it, click here, but I’m just not going to give credence to any part of the situation by excerpting conversations captured from when Delmar Johnson wore a wire.
GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST HITS CARROLL OVER REMARKS … LG APOLOGIZES
The leader of a Florida gay-rights group has started a petition knocking Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll’s denial of an improper relationship with a female staffer, reports the News Service of Florida. “Usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that,” Carroll told WJXT in Jacksonville earlier this month. But Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, has started an online petition saying the remarks were insensitive. “As a black lesbian from Florida, I personally felt the sting of Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll’s words,” Smith said. “Instead of simply denying the claims, she stereotyped black lesbians in order to deflect her own charges.” Carroll has repeatedly denied the claims of an indicted former employee who said she saw Carroll in a “compromising position” with the travel aide.
Late Thursday, Carroll apologized.
“It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people, and that was not my intention,” Carroll wrote in a letter to Equality Florida, a group that seeks equal rights for gays and lesbians. “As a Christian, my faith guides me to love and respect all people. The false charges that have been lodged against me are no excuse for what I have said.”
“Please know that I am committed to treating every person with the utmost respect and dignity and I hope you will accept my heartfelt apology,” Carroll wrote.
Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s executive director, said Carroll also called her.
HEARING SET ON SUPREME COURT ELECTION CASE
A Leon County judge is set to hear arguments on Aug. 8 about whether a lawsuit looking to toss three Supreme Court justices from the ballot should go forward, reports the News Service of Florida. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis has ordered the hearing to consider a motion to dismiss the case by lawyers for Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and Fred Lewis, who is not related to Terry Lewis. The judge will also hear arguments on the three justices’ attempts to block the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the conservative group that filed the lawsuit, from carrying out 22 depositions. The case revolves around whether the justices broke the law by having court employees notarize some of their qualifying papers.
FLORIDA’S ELECTION TECHNOLOGY GETS MIXED REPORT
As the white-hot presidential contest heats up in this battleground state, a newly released national voting equipment study gives Florida passing marks. There’s just one glaring exception. Aside from using paper ballots, the ability to recount those ballots is the single most important means to ensure a fair election, many experts say, and Florida falls flat.
FPL REPORTS HIGHER EARNINGS
Pointing to steps it is taking to more efficiently generate electricity, Florida Power & Light and its parent company on Thursday reported increased second-quarter earnings. FPL, the state’s largest utility, reported net income of $353 million, or 85 cents a share, up from $301 million, or 72 cents a share, during the same period in 2011. The parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., reported net income of $607 million, or $1.45 per share, compared to $580 million, or $1.38 per share, last year. On an adjusted accounting basis, NextEra’s quarterly earnings were $527 million, or $1.26 a share, compared with $500 million, or $1.18 per share during the comparable period in 2011. Along with trying to increase the generating efficiency, FPL said it saw electricity usage grow 1.7 percent compared to the second quarter last year and has continued to see an increasing customer base. The company is seeking a base-rate increase from the Florida Public Service Commission, though a decision will not be reached until late this year.
PERSONNEL NOTE: SAMANTHA PADGETT NAMED GENERAL COUNSEL FOR FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation named Samantha H. Padgett as general counsel for the non-profit trade association representing the retail industry in Florida. Padgett joined FRF as deputy general counsel in 2007 after a two-year membership in the Florida Attorney General’s Honors Program, where she practiced in the areas of civil appeals, antitrust, child support and administrative law. During her tenure at FRF, Padgett has managed issue advocacy efforts in the areas of labor and employment law, tort reform, business and professional regulation, emergency management, environmental law and regulation, and reemployment assistance.
***Campaign Contribution reports are in! Go to www.purplepagesonline.com
ALLEN WEST ENDORSES FELLOW GOP FRESHMEN SANDY ADAMS
Allen West endorsed Rep. Sandy Adams on Thursday, backing a fellow tea party freshman over 10-term Rep. John Mica in an intraparty GOP fight that voters will decide next month.
In a statement from the Adams campaign, West said he and Adams went to Washington two years ago “to work to get our republic back on track. We quickly learned the problems were deeper and there were some entrenched careerist politicians who supported the status quo.”
MOVEON.ORG ENDORSES LOIS FRANKEL IN CD 22
MoveOn.org Political Action endorsed Lois Frankel in Congressional District 22. Jacobs in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 22nd District. The group has more than 22,000 members in the district, according to a release. Noting her outstanding track record as the mayor of West Palm Beach and state representative, MoveOn members “made it clear that Frankel is the best candidate to take the fight for the 99% to Washington.”
Frankel said she was honored to have the support of MoveOn.org. “I’ve always said we’d run a powerful, grassroots campaign, and I’m grateful to have the support of so many Floridians. In Congress, I’ll always stand up for Social Security, Medicare, and job-creating policies. Together we’ll break through the gridlock in Washington and move our country forward,” Frankel added.
“Lois Frankel has years of experience fighting for middle-class families at the local and state level,” said Daniel Mintz, MoveOn’s National Director of Coordinated Campaigns. “Her commitment to protecting the critical programs Floridians rely on—like Social Security and Medicare—and to breaking the gridlock in Congress to get our economy back on track is exactly the kind of leadership we need in Washington.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I want everyone to know if you come to the Republican Convention I’ll be selling hot dogs,” West told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to a tweet from freelance reporter Matt Laslo.
NEGRON-FINANCED COMMITTEE ACCUSES MIKE WEINSTEIN OF BEING A ‘DOUBLE-DIPPER’ by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times-Union
A new mailer out by a third-party group calling state Senate Mike Weinstein a “big double dipper,” has the Jacksonville Republican crying foul.
It’s the latest in the brutal, big-money back-and-forth between Wesinstein and opponent Aaron Bean, a former Republican member of the Florida House. The two are in a GOP primary for Senate District 4, which includes all of Nassau County and portions of Duval County.
The new mailer calls Weinstein a double-dipper for getting two taxpayer-funded paychecks, one as a lawmaker and another as a lawyer in the State Attorney’s Office.
… On top of the recent mailer, Liberty Foundation has posted a website going after Weinstein, and is out with a new ad hitting him for supporting the “Obama/Crist rail plan.”
>>>Floridians for Ethics and Truth in Politics, a group supporting state Senate candidate Mike Weinstein, is jumping on comments his opponent, Aaron Bean, made during an interview on WOKV Thursday morning, reports Dixon.
PAM BONDI ENDORSES JOHN LEGG IN SENATE DISTRICT 17
“During his service as an elected official, John Legg has been an effective leader and successful advocate for issues of great importance to the Tampa Bay area and our state, including his integral efforts to help create and pass much needed reforms to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Florida,” said Attorney General Bondi. “John is a respected conservative leader with genuine commitment to our state and community, and I am pleased to endorse him for Senate District 17.”
>>>Headline of the Day, from The News Service of Florida: “Bondi Extends Hand to Legg”
FIRST IN SUNBURN: SERIES OF ELECTION COMPLAINTS FILED AGAINST SD 24 CANDIDATE RACHEL BURGIN, LOBBYIST KENYA CORY
How a hit piece on Senate District 24 candidate Tom Lee was funded is at the center of a series of complaints filed with the Florida Elections Commission that accuse Lee’s opponent, Rachel Burgin, and lobbyist Kenya Cory of violating multiple election laws.
The complaints were filed by Paul Phillips, the Hillsborough attorney and Republican activist who filed the first ethics complaints against Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman over his failure to accurately reveal financial information on state-mandated candidate financial disclosure forms. Those complaints eventually led to Norman deciding not to seek a second term in the Florida Senate.
In his complaints, Phillips alleges that Burgin ” failed to file a statement of solicitation related to her efforts” to raise money for the committee which sent the mailer attacking Lee. Furthermore, Phillips alleges Burgin failed to properly disclose contributions to this committee. Because Cory acts as chair of the American People Committee, Phillips has also named her in his complaints.
More on SaintPetersBlog.com and via Twitter @SaintPetersBlog. Read the complaints here.
RON SAUNDERS HAS RAISED OVER $40K DURING LAST TWO WEEKS FOR SD 39 DEM. PRIMARY
House Minority Leader Ron Saunders, a Key West Democrat who is seeking the Senate District 39 seat, raised $40,770 during the F2 fundraising period. Saunders has now raised $102,240 since entering the race in April.
With Sen. Larcenia Bullard, heading to the sidelines due to term limits, a crowded field of Democrats — including three representatives who served together in the Florida House — are battling it out in the Aug. 14 primary.
DEMOCRATIC LEADERS ENDORSE JOE SAUNDERS IN HD 49
In the run up to the primary election of August 14th, the Joe Saunders campaign has added key endorsements from two of Orlando’s most well-respected, Democratic leaders. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioner Patty Sheehan have chosen to endorse the 29 year-old equal rights organizer in the Democratic primary for House District 49.
SaintPetersBlog: The ten key Florida House races to watch in 2012.
Sunshine State News on HD 3: As he seeks a second term in the Florida House, Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Milton, has to survive a serious Republican primary challenge in August from Milton businessman Jayer Williamson, the scion of a family with deep roots in Santa Rosa County politics.
Sunshine State News on HD 21: As he seeks to win a second term in the Florida House, Rep. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, could be looking at a Democratic opponent with a healthy war chest.
Orlando Sentinel on HD 46: The winner of the House District 46 Democratic primary next month will by default win the seat – and inherit a litany of economic woes representing a community waylaid by crime, unemployment and lagging opportunities.
Florida Current on HD 112: Two former Miami Republican state lawmakers, Gus Barreiro and Alex Diaz de la Portilla are competing for the GOP nomination for House District 112.
EMAIL I HAD TO OPEN: “Rick Scott, Gynecologist” – From Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida
QUOTE (ABOUT FLORIDA) OF THE DAY: “It’s really so much more complicated than we’ve given it credit for. It’s about diversity in a more complicated way; diversity of ambition and hope and whether change is a good thing or bad thing. And you can capture it all in Florida. If you pay attention.” – PBS’s Gwen Ifill as quoted by the Tampa Bay Times‘ Eric Deggans.
READ, YOU SHALL: First Cameraman: Documenting the Obama Presidency in Real Time by Arun Chaudhary, offering reflections of the first official White House videographer from the early months of the 2008 presidential campaign and through the first two and a half years of the Obama administration.
MORE READING: Bloomberg Businessweek has a must-read cover story on Karl Rove “and how he is holding the reins of the GOP’s destiny and redefining the business of political finance.” The piece looks at the creation of his Crossroads political action committees, their top contributors, how they raised $71 million in their rookie election cycle (and tallied a 16-14 record in the 30 2010 senate races they joined), how they are now poised to spend double the amount of the Democrats in the 2012 presidential election, and their focus on getting independents to vote for Mitt Romney.
SAY WHAT? The Florida Lottery announced that a Fantasy 5 top prize-winning ticket worth $74,372.41 remains unclaimed. The 180-day deadline to claim the top prize is Thursday, August 2, at midnight. The winning ticket was sold at Right Way Food Mart, located at 4387 Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEKEND to the dean of the Florida Capitol Press Corp, Bill Cotterell, who I believe was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented Facebook.