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Sunburn for 8/7: A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

By on August 7, 2012

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

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SHE’S UP TO HER ELBOWS WITH CAMPAIGNS, BUT BE SURE TO WISH KIRSTEN BORMAN A HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Kirsten’s got her hands full helping John Quiones in CD 9 and defending incumbent Dan Webster in CD 10, but I am sure she’s never too busy for you to wish her a Happy Birthday.

MUST-READ FROM NPR: EVEN IN FLORIDA SWING COUNTY, VOTERS MINDS SEEM MADE UP

Roland Lamb voted for Obama in 2008, and whatever his disappointments, he plans to do it again in 2012. That is the most common pattern we found in Hillsborough County.

The way people voted in 2008 — for or against the president — signals their perception of everything that’s happened since and, usually, the way they intend to vote this fall. The rarest voter is a person who’s changed his mind.

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN RAISES $101.3 MILLION IN JULY

Mitt Romney raised $101.3 million in the month of July, his campaign said Monday, marking the second straight month in which the GOP presidential candidate has pulled in nine figures. Romney’s campaign brought in slightly less than the $106 million it raised in June, but kept up a torrid fundraising pace that has quickly turned the race for cash in his favor.

…OBAMA CAMPAIGN RAISES SIGNIFICANTLY LESS

President Obama and the DNC raised $75 million in July for the president’s re-election campaign, the Washington Post reports. “The total was well below the $101 million that GOP rival Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised last month. July is the third straight month that Romney and the Republican Party have raised more money than Obama and the Democratic Party.”

FLORIDA ONE OF NINE STATES TO GET BULK OF $350 MILLION IN AD SPENDING

If television ad spending is any guide, the White House race will come down to nine states that have absorbed an eye-popping $350 million in commercials so far,” the AP reports. Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, the largest and most diverse of these highly contested states, are where the ad dollars have been concentrated, and that’s been consistent this election season.

TO PREDICT VEEP SELECTION, LOOK TO WIKIPEDIA

The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia — and whether any of the leading contenders’ entries are being suddenly brushed up, points out Micah Sifry of TechPresident.

Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain’s favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks — Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison — saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden’s Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.

MCCAIN, HALEY AMONG FIRST ANNOUNCED SPEAKERS AT REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

A trio of female firsts and three former GOP presidential contenders are among the first speakers disclosed for August’s Republican National Convention.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first female governors of their states, are among party leaders slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27. Martinez has the additional distinction of being the first female Hispanic governor in the country.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first black female to hold that job, is also scheduled to speak.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was set to speak, as well as a one-time rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The two, along with Romney, vied for the 2008 presidential nomination, with McCain outlasting both Romney and the former Baptist pastor in the primary campaign.

FORMER RPOF SPOX: GELBER REACHING OUT TO CRIST APROPOS

Former RPOF spokesman Brian Hughes, in an op-ed for Sunshine State News, wonders who better than Dan Gelber, someone who personifies the failures of Florida’s Democrats, to reach out to the rudderless vessel that is (Charlie Crist)?

“Gelber, though, all but willing to express the liberal politics to which he and this potential field subscribe, will offer very weak options for Florida voters. So Gelber, like Crist, stands ready to throw principles to the wind and replace them with a perennial losers’ hope for some way to reinvent what it is that Florida voters care about.”

YES, RICK SCOTT WILL SPEAK AT RNC

Gov. Rick Scott will have a speaking role at the Republican National Convention later this month, the GOP confirmed after releasing a list of some of the speakers for the event, reports David Royse of the News Service of Florida.

Scott has been mostly on the periphery of national GOP politics, and there have been questions about what role he would play in the RNC gathering in Tampa. He’s not as strong a public speaker as a number of other GOP leaders, and his message – that the economy, at least here, is looking up and jobs are being created – is at odds with the national message of the party and its presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who are trying to make the case that the jobs picture is dismal.

“The Republican National Convention comes at a critical time for determining America’s future. Mitt Romney knows that it is the hard-working people of America who build businesses and create jobs – not the government. We share that same belief here in Florida where we continue our progress in helping to create jobs by moving government out of the way of our businesses. I look forward to telling our story to the world when we gather in Tampa in just a few weeks,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The outline doesn’t include any mention of when Scott will get to speak, including whether it will be in one of the coveted prime time slots.

DEMS ELATED BY SCOTT’S ROLE AT RNC by Whitney Ray of the Capitol News Service

“Scott’s 52 percent disapproval rating is handicapping the Republican operation in Florida and it’s hamstringing Mitt Romney,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman with the Florida Democrats.

Democrats say they’re elated Scott and Romney will be sharing a stage even if it’s at different times.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Governor Scott to the campaign trail and look forward to hearing him explain how he and Mitt Romney share the same Tea Party vision,” said Bergstein.

THE RNC IS COMING TO TOWN

>>>As Tampa takes stage with Republican national convention, Florida benefits.

>>>Graphic anti-abortion protest planned during RNC.

>>>The Commodores will headline a Monday evening fundraiser for Sen. John Cornyn.

TWEET OF THE DAY: @michaelkruse: The #TampaBay #RNC2012 advertorial in @USAirwaysMag calls #Tampa a “waterfront jewel with a smoky past.”

AFTER THE RNC LEAVES, IMPROVEMENTS WILL REMAIN by William Harris, CEO of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements.

The many benefits of Tampa hosting this year’s Republican National Convention include significant improvements that will remain long after the convention crowds have left.

These enhancements – which range from wireless upgrades to significant enhancements to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Convention Center – will leave the community better than when we arrived.

It almost goes without saying that the convention will give Tampa Bay’s economy a boost during what is, traditionally, the slowest tourist season of the year.

***SUNBURN is brought to you by KEVIN CATE COMMUNICATIONS. I’ve called Cate one of the smartest guys in any room, but that was last year. His firm continues to change the way public relations works in Florida. Believe me, you want www.CateComm.com on your side.***

RON DESANTIS GOES NEGATIVE IN CD 6

The Republican primary in Congressional District 6 could be getting negative, with Ponte Vedra Beach lawyer Ron DeSantis using mail pieces to attack four of his opponents, according to the St. Augustine Record.  The opponents — Richard Clark, Beverly Slough, Fred Costello and Craig Miller — disputed the claims in the mailers.

NANCY PELOSI GIVE LOIS FRANKEL VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN CD 22 by Nora MccAlvanah of FLDemocracy2012.com.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was in Boca Raton on Monday to campaign for Lois Frankel, who is running for Congress in 22nd Congressional District.

Frankel, a former West Palm Beach mayor, faces Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary.

“I’ve known Lois Frankel for a long time. I’ve long admired her leadership [and] her courage,” Pelosi said. “I was very excited when she decided she would run for Congress.”

Pelosi said her appearance shows her confidence that Frankel will win the primary and the November election where she will face Republican candidate Adam Hasner.

“I’m not here because I think Lois needs help. I’m here because I think America needs Lois,” Pelosi said.

SANDY ADAMS RAISES JUST $31K IN JULY

Underscoring her uphill climb against a more-established incumbent, U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, raised just under $31,000 in July, according to updated campaign-finance reports — less than half of what rival U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, took in over the same period. … Adams had about $453,000 remaining as of July 25, according to the reports. That’s also less than half of Mica’s $969,000 cash-on-hand.

INTERNET CAFES POURING CASH INTO FLA. LAWMAKERS CAMPAIGNS by John Kennedy of the Palm Beach Post

From humble roots in strip shopping centers, Internet cafés are emerging as a major Florida political player this election season, with the controversial storefront casinos looking to cement their place on the gambling landscape.

As early voting is beginning for the state’s Aug. 14 primaries, the Internet café industry has already poured more than $700,000 into campaigns, providing needed fire power for Democrats and Republicans, including some who earlier tried to put them out of business.

… “We have learned that we have to play the game,” said Allison Carvajal, chair of the Save Our Internet Access committee and lobbyist for Arcola Systems.

Arcola, a multi-state company, is a leading software game producer that with associated firms has provided most of the $562,010 collected by Save Our Internet Access. Another Internet café spending committee, Floridians for Long Distance Access, has spread $53,515 to candidates and other committees.

FLORIDA TIMES-UNION ENDORSES AARON BEAN IN SD 4

“Bean…would be our choice to get things done, and that includes for Duval County,” wrote the Florida Times-Union Editorial Board.

“In his time in the House, Bean took on the tough health care issue before it became as widely known. His expertise would be valuable now that his district has been on the front lines of Medicaid pilot programs,” stated the editorial board.

“Today’s endorsement by the Florida Times-Union is a terrific way to begin the last full week of the primary campaign,” said Bean.  “As the T-U points out, I am the candidate in this race who has a working knowledge of health care issues and has the ability to continue to preserve our local treasures, like the St. Johns River. And, I will work just as hard to be an effective member in the Legislature for the residents of Senate District 4.”

DEM CANDIDATE OUT IN SD 17

As first reported on SaintPetersBlog.com, the Democratic candidate in Senate District 17 has withdrawn, and two local parties have until Thursday to choose someone to run. Because the district includes parts of northwest Hillsborough County and south Pasco county, both local Democratic parties will have to agree on a successor to Wes Johnson, who withdrew from the race last week. John Korsak, Rep. John Legg and former Rep. Rob Wallace are in the GOP primary.

NEW ATTACK AD IN SD 22 TARGETS JEFF BRANDES SUPPORT OF GOOGLE CAR

The folks at Google won’t be happy after seeing the latest attack ad against State Senate candidate Jeff Brandes. Watch the ad here.

Brandes’ initiative to make it easier for Google’s autonomous car to be driven in Florida is at the center of a mildly funny attack ad paid for by the Committee to Protect Florida, a third-party group which supports Brandes’ opponent, Jim Frishe.

There must be something in the polling that shows that the Google Car idea scares the sh*t out of elderly voters, because this is the second attack on Brandes on this issue. Over the weekend, the CPF sent a  mailer to voters which basically says Brandes is sending robots to kill old people.

TWEET, TWEET: @repdanayoung: This is just silly. Frishe voted for this bill, now attacks?

INFLUENTIAL LA CAGETA NEWSPAPER RECOMMENDS FRISHE OVER BRANDES IN MUST-READ ENDORSEMENT

“Jim Frishe is a refreshing change from most of our interviewees. He’s direct, honest, knowledgeable and he listens. He has a long list of conservative credentials and can toe the party line but unlike others, he has the ability to argue his point with leadership and works for change without breaking rank and losing respect. He’s a good balance of being his own man but not a lone wolf. He’s supported by Sheriff David Gee, Commissioner Mark Sharpe and Senator Jack Latvala. His opponent, Jeff Brandes, takes strong positions as soon as he reads his own political mailer to see where his consultants think he should be. In one mailer, he’s holding a 2-by-4 in a pose reminiscent of Buford Pusser in Walking Tall. We believe he’s a guy who would say anything to get elected and what’s scary is that those kinds of people succeed.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Jack (Latvala) is spending half a million dollars against me in negative advertising, but I consider Jack a good friend,” (Jeff) Brandes said in a profile by Steve Bousquet of Latvala’s behind-the-scenes campaign work.

NEW NE FLA. HOUSE DISTRICTS CREATE INTERESTING PRIMARIES by Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

When state Reps. Ronald “Doc” Renuart and Janet Adkins ran for re-election in 2010, they cruised to victory in neighboring Northeast Florida districts – with Adkins not even facing opposition, reports Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida.

But two years later, after lawmakers redrew district lines, Renuart and Adkins are battling Republican primary opponents as they seek to return to the House.

Renuart, a two-term lawmaker from Ponte Vedra Beach, faces a major challenge from St. Johns County residents Mike Davis and Kim Kendall in District 17. The state Republican Party is backing Renuart, but he is running in a newly drawn St. Johns County district and has lost a chunk of his old district that included three beach cities in Duval County.

… Just as redistricting has helped shape the District 17 race, it also plays an important role in Adkins’ attempt to win in the newly drawn District 11. In the past, Adkins, a Fernandina Beach resident, has represented a district that included Nassau County and went west into largely rural areas such as Baker, Union and Bradford counties.

Now, she is running in a district that includes Nassau County but goes south along the coast in Duval County, picking up the three cities — Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach — that Renuart lost during reapportionment.

KATHY CASTOR BACKS Z.J. HAFEEZ IN DEM. PRIMARY FOR HD 63

Democrat Z.J. Hafeez picked up the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in his attempt to take the Tampa-area House District 63 seat. He must beat out fellow Democrat Mark Danishin the primary and before meeting incumbent Rep. Shawn Harrison in the general election. “I am proud to endorse my good friend ZJ Hafeez for the State House. Democrats can count on ZJ to defend our seniors and take on other critical issues facing our state, like job creation, education, and healthcare,” Castor said.

CAMPAIGN PROFILES

Sunshine State News on HD 2: Rep. Clay Ford, R-Pensacola, faces a challenger in the Republican HD 2 primary on Aug. 14 as he seeks another term in the Florida House of Representatives representing parts of the Panhandle.

BILL NELSON TO VOTE EARLY TODAY: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he will cast a ballot tomorrow in early voting in Orlando, using it as an opportunity to highlight “lingering concerns and lawsuits over controversial changes to Florida’s election law.” … “More than ever, it’s important to get out and make sure your vote is counted,” Nelson said in a campaign statement.

E-MAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: “In Solidarity With Mexican Protestors, Activists Stage 4 Day Direct Action Against … Saks Fifth Avenue.”

JON SHEBEL ON DEMPSEY BARRON: Yesterday, we linked to the Political Hurricane’s look back at the 1998 Democratic Primary for State Senate District 3 between Dempsey Barron and Vince Bruner. This post struck a chord with Friend of Sunburn, Jon Shebel, who e-mailed: “Senator Dempsey Barron was one of a kind and Florida is better off today because he was there. If Dempsey was in the White House today you would see the “bad times” disappear. What our country is lacking is a leader … the key to Dempsey’s success in all he did was he was a “LEADER” … one of the best Florida has ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, as a “friend”, no one was more loyal than Dempsey … and, no one had more friends than Dempsey.”

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