Sunburn â The morning read of whatâs hot in Florida politics.
By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel McAuliffe, Jim Rosica, and Drew Wilson.
The Republican primary for Attorney General is starting to look a lot like the gubernatorial contest betweenÂ Ron DeSantisÂ andÂ Adam Putnam.
No,Â Donald TrumpÂ hasnât handed down an endorsement. And no, national Republican donors havenât started throwing six-figure checks into the race. But when it comes to the contest betweenÂ Frank WhiteÂ andÂ Ashley Moody, the seemingly more âTrumpianâ candidate is out front.
Thatâs according to a new measure of the race from St. Pete Polls,Â which finds White with a double-digit lead over Moody less than four weeks out from the Aug. 28 primary election.
Nearly two-fifths of Republican voters plan to tick the box for White, a first-term state Representative who works as general counsel to his wealthy father-in-lawâs chain of car dealerships. Moody, a former circuit court judge and prosecutor who has deep support among law enforcement, comes in 11 points behind him.
Whiteâs lead is across the board. Among white Republicans, it grows to 12 points. He holds at least a high single-digit lead among all age groups â young, middle-aged, boomers and seniors. Regionally, he trounces Moody from Pensacola to the I-4 corridor, with only West Palm Beach and Miami preferring Moody, and only by a slim margin at that.
The Panhandle lawmaker also holds a massive lead in favorability. Among the 53 percent of Republicans who had an opinion on him, he scored a plus-31. Moody, by comparison, posted a middling plus-4 among a larger share of Republicans who were familiar enough with her to answer.
One poll isnât a coronation by any means, but this is not the first measure to show White with a substantial lead in the statewide race. If trends hold in this race and others, Frank White will be on the ballot alongside Ron DeSantis while Moody and Putnam, both of whom are preferred establishment picks, look on from the sidelines.
â SITUATIONAL AWARENESS â
â@RealDonaldTrump:Â LeBron JamesÂ was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television,Â Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isnât easy to do. I like Mike!
â@JohnKasich:Â Rather than criticizing @, we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids. By the way, all-around heâs better thanÂ Michael Jordan. Thatâs a fact.
â@KingJames:Â The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open theÂ #Â School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams âŚ
â@AdamDavidson:Â No fucking way @Newseum You sell âFake Newsâ shirts and call it part of your commitment to free speech? No. Just no.
â@DeFede:Â While @Â is a threat to journalism and the First Amendment â a far greater threat is the greed of a news industry that guts their staffs and lose talented reporters like @ . This shameful self-inflicted wound is being repeated in newsrooms across the country.
â@JohnMorganEsq:Â The 2 republicans running for Florida Governor should be asked a very direct question. If elected will you drop @Â appeal on smokable cannabis, let the will of the voters stand, & quit wasting our money? Why is no one asking that question? It matters.
â@KionneMcGhee:Â Breaking News: Proud to announce that weâve gained enough signatures in support of special session on the Stand Your Ground Law. Secretary of State has to begin polling legislators. Please call your legislator and tell them to support the Call.
â@Rob_Bradley:Â Florida is ranked #1 in higher education by U.S. News & World Report because we have worked year-after-year to ensure students are rewarded for their hard work! The permanent expansion of Bright Futures is a reality!
â@MegKMag:Â today I learned the possum festival âused to be a must-attend for any statewide candidateâ inÂ florida
â@SpaceX:Â Dragon returned home yesterday after its second monthlong stay at the @. Itâs now headed to port for a cargo handover to @ .
â LATEST TURNOUT FIGURES â
â DAYS UNTIL â
Republican gubernatorial debate in Jacksonville â 2; School begins in the first 19 Florida districts â 4; Start of the U.S. Open â 21; Primary Election Day â 22; College Football opening weekend â 24; Labor Day â 28; NFL regular season starts â 31; First general election mail ballots go out â 47; Future of Florida Forum â 51; FSU vs. UM football game â 61; âBefore You Voteâ Florida U.S. Senate debate â 78; âBefore You Voteâ Florida Governor debate â 79; General Election Day â 92; 2019 Legislature Organization Session meetings â 106; Black Friday â 109; Florida Chamber Insurance Summit â 113; âHamiltonâ comes to the Straz Center â 190; 2019 Legislative Session starts â 211; 2020 General Election â 820.
âGOP grumbles as Donald Trump reshapes midterm campaignsâ via Lisa Lerer and Ken Thomas of The Associated Press â Republicans worry their statewide candidates may rise or fall based onÂ Trumpâs standing, muddling their path to maintain control of Congress. But Trump has no plans to step out of the spotlight. The president is casting himself as the star of the midterms, eagerly inserting himself into hotly contested primaries, headlining rallies in pivotal swing states and increasing his fundraising efforts for Republicans. Last week, Trump agreed to donate a portion of his re-election fund to 100 GOP candidates running in competitive House and Senate races. Heâs expected to be even more aggressive in the fall. White House officials say heâs reserving time on his schedule for midterm travel and fundraising likely to surpass that of former presidentsÂ George W. BushÂ andÂ Barack Obama. âThis is now about Donald Trump,â saidÂ Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican chairman. âItâs a high-risk, high-stakes proposition.â
Meanwhile âŚÂ âCrackdown on âbotsâ sweeps up people who tweet oftenâ via Sara Burnett of The Associated Press â Last week, Facebook said it had removed 32 fake accounts apparently created to manipulate U.S. politics â efforts that may be linked to Russia. Twitter and other sites also have targeted automated or robot-like accounts known as bots, which authorities say were used to cloak efforts by foreign governments and political bad actors in the 2016 elections. But the screening repeatedly, and erroneously, flaggedÂ Nina TomasieskiÂ and users like her. Their accounts have been suspended or frozen for âsuspiciousâ behavior â apparently because of the frequency and relentlessness of their messages. âAlmost all of us are considered a bot,â says Tomasieski, who lives in Tennessee but is tweeting for GOP candidates across the U.S. The actions have drawn criticism from conservatives, who have accused Twitter, Facebook and other companies of having a liberal bias and censorship. It also raises a question: Can the companies outsmart the ever-evolving tactics of U.S. adversaries if they canât be sure whoâs a robot and whoâs Nina?
â NELSON VS. SCOTT â
âSpurred by Rick Scottâs algae ad, Bill Nelson says heâll stop playing ânice-niceââ via Tyler Treadway of TCPalm â Several people at a roundtable discussion on the algae problem voiced their ire at a television ad in which Scott blames Nelson for inaction on dealing with the blooms. Scott is âtrying to take creditâ for the state contributing $100 million to help speed dike repairs, Nelson said. âBut the Army Corps of Engineers hasnât even figured out how to take the money and how to use it.â When told after the meeting the Corps and the state had reached an agreement on using the money, Nelson said, âStill, $100Â million isÂ a just a pittance compared to the $2 billion project.â When he saw Scottâs ad, saidÂ Mike Conner, a Stuart fishing guideÂ andÂ longtime water activist, âI almost fell off the couch. You need to takeÂ offÂ the kid gloves and tear that ad apart.â Grant Gilmore of Vero Beach, a marine biologist whoâs studied the Indian River Lagoon for five decades, told Nelson, âYou need a commercial saying youâve always been there, youâve always been working for the environment.â
â NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL â
âWe know Ron DeSantis is with Trump. But where is he on Florida issues?â via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times â The Republican congressman from northeast Florida wants Florida Republicans to know that A) He hasÂ Trumpâs endorsement. B) He is conservative. C) He is a veteran. D) He is committed to thwarting a flood of illegal immigrants into Florida. AtÂ RonDeSantis.com, thereâs no issues tab, let alone any mention of a policy agenda for Florida. âIn the general election, voters want to know what you want to do,â campaign managerÂ Brad Herold. âWe plan on having a very robust discussion of the issues in the general election.â The policy-free agenda is both by design and necessity for a campaign with far fewer people on the payroll thanÂ Putnamâs.
âFor DeSantis, Trumpâs nod also means cash from big GOP donorsâ via John Kennedy of the GateHouse Capital Bureau âÂ Trumpâs early morning tweet June 22 â saying thatÂ DeSantisÂ âwill be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsementâ â swiftly lead to $500,000 in contributions from the GOPâs single biggest spenders, Las Vegas casino magnateÂ Sheldon AdelsonÂ and his wife,Â Miriam. Another $500,000 also arrived last month fromÂ Laura Perlmutter, a Trump inauguration committee member, whose husband,Â Ike, is chair of Marvel Entertainment. Other big GOP contributors also are getting on board with Trumpâs formal backing of the Palm Coast congressman over Republican rivalÂ Adam PutnamÂ in the Aug. 28 primary, turning the usual in-state focus of the governorâs contest into a national affair.
âAdam Putnamâs political committee begins running a new attack ad against DeSantisâ via John Lucas of The Capitolist â The ad hitsÂ DeSantisÂ again for supporting a 23 percent national sales tax, but also accuses DeSantis of voting to lower Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors and siding with PresidentÂ Barack ObamaÂ in supporting an increase in the national debt ceiling. âAnd he wants to cut social security for seniors,â the announcer says. âD.C. DeSantis even voted to raise the debt ceiling for Barack Obama âŚ Why did he sell Florida out? Because the real Ron DeSantis is part of the Washington swamp, working for one of the largest lobbying firms in America âŚ taking a million dollars from Wall Street âŚ and facing massive ethics violations. Hypocrisy. Betrayal. Thatâs D.C. DeSantis.â
To view the new ad,Â click on the image below:
Happening todayÂ âÂ DeSantisÂ is the special guest at the Womenâs Republican Club of Miami Federated event, 12 p.m., Mojitos Cuban Cuisine, 8000 SW 8th St., Miami.
âState candidates, Panhandle residents out in full force at Wausau Fundayâ via Zach McDonald of the Panama City News-Herald â Each year, hundreds of people flock to the town of Wausau, a population of about 400, for the annual Funday and Possum Festival. This was the 49th year of celebrating the marsupial that saved the town. With a particularly crowded field leading up to the 2018 primary elections and the general elections beyond, several candidates spent valuable time Saturday shaking hands and possums in Wausau. âIf you care about the grassroots, if you care about the people of the Panhandle, if you care about anybody outside the big cities â then youâre at the possum festival,âÂ PutnamÂ said, noting that he is from a rural county. âThe farmers in our rural communities are the ones that matter.â
Playinâ possum: Adam Putnam took part in the 49th Annual Wausau Possum Festival and Parade this weekend.
ââMatching funds fuel $1M-plus hauls for DeSantis, Putnamâ via Florida Politics
âGwen Grahamâs Takeaway on Ron DeSantis: âHe hasnât been present and focusedââ via Skyler Swisher and Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel â âMy biggest issue with Ron is he hasnât been present and focused on doing the job I believe he was elected to do,âÂ GrahamÂ told the editorial page editors of the South FloridaÂ Sun-Sentinel, Miami HeraldÂ andÂ Palm Beach Post âŚÂ DeSantis, who is endorsed byÂ Trump, was first elected to Congress in 2012. He mulled a run for U.S. Senate in 2016 but withdrew when incumbent Sen.Â Marco RubioÂ announced he would run for re-election.
âWhat Grahamâs school district job can tell us about her bid for governorâ via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times â Those six years in the school system, where she turned adversaries into allies with a âletâs make everyone happyâ approach, provides a glimpse of a management style the current Democratic front-runner could use as governor. âShe was âthat personâ on the other side of the table that we had to negotiate with,â saidÂ Shari Gewanter, a member of the teachersâ union bargaining team. By the end of Grahamâs time there, Gewanter joked, âI think I fell in love with her.â Yet her alliance at the time with current Leon County School SuperintendentÂ Rocky Hanna, a childhood classmateÂ andÂ friend, challenges the Graham persona of someone whoâs above politics, particularly as it relates to her handling of a sexual harassment claim that has raised questions about favoritism.
âJeff Greene says he wonât renew Mar-a-Lago membership, touts business experienceâ via Skyler Swisher and Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel â The Democrat, a neighbor ofÂ Trumpâs in Palm Beach, says he joined the club years ago when Trump was giving money toÂ Hillary Clinton. Greene said he didnât immediately cancel the membership because he wanted the ability to share his views with the president. âI was able to stand up to him right in his own dining room,â Greene told the editorial page editors of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami HeraldÂ andÂ The Palm Beach Post. Greene says he hasnât been billed for dues in over a year. Heâs faced criticism from his opponents for a comment he made a day after the election calling Trump âa great guy.â
ââDemocratic Governor candidates see 2018 as their yearâ via Anthony Man, Skyler Swisher and Victoria Ballard of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Chris King talks peace, suffering at Clearwater âStand Your Groundâ rallyÂ â Gubernatorial candidateÂ KingÂ joined other Democrats in the Florida Governorâs race, as well as civil-rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton at a rally Sunday to call for an arrest in the controversial shooting last month in Clearwater.Â Sundayâs rally was the latest action in three weeks of protests, thousands of online signatures, and town hall discussions sinceÂ Markeis McGlocktonÂ was shot in a convenience store parking lot after an argument over a parking space July 19. Citing a 2017 change in Floridaâs âStand Your Groundâ law, Pinellas County SheriffÂ Bob GualtieriÂ said he could not arrest alleged shooterÂ Michael Drejka. The case has been handed over to the state attorney to determine ifÂ Drejka will faceÂ any charges.Â âI canât imagine the suffering youâre going through,â King told members of McGlocktonâs family in the audience. âAnd thereâs a lot of politics all wrapped up in this, but I canât imagine how your hearts are breaking âŚ I know we serve a God that says peace, I leave with you.â
To hear Kingâs full statement,Â click on the image below:
Happening todayÂ â KingÂ will appear at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, noon, Orange Blossom Catering Ballroom, 220 Fourth St. North, St. Petersburg.
âMatt Caldwellâs âNeverTrumpâ past draws fresh criticismâ via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics â As Lehigh Acres RepublicanÂ CaldwellÂ rallies conservatives around his Agriculture Commissioner bid, critics have raised âNeverTrumpâ tweets and op-eds undercutting his right-wing bona fides. In March 2016, Caldwell wrote: âI cannot in good conscience supportÂ Donald TrumpÂ for President âŚ While I will never vote forÂ Hillary ClintonÂ orÂ Bernie Sanders, I also cannot and will not vote for him in the general election.â Caldwell says he has since come to peace with Trump and did support him in the general election because the Supreme Court was in the balance. Caldwell said the appointment of Supreme Court JusticeÂ Neil GorsuchÂ and the pending confirmation ofÂ Brett KavanaughÂ bring jurists to the bench who ârecognize the sanctity of life in the Constitutionâ âŚ âHe [Trump] has also taken steps to defund Planned Parenthood and ended Obamacare policies that forced religious employers to provide abortions,â Caldwell said.
â NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, PART 2 â
ââMarsyâs Lawâ group seeks to enter ballot lawsuitâ via the News Service of Florida â Marsyâs Law for Florida, LLC, affiliated with the Marsyâs Law for All National Foundation, filed a motion in Leon County circuit court asking for approval to become formally involved in the lawsuit filed by Southwest Florida defense attorneyÂ Lee Hollander. The lawsuit seeks to block the proposed constitutional amendment from going on the November ballot, with Hollander arguing that the wording of the proposal would mislead voters. The Florida Constitution Revision Commission this year approved putting the proposal, designated as Amendment 6, on the ballot. Supporters of the proposal, which has become commonly known as âMarsyâs Law,â argue it would establish a series of rights for crime victims, including the right to be notified of significant developments in criminal cases and the right to be heard in the legal proceedings. The amendment also would increase the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. And it would provide that judges should not necessarily defer to the interpretation of laws and rules by governmental agencies in legal proceedings.
âLara Trump, presidentâs daughter-in-law, joins fight for dog-racing banâ via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics â President Trumpâs daughter-in-law, is joining Attorney GeneralÂ Pam BondiÂ for a fundraiser to benefit the campaign to pass a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ending dog racing in Florida. The former television host and producer and animal rights supporter is married toÂ EricÂ Trump, the presidentâs second son. Trump and Bondi are listed as âspecial guestsâ at the fundraiser set for next Thursday in Greenwich, Connecticut, hosted by Leora and Steven Levy. Leora Levy is a Republican national committeewoman; husband Steven is CEO of his familyâs New York real estate firm âŚ The fundraiser benefits the Protect Dogs-Yes on 13 campaign, formed to persuade voters to vote for the amendment. Though a Tallahassee judge this week ordered Amendment 13 off the ballot, the state appealed, which puts an âautomatic stayâ on the case. That means until a higher court says otherwise, the amendment will be on the 2018 general election ballot.
âBusinesses across Florida endorse dog-racing banâ via Florida Politics â The Protect Dogs-Yes on 13 campaign announced that it received the endorsement of 57 local businesses from across the state. The campaign, which is promoting passage of a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ending live dog racing in Florida, is pressing ahead despite a judgeâs ruling that the measureâs ballot title and summary are defective and canât go on this yearâs ballot. The state also on Thursday filed a notice of appeal to Circuit JudgeÂ KarenÂ Gieversâ decision. âThe state dog racing mandate âŚ goes against free-market values, and is causing harm to gentle greyhounds,â saidÂ Maurice R. Mizrahi, owner of Temptations Catering and Events in Fort Lauderdale and CaterMasters in Naples.
âCommittee backing dog racing ban spends $1.8M on media buyâ via Florida Politics â A week after it brought in a $1.5 million check from a foundation established by movie starÂ Doris Day, the committee backing a proposed constitutional amendment to ban greyhound racing followed through with a planned $1.85 million a media buy. âŚ The media buy was expected â Committee to Protect Dogs co-chairwomanÂ Kate MacFallÂ said the money received from the Doris Day Animal League would be used on an ad buy that would put commercials on the air in the Tampa, Miami and Orlando media markets starting in October. Not as expected, however, was the recent ruling by a Tallahassee judge that the proposed amendment shouldnât go on the November ballot. âŚ The state is appealing that ruling, and Amendment 13âs supporters have said theyâre still âfull steam aheadâ despite the setback.
âMatt Gaetzâs Republican challenger Cris Dosev wants to debate before primaryâ via Jim Little of the Pensacola News-Journal âÂ Dosev, a Pensacola businessman, is one of two Republicans challengingÂ GaetzÂ for Floridaâs 1st Congressional District seat. âIâm prepared to debate anywhere, anytime, even in Okaloosa in not-so-Niceville,â Dosev told the News Journal, referring to the location of a campaign rally Gaetz held with an appearance byÂ Donald Trump Jr. Dosev said his campaign had asked the Gaetz campaign to debate at least three times and the Gaetz campaign has declined. Gaetz did not respond to the News Journalâs request for comment on Friday about Dosevâs debate challenges, but Gaetzâs other Republican opponentÂ John Mills, a retired Naval officer in Miramar Beach, said he doubts there will be a debate in the campaign. âFrom a strategy standpoint, why would he,â Mills said. âHeâs just not going to do it. Thatâs just the way it is.â
âScott Sturgill ad put abortion question into CD 7 contestâ via Scott Powers of Orlando Rising â For the first 18 seconds, the new videoÂ adÂ looks like something almost any Democrat would be willing to air: young women praising the candidate for supporting abortion choice rights and Planned Parenthood, and resistingÂ Trumpâs âassault on Roe versus Wade.â âI like Mike,â the two women declare. And then the video screeches to a halt. The angle: the 30-second spot âThank You LiberalÂ Mike Millerâ is not about a Democrat, but rather a mock testimonial to Republican state Rep. Miller. And the ad is not his; it is from his Aug. 28 Republican primary opponent, Sanford businessmanÂ Sturgill. âIâm Scott Sturgill,â Sturgill declares after the quick cut when the ad turns to him. âIâm the only candidate who is 100 percent pro-life and endorsed by Florida Right to Life.â Millerâs campaign expressed outrage, calling the positions portrayed about him in the ad âa complete fabrication.â
To watch the ad,Â click on the image below:
âIs Vern Buchanan meddling inÂ DemocraticÂ primary?â via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune â Leading Democrats in Southwest Florida and Washington D.C. have rallied behind Siesta Key attorneyÂ David ShapiroÂ as he tries to unseat RepublicanÂ BuchananÂ âŚ Buchanan recognizes the threat Shapiro â who has raised more than $1 million for his campaign â poses and is putting money behind a television ad that slams the Democrat as a âhypocrite,â an early attack that some view as trying to influence the primary. Sarasota attorneyÂ Jan SchneiderÂ is taking on Shapiro from the left, espousing support for a single-payer health care system and $15 minimum wage. Buchananâs ad also aims at Shapiroâs progressive credentials, accusing him of hypocrisy for making gun control and environmental protection central campaign promises while simultaneously investing in gun and oil companies. Itâs an odd one-two combination against Shapiro, raising the question of whether Buchanan hopes to tarnish the Democrat enough with liberals that he fails to get out of the primary, or at least has to spend more money than heâd like.
âJavier Manjarresâs ad falsely implies he has Trumpâs supportâ via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel âÂ Manjarresâ mailer to Republicans in the Broward-Palm Beach County 22nd Congressional District has a big picture ofÂ TrumpÂ wearing a âMake America Great Againâ hat and giving a thumbs-up sign. In quotation marks next to the picture of Trump is the quote: âJavier embodies #MAGA.â It leaves the impression that Trump said those words about Manjarres. He didnât. âItâs definitely misleading,â saidÂ Eddison Walters, one of the other two candidates in the primary for the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Rep.Â Ted Deutch. The third Republican isÂ Nicolas Kimaz. Manjarres said he wasnât attempting to deceive anyone. âNo, itâs not. Itâs an endorsement fromÂ Matt Gaetz. Itâs not an endorsement from the president.â
Anti-carbon tax group launchesÂ initiativeÂ against Carlos CurbeloÂ â The American Energy Alliance is encouraging citizens to hold their elected officials accountable for supporting energy taxes, which the anti-carbon tax group calls âdestructive.â A digital ad campaign will target various congressional districts, starting with Floridaâs 26th Congressional District, represented byÂ Curbelo, who recently introduced H.R. 6463 (115) â a regressive carbon tax bill which the group says, âwould not help the environment, but would hike prices on American consumers (particularly lower-income citizens) and stunt economic growth.â AEA is sponsoring a $75,000 digital ad campaign discussing the economic destruction of a carbonÂ tax,Â while putting politicians like Curbelo on notice.
âJack Latvala continues to help fund political alliesâ via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida â Latvala has kept a low public profile since resigning from the Legislature in December after investigators revealed a history of sexual harassment, but he has quietly kept running a pared-down political operation that is, among other things, helping finance his alliesâ own political efforts âŚÂ Some of the contributions from Latvalaâs committee went to other committees that in short order made their own contributions to the campaigns of Denise Grimsley, a Republican state senator now running for Agriculture commissioner, and state Rep. Kathleen Peters, a Republican now running for the Pinellas County Commission. âŚÂ Making contributions to one committee with the direct intent of it flowing to another candidate â a practice known as âearmarkingâ â is not allowed under Florida election law.
âFlorida Realtors releaseÂ thirdÂ wave of legislative endorsementsâ via Florida Politics â Making the cut in the new round of endorsements were five state House candidates, three of them Republicans and two of them Democrats. In southeastern Hillsborough Countyâs HD 57, businessman and U.S. Army veteranÂ Sean McCoyÂ got the nod. In neighboring HD 59, the Florida Realtors picked Dover RepublicanÂ Joe WickerÂ in the three-way race. n Tampa-based HD 61, the endorsement went to DemocratÂ Dianne Hart. Florida Realtors said School Board memberÂ Susan ValdesÂ was their pick to succeed House Minority LeaderÂ Janet CruzÂ in HD 62. The final endorsement went out to North Fort Myers RepublicanÂ Spencer Roach.
âEd Hooper clears $650K raised, Amanda Murphy cracks $100K in SD 16 battleâ via Florida Politics â Between July 21 and July 27,Â HooperÂ raised $21,156.00 in hard money and tacked on another $16,000 via his political committee, Friends of Ed Hooper. That haul included a $15,000 check from Working Together for Florida PAC, the main fundraising vehicle of Naples Republican Sen.Â Kathleen Passidomo, a candidate for the 2022-2024 Senate presidency. Hooperâs accounts only shelled out $5,575 during the weeklong reporting period, including $2,086 for email and social media marketing and a host of charges for canvassing work. All told, Hooper has raised nearly $660,000 between the two accounts since entering the race in early 2016. He had $492,647 banked at the end of the reporting period.
ââDana Young maintains threefold cash lead over Cruz in SD 18â via Florida Politics
ââJanet Cruz named a âgun senseâ candidateâ via the Tampa Bay Reporter
âEileen Higgins gets behind Jason Pizzo in SD 38â via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics â Miami-Dade CommissionerÂ Higgins, who won a shock victory in the District 5 special election back in June, says sheâs endorsingÂ PizzoÂ in the Democratic primary for Senate District 38. Pizzo is facing off against incumbent state Sen.Â Daphne CampbellÂ in the race. But despite Campbellâs incumbency, Higgins says sheâs supporting the challenger in a statement released Friday. âOur community deserves an honest, dedicated state senator fighting for us and Jason Pizzo will be that state senator,â said Higgins. âOver the years, Iâve seen Jasonâs passion and unwavering commitment to making our neighborhoods safer. I know he wonât stop when he gets to Tallahassee.â
ââRebekah Bydlak increases fundraising lead in HD 1 Republican primaryâ via Florida Politics
ââSean McCoy outpaces Mike Beltran in HD 57 fundraisingâ via Florida Politics
âRay Blacklidge feels backlash to âIrish slavesâ memeâ via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics âÂ Blacklidge, a Madeira Beach Republican, shared a post March 26, 2017, from writerÂ Jerome PalkowskiÂ containing a historical cartoon showing a woman âflogging her apprentice in the cellar.â The image accompanied a write-up alleging African slaves were expensive compared to Irish slaves and in turn treated much better in Colonial America. When Blacklidge shared the image, he wrote âA sad American Truth âŚâ with his post. He told Florida Politics he recalled sharing the illustration but believed at the time the message was about the evils of slavery, not an attempt to minimize the plight of black slaves. When Blacklidge shared the image, he wrote âA sad American Truth âŚâ with his post. He told Florida Politics he recalled sharing the illustration but believed at the time the message was about the evils of slavery, not an attempt to minimize the plight of black slaves.
Happening todayÂ â RepublicanÂ Melissa Howard, running for House District 73, will hold a meet-and-greet event, 5 p.m., Evieâs Tavern, 5897 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota. HD 73, which includes parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties, became open when Republican Rep.Â Joe GrutersÂ launched a Senate run.
âHe backed the subsidy ban for American Dream megamall. Now heâs targeted for defeatâ via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald âÂ Lily StefanoÂ ran against the mayor of Medley two years ago and lost. This summer a lawyer she didnât know representing a client he wouldnât name asked her to try and unseat another incumbent: Miami-Dade CommissionerÂ Jose âPepeâ Diaz. âThis is not a joke or anything like that,âÂ Manuel Diner, a Broward County lawyer, said in the voicemail Stefano said she received in June. âI represent a client who is eager to have someone of your quality and experience and professionalism run for office and hopefully take a seat on the County Commission.â In a follow-up phone call, Stefano said Diner named the District 12 incumbent as the target and said: âWe need to get that a-hole out.â Diaz is the hometown commissioner for American Dream, a proposed $4 billion retail theme park by Triple Five, the Canada-based developer of Minnesotaâs Mall of America. Diaz sponsored legislation Triple Five had sought for several years: final zoning approval for the 175-acre project on undeveloped land in Northwest Miami-Dade, where the Florida Turnpike meets I-75. Diaz also sponsored legislation that Triple Five resisted: a pre-emptive ban on granting county subsidies for the project. American Dream didnât ask for public dollars. But in the run-up to the May 17 vote on final zoning approvals, rival malls paid for television ads and robocalls pressuring commissioners to approve a ban on public money.
â EDITORIAL ENDORSEMENT ROUND-UP â
Both the Tampa Bay Times and the Sun-Sentinel editorial boards have backed Putnam in the Republican primary for Governor over the Trump-backed DeSantis. In describing Putnam, the Sentinel editorial teamÂ writes, âhe would be far more capable than DeSantis of forging a consensus to address the algae blooms.â The TimesÂ writesÂ that Putnam âhas a deep understanding of Florida, a firm grasp of state issues and a vision for the future that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis cannot match.â
In the Democratic primary, the TimesÂ recommendsÂ voters pick Graham, noting Democrats have âseveral intriguing candidates, but breaking the Republicansâ complete control of state government depends on appealing to centrist voters who have drifted away from the party.â
The Sentinel, however, isÂ backingÂ JeffÂ Greene, calling him âthe game changer, not just because he promises to spend the money needed to ensure he and other Democrats win, but because he has the know-how, confidence and connections to get good things done.â The Times alsoÂ releasedÂ endorsements for nearby state House races.
In the District 57 Republican primary, the newspaper is backingÂ MikeÂ BeltranÂ because he âis a solid conservative and accepts that public scrutiny comes with asking for the publicâs trust.â
In the Republican primary for District 59, the Times is supportingÂ JoeÂ Wicker, âa small-business advocate who wants to cut government regulations and create a stronger business environment.â
In the Democratic primary for District 61, the Times recommendsÂ DianneÂ Hart, noting that âshe would work with local government to improve mass transit and strive at the state level to increase funding for public schools.â
In theÂ District 62 Democratic primary, the Times is backingÂ Susan Valdes, because âshe has, on balance, been a strong supporter of her heavily Hispanic district, and her keen attention to her constituentsâ needs makes her the best choice in this race.â
In the Republican primary for District 64, the Times recommendsÂ TerryÂ PowerÂ because he âoffers a broader platform and a commitment to service that could benefit the district.â
In the Republican primary for District 66, the newspaper recommendsÂ NickÂ DiCeglie,Â noting he âhas a strong grasp of issues affecting small businesses, from taxes to government regulation to workers compensation costs.â
In the Democratic primary for District 67, the Times recommendsÂ DawnÂ DouglasÂ referencing her education background and how she âis critical of the Republican-led Legislatureâs attacks on teacher unions and spending on charter schools, and she says there is too much emphasis on standardized tests.â
For the Republican primary in District 69, the newspaper is backing Blacklidge because he âhas more experience inside and outside governmentâ than his opponents.
In the Democratic primary for District 70, the paper recommends incumbentÂ WengayÂ Newton, saying he has made âpositive contributions and was not bashful about speaking up.â
â STATEWIDE â
Supreme Court halts Scott judicial appointmentâ via the News Service of Florida â The 4-3 decision by the Supreme Court effectively blocked a lower court from finalizing a decision that would allowÂ ScottÂ to appoint Duval County JudgeÂ Lester BassÂ to replace retiring Circuit JudgeÂ Robert Foster. The Supreme Court imposed a stay that will remain in place until justices decide how to handle an underlying dispute about whether Scott has the authority to appoint a replacement for Foster. Jacksonville attorneyÂ David TrottiÂ requested the stay last week after the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Scott had the authority to name a replacement for Foster. Shortly after the appeals court ruling, Scott announced he would appoint Bass to replace Foster as soon as the 1st District Court of Appeal ruling becomes final â a process known as the appeals court issuing a âmandate.â Trotti appealed the 1st District Court of Appeal ruling to the Supreme Court and asked to stay the issuance of the mandate. The Supreme Court decision granting Trottiâs request did not explain the majorityâs reasoning.
âScott saysÂ stateÂ will fight red tideâ via Florida Politics â Gov. Scott directed state agencies âto mobilize all available resources to address red tide impacts in Southwest Floridaâs coastal communities.â The announcement mentioned the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). âFWC and DEP will enhance cleanup efforts, public awareness initiatives and water testing to ensure that Floridians understand the best ways to minimize the impact of red tide,â a news release added.
âA red tide ravaging Florida may have killed a whale shark for the first known timeâ via Kate Furby of The Washington Post â In late July, a whale shark washed up dead at Sanibel Island âŚ The young adult male shark was 26 feet long and floating in the surf zone as soft waves lapped around its body. A biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sampled the sharkâs muscle, liver, intestines and stomach contents. The muscles and organs tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by harmful algae called KareniaÂ brevis. This is the first time the commission has had an opportunity to sample whale shark tissue for this toxin. Scientists cannot be certain about the exact cause of the whale sharkâs death, but the timing and location implicate the harmful algal bloom, or âred tide,â as the most likely cause. âThis whale shark was definitely exposed to the bloom, and we know brevetoxinsâ are deadly to fish, said Kelly Richmond, a spokeswoman for the commission.
âTom Lee says heâs looking forward to leadership change in Senateâ via Michael Moline of Florida Politics âÂ LeeÂ is psyching himself up for another term in the Florida Senate. âI was pretty much resolved to step away for a little while, and get on with some business and try to help my son get through high school,â the Thonotosassa Republican (and Senate President in 2004-06) said last week. After considering runs for Chief Financial Officer and for Congress, and even leaving politics altogether, he decided last month to seek re-election âŚ Lee, who has served a combined 16 years in the chamber, clashed regularly with leadership under PresidentÂ Joe NegronÂ of Stuart, but expects better days when Bradenton RepublicanÂ Bill GalvanoÂ wields the gavel, as expected next yearâ âMy sense is there are going to be a lot of changes in the Senate, and itâs going to be a more rewarding place in which to serve in the coming years.â
âNew lawsuit highlights legislative logjam over PIP reformâ via Michael Moline of Florida Politics â Floridaâs no-fault insurance system continues to generate fraud, judging by allegations in a lawsuit that insurer State Farm filed in federal court. The suit, filed in the Southern District of Florida on Aug. 1, alleges three clinics cheated it out of $4.7 million. Will suits like these help break the policy logjam that has prevented the Legislature from responding to problems with the state law requiring motorists to carryÂ personal-injuryÂ protection (PIP) policies? Not necessarily, according to Sen. Lee. The Thonotosassa Republicanâs PIP repeal bill died in committeeÂ lastÂ Session. That was amid wrangling with the House over whether to mandate that drivers carry at least $5,000 in medical coverage. âThe problem has to become more painful than the solution for consensus to develop in the Legislature,â Lee said in a telephone interview. âIt was clear last year that we just werenât there yet.â
âHereâs what Broward schools knew about Parkland shooter â details revealed by mistakeâ via Brittany Wallman and Paula McMahon of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel â In the year leading up to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killerÂ Nikolas CruzÂ was stripped of the therapeutic services disabled students need, leaving him to navigate his schooling as a regular student despite mounds of evidence that he wasnât. When he asked to return to a special education campus, school officials fumbled his request. Those conclusions were revealed in a consultantâs report commissioned by the Broward public school system. Broward Circuit JudgeÂ Elizabeth SchererÂ ordered that the reportÂ beÂ released publicly, but with nearly two-thirds of the content blacked out âŚ the method the district used to conceal the text failed. The blacked-out text became visible when pasted into another computer file. What emerged was the first detailed account of Cruzâs years in the school system, what the school district knew about him and what mistakes were made.
âInÂ latestÂ âstand your groundâ case, a question: who started it?â via Kathryn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times â A popular question has emerged in the weeks sinceÂ McGlocktonÂ was shot and killed in a convenience store parking lot. Didnât the shooter,Â Drejka, trigger the whole situation when he took the law into his own hands, confronting McGlocktonâs girlfriend about why she had parked in a handicap-reserved spot? âYou cannot provoke a fight and then hide behind âstand your ground,ââ saidÂ Michele Rayner, a Clearwater attorney representing McGlocktonâs family, referring to the controversial self-defense law that has protected Drejka from arrest. Technically, thatâs correct. Florida law does have a provision that says in part that someone cannot assert a âstand your groundâ defense if the person âinitially provokes the use or threatened use of force against himself or herself.â But whether that part of the law comes into play, in this case, is iffy. According to legal experts, it generally doesnât apply when the confrontation is just verbal, barring any threats of violence âŚ in the words of Stetson University College of Law professorÂ Charles Rose: âThe law is set up to allow you to be as big an ass as you want to be, as long as itâs just with words.â
âDCF confirms two unreported assaults at Treasure Coast mental hospitalâ via Lucas Daprile of TCPalm â The assaults at Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center, which the state since has agreed were serious enough to qualify as reportable âcritical incidents,â according to the Department of Children and Families spokesmanÂ David Frady. The hospital will not be disciplined for failing to report the December 2013 and October 2014 assaults because DCF has implemented new reporting requirements, additional inspections and a new system to track incidents since 2014, Frady said. âWe did talk with them about ensuring accurate reporting,â Frady told TCPalm after DCF completed its investigation, prompted by TCPalmâs Jan. 21Â story. âThere will not be any sanctions as a result of these two eventsâ: Dec. 13, 2013: An employee was taken to the hospital with dizziness, neck pain and a bloody nose and mouth after a patient punched him. Sept. 30, 2014: A patient was taken to the hospital with a broken collarbone and a cut on his face after another patient picked him up, slammed him on his head and repeatedly punched him even after he was unconscious.
âHigh-speed rail firm scouting land for station and development around proposed Rays ballpark siteâ via Christopher OâDonnell of the Tampa Bay Times â Brightline is already scouting sites for a terminus in downtown Tampa, according to local officials. Among the sites that have caught the interest of Brightline are Tampa Union Station, Tampa Park Apartments and the old jail site on North Morgan Street âŚ That could put a new rail terminus within walking distance of a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark proposed for Ybor City. And with Brightline subsidizing railroad cost by cashing in on development around stations, it could make the area just north of the Channel District a potential new hub of downtownâs expansion. âTheyâre real estate developers,â saidÂ BobÂ McDonaugh, Tampaâs administrator for economic opportunity, who recently met with Brightline officials. âIf a station is well-sited, it does create real estate opportunities.â
âMosaic wonÂ extensionÂ of its mining permit. Hereâs what it means for Manatee Countyâ via James Jones of the Bradenton Herald â The extension allows Mosaic to continue operations at the Southeast Tract, Wingate East Mine and Wingate Creek Mine âŚ The extension is the final step Mosaic needed to begin mining the 4,441-acre Wingate East property, to continue its existing mining operation at the 4,029-acre Wingate Creek property, and to use the Southeast Tract as a settling area. Mosaic is expected to continue operations at Wingate East until 2034 and at SoutheastÂ TractÂ and Wingate Creek until 2037. Reclamation is projected to be completed for all three sites in 2042. Requiring Mosaic to periodically requestÂ extensionÂ of its operating permit is one way that the county ensures bonding is in place for reclamation, saidÂ Rob Brown, Manatee Countyâs environmental protection division manager. Beyond its immediate business function, Mosaic also takes an active role in the Manatee community. Benefiting from its financial support are a wide range of organizations, including the 1914 Myakka City School House, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, Duette Fire Station and Bunker Hill Community Park, and school bus drivers who received gift cards forÂ lengthÂ of service and safe driving, among others.
âTreasure Coast seesÂ increaseÂ in kratom-involved deaths, Medical Examinerâs Office saysâ via Sara Marino of TCPalm â Dr.Â Roger Mittleman, the medical examiner for the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, said he first noticed kratom as a cause of death in 2017. That year, there were nine local kratom-involved deaths on the Treasure Coast, he said. For the first five months of 2018, the latest data available, there already have been eight deaths linked to it, according to records obtained by TCPalm. âIn almost half the year now, we have almost the total amount (of kratom-involved deaths) we did in 2017,â Mittleman said. âWe have a lot of pending cases now, and it could be that this number may be even higher.â He said he couldnât pinpoint a specific reason why heâs noticing an increase in kratom in some of the bodies autopsied. But, he said, overdoses of kratom is an emerging problem. While it is not illegal to use, the FDA has advised people not to take kratom because it can cause severe withdrawal signs and symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems and depression.
âFlags at half-staff for Fort Myers officerâ via Florida Politics â Gov.Â ScottÂ ordered flags at half-staff for OfficerÂ Adam Jobbers-Miller, late of the Fort Myers Police Department. Jobbers-Miller, a three-year veteran of the force, was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, July 28. Scott directed the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at the Lee County Courthouse in Fort Myers, Fort Myers City Hall, the Fort Myers Police Department and the Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset on Monday. âPolice officers like Adam Jobbers-Miller put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,â Scott said in a statement. âMy wife Ann and I are praying for his family and everyone in the entire Lee County law enforcement community.â
â IN A PINCH â
Floridaâs spiny lobster fishery could suffer losses resulting from new U.S. tariffs on seafood.
The season opens Monday, and harvesters had hoped this year would help offset losses caused by Hurricane Irma,Â reportsÂ JenniferÂ KayÂ for The Associated Press.
âBut the industry has come to depend on Chinese exports over the last decade, and fishermen worry tariffs that could raise prices by 25 percent will send the Chinese market looking for lobster in another countryâs waters.â
Backdrop:Â ErnieÂ Piton, president of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermenâs Association and a lobster fisherman, tells Kay that Irma wiped out âroughly 90,000 out of 474,000 lobster traps in the Keysâ and that each trap costs around $40.
Problem: According to Piton, around 90 percent of Keys lobsters are exported to China. The total harvest floats around 5 million pounds. Piton tells Kay that domestic consumers donât match what the Chinese are willing to pay.
Policy:Â PeterÂ Quinter, an international trade expert with GrayRobinson, describes the issue in a nutshell. âIf the Chinese consumer is no longer looking at the U.S. for merchandise or products, this is not a one-time or seasonal problem,â Quinter tells Kay. âLong after Trump is gone, theyâll be negatively affected.â
â D.C. MATTERS â
âTrump loses appeal to Doral golf resort tenant in room-rate disputeâ via Martin Vassolo of the Miami Herald â The Trump-owned company that operates the presidentâs Trump National Doral Miami golf resort has to pay more than $2 million in legal fees stemming from a dispute over room rates â a 538 percent proposed increase â connected to a spa leasing space at the resort, an appellate court ruled âŚ Attorneys for Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa had argued in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last year that Trump Endeavor 12 attempted to force the resortâs in-house spa out of its lease afterÂ TrumpÂ purchased the National Doral in 2012 and renovated it. Trump Endeavor is a New York-based limited liability corporation previously run by Trump and now run by his sonÂ Donald Trump Jr.
âPOLITICO reporter apologizes for calling CNN haters at Trump rally âgarbage peopleâ with bad teethâ via Kristine Phillips of The Washington Post â Tweets fromÂ Marc CaputoÂ fueled criticism from conservatives, who said his mockery of the presidentâs supporters validates their hatred of the media. The following day, Caputo deleted his tweets and apologized, saying he should not have stirred further anger and division in an already deeply polarized political landscape. âHate begets hate,â Caputo tweeted, clarifying that he was not mocking a broad swath of Trump supporters but only those screaming at the media at the Tampa rally. âBut the fault is mine for causing confusion and feeding anger. In the age of social media, where divisiveness serves no decent purpose, these flippant comments on my part only made things worse and contributed to a cycle of rage that I should not have inflamed further. So, Iâm sorry.â
âMarco Rubio signals changes to election meddling billâ via Martin Matishak of POLITICO Florida â The proposed bill, known as the DETER Act and backed byÂ RubioÂ andÂ Chris Van HollenÂ would bar foreign governments from buying ads to influence U.S. elections, and would also give the director of national intelligence the power to deploy ânational security toolsâ such as sanctions if the Kremlin interferes in another American election. However, there is a worry on Capitol Hill about giving the nationâs spy chief, not the president, such power. âThatâs part of the bill that weâll probably have to rework in some way,â Rubio said on âFox News Sunday. âThereâs some concern about it.â
âFacing deportation, US Marineâs wife leaves for Mexicoâ via Mike Schneider of The Associated Press âÂ AlejandraÂ andÂ Temo Juarez, a naturalized citizen who runs a roofing business, quietly raisedÂ PamelaÂ and their 9-year-old daughter,Â Estela, in the central Florida town of Davenport until a 2013 traffic stop exposed her legal status. Temo didnât figure his vote forÂ TrumpÂ would affect them personally. That was before the enforcement of Trumpâs âzero toleranceâ policy toward illegal immigration. Now, the Juarez family will be divided in two: Estela will join her mother in Mexico after she gets settled, while Temo cares for Pamela and pays the bills. Alejandra, 39, petitioned to become a citizen in 2001 but was rejected because she was accused of making a false statement at the border when she sought asylum in 1998, attorney Richard Maney said. He said she was asked about her citizenship and told authorities she had been a student in Memphis, Tennessee for a short time, so border officials apparently thought she was falsely claiming to be an American citizen. âThis is not going to be the last case like this,â Maney said. âThis is potentially the first of many. There are many military spouses in the same situation.â
â OPINIONS â
âJoe Henderson: Andrew Learned knows about the extra mileâ via Florida Politics âÂ Learned,Â running for Floridaâs 15th Congressional District,Â is personable, just 30 years old, confident; he has a compelling personal story, too. He grew up in Valrico and graduated from the University of Tampa, and later interned for a pair of Hillsborough County Commissioners â RepublicanÂ Mark SharpeÂ and DemocratÂ Kevin Beckner. Learned was a Republican as a student majoring in economics and political science, but converted because, he said, âthe Republican Party left me a long time agoâ by its policies on public education, health care, womenâs issues, immigration and tax policies that he says hurts the middle class and makes rich guys richer. He also has the support of several Democratic Party officials, including U.S. Rep.Â Kathy Castor, who has helped him in fundraising. He talks about his army of volunteers, contacting each eligible voter in the primary to tell his story. While we were talking, people were stopping by the outdoor table where we sat to shake his hand and just say hello. Will it be enough? We wonât know that until Aug. 28.
â MOVEMENTS â
Winners of Sunshine State Awards announcedÂ â Among the highest honors, The James Batten Award for Public Service went toÂ Carol Marbin Miller,Â Audra D.S. Burch, andÂ Emily MichotÂ from the Miami Herald for their project âFight Club: Dark Secrets of Florida Juvenile Justice.â Of âFight Club,â the judges said: âThey identified hundreds of individuals whoâd been ousted by adult facilities for sexual misconduct, contraband smuggling, sleeping on the job, lying, unprovoked beatdowns and âmoral violationsâ but were later deemed fit to monitor juvenile delinquents.â POLITICO Florida was a finalist for that award for âSex scandals stings Florida politics.â The Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting went toÂ Mark PuenteÂ from the Tampa Bay Times for the project âThe failures of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board,â a âterrific example of what happens when a good reporter starts digging into a corrupt agency that has never before been subjected to serious scrutiny. Compelling examples of the misuse of power by the executive director led to significant reforms.â In other honors,Â Nate MonroeÂ from The Florida Times-Union won the top prize for Journalist of the Year. The full list isÂ here.
New and renewed lobbying registrations:
Matt Bryan,Â David Daniel,Â Thomas Griffin,Â Jeff Hartley,Â Lisa Hurley,Â Jim Naff, Smith Bryan & Myers: Ameresco
Mike Haridopolos: Brevard Family Partnership
Jon Johnson,Â Darrick McGhee, Johnson & Blanton: United Bridge Partners
Jonathan Kilman,Â Paul Lowell, Converge Government Affairs of Florida: Behavior Analysis Support Services
Monica Rodriguez,Â Katherine San Pedro, Ballard Partners: Epilepsy Florida
Lane Stephens, SCG Governmental Affairs: PanCare of Florida
â ALOE â
âDaytona Beach vet, 94, honored with medals 74 years laterâ via T. S. Jarmusz of the Daytona Beach News-Journal âÂ Richard âDickâ CharlesÂ sat in clothes resembling his old uniform as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Universityâs Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps honored him for his service as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II. âHell, I thought I was long gone and forgotten,â Charles said, adding that he was moved that âpeople cared enough to go through all this trouble just to honor me.â The event almost never happened, if not for sonÂ Bill Charlesâ quest to learn more about his father. In searching his fatherâs war records, Bill Charles uncovered a secret: His father was never presented with the four medals he earned for serving in World War II. âIâd sure love to get this to him before he should pass on,â Bill Charles said he thought at the time.
Capt. Pat Everly, U.S. Navy commanding officer for the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University formally presented four medals to Capt. John Richard Charles, 94, of Daytona Beach. (Image via Embry-Riddle/Daryl Labello)
Purple Heart Day to be heldÂ â Purple Heart recipients and their family members can participate in an Operation Outdoor Freedom event at Camp Prairie in Polk County. Operation Outdoor Freedom, which has been sponsored by Ag. Commissioner Putnam, provides wounded veterans with such things as guided hunts, fishing trips and canoe tours. It starts Tuesday at 8 a.m., Camp Prairie, Lake Wales.
Unclaimed property auction setÂ â CFOÂ JimmyÂ PatronisÂ announced that this yearâsÂ auctionÂ is Saturday, Aug. 18 in Tampa. The auction is open to the public. âMore than $321 million in unclaimed property has been returned to Floridians since I took office, breaking the previously held record set in the programâs 57-year history by more than $8 million,â Patronis said in a news release. âItâs been my goal to do everything possible to return unclaimed dollars and property back to Florida residents and businesses.â Proceeds from the auction are deposited into the stateâs education fund where they support Floridaâs public school system. VisitÂ FLTreasureHunt.govÂ to see if you or someone you know has unclaimed property.
HappyÂ birthdayÂ from this weekend to former Rep.Â Ed Hooper, HCAâsÂ Ryan Anderson,Â Heather Barker, and Sachs Media GroupâsÂ Herbie Thiele. Celebrating today are Rep.Â Tom Leek,Â Arlene DiBenigno, and Southern Strategy GroupâsÂ Mercer Fearington.