Sunburn The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics 2.20.20 – Florida Politics

§ February 20th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Sunburn The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics 2.20.20 – Florida Politics

Six Democratic presidential hopefuls met on the debate stage in Las Vegas, but it was the newcomer, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who received the most attention, and none of it positive. Here are some key takeaways from the debate.

The $60 billion punching bag

Bloomberg was the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt. And that was just in the first five minutes of the debate.

With all candidates flashing heat, a measure of the urgency they feel to survive in what is becoming an increasingly bitter nomination fight, the attacks focused on Bloomberg were a clear measure of his perceived strength. He has spent more than $400 million so far on advertising that in turn has given him strong standing in state and national polls.

Sen. Bernie Sanders recalled Bloombergs support of stop-and-frisk policing targeting minorities. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recalled how Bloomberg had mocked women for being horse-faced and fat and compared him to Trump. Sen. Amy Klobuchar quipped that I dont think you look at Donald Trump and say I think we need someone richer in the White House. Former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg condoned racist police practices, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Bloomberg was trying to buy out the Democratic Party.

But his biggest struggle came when Warren hammered him over allegations of sexism and mistreatment of women in his company.

Bloomberg attempted to defend his record and deflect the attacks on him by turning them into attacks on President Donald Trump. And he effectively raised questions about whether Americans would embrace a socialist like Sanders.

But the glare was harsh, and the attacks landed with force.

Even if you are worth $60 billion it is hard to win a 5-on-1 fight.

Not the era of good feelings

For eight debates, the Democrats largely tiptoed around disagreements except for desultory disputes about health care policies. But on Wednesday night, everyone came with sharp elbows.

It was almost impossible to keep track of the fights. Buttigieg and Klobuchar tussled over experience and the Minnesota senator forgetting the name of Mexicos president. Buttigieg and Sanders argued about the Vermont senators big-ticket plans and refusal to release his full medical records. Warren clashed with Buttigieg and Klobuchar over their health care plans. And everyone piled onto Bloomberg.

The former New York mayor was the only candidate who didnt really go on the attack, other than the occasional swipe at the self-declared socialist Sanders.

In the end, that dynamic may again benefit Sanders, who leads in the polls and is watching his rivals spend most of their energy tearing each other down rather than targeting him.

Return of Warren the fighter

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling.

On Wednesday, she decided to get back into the fight.

She slammed Bloomberg that was no surprise as shes been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years. But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a Post-it note. She accused Buttigieg of being in debt to his rich campaign supporters and having a health care plan that was just a PowerPoint designed by his consultants. She slammed fellow liberal Sanders, accusing him of letting his supporters trash anyone with a plan.

But it was her prosecutorial approach to Bloomberg over his companys treatment of women that stood out.

Whatever happens on Saturday, and beyond, Warren regained her fighting voice.

The generational divide

Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders, a man 40 years his elder.

He warned that Democrats could wake up after more than a dozen states vote on Super Tuesday on March 3 and have only Bloomberg and Sanders left on the ballot. He then quipped that the party may want to nominate someone who is actually a Democrat.

The crowd inside the Las Vegas casino hadnt yet finished chuckling and hooting when he continued by saying Sanders wants to burn this party down and Bloomberg wants to buy this party out.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont and avowed democratic socialist, responded by saying that Buttigiegs campaign has been too reliant on billionaire big donors, touching off another intense exchange.

Their back and forth continued through criticism of Sanders supporters who have frequently been accused of bullying behavior online. Sanders said he personally had denounced such behavior. This prompted Buttigieg to say he believed the senator but, What it is it about your campaign in particular that seems to be motivating this type of behavior?

On this night, Buttigieg had the most at stake, with Sanders standing in Nevada polls well ahead of the man who has run even with him in the first two contests.

But Sanders did nothing likely to undermine his standing as the leading candidate so far.

Does Klobentum continue?

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice.

The Minnesota senator often got drowned out in the high-octane bickering Wednesday, or pulled down into the mud. At one point she pulled from her supply of ready quips, saying of Sanders and Bloomberg as they argued over capitalism that there is a boxing rematch in Vegas on Saturday and these guys should go down there.

The most damaging exchange was between Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who have tangled before. Asked about her embarrassing gaffe in forgetting the name of Mexicos president, she had to fend off Buttigieg, who claimed it disproved her argument that Washington has prepared her to be president. She also alternately scrapped with and aligned with Warren.

Are you calling me dumb? Klobuchar asked Buttigieg incredulously. Later, she added, I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.

A little over a week ago in New Hampshire, Klobuchar clearly stood out. This time was much harder as everyone battled for survival.

Did Biden revise his campaign?

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden.

For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges.

When Warren said that Biden was in the pocket of Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, Biden fought back. He also tried to return to his Middle Class Joe biography about his familys financial struggles.

He did not offer voters any new rationale for voting for him.

Bloomberg bombs in debate debut via POLITICO He rolled his eyes when Elizabeth Warren pressed him to release women at his company from non-disclosure agreements related to alleged mistreatment. He suggested he cant simply use TurboTax, like many Americans, to crunch his billions in order to speed up the release of his tax returns. He pouted when moderators didnt return to him on health care, muttering, What am I, chicken liver? Bloomberg spent the past 10 weeks flooding the airwaves with ads, racking up endorsements and climbing into contention ahead of his Super Tuesday debut. And in two hours Wednesday night, he risked losing those swift gains as he stumbled through his first nationally televised primary debate.He was rusty. He was testy. He was out of touch. And, for a candidate often shielded by the scripted one-liners of killer campaign advisers, he was on his own unable to hide his peevish demeanor and unable to portray himself, as his campaign has tried to do, as the clear choice to stop Bernie Sanders and beat Trump.

Loathing in Las Vegas: Amy and Petes resentment boils over viaElena Schneider of POLITICO Klobuchar made sure there would be no post-debate handshake with Pete Buttigieg. After a series of cutting exchanges during Wednesdays presidential debate, Klobuchar cut around Buttigieg without a glance in his direction as they stepped away from their neighboring podiums following Wednesdays Democratic showdown.

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are both hawking middle-of-the-road, tell-it-like-it-is personas.

The hostility building between the two Midwestern Democratsburst dramatically into the open in Nevada, as they clashed repeatedly on the debate stage and tried to slash the momentum out of each others campaigns. Klobuchar and Buttigieg have fought before over their experience and their political records in past debates but the feud took a deeply personal turn.

He Said, She Said colors in the presidential primary On the new episode of He Said, She Said, Michelle and I start with a couple of recaps: our current bets on PredictIt and our Valentines Day activities.

Moving on to politics, pollster Steve Vancore gives his predictions for Floridas Democratic presidential primary and talks about President Donald Trump at the Daytona 500. Then Vancore also breaks down our increasingly siloed lives. If he had to place a PredictIt bet, Vancore says Bernie Sanders is a buy and explains why Joe Biden would stay in the race through South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Michelle and I debate the Democratic field and examine the flaws of a Sanders nomination.

Adam Goodman joins the pod to give a deep dive into the various paths the Democratic primary could take, drawing parallels from the current presidential race to the 2018 gubernatorial race between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum. Goodman explains why he would want to see Bernie Sanders go head-to-head with Trump. I disagree.

We also talk about what a Bloomberg nomination could mean for the Democrats. Goodman says it will feed into Trumps class warfare narrative.

To subscribe and listen, visit Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.


The House will be voting today to require parental consent for abortions and to strip the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence of their exclusive contract with the state.

Also, on todays Sunrise:

A federal appeals court in Atlanta rules against the state in a challenge over voting rights for former felons. The Governors office says theyll appeal.

President of New College, Donal OShea, comes to The Capitol at an existential moment. Hes trying to stop a bill that calls for his University to become a branch campus of Florida State University.

Crime survivors gather at The Capitol, calling for major changes in the criminal justice system. They want more rehabilitation and less incarceration to break the cycle of violence.

Vancore gives his take on Floridas presidential preference primary and the scandal at the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The continuing adventures of Florida Man who has a severe drug problem.

To listen, click on the image below:


@NateSilver538: Average projected delegates through Super Tuesday: Sanders 608 (41% of delegates thru March 3) [Mike] Bloomberg 273 (18%) Biden 270 (18%) [Pete] Buttigieg 157 (10%) [Elizabeth] Warren 127 (8%) [Amy] Klobuchar 55 (4%).

@FlaFarmBureau: We hope @chucktodd asks @MikeBloomberg to describe how we should be hedging the corn futures market while calibrating a variable rate fertilizer spreader and planting crops on laser leveled fields with a GPS controlled auto-steer tractor. Well take notes.

@maxwelltani: After 2016, people said media needs to do a better job going to real America to cover the issues Americans actually care about. So its interesting to see media spend so much time discussing Bernie supporters online behavior, an issue primarily affecting media and political pros

@MattGaetz: Fifty years ago, a gay man or woman couldnt work in the intelligence community. Today President Trump is appointing an openly gay man to serve as Acting Director of National Intelligence. Congratulations, Ambassador

@TomLeeFL: E-Verify is either mandatory for all or its not mandatory.

@fineout: A Senate panel today spent less than 5 minutes to take up and vote out on a party-line vote a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder for future amendments to make ballot. This was the first time this proposed resolution had even been heard in Senate

@CarlosGSmith: No acknowledgment that his actions were homophobic or hurtful. No direct apology to the LGBTQ community or to his constituents. @ALJacquet clearly does not understand the gravity of his words or the harm they cause LGBTQ Floridians. Its sad, really.

@Daniel_Sweeney: Ah, its that time of the legislative session in Tallahassee when multiple bills on a subject havent quite gotten over the hill, so a new bill suddenly emerges and lawmakers all say, well, weve debated many of the parts of this bill, so its had a full hearing.

@ScottFist: Ive seen a lot of really, really good, really admirable, political journalists who, once they retire from journalism, explode with releasing their political opinions. Its kinda like holding in a fart for 40 years. And it just doesnt smell good.

Tweet, tweet:

@KarlEtters: Another week. Another body found in a car at a Tallahassee Walmart.

@DanTallahassee: UF alumni association is sending me emails. How did this happen? Perhaps its because the brazen admissions folks at UF still cant get over how I chose FSU the true Harvard of the South over UF because of its proximity to the Capitol and less pretentious student body

Tweet, tweet:


Nevada caucuses 2; Better Call Saul Season 5 premiers 3; Suits for Session 5; 10th Democratic presidential debate in Charleston 5; The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom covering technology, launches 5; South Carolina Primaries 9; Super Tuesday 12; Last day of 2020 Session (maybe) 22; Floridas presidential primary 26; No Time to Die premiers 46; Florida TaxWatch Spring Board Meeting begins 55; TaxWatch Principal Leadership Awards 56; Florida Chamber Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity 85; Top Gun: Maverick premiers 127; Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee begins 144; Christopher Nolans Tenet premiers 148; 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo start 155; Florida primaries for 2020 state legislative/congressional races 180; Republican National Convention begins in Charlotte 186; First Presidential Debate in Indiana 222; First Vice Presidential debate at the University of Utah 230; Second Presidential Debate scheduled at the University of Michigan 238; Third presidential debate at Belmont 245; 2020 General Election 257.


Mike Pompeos Florida tour included undisclosed stop at The Villages, and the State Department wont say why via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times Secretary of State Pompeo managed to squeeze in an appearance in Bushnell last month. If Pompeo had a reason for stopping in this city of 3,100 on Jan. 23, he didnt reveal it during his brief remarks at the Sumter County Fairgrounds. After 30 minutes there, his motorcade pulled out of the parking lot and sped away. But, it turns out, he wasnt ready to leave Florida quite yet. From the fairgrounds, Pompeo took an unannounced side trip to The Villages. Although its still not clear why Pompeo ventured to The Villages, the trail of paperwork traced Pompeos movements that day to the doorstep of one of the wealthiest Republican donors in Central Florida: the Morse family.

Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled stop in a major GOP donor during his visit to The Villages.


Court: Florida cant bar felons from vote over fines, fees via Bobby Caina Calvan and Curt Anderson of The Associated Press A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Tallahassee federal judges preliminary injunction that a state law implementing Amendment 4 amounted to an unfair poll tax that would disenfranchise many of the released felons. In its ruling, the circuit court said the financial requirement punishes those who cannot pay more harshly than those who can and does so by continuing to deny them access to the ballot box. The court added that previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings required it to apply heightened scrutiny in asking whether the requirement violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to these plaintiffs.

Ron DeSantis bolsters deregulation office Gov. DeSantis penned an executive order in November directing that increased the power of the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform, Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reports. The order called for the Office of Policy and Budget to designate a liaison to OFARR for each area of the budget. DeSantis spokesperson Helen Aguirre Ferr said this week that the memo was to ensure that there was designated personnel in each policy area to get a more thorough organizational review of state regulations.

DeSantis announces $4.8 million grant for ST engineering expansion, project now fully funded via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal The expansion project, which calls for building three more hangars and office space for ST Engineering, is expected to bring more than 1,300 jobs to the airport. ST Engineering opened its first maintenance, repair and overhaul, or MRO, hangar at the Pensacola Airport in June 2018. That hangar is expected to employ 400 people when operating at full capacity, putting the number of jobs at the entire facility at more than 1,700 people. At last count in January, ST Engineer had 163 employees at the airport. DeSantis said the ST Engineering expansion would have an impact on the economy of the entire region and would not have happened without many people coming together to support it.

Ron DeSantis announces a major job growth grant for Pensacola Airport.

DeSantis unveils housing loan program for military, veterans DeSantis announced the Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program (SOS) for veterans and active-duty military personnel throughout the state. The announcement followed a roundtable to discuss ongoing issues and initiatives that involve Floridas military and veteran population. Joining the Governor were Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Danny Burgess and Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) Executive Director Trey Price. Florida Housing will set aside funds to assist over 1,000 veterans and active-duty military members by making the homebuying process easier and more affordable, DeSantis said. More veterans calling Florida home is a great thing for all involved.

Ron DeSantis also unveils a housing loan program to benefit Florida service members and veterans.

Jos Oliva earns praise for Nurse Practitioner of the Day pick House Speaker Olivaselected Donna Bixler for Nurse Practitioner of the Day. Bixler is a family nurse practitioner affiliated with the Internal Medicine division at Southern Medical Group in Tallahassee, where she has practiced since 1998. Oliva earned praise from Floridians Unite for Health Care, both for his continued recognition of APRNs and his support of a bill (HB 607) that would grant independent practice rights to APRNs and physician assistants. The bill has cleared two committees and is awaiting a hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee, its final stop before the chamber floor.

Congratulations to Donna Bixler, named Nurse Practitioner of the Day.

County RECs back strong E-Verify bill The Republican Party of Florida already passed a resolution in favor of E-Verify requirements for all businesses. Additionally, 16 county Republican Executive Committees have passed measures of their own. Those include Bradford; Duval; Hamilton; Highlands; Indian River; Lake; Leon; Levy; Manatee; Marion; Okeechobee; Palm Beach; Saint Lucie; Sarasota; Volusia; and Walton counties. Floridas economy continues to grow under Republican leadership, and using E-Verify, we will only expand jobs and opportunities for legal workers in our state, said RPOF Chair Joe Gruters. After all, we live in a nation of laws and illegal immigration undermines those laws, threatens public safety in our state, and undercuts wages for Florida workers. It is only right to require employers to follow the rule of law and to ensure that the workers they are hiring are eligible and, in our country, legally.

Amid pay scandal, Floridas domestic violence nonprofit loses support via Mary Ellen Klas and Samantha Gross of the Tampa Bay Times The Florida House took the first step toward severing the special arrangement the state has with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and advanced a bill to require the agency to face competition. It is only the beginning of the changes ahead for the agency under fire for paying former CEO Tiffany Carr more than $7.5 million over three years as domestic violence victims across the state were denied services. Documents show that Carr was allowed to cash-in more than $5 million of paid time off at the agency that is primarily funded with state and federal taxpayer dollars. The bills are expected to be approved and signed by the Governor before the Session ends.

New College Prez, Sarasota Democrats urge no on university merger plan via Sarah Mueller of Florida Politics Members of the Sarasota County legislative delegation joined New College President OShea in speaking out against the proposal at The Capitol. Republican Sen. Gruters set up the press conference. But Republican members of the delegation were a no-show. I did have some conversations, but at the end of the day, it really was just a mix-up in time, and since everybody was already scheduled, I couldnt make it, and so we just allowed it to continue on, he said. Once that message got back, thats why there was confusion, but it was inadvertent. All the delegation, except for Senate President Bill Galvano, have written a local op-ed article opposing the bill.

Manufactured home bill gets owner, industry backing via Florida Politics A joint announcement from the Federation of Manufactured Homeowners of Florida (FMO) and the Florida Manufactured Housing Association comes after the bills HB 1339 by Rep. Clay Yarborough and SB 998 by Sen. Travis Hutson were altered to add protections for tenants privacy, clarify HOA governance requirements and increase the amount of housing available. Updating to the 40-year-old manufactured home statutes has been a longtime priority for both parties, though they havent always seen eye-to-eye on what those updates should include. Thats led to dead bills in Sessions past.

Pro athlete, other crime victims come to Capitol for annual survivors speak rally via Tori Lynn Schneider of the Tallahassee Democrat Stedman Bailey, a Miramar native, was drafted into the NFL by the St. Louis Rams in 2013. His career was cut short just two years later. I was in the car with my cousin, his 10-year-old son, and 6-year-old daughter and my best friend when our car was shot at over 30 times, Bailey said Wednesday. Two bullets struck me in my head, and my cousin was also shot. Bailey and hundreds of other crime survivors visited the Florida Capitol for the third annual Survivors Speak rally, organized by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ). Aswad Thomas, its managing director, announced his groups two biggest priorities: Housing and job protections for survivors of crime and criminal justice reform.


House moves forward with tax cut package, would allow tourism tax dollars for water projects via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida The Ways & Means Committee approved the package (PCB WMC 20-01), which features sales-tax breaks before hurricane season and the new school year, while trimming taxes on commercial leases and cellphones and other communications services. It also calls for increasing a refund on aviation-fuel taxes, eliminating an unused pool of money for professional sports stadiums, expanding a tax-distribution requirement about charter schools, and adding water infrastructure projects to the list of allowed uses for local tourist- development dollars. The proposal is expected to see some changes before the House negotiates with the Senate on a final package.

Tourism industry slams House tax-cut package The tourism industry is vehemently opposed to a provision in the House tax-cut package that would allow local governments to use tourism tax money on local water projects, Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reports. After the plan was unveiled, members of the tourism lobby spoke out against the plan, arguing the tax collections are solely for tourism marketing ventures. Republican Rep. Brian Avila, who chairs the committee behind the bill, said clean water would help attract tourism. In the long run, I am 100 percent confident that our vision for the tourist development tax will ultimately have a positive impact on the tourism industry, he said.

House offers tax break to utilities for solar energy via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald Quietly tucked into the Houses package of tax breaks is a measure that will let Florida Power & Light and other utilities save millions by delaying the date on which it starts paying taxes on dozens of solar energy plants under construction across the state. The issue didnt come up during the tax workshop, but House Speaker Oliva asked for the budget impact of the proposal to be assessed by state economists in December. The provision was added to the bill, and the House Ways and Means Committee approved the language.

Senate President comes out in support of university merger proposal via Florida Politics The merger is one opportunity that could exist that needs to be discussed, he said.Galvano said he met with New College President Donal OShea who was in Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers against voting for the bill. The Senate President says OShea admitted to struggling to boost enrollment.I shared exactly what I thought were some concerns, he said. And he said Look, its been hard for us. Weve had the performance funding and we werent meeting the metrics. Our population was not hitting on some of these points that other universities do. So that put them behind fiscally. Also enrollment has been a challenge for them.

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Sunburn The morning read of what's hot in Florida politics 2.20.20 - Florida Politics

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