Good Friday morning. Before we get to the news, and there’s a lot today, let’s check out Tropical Storm Erika as of 5 a.m.
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SLOPPY IS GOOD – Right now, there’s nothing much to fear in South Florida about Tropical Storm Erika, which is a sloppy big rainstorm. Again: that’s right now, as of the 5 a.m. forecast. “The storm is a mess. There is land in between where the storm is now and here. … And there’s wind shear,” said David Nolan, Department of Atmospheric Sciences professor and chair at the University of Miami’s the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Also, the storm’s pressure is too high, at 1006 millibars, to make it seem too dangerous (below 1,000 MB is more threatening). Unless the storm rapidly intensifies and speeds up (unlikely), it’s safe to feel safe for another day in South Florida, where Erika is forecast to make landfall late Sunday early Monday
— “Scott says Florida is ready for Tropical Storm Erika, urges precautions,” by POLITICO’s Joey Francilus: http://politi.co/1IlLO6Y
–NPR Politics @nprpolitics: “I love me some Craig Fugate’ President Obama says of FEMA director.”
–-Craig Pittman @craigtimes: “Attn #Florida Man @CraigatFEMA”
LATIN BUILDERS V. TRUMP — “Latin Builders consider moving gala from Trump resort,” by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo: The Latin Builders Association, the nation’s largest construction nonprofit of its kind, is on the verge of becoming the latest Hispanic group to rebuke Donald Trump over his rhetoric on immigration. On Friday, the LBA’s executive board will discuss alternatives to holding its annual gala at Trump National Doral Miami resort, a move that could cause the 650-member association to forfeit its deposit of tens of thousands of dollars. Some members fear a lawsuit by Trump. For weeks, the LBA has been in informal talks with the resort to hold the Nov. 14 gala elsewhere. But the two sides have been at impasse. Now, a growing number of association members are privately saying it’s time to make the break official.
“A number of the members thought his first comment about many illegal immigrants being rapists was completely stupid, and he has only gotten worse and more offensive,” said one Hispanic businessman familiar with the LBA deliberations. http://politi.co/1Emd227
JEB EMAIL INVESTIGATION? — “Group with Democratic ties wants Jeb Bush’s email practices investigated,” by POLITICO’s Christine Sexton: A group with Democratic ties asked State Attorney Willie Meggs’ office on Thursday to fine former governor Jeb Bush for what it calls violations of state public records law and to investigate whether he can be criminally prosecuted for them — but the request may be too late. The American Democracy Legal Fund’s president Brad Woodhouse, a former communications director for the Democratic National Committee, says Bush submitted his emails from his eight years as governor to the state’s archives in batches — the first in November 2007, and others in 2009, 2010, 2011 and most recently 2014. In 2014, Bush delivered 25,000 emails from his private account, [email protected], which he used to conduct official state business, Woodhouse said. http://politi.co/1LExhe7
—Jeb’s in Virginia today, talking military spending. The video: http://bit.ly/1Inw978
PUERTO RICO, MARCO & HILLARY – Sen. Marco Rubio plans to visit Puerto Rico in one week, on Sept. 4, where he’ll have a fundraiser and a public event. His visit to the island coincides with Hillary Clinton’s, providing a perfect contrast for the Spanish-speaking Republican. Two political issues are bound to come up: statehood and whether Rubio supports allowing Puerto Rico to essentially declare bankruptcy under Chapter 9. It’s the subject of a Senate Democratic bill that Rubio opposes. Judging by past statements, Rubio might support some type of bankruptcy relief in return for some financial reforms by Puerto Rico, but specifics are tough to come by. Rubio also says he supports the right of Puerto Ricans to decide if the territory should become a state. He favors a straight-up yes or no question that makes a vote easier to interpret (just way this wasn’t done in 2012 is anyone’s guess).
MIAMI CRUZ – Sen. Ted Cruz is ready to bash Obama’s Iran-nuke deal at the Republican’s first Florida fundraising stop of his presidential campaign Sept. 2 at the Bal Harbour home of the Falic family, top Jewish conservative financiers who at one point accounted for half of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign funds. They’ve also backed Democratic National Committee Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (more here: http://bit.ly/1PBNxdI). Coincidentally, the following day on Sept. 3, Wasserman Schultz has scheduled a constituent meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, who’s pitching the president’s Iran nuclear plan. Activist Eytan Laor (more here http://bit.ly/1JndHgE) is organizing the Cruz event that’s co-chaired by William Hubbell, Ari Kempler, Cherna Moskowitz, and Edith & John Slavic.
–THE CRUZ MONEY PITCH: “As many of you know either personally or from your political involvement, Senator Ted Cruz has an outstanding record of fearlessly and tenaciously fighting every day for our religious freedom, adherence to the Constitution, reducing the size and scope (i.e. regulation) of the Federal Government, maintaining pressure on the Castro regime, and above all interests – for so many of us – for Israel’s survival and against the #IranDeal, which poses a long-term existential threat to the entire free world….Sen. Cruz, as many of you also know, has been quietly (I say “quietly” because of the media focus on Donald Trump) gaining traction among various coalitions of grassroots supporters across the land…”
BIDEN TIME — “Biden to speak at Miami Dade College next week,” by POLITICO’s Jessica Bakeman: “Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks about access to higher education at an event Sept. 2 at Miami Dade College. “The Vice President will discuss the importance of helping more Americans go to college and the critical role that partnerships between community colleges and employers play in helping Americans obtain the skills they need to succeed in the workforce,” a news release said. On Sept. 3, Biden will meet with Jewish community leaders in Miami to discuss the Iran nuclear deal.” http://politi.co/1IS2qUj
— “Biden, Clinton schedule South Florida swings,” by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo: http://politi.co/1JziE55
CRIST ALLY BOB POE FOR CONGRESS? – The race for the soon-to-be-redrawn CD10 seat has an unexpected candidate checking it out: Bob Poe, the former Florida Democratic Party chairman in 2002 and Charlie Crist for Florida treasurer in 2014. Poe, who didn’t return calls (a sign he’s serious) has begun talking to potential donors, consultants and party officials (namely FDP’s Scott Arcenaux). Poe sees the Orlando-area seat as a great opportunity and is “taking a serious and thoughtful approach to serving his home district,” a friend said. Poe grew up in Pine Hills, attended Maynard Evans High School and, in the 1970s, advocated for single-member districts in Orlando to help minorities get elected.
–THE TWIST: Poe is white and the presumed frontrunner for the seat, former Orlando police chief Val Demings is African-American as is likely candidate and current state Sen. Geraldine Thompson. Another potential candidate, former state Sen. Gary Siplin, is also black. If so many black candidates run in what’s likely to be a minority-access seat, it could divide up the minority vote and make it paradoxically easier to deliver a win to the white guy who championed minority-election rights in the area.
CD6’s BIO MAN – Republican native son Brandon Patty is considering a run for CD6 to replace Rep. Ron DeSantis (will his wife consider a run?). Patty’s in talks to hire top GOP consultant Marc Reichelderfer. Patty’s bio shows he has had a busy life even though he’s only 31 years old: asst. to Jeb; Romney 08 field director; SAO Angela Corey campaign manager; Duval County School Board consultant; Rep. Lake Ray consultant; Florida House aide; Rubio 2010 campaign hand; London School of Economics Master’s recipient; U.S. Navy reservist; Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office adviser; Operation Enduring Freedom participant; Ed Gillespie Senate (Virg.) adviser; senior Deloitte consultant.
REDISTRICTING FILES — “Senate files ‘compromise’ congressional map,” by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon: “Senate redistricting committee chairman Bill Galvnao on Thursday released a congressional redistricting map aimed at striking a compromise with the House. The new map comes as it seems increasingly likely that the courts will draw Florida’s 27 congressional districts. The Legislature failed to redraw the maps during a two-week special redistricting session, and a trial court judge is now seeking guidance from the Florida Supreme Court on how to move forward. The House has said it does not think lawmakers will return for another map-drawing session, but the Senate wants to make another attempt. In a memo, Galvano asked Senate President Andy Gardiner of Orlando to seek a meeting with the House.” http://politi.co/1Enh3n6
— “Plaintiffs want redistricting case to remain with Supreme Court,” by POLITICO’s Matt Dixon: “Plaintiffs in a long-running congressional redistricting lawsuit are asking the Florida Supreme Court to reject a House proposal that would add a “needless second” layer to a nearly three-year legal challenge. The plaintiffs, led by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause, want the justices to require that all proposed redraws of the state’s 27 congressional districts be submitted by Sept. 21 and that oral arguments begin in mid-October. In a motion filed last week, the House argued the Florida Supreme Court should relinquish jurisdiction to the trial court for 60 days so maps can be submitted and evidentiary hearings could be held at that level.” http://politi.co/1MY3k99
ABORTION WARS — “Mary Thomas: Graham bill on babies is abortion ‘cover up’,” by POLITICO’s Christine Sexton: “ Mary Thomas, a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, attacked U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham on Thursday for filing the Quality Care for Babies Act, a bill that Graham has said could reduce infant mortality rates and improve care for pregnant women and children. Thomas said the bill is a “cynical political attempt … to cover up her gruesome pro-abortion record.” Thomas called on Graham, a Democrat, to return more than $5,000 in campaign funds from Planned Parenthood. She also took aim at the first-term congresswoman for remaining silent in the wake of the Planned Parenthood videos that purportedly showed executives discussing the sale of fetal parts.” http://politi.co/1MRf8IM
UBER CHOICES – Today Uber announces UberXL, a high-capacity service for as many as six riders, in select Florida cities: Tallahassee, Gainesville, Daytona, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples and Pensacola. More here (change city name in URL): https://newsroom.uber.com/tallahassee/2015/08/uberxl/
MONEY MATTERS — “Jax finance committee mulls CIP, banking fund,” by Florida Politics’ A.G. Gancarski: http://bit.ly/1UdTj6E
ONE. BREATH. WOW — “Ocean scientist breaks freediving record in national competition,” by University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science: “University of Miami Professor Claire Paris broke the USA Women’s National Freediving record in the freediving discipline of Dynamic No Fins with a three minutes and seven seconds swim of 128 meters (420 feet) on a single breath. She was competing with twelve other athletes in the first annual event. … As an ocean scientist at the UM Rosenstiel School Claire Paris spends days observing the movements of tiny fish larvae in a unique underwater drifting laboratory. She has developed scientific instruments to listen to, and observe these important, but often unnoticed, life forms on the reefs and in the open ocean. Another powerful component to her scientific approach is how she interacts with her research subjects underwater. Paris uses her talent as a certified freediver to minimize any human disturbance to her research subjects.” http://bit.ly/1Klzolz
EFFECTIVELY INEFFECTIVE — “Grayson pulls ad attacking Murphy’s effectiveness,” by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo: Less than a day after showcasing a new attack ad against his rival for the U.S. Senate, Rep. Alan Grayson’s campaign removed the School House Rock-themed spot. Grayson’s campaign wouldn’t say if the move was prompted by concerns over a copyright violation because he used the trademarked “I’m Just a Bill” song to mock fellow Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy over his effectiveness in Congress.
“We moved on to a positive video,” Grayson spokesman Kevin Franck said, refusing to elaborate. The spot was a headache from the start. It was misleading because it falsely said Murphy had passed no bills in Congress, even though he had passed the substance of some legislation as amendments. Soon after the ad went live, it was roundly mocked. http://politi.co/1JAsjse
ONCE BITTEN — “Shark attack survivors spread conservation message,” by AP’s Jennifer Kay: “Get back in the water. There’s more to learn from sharks than fear. That’s the message a loose network of shark attack survivors organized six years ago through the Pew Charitable Trusts to advocate for shark conservation efforts. SHARK CONSERVATION: The group has lobbied Congress to close loopholes in the nation’s shark finning ban and advocated for shark conservation at a United Nations convention for migratory species. They also participated in a study that used DNA testing to link shark fin soup served in the U.S. to vulnerable shark species.” http://apne.ws/1KR6NAn
BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE SAGA — “Judge recommends disbarment for lawyers in shock jock trial,” by AP: “A judge has recommended permanent disbarment for three Tampa lawyers accused of orchestrating the DUI arrest of a rival attorney. Senior Pinellas Judge W. Douglas Baird issued his recommendation Thursday. He previously ruled the attorneys’ actions violated Florida Bar rules. The case will go to the Florida Supreme Court for a final decision. Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut represented a radio host named Bubba The Love Sponge Clem in a defamation lawsuit brought by another rival radio host, Todd ‘MJ’ Schnitt.” http://apne.ws/1NKeBcq
— “’Permanent’ disability forces Franklin County judge to retire,” by POLITICO’s Christine Sexton: “Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Lee Fulford is being forced to retire because of a permanent disability, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Florida Supreme Court. The underlying cause of the disability is confidential. Court documents show ‘ancillary matters’ came to the attention of the investigative arm of the Judicial Qualify Commission, prompting it to request that Fulford be evaluated to determine whether she suffers from a physical or mental disability that interferes with her ability to perform her duties.” http://politi.co/1JzipqR
SWIPE RIGHT SEMINOLES — “FSU tops Tinder-generated list,” by POLITICO’s Jessica Bakeman: “The mobile dating app Tinder has determined that Florida State University has the most attractive college women in the country, the Washington Post reports. The app tracked how often women and men from different universities around the country were rated as attractive by other users—in Tinder lingo, ‘most swiped right.’ … Women at FSU, a public university in Tallahassee, were No. 1. University of Miami, a private university, were the second-most attractive, using that methodology. No Florida colleges were included in the top 25 for most attractive men.” http://politi.co/1IS2qUj The infamous Vanity Fair story about Tinder and the “dating apocalypse” it’s unleashed: http://vnty.fr/1INP77g
FLORIDA MAILMAN — “Gyrocopter pilot raises about $10,000 toward his defense,” by AP’s Jessica Gresko: “A man who in April flew a gyrocopter through some of America’s most restricted airspace before landing at the U.S. Capitol has raised about $10,000 to help with his case. Douglas Hughes appeared in federal court in Washington on Thursday as part of his ongoing case. Earlier this week, a judge allowed him to add an attorney to his team to assist a public defender. The lawyer, Mark Goldstone, said Thursday that crowdfunding websites had raised $9,900 toward Hughes’ defense, an amount capped by the judge. Goldstone, an expert in civil disobedience cases like Hughes’, said fundraising has now been shut down. Attorneys said that they hope to know whether there will be a trial or a plea deal in the case at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 8.” http://apne.ws/1MY35uR
THIS HOT –mdr in fl @mdrfl: “Today in ‘now I’ve seen everything’ Baking cookies in a parked car in Miami Srsly!!!” http://bit.ly/1Vgf5Jq