Home FloridaPolitics.com "Sunburn" Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics —...

Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 2.15.22

Give an inch: Bryan Ávila says the House has already been generous toward the nursing home industry.

By Peter Schorsch    

Good Tuesday morning.

Let’s begin the day with some major news in the public affairs industry.

Sachs Media will today announce its plan for succession of ownership and operation of the firm to five senior partners in a multi-year process that is underway now.

Change in the air: Sachs Media — passing the torch to a new generation.

Founder and CEO Ron Sachs and President and Senior Partner Michelle Ubben will entrust five younger partners — Lisa GarciaHerbie ThieleRyan CohnDrew Piers, and Karen Cyphers — with the company’s next era of ownership and operation. Each has been with the firm for nearly 10 years or longer.

The leadership duo invested in these talented individuals as they grew the business with a diverse staff of professionals who consider the rhino their mascot for its strength and ability to break through — giving rise to the tagline that Sachs Media is “The Breakthrough Agency (™).”

Over the years, Sachs and Ubben were repeatedly courted with merger and acquisition interest from larger national companies but always resisted those efforts in the interest of remaining independent.

In 2017, with a focus on the future of the company, Sachs and Ubben named the five veteran executives as partners. They set in motion a seamless way to smartly advance those talented five friends into a next generation of leadership for the company.

“Unlike the popular television series ‘Succession,’ this one has no cutthroat aspect to it,” said Sachs. “Instead, this is a natural process that involves love, trust, respect, and appreciation for these five wonderful friends’ many contributions to our success and growth. I’m healthy, and I’m not retiring — but these great people have earned the right to run this company.”

Added Ubben: “We have always been a family at work — seeking excellence in all that we do for every client and doing it with people we truly and deeply care about. This is the best and most natural direction for our future — a transition to our work family.”

Sachs and Ubben have chosen a path forward that ensures Sachs Media will continue to be a relevant giant in its work for public, private, and nonprofit sector clients. The pair will continue to serve as CEO and President respectively — and next year, Sachs will become chair of the firm and Ubben its CEO as the other partners ascend into collaboratively directing the business.

Read the full story about the Sachs Media succession plan here.


One of the top firms on Capitol Hill is heading to the City of Seven Hills.

Ballard Partners announced Tuesday that it would set up shop in Istanbul, Turkey and that former Amb. Matt Bryza — the firm’s most recent hire — had been tapped to lead the office. Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, who leads Ballard Partners’ D.C. office, will serve as Special Adviser to the firm’s contingent in Turkey.

Matt Bryza will be the Team Ballard point man in Istanbul.

“Ambassador Bryza has had a distinguished and lengthy diplomatic career in Turkey and throughout the region and is uniquely qualified to open our office in Turkey,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s president and founder. “Robert’s experience as one of Congress’ top experts on Turkish domestic and foreign affairs makes him the perfect partner with Ambassador Bryza in Istanbul.”

The firm said establishing a presence in Turkey will help it connect its extensive U.S. clientele with Turkish companies to foster new business partnerships.

Bryza has more than two decades of experience in diplomacy. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan from February 2011 to January 2012. From 2005 to 2009, he served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia and Director on the National Security Council Staff at the White House, responsible for the South Caucasus, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and Eurasian energy.

Ballard Partners’ office in Turkey will be its second international location. In 2020, the Florida-based governmental affairs firm opened an office in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is also the lead lobbying and public relations firm for several national governments, most recently taking on a contract to handle communications and lobbying for Guatemala.


Another poll shows U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist far in front of the competition in the Democratic Primary for Governor.

Fresh polling gives Charlie Crist a decent lead.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategic Consulting asked 400 likely Democratic Primary voters who they were backing in the three-way race and found Crist with 44% support. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, whose campaign is undergoing a “restructuring,” was 17 points behind at 27%.

The third major candidate, Sen. Annette Taddeo, was the pick for just 3% of those polled. More than a quarter of primary voters said they were undecided six months out from the election.

Mason-Dixon also previewed the General Election, asking 625 voters across who’d they’d pick in a potential head-to-head against Gov. Ron DeSantis.

No matter his opponent, DeSantis is in a strong position. He holds an 8-point lead over Crist at 51%-43%, an 11% lead over Fried at 53%-42%, and a 16-point lead over Taddeo at 53%-37%.

When it comes to name recognition, DeSantis was by far the best-known candidate in the field, with 86% of those polled saying they had heard the Governor’s name. Crist was recognized by two-thirds of those surveyed, followed by Fried at 34% and Taddeo at 11%.

Still, recognition does not equal favorability. Of those who knew the incumbent, 37% said they weren’t fans, leaving him with a plus-12 favorability rating. Fried and Taddeo were also positive, earning a plus-6 and a plus 3, respectively. Crist, meanwhile, was underwater by 3 points.

The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted Feb. 7-10. The General Election results have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. The Democratic Primary results have a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.




@POTUS: The ads during last night’s Super Bowl were clear: The future of the auto industry is electric. My Administration is making historic investments in electric vehicles and is building a nationwide network of EV chargers — creating good-paying, union jobs.

@Freedlander: Seems like the two big A1 stories today — that (DonaldTrump is basically selling anything he can for cash, and that he secretly tried to take sensitive government documents with him to his hotel — may converge at some point

@IgorbobicRick Scott blocks quick passage of postal reform bill, which passed in the House via broad bipartisan vote. (ChuckSchumer is pissed, calling it “regrettable and sad”

Tweet, tweet:


@ArekSarkissian: In the realm of “bringing it in for a landing,” sounds like we’re getting there. @BryanAvilaFL, as health budget chair, also brought up the $$$ for nursing homes in the proposed House budget.

@KirbyWTweets: dressing up for Halloween as a friendly amendment



@ChrisLatvalaJoel Greenberg paid $7,500 to Anthony Sabatini while Seminole tax collector

@TaraLapinski: I strongly disagree with this decision. At the end of the day, there was a positive test and there is no question in my mind that she should not be allowed to compete. Regardless of age or timing of the test/results. I believe this will leave a permanent scar on our sport.

@BenjySarlin: The actual Sopranos ad should have been them all complaining how sports gambling is legal now and they’re broke

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comFeb. 15, 2022

Republished with permission