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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 8.16.22

Good Tuesday morning.

One more week until Florida’s Primary Elections.


Go grab a few grains of salt.

A new poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab claims Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has erased a nearly double-digit deficit in the Democratic Primary for Governor and now holds a 4-point lead over U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, 47%-43%.

Further, the same poll shows Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings would defeat Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio 48%-44% in November.

Both results fall outside the poll’s 3.4% margin of error.

Does that mean the leads are real? Absolutely not.

Grab your saltshakers.

One need only look to 2018 for evidence of UNF’s reliability. In the Governor’s race four years ago, the pollster had Andrew Gillum up by a touchdown in its final poll before Election Day, and though it correctly predicted the outcomes of the Attorney General race the poll was several points off from the result.

UNF’s most accurate poll that year was for U.S. Senate, where it found former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson up a point over now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.

In each case, UNF’s poll had a large share of undecided voters, most of whom went for the candidate UNF pegged as the underdog. That could very well happen again in the Governor race, where even Fried’s own polling doesn’t show her with a lead.

Sure, Fried’s internal polls show her catching up, but the campaign only last week was celebrating being down 7% to Crist.


Ballard Partners and The Southern Group were once again in a dead heat in Q2, with Ballard holding on to the No. 1 spot by a hair.

Between April 1 and June 30, the firm founded by Brian Ballard collected $3.65 million lobbying the Legislature and an additional $2.58 million lobbying the Governor, Cabinet and state agencies for a grand total of $6.23 million.

Ballard Partners has now held the top spot for two consecutive quarters after spending 2021 in second place behind The Southern Group.

The Southern Group, led by founder and Chair Paul Bradshaw, only narrowly missed the top spot — just $67,000 separated its grand total from Ballard Partners.

The firm’s reports show $3.79 million in earnings lobbying the Legislature, which was the highest total in the legislative branch in Q2. Executive earnings came in at $2.37 million for an overall total of $6.16 million for the reporting period.

Capital City Consulting held steady at No. 3 in the second quarter, reporting $4.75 million in lobbying pay.

The 12-member team led by Ron LaFace and INFLUENCE Magazine’s 2021 “Lobbyist of the Year,” Nick Iarossi, represented more than 200 clients last quarter and reported earnings of $2.59 million in the legislative branch and $2.16 million in the executive branch.

GrayRobinson climbed to the No. 4 spot in the first quarter and Q2 numbers show that it managed to hang on to the ranking with $2.65 million in earnings.

The team led by Dean Cannon solidified its position in the Top 5 last year and has since reported earnings in the ballpark of $2.7 million. It held steady at that level in Q2.

Ron Book and lobbying partners Rana Brown and Kelly Mallette rounded out the Top 5 with an estimated $2.45 million in pay. Though the trio slipped from the perennial No. 4 in the rankings, they remain the top-earning firm if team size is factored in.


Nationally respected educator and K-12 government relations consultant Thomas Cerra is joining Ballard Partners.

As the former deputy superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Cerra has built a national profile as a K-12 educator with a career that spans teaching, school-site administration as well as serving as a chief lobbyist, chief negotiator, and labor relations for the school district, which is one of the nation’s largest.

His experience also includes city, county, state, and federal government relations, as well as strategic planning and policy development.

For the past 26 years, he has been president of the educational consulting firm Florida School Services, Inc. His clients have included school districts, benefits providers, school design and construction and publishing and technology companies as well as an educational foundation. He has also served as a legislative lobbyist for M-DCPS for the past 26 years.

“Creating this strategic partnership with a nationally respected educator and consultant like Tom gives our clients direct access to his decades of experience in K-12 education as well as his broad national reach, especially in Florida and California,” said Ballard, the founder and president of Ballard Partners. “Our firms have jointly represented a number of school districts in recent years, and we are delighted to establish this more formal K-12 partnership with Tom.”


Good news about a great person — Ivette O’Doski is launching a campaign for Coral Gables City Commission.

After more than 20 years of working with and for Miami-Dade County on economic development, legislative affairs, and other matters, O’Doski, a decades-long resident of Coral Gables, confirmed her candidacy Tuesday for a soon-to-be-vacated seat on the City Commission.

She’s the first to file for the race, which culminates in Coral Gables’ biennial General Election on April 11.

Happy (campaign) trails: Ivette O’Doski throws her hat into the ring.

“I wanted to let it be known early that I want the seat,” she said. “I see this as a wonderful opportunity for public service and to have a meaningful impact on Coral Gables not just now but for its future.”

A lawyer by training with ample experience in both the public and private sectors, O’Doski is running for the seat now held by Jorge Fors Jr., who is seeking a seat on the Miami-Dade Commission seat.

If elected, she plans on backing smart development standards that preserve Coral Gables’ character and architectural aesthetics while enabling it to grow.

To support that growth, she said she’ll make sure the city’s police and fire departments have the resources necessary to support that growth while preserving green spaces, parks and pedestrian areas.

Governmental transparency is also important, she said.

A former vice president of governmental, community and corporate affairs with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, O’Doski has run a consulting firm out of Coral Gables for the last seven or so years.


Here are some other nuggets:

🌎 — Americans are less worried about climate change now than they were three years ago, according to an AP-NORC poll. The survey found that just 35% of U.S. adults are “extremely” or “very” concerned about climate change, while only half say their actions have an impact on climate change.

🔎 — A focus group of Florida voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 says they wouldn’t back Gov. Ron DeSantis for President. While 12 voters may not represent the full range of views in the broader electorate, a focus group does provide some insight into what voters are thinking. The prevailing opinion: DeSantis is too extreme.

🤕 — Migrants held in a Backer County facility have filed a federal complaint alleging they faced racism and brutal physical abuse at the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. One detainee said the beatings caused him to lose part of his hearing.

🎰 — If you’ve hit the jackpot on PredictIt, it might be a good time to cash out regulators are about to shut it down. But should they? Slate’s Bernard Stanford argues it should get a reprieve and explores the benefits of betting on — er, buying shares of — political outcomes.


@RSchooley: It’s a good state of affairs when an ex-President claims his passports were taken and everyone’s response is, “let’s hold on we’re not sure whether to believe him.”

@KariLake: Uh-oh! Twitter is on fire because I said President Trump & Gov @RonDeSantisFL both have “BDE” I stand by what I said.

Tweet, tweet:

@ChristinaPushaw: Things you hate to see: The Daily Beast wrote an article about how great South Walton is. It is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, a gem of Florida. But I don’t want brainwashed blue-haired Daily Beast content consumers to swarm it & destroy the vibes.

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

@GSMitter: One of our @jaxdotcom colleagues who was laid off made two pans of fudge and left them in the employee refrigerator on the day she came back to get her personal stuff — one with nuts and one without. Those are the quality of people @Gannett disposed of last week.

Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.

The post Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 8.16.22 appeared first on Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government..

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comAug 16, 2022

Republished with permission 

This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.


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