State Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) “has hired GOP strategist Tony Fabrizio for polling and the type of strategic advice he employed in 2010 when he helped mastermind Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) surprising win against the Republican establishment. … Fabrizio is being paid through Corcoran’s new Watchdog PAC — an indication that the House speaker we’ll run for the state’s highest office in 2018.”
Fabrizio has previously worked on presidential campaigns President Trump, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), and Pat Buchanan; for former Sens. Connie Mack (R-FL), Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY), and Bob Bennett (R-UT); “for former Govs. Bob Riley (R) of Alabama, Tim Pawlenty (R) of Minnesota and Mike Foster (R) of Louisiana,” and for Rep. Ron DeSantis’s (R) 2016 Senate bid.
“Though Florida House speakers aren’t well-known, Corcoran might be polling better than other predecessors of his because of his well-publicized squabbles with Scott.”
“In polls, Putnam has slightly higher name ID than Corcoran, Fabrizio said. But about 60 percent of likely Republican voters have no preference in the race for governor.”
Fabrizio in an interview also slammed DeSantis and state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as a “conservative talker” and “Bill McCollum without the conservative credentials,” respectively. (Politico)
DEMO-DRATS! Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s (D) campaign announced Friday “the departure of campaign manager Phillip Thompson.” (Tallahassee Democrat)
“Gillum is trying to recruit” Josh Romero to run his campaign.
“Candidates, committees and parties face a deadline today for filing reports on campaign finance activity through June 30.” (Florida Politics)
“The European Union is talking about banning U.S. orange juice imports if Donald Trump imposes tariffs on steel imports, and” former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) “jumped on the opportunity to tie” state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) to President Trump. (Tampa Bay Times)
State Rep. Clovis Watson Jr. endorsed Graham on Monday (release)
“Democrats are struggling mightily to raise serious money in their first competitive gubernatorial primary in many years. Some of this probably is related to uncertainty about personal injury John Morgan’s potential candidacy (a nice excuse for donors to stay on the sidelines), and some of it due to a sense that the race has yet to really gel. … June is a tough time to raise campaign money in Florida, especially 70 weeks before Election Day. Also, campaign finance reports — the ‘hard dollar’ donations of up to $3,000 for statewide candidates — aren’t yet filed. But the ability to raise soft money is crucial for a campaign that may ultimately cost $100 million, and the Democrats are off to a very tepid start.” (Tampa Bay Times)
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"Special counsel Robert Mueller's interest in Jared Kushner has expanded beyond his contacts with Russia and now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the inquiry. This is the first indication that Mueller is exploring Kushner's discussions with potential non-Russian foreign investors, including in China." At issue specifically is his quest for financing help on the beleaguered 666 Fifth Avenue building.
The indictment, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the interference began "in or around 2014," when the defendants began tracking and studying U.S. social media sites. They "created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts" and "purchased computer servers located inside the United States" to mask their identities, some of which were stolen. The interference was coordinated by election interference "specialists," and focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and other divisive issues. "By early to mid-2016" the groups began supporting the campaign of "then-candidate Donald Trump," including by communicating with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign..."