State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s (R) campaigning schedule has been cut short likely because “as a Cabinet member, Putnam needs to focus on his day job while the state deals with the aftershocks of Hurricane Irma ripping through the state.” While Putnam has to skip a meet-and-greet at a Baptist Church, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) and former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-02) campaigned in Tampa over the weekend. (Florida Politics)
BLAME FOR IRMA. Graham told “a big, cheering crowd at a Democratic Party gathering Saturday” that “Florida wasn’t prepared for Hurricane Irma, and much of the blame goes to Republicans who have controlled state government for 20 years. … Graham faulted Gov. Rick Scott (R) and GOP-dominated Legislatures past and present for defeating regulations that could have prevented the deaths of eight patients in a Hollywood nursing home following the storm; for failing to act on climate change; for weakening building codes, and for failing to keep up with infrastructure and transportation needs.”
HOUSING SENIORS. “Democratic candidates for governor are hitting Gov. Rick Scott and others hard in the wake of eight deaths in a South Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning as Hurricane Irma hit the state. … A criminal investigation by Broward County law enforcement is underway into the deaths at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, including whether they were heat-related or from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.” Gillum “called for an independent investigation, slamming Scott for giving out ‘a special priority phone line – then fail(ing) to act when they received distress calls.’” Graham “also issued a statement that she had filed a public records request ‘for all call logs, text messages, and voicemails to a private emergency phone number Rick Scott distributed to healthcare providers.’” (SaintPetersBlog/release)
Housing investor Chris King (D) “said Friday it’s past time to talk about what to do long term. King’s Winter Park-based Elevation Financial Group owns or operates numerous senior affordable housing centers in five states including Florida. He has made affordable housing and senior care programs focal points of his campaign since he entered the race for the Democratic nomination in early March.”
King: “For two decades we have had no commitment to housing, to housing excellence, to housing access, to housing affordability. So the only time we really address is when we have a crisis.” (Florida Politics)
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.