A Mason-Dixon poll (Jan. 29-Feb. 1; 500 RVs; +/- 5%) showed voters largely undecided for both party primaries, but certain candidates lead the group. Among likely Democratic voters, Rep. Gwen Graham (D) took 20 percent and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) 17 percent, while 49 percent were undecided. On the Republican side, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) led with 27 percent to 23 percent over Rep. Ron DeSantis (R), while 43 percent were undecided. (release)
NEW ADS. The Florida Education Association has released a new ad called “Drain The Swamp” that is aimed at state Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) due to his support of HB 7055. The ad calls the bill “an attack on Florida families” and calls Corcoran a “political insider”. The ad ends with the line, “It’s time to drain the swamp and we know just where to begin.” (Florida Politics)
GUN LAW. Putnam is proposing a rewrite to Florida’s concealed weapons law that would allow the state issue a license even without a full background check. If passed, the Department of Agriculture would have to provide a license 90 days after the application has been received even “if the department has not acquired final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights, or confirmation that clarifying records are not available.”
If new information emerged about the license holder that should prevent them from having it, the license would then be suspended. (Tampa Bay Times)
YOU’RE HIRED. Housing investor Chris King (D) hired Avery Jaffe as his press secretary. “Jaffe served as the traveling press secretary for former Gov. Ted Strickland’s 2016 U.S. Senate campaign in Ohio and most recently worked as a strategic communications consultant for progressive candidates running for office. He joins a robust communications team highlighted by Larry Grisolano of AKPD Message and Media, Omar Khan of Mercury Public Affairs and Hari Sevugan of 270 Strategies.” (release)
UNDER SCRUTINY. “The FBI is investigating longtime City Commissioner and former Mayor Scott Maddox in an alleged pay-for-play scheme involving his close friend Paige-Carter Smith, their lobbying firm and companies doing business with the city.” (Tallahassee Democrat) Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) “is not under bureau investigation, at least not as far as this affidavit indicates — exactly as Gillum repeatedly insisted.” (Sunshine State News)
DEBATE. Corcoran and Gillum have finally decided on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. as the date and time for their one-on-one debate. Corcoran challenged Gillum to a debate after Gillum criticized Corcoran’s recent ad that invoked the death of Kate Steinle to hit against the idea of sanctuary cities and states. (Tampa Bay Times)
TOUGH WORDS. While hosting a fundraiser, Graham made it clear which Republican candidate she wishes to face in November: “I hope, please give me Ron DeSantis. I would love to stand on a debate stage with Ron DeSantis and talk about our very different approaches to what we should be doing in the state of Florida.”
On the Democratic side, she had tough words for her competitor Levine, saying “He has the ability to put a lot of his own money into this race. But you know what I feel? I don’t think the Democratic primary voters can be bought.” (Tampa Bay Times)
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"China is actively developing its fleet of long-range bombers and 'likely' training its pilots for missions targeting the U.S.," according to an annual Pentagon report on Chinese military developments. "This year's report also claims that China is pursuing a nuclear capability on its long-range bombers, saying the Chinese air force 'has been re-assigned a nuclear mission.'"
President Trump said he has "asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to study the impact of allowing companies to file reports with the financial regulator every six months instead of every quarter." The announcement would allow "greater flexibility & save money," said Trump on Twitter. The suggestion came shortly after Trump hosted "a number of top company leaders while on vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey."
"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."