Rubio rebuts Trump — Hate in the Sunshine State — Inside the state Senate shakeup — Maduro regime wants arrests in U.S. — Autopsy of an airport shooting


By Marc Caputo ([email protected]; @MarcACaputo) with Raquel Zaldivar ([email protected]; @raqzal) and the staff of POLITICO Florida

Good Wednesday morning. State Sen. Jack Latvala kicks off his gubernatorial campaign in Hialeah this morning, and, later in the county, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pays a visit to Miami to talk “sanctuary cities.” In Tallahassee, there’s a Florida Cabinet meeting where Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to limit state business with Venezuela is scheduled to be heard. Throughout the day, the fallout over the president’s odd press conference yesterday, where he again downplayed the neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville protest, will hang over everything.

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RUBIO DENOUNCES — Sen. Marco Rubio became the first Republican member of the Senate to call out President Donald Trump in a storm of six tweets.

—@marcorubio: “The organizers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons. 1/6

Rubio: “They are adherents of an evil ideology which argues certain people are inferior because of race, ethnicity or nation of origin. 2/6”

Rubio: “When entire movement built on anger & hatred towards people different than you,it justifies & ultimately leads to violence against them 3/6”

Rubio: “These groups today use SAME symbols & same arguments of #Nazi & #KKK, groups responsible for some of worst crimes against humanity ever 4/6”

Rubio: “Mr. President,you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain 5/6”

Rubio: “The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected 6/6”

SPENCER’S VISIT STILL ON “Gainesville weighs options on Richard Spencer visit,” by Gainesville Sun’s Andrew Caplan: “The city of Gainesville isn’t ready to throw in the towel on white nationalist Richard Spencer’s planned Sept. 12 visit to the University of Florida. Mayor Lauren Poe has requested that a discussion with Gainesville police about preparing for what could be a public safety threat be added to the City Commission’s agenda on Thursday. ‘It’s a huge concern,’ Poe said. ‘I have been in discussion with the city manager and police chief and will continue to talk about what our options are.’ UF President Kent Fuchs announced Spencer’s visit, despite it not being finalized, Saturday shortly after violent protest broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and more than 30 injured.” Read more

— “Rick Scott contacts National Guard as Richard Spencer’s UF speech nears,” by the Tampa Bay Times’ Tierra Smith: Read more

HATE IN THE SUNSHINE STATE — “Florida ranks among states with highest hate group numbers,” by AP: The number of active hate groups in Florida ranks second among other states in the nation. The Miami Herald reports that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are more than 60 active hate groups in Florida. The SPLC’s report features a map detailing more than 900 hate groups actively operating across the country. California ranks number one with 79. Four of the 63 in Florida are in Miami-Dade County and two are in Fort Lauderdale. The Nation of Islam is among groups in both areas. The report says in 2016 there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups and 193 Black Separatist groups active nationwide.” Read more

— “Mapping Florida’s hate: the KKK is in Hudson and other groups throughout Tampa Bay,” by the Tampa Bay Times’ Sara DiNatale: Read more

— “This is how members of City Council reacted to relocating confederate monuments in Jacksonville,” by Jacksonville.com’s Nate Monroe and Christopher Hong: Read more

— “Local groups organize protest, call for removal of Bradenton’s Confederate monument,” by the Bradenton Herald’s Sara Nealeigh: Read more

— “Sanguinary fields: how a Confederate monument came to dominate a Florida county’s dead,” by Polk County Public Schools’ District 1 representative Billy Townsend: Read more

— “Cerabino: The KKK in Palm Beach taught us to let the haters speak,” by the Palm Beach Post’s Frank Cerabino: Read more

JOBLESS AFTER RALLY — “Florida man arrested in connection with Charlottesville white supremacist rally is out of a job,” by the Tampa Bay Times’ Kathryn Varn: “A Florida man arrested in connection with a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., is out of a job. North American Roofing Services, which recently moved its headquarters to Tampa, announced in an internal memo that Jim O’Brien ‘is no longer with the company.’ The announcement follows a Tampa Bay Times article with details from O’Brien’s blog espousing white nationalist beliefs and encouraging violence against the political left. The memo, shared with the Times by CEO Kelly Wade, doesn’t name O’Brien but instead refers to a ‘manager.’ Wade confirmed the memo referred to O’Brien. He formerly worked as the company’s director of purchasing and logistics.” Read more

SAD CAMPAIGN TRAIL TALE “From Trump Aide to Single Mom,” by The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins: “A.J. Delgado and Jason Miller stood in the New York Hilton ballroom on the night of the 2016 election, watching the man they helped elect president deliver the unlikeliest of victory speeches. It was a heady moment for the small band of aides and operatives who had been working toward this dream for months—and few had worked harder than Delgado and Miller. As prominent spokespeople for Donald Trump, they had become key figures in his campaign, and that night they both looked poised to join the ranks of America’s most powerful politicos. They were also engaged in a romance that had been forged in the frenetic final weeks of the race. Nine months later, their paths have diverged dramatically.” Read more

THANK YOU TOUR — “Jeff Sessions coming to Miami to praise county for dropping ‘sanctuary’ policy,” by the Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks: Read more

ALIEN LAND LAW STAYS…FOR NOW “Florida’s ‘last vestige of discrimination,’ alien land law, remains in constitution for now,” by the Orlando Sentinel’s Mary Shanklin: “New attempts have emerged to rid Florida’s Constitution of an obsolete provision created in 1926 to bar illegal immigrants from owning land in the state. Florida was among about a dozen states with a version of what’s known as an alien land law, which was aimed at keeping Asian farmers from leasing or owning land. The Supreme Court ruled against the California’s version of the law in the 1950s. It was never enforced in Florida. While other states have repealed it, Florida’s repeal efforts have failed. ‘I do believe we are the only state with this and so it’s an embarrassment,’ said Orlando real estate attorney Don H. Nguyen, who worked on repeal efforts from 2010 to 2012 … Florida voters rejected a repeal in 2008. Nguyen said the ballot wording failed to touch on the provision’s discriminatory roots against Asians and Asian Americans. Voters can easily mistake ‘aliens ineligible for citizenship’ for terrorists or someone who has been stripped of their right to apply for citizenship, he said. Read more

BOOTED CAR FRAUD “Company that immobilizes parked cars with metal ‘boots’ under investigation,” by the Miami Herald’s Brenda Medina: “What started out as complaints from drivers about wrongful parking fines has turned into an investigation of whether a company that uses metal boots to immobilize cars committed fraud against the city of Miami. The public corruption unit of the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is investigating Premier Booting, the main company that places boots around car tires, authorities confirmed. Detectives are trying to determine whether the company altered the reports it sends to the city of Miami in order to pocket more money. The firm is required to pay the city $25 for every $89 it charges to remove the boots from illegally parked vehicles.” Read more

‘DISJOINTED, MISINFORMED AND CONFLICTING’ “No one took charge after Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, outside review finds,” by the Sun Sentinel’s Stephen Hobbs and Megan O’Matz: “Coordination between airport and law enforcement officials was limited and it was not clear who was in charge of the response to the January shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to an outside review of the incident released Tuesday. The 82-page review, prepared by a consulting firm hired by the county, said that the response to the shooting was ‘disjointed, misinformed and conflicting’ due to the lack of information. Tasks that should have been left to airport officials were circumvented by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the report said. The airport’s plans to care for and efficiently evacuate passengers were also lacking. The findings in the review echoed issues identified in an internal Sheriff’s Office evaluation and in a Sun Sentinel investigation. But it also included previously unreported information that highlighted self-induced breakdowns.” Read more

THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL “Shark protection laws not deterring anglers from catching sharks illegally, study finds,” by the Tampa Bay Times’ Craig Pittman: “A viral video of Florida anglers dragging a shark behind their boat drew suggestions from both Gov. Rick Scott and state Rep. Alexandra ‘Alex’ Miller, R-Sarasota, that the laws might need to be changed to discourage this kind of animal cruelty. The video is the subject of a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation, and has sparked calls for a boycott of the MTV ‘reality’ TV show ‘Siesta Key’ because one of the stars — the so-called ‘King of Siesta Key’ – who’s also the son of the chiropractor behind the 1-800-Ask-Gary ads, is friends with one of the men who’s been tied to the video. The chiropractor, Dr. Gary Kompothecras, dreamed up the show and paid for the pilot, and, coincidentally, has plans to build a luxury hotel on the island where the show is set. His son Alex is now the subject of a new FWC investigation into whether he once shot a hammerhead shark and posted pictures of it on social media.” Read more

WHAT MADE THE LAKE BLUE “Analysis: Is Martin County water to blame for blue-green algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee?” by TC Palm’s Tyler Treadway: “Yes, rainwater runoff from western Martin County is helping feed an algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee. No, that water flowing into Lake O via the C-44 Canal has not been the primary source of nutrients feeding the bloom. In fact, the C-44 did not send as much water and fertilizer runoff into the lake as did farmland south of the lake, according to data for January through July from the South Florida Water Management District. The algae bloom was caused by ‘major inflows from the north,’ Terri Bates, the district’s water resources director, told board members Aug. 3.” Read more

WILL HE STAY OR WILL HE GO “Lake Wales to consider suspension of commissioner,” by The Ledger’s Suzie Schottelkotte: “City commissioners in Lake Wales are expected to vote Tuesday night on whether to pursue suspending Commissioner Curtis Gibson Jr. following his arrest on felony domestic violence charges. At the commission’s Aug. 1 meeting, Gibson said he is innocent of the allegations and has no intention of resigning. On Monday, he said he hasn’t changed his mind.” Read more

CHANGE THE WAIVER— “Federally qualified clinics call for changes to new Medicaid waiver,” by POLITICO Florida’s Christine Sexton: The new Medicaid 1115 waiver allows Florida to tap into nearly $1 billion in additional supplement funding, but federally qualified health centers that treat the poor and disabled aren’t celebrating. Florida Community Health Centers President and CEO Andy Behrman said the health centers may not participate in the Low Income Pool program unless the recently approved waiver is changed, and language regarding “alternative payment methodology” is struck. More here

SENATE SHAKEUP — “Negron reshuffles Senate committees,” by POLITICO Florida’s Marc Caputo: Florida Senate President Joe Negron reshuffled his committees on Tuesday, removing a senator from two education budget committees after a conflict over school policy, while elevating an ally who is running for state agriculture commissioner. In addition, Negron promoted a Democratic ally to an environmental budget committee — a rarity in the Republican-controlled Senate — and gave another libertarian-leaning senator a platform to help institute criminal justice reform. “We had 20 new senators come in last year, and we’ve all had a chance to work together,” Negron said, noting that half of the members were new during the spring lawmaking session. “We’re giving additional opportunities for senators to work in areas where they’ve shown competence and expertise.” Read more

RULES AND REGS—AHCA meets with providers to discuss proposed transparency rules,” by POLITICO Florida’s Christine Sexton: Regulators with the Agency for Health Care Administration met with hospital and ambulatory surgical center lobbyists on Tuesday to discuss a pair of rules that would implement a 2016 law championed by Gov. Rick Scott meant to make health care costs more transparent. But three hospital representatives questioned whether provisions in the proposed rules would require hospitals to hire additional staff as well as provide patients information to which they might not currently have access. More here

LESS AND LESS— “Consumers Will Have Less Help, Fewer Days To Enroll In Obamacare,” by Health News Florida’s Julio Ochoa: Consumers who want to enroll in Obamacare for 2018 will have less help and a shorter time to do it. The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act will be cut in half to 45 days from November 1 to December 15. The Trump administration also cut ties with two companies that helped Floridians sign up for insurance — Cognosante in South Florida and CSRA in the Tampa Bay area. More here

MADURO REGIME SEEKS ARRESTS “Maduro regime wants to arrest Venezuelans in Miami,” by the Miami Herald’s Johanna Alvarez: “The Venezuelan government says it’s seeking to arrest 23 people — including several who live in South Florida — allegedly linked to an attack Aug. 6 on a military base in the north central state of Carabobo that was part of the continuing protests against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Gustavo González, head of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service, said in a televised appearance Sunday that “arrest orders have been issued for everyone involved” and displayed a placard with the names of nine Venezuelans said to be living abroad. Read more

— “Armed Venezuelan soldiers caught in Guyana begging for food,” by the Miami Herald’s Jim Wyss: Read more

… ODDS, ENDS AND FLORIDA MEN …

— “Dashcam video shows deputy crashing into car at 104 mph, officials say,” by CBS-12’s Vincent Crivelli: Read more

— “Florida stripper stabbed partner in both eyes, jammed piece of wood down throat,” by the Palm Beach Post’s Chelsea Todaro: Read more

— “Police: Drunken Ormond woman sets friend’s car on fire with grill grease,” by the Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Patricio G. Balona: Read more

NAKED TRUTH — “Florida man gets 6 years for firing gun while taking selfie at St. Pete strip club,” by AP: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa announced 34-year-old Rorn Sorn’s sentencing Monday. The Asian Pride Gang member pleaded guilty in April to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Court documents say Sorn was at Club Lust in St. Petersburg in December when his gun discharged. The bullet went through the mirror and into the adjacent women’s restroom. No injuries were reported.” Read more

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