By Marc Caputo ([email protected]; @MarcACaputo) with Kristen East ([email protected]; @kristenicoleast), Sergio Bustos ([email protected]; @sbustosFL) and the staff of POLITICO Florida

Good Monday morning. And, good grief. Florida is on edge. Two police officers were shot and killed in Kissimmee by an allegedly mentally ill man over the weekend. About the same time, two more cops were shot, but not mortally wounded, by an allegedly drunken domestic abuser in Jacksonville. Then, on the Saturday before school starts today, someone in Miami-Dade’s Dolphin Mall heard what sounded like gunfire. Hundreds fled in fear. Turns out, there might not have been a shooter. It is a time for panic. And rage. Tension is rising over what to do with Confederate monuments. And the new Civil War is even hitting President Donald Trump where he pays attention — his pocket book — as a flood of nonprofit groups have started to withdraw from using Mar-a-Lago for their galas …

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NINETEEN … AND COUNTING? — “Palm Beach Zoo gala, MorseLife luncheon leaving Trump’s Mar-a-Lago,” by Palm Beach Post’s Shannon Donnelly: “And then there were two. Or maybe four, depending on what happens when a couple of boards meet this week. Today, the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society and MorseLife both announced a change of venue for their annual Palm Beach fundraisers, from the Mar-a-Lago Club to – well, not the Mar-a-Lago Club. That brings to 19 the number of charities that have decided to leave Mar-a-Lago in recent months, many in the past week. The defections leave only the Palm Beach Police Foundation’s Policeman’s Ball and the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Vets “Spirit of America” holiday gala as remaining at the presidential retreat. Both have confirmed their commitment to the venue in recent days.” Read more

— David Fahrenthold @Fahrenthold: “Last yr, @realDonaldTrump’s club hosted 21 big-ticket galas & dinner events. Now, just 6 left, by my count, & at least 1 of them is wavering”.


REBELVILLE — “One city official’s solution for Confederate statue debate? Give them all to his town,” by Greg Hadley for Miami Herald: “A Eustis, Florida, politician is under fire from some after he took to Facebook to suggest that cities and counties struggling to decide what to do with statues and monuments for Confederate officials should donate them to his city. Anthony Sabatini a city commissioner for Eustis, wrote on Facebook on Thursday that ‘any cities or counties that would like to donate their Confederate monuments’ should give them to Eustis. ‘We will gladly accept and proudly display our nation’s history. Thank you,’ Sabatini wrote. As of Friday evening, Sabatini’s post has been shared more than 500 times and generated nearly 200 comments. It has also received an official response from the town’s Facebook page, which clarified that Sabatini does not speak for the city government as a whole. ‘The Eustis City Commission has taken no formal action regarding Confederate statues. The statements made by Commissioner Sabatini were as an individual,’ the statement read.” Read more

LOOK OUT, DIXIE HIGHWAY — “Battle over Confederate street names heads back to Hollywood commission,” by Miami Herald’s Alexandria Bordas: “As city after city in the south grapples with the dilemma of what to do with icons of the Confederacy, it will be Hollywood’s turn in the spotlight on Aug. 30, as commissioners face a final vote on whether to rename three streets named after Southern generals. An earlier commission meeting in June ended in a brawl between supporters and opponents of changing the names. Police arrested five people and a black state representative was taunted with racial slurs … The struggle over renaming the streets — named after Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early member of the KKK — has been going on for two decades.” Read more

— “Workers cover Confederate monument in downtown Bradenton with plywood,” by Bradenton Herald’s Jessica De Leon: Read more

— “What are the 63 hate groups in Florida and are they dangerous?” by Florida Today’s John McCarthy: Read more

— “Robert E. Lee and Confederate statues generate reverence, revulsion in Florida,” by News-Press’ David Dorsey: Read more

— “Proctor asks lawmakers to remove ‘demeaning’ monuments,” by Tallahassee Democrat’s Jeff Burlew: Read more

— “Gillum says removing Confederate monuments not ‘whitewashing’ history,” by Tallahassee Democrat’s Ashley White: Read more

— “Gov. Scott silent on what should happen with Confederate monument at Florida Capitol,” by Miami Herald’s Kristen M. Clark: Read more


SCOTT VS. AYALA, 2 — “Gov. Scott takes accused Kissimmee police shooter’s case away from State Attorney Ayala,” by the Orlando Sentinel’s Gal Tziperman Lotan: “Less than 24 hours after the arrest of a man accused of shooting and killing two Kissimmee police officers, Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order transferring the criminal case from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala to Ocala State Attorney Brad King. Ayala has said she will not seek the death penalty for anyone during her tenure. Everett Glenn Miller, 45, faces charges including first-degree murder in the deaths of Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Richard ‘Sam’ Howard. He was arrested Friday night. This is the 27th case Scott has transferred away from Ayala. Ayala sued in April, and is now waiting for the Florida Supreme Court to issue an opinion regarding whether Scott had the authority to transfer the cases. ‘I am using my executive authority to reassign this case to State Attorney Brad King to ensure the victims of last night’s attack and their families receive the justice they deserve,’ Scott said in a statement. Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a statement siding with Scott.” Read more

RIP — “Kissimmee Police Officer Matthew Baxter was ‘a good spirit’,” by Orlando Sentinel’s David Harris and Caitlin Doornbos: Read more

RIP — Kissimmee Police Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard remembered as ‘family man’,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Caitlin Doornbos and Bianca Padró Ocasio: Read more

— “Suspected cop killer faces judge and murder charge; Kissimmee police seek person of interest,” by the Orlando Sentinel’s Ryan Gillespie: Read more

“Person of interest found, interviewed in fatal shooting of Kissimmee police officers,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Ryan Gillespie: Read more

JACKSONVILLE SHOOTING — “Police officers in stable condition after fatal gun fight Friday on Jacksonville’s Westside,” by Florida Times-Union’s Joe Daraskevich and Dan Scanlan: Read more

BIG TIME HELP — “In rare move, Scott putting political muscle behind Cabinet member,” by POLITICO Florida’s Matt Dixon: Gov. Rick Scott is taking the rare position of going all-in politically for a member of his Cabinet, a move not often seen because those positions are their own statewide elected posts not formally tied to the governor. On Friday, Scott doubled-down on his support for Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a former Panama City Republican lawmaker who Scott appointed in June. Patronis this week started a political committee, a clear sign he is mulling running for CFO in 2018, though he has not yet decided if he will run for election beyond his appointed term. “If he is going to run … if he runs, I’m going to be a big supporter,” Scott said after an event in Tampa on Friday. “I’ll do everything I can to make sure he wins.” Read more

HERE WE GO AGAIN — “After high-profile defeat in 2017, fight to ban red-light cameras returns,” by POLITICO Florida’s Matt Dixon: The fight to ban red-light cameras in Florida will return for the 2018 legislative session. Legislation announced Friday by state Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, and state Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, follows the same path set out by failed legislation last year to ban the controversial cameras. Supporters of the red-light cameras say they help reduce accidents at busy intersections, while opponents have said they are simply a mechanism for local governments to collect revenue. Read more

MAIN COURSE — “At lunch with Donald Trump, Gov. Scott was on the menu,” by Miami Herald’s Carl Hiaasen: Read more

BIG CHARGE, LITTLE BACK UP — “Pediatricians say Florida hurt sick kids to help big GOP donors,” by CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen and Katherine Grise: Read more

TARGETING ROSS — “Two Democrats appear to lead challenge of Dennis Ross,” by The Tampa Bay Times’ William March: Read more

WOULDN’T HAVE WON — “Lopez-Cantera says no to Miami run for Congress,” by Miami Herald’s Patricia Mazzei: Read more

RAINBOW OUTREACH — “Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings,” by The Tampa Bay Times’ Adam C. Smith: Read more

MISLEADING AD — “Taddeo denounces GOP ad that casts her as apologist for Castro, FARC,” by Miami Herald’s Patricia Mazzei and Amy Sherman: Read more

NOT GONNA HAPPEN, MAYOR — “Gillum asks FBI to move ‘quickly’ with local investigation,” by Tallahassee Democrat’s Jeff Burlew: “Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum told reporters Saturday he has communicated with the FBI about the need for its investigation to conclude to avoid influencing the governor’s race or impacting community business. ‘My hope is that they will move quickly,’ he said … Gillum’s comments … followed the public release of a photograph showing Gillum on a boat in New York City with a man believed to be an undercover FBI agent who posed as a developer named Mike Miller and one of the mayor’s longtime friends, lobbyist Adam Corey. Gillum acknowledged he did not know at the time that Miller was possibly a federal agent. ‘I suspect that as this thing continues, the facts will begin to be made clear,’ he said. ‘I wish I could control the wild speculation, largely egged on by certain media folks, but I don’t really have the ability to do that. So I just have to do the best I can be weathering it.’ Gillum declined to answer questions from the Tallahassee Democrat about his trip to New York last year and his encounters with Miller, who first appeared in Tallahassee in 2015 as part of an FBI probe into possible public corruption. Miller, along with two other presumed undercover agents, met with numerous public officials before vanishing earlier this year.” Read more


HIGHWAY TO HELL KNOWS WHERE — “‘Road to nowhere’ is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming,” by The Tampa Bay Times’ Barbara Behrendt and Craig Pittman: “Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as ‘Suncoast 2’ is expected to start in early 2018. The 13-mile, four-lane extension of the Suncoast Parkway has been dubbed by critics as ‘the road to nowhere’ because it ends in the middle of Citrus County. It doesn’t bend west toward U.S. 19, or east toward Interstate 75, and there are no firm plans to extend it. The Suncoast Parkway currently ends amid undeveloped land north of U.S. 98 at the northern edge of Hernando County. The Suncoast 2 would extend the tollroad halfway through Citrus County, to State Road 44. Construction bids will be opened Oct. 17, said Carol Scott of the Florida Turnpike Authority. Scott told members of the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday that construction would start by early 2018. Turnpike Authority officials did not respond to requests for further details about its Suncoast 2 plans or financial projections. Environmental groups challenged the rationale for proceeding with the road, given the lack of traffic on the original Suncoast.” Read more

SMACK MAPPING — “Software helps Collier deputies track heroin overdoses to prevent more,” by Naples Daily News’s Patrick Riley: “As an opioid epidemic tightens its grip on towns, cities, counties and states across the country, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is turning to tech to try to stem the tide locally and prevent the rise of heroin overdoses. Earlier this year, the law enforcement agency started using software developed by federal officials to track fatal and non-fatal heroin overdoses in Collier and create a real-time hot-spot map that shows first responders where the drug overdoses are occurring. The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program was created under the auspices of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, a federal measure designed to provide resources to federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to coordinate activities to address drug trafficking in specific areas of the country.” Read more

SEAS ARE RISING — “For Cedar Key, diagnosis is in: For Florida’s low-lying Nature Coast, salt water is already creeping up,” by The Gainesville Sun’s Cindy Swirko: “Cruising in her golf cart down a narrow road in the Cedar Key Cemetery, the Gulf of Mexico a bait cast away on her right past a new linear city park, Sue Colson nodded toward her father’s grave on her left. The grave is inundated during storms, but he wanted to be buried near the water — he spent his life working on boats in the Big Bend. Colson knows that at some point, her father’s grave will be forever underwater. A retired oysterwoman and clam farmer who also spent her life on the Gulf, Colson knows that much more water is pushing landward. Areas that used to be marsh are now underwater, and uplands are becoming marshes … Some low-lying parts of the town now flood with minor storms or with strong tides … Cedar Key has already experienced saltwater intrusion of its drinking water wellfield. The system was shut down in 2012 from mid-June to the end of July, when a reverse osmosis system was installed.” Read more

— “The Trump administration just disbanded a federal advisory committee on climate change,” by Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin: Read more

BEEF: IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER — “Reports of Florida panthers preying on domestic animals, cattle on record pace,” by Naples Daily News’ Eric Staats: “The number of verified cases of Florida panthers preying on livestock is on a record pace in 2017. From ranches near Immokalee to backyards in Golden Gate Estates, panthers have injured or killed 83 animals in 38 separate incidents so far this year, according to a tally kept by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That compares to 77 animals in 31 incidents in 2016, 20 cases in 2015 and 34 cases in 2014, FWC numbers show. Individual numbers of animals weren’t reported in 2014 and 2015. The most common prey animals are goats, but panthers also have preyed on calves, miniature horses, geese, pigs, cats and an alpaca. Not all of them have died, and some have not been found. Almost all of the cases have occurred in Golden Gate Estates, but not in any particular part of the sprawling subdivision.” Read more


LEVIATHAN — “Florida hunters capture, kill 11-foot, 375-pound gator,” by Palm Beach Post’s Sandra Nortunen: “Four Florida hunters struggled to take down an 11-foot, 375-pound gator after a three-hour fight … They used a 40-pound test from a spinning reel to capture the animal, which was hanging out in the waters of Blackwater Bay below Interstate 10. Hunters are prohibited from using baited hooks, firearms or bang sticks when hunting gators.” Read more

— “South Florida boat-sharing startup swallows up big U.S. rival, plans global expansion,” by Miami Herald’s Nancy Dahlberg: Read more

— “Wrong Way: At 15, Isaiah Battle was the county’s No. 1 car thief. He had every reason to stop,” by The Tampa Bay Times’ Lisa Gartner and Zachary T. Sampson: Read more

— “Plenty at stake in jury selection for Menendez trial,” by AP’s David Porter: Read more

NOT QUITE A LADY FISH — “Florida woman drunkenly bites man’s fishing line, swims away with lure, police say,” by Fox News: “A Florida fisherman got quite the catch Tuesday — but it happened to be an intoxicated 22-year-old woman instead of a prized fish, according to police. Authorities were called to the St. Johns County Pier at 6 p.m. after a fisherman said a woman bit his fishing line and swam off with his lure, Action News Jax reported. The fisherman told deputies that Alexandria Turner, 22, appeared to be intoxicated when she swam up to his fishing line and cursed at him, according to a police report. The 22-year-old woman then allegedly bit the fishing line and swam away with the rigging. When Turner was asked to come to the pier office, she reportedly became belligerent and refused to walk inside. Turner then started upsetting the ‘sense of public norm at the pier’ when police tried to take her into protective custody, officials said.” Read more

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