By Marc Caputo (; @MarcACaputo) with Emily Goldberg (; @ejgold94), Sergio Bustos (; @sbustosFL) and the staff of POLITICO Florida

It’s Tuesday. President Donald Trump heads to Puerto Rico, which was overshadowed yesterday in the news by the historic mass shooting in Las Vegas.

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‘INGRATES’ — “Trump faces political danger in visit to Puerto Rico,” by POLITICO’S Matt Nussbaum: President Donald Trump on Tuesday will come face to face with the “politically motivated ingrates” he slammed on Twitter just days before. The president will land in Puerto Rico after spending much of the past week boasting about a wildly successful response effort that hasn’t matched the reality of the hurricane-ravaged island and after picking a fight over the weekend with the San Juan mayor. Read more

GETTING READY — “Bracing for Puerto Rican evacuees, Scott declares state of emergency in Florida,” POLITICO Florida’s Marc Caputo: Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency Monday for Florida to prepare for what could be hundreds of thousands of evacuees from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. As part of the declaration, Scott said, the state is opening three relief centers to help the evacuees adjust to life in Florida. The declaration gives him the ability to staff and pay for the centers without legislative approval. Read more

— “Puerto Rico still in crisis as Trump arrives,” by POLITICO’s Jacqueline Klimas and Colin Wilhelm: Read more

— “Lawmakers urge state ed officials to ready Florida schools for arrivals from Puerto Rico,” by POLITICO Florida’s Daniel Ducassi: Read more

TRASH TROUBLE — “Bondi subpoenas records from debris removal companies,” by POLITICO Florida’s Matt Dixon: Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday issued a subpoena seeking records from three debris removal companies related to cleanup after Hurricane Irma. The issue of clearing the mountains of debris in storm-ravaged south Florida has become one of the hot-button issues in the wake of the massive storm. Some local emergency management officials have asked Gov. Rick Scott to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers involved — a move he is resisting — while others say companies with local debris removal contracts are trying to raise rates. It’s those rate increases about which Bondi wants information. “Sitting debris is a health and safety hazard and needs to be removed as soon as possible, but instead of doing their jobs and helping Floridians recover, apparently some contractors are delaying the work or requesting higher rates,” Bondi said in a news release. Her office is seeking information from companies AshBritt Environmental, Ceres Environmental Services and DRC Emergency Services. Read more

CRUZ’N — @MRCLatino: “Leftist Mayor of San Juan is New ‘Darling’ of Liberal Media #Maria #PuertoaRico”

— “What Hurricane Irma brought ashore: A very old canoe, military property and a ‘ghost ship’” by Miami Herald’s Lisa J. Huriash: Read more


MUNCHIES — “Medical marijuana producer wants rules on edible cannabis products,” by New-Press’ Frank Gluck: “Florida voters last year overwhelmingly backed broad medical marijuana legalization, but one popular means of ingesting the drug — eating cannabis-infused candies and baked goods — remains in a regulatory limbo. Surterra Wellness, one of the first companies to win state approval to grow and dispense medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, has petitioned the Florida Department of Health to move more quickly in drafting rules on such products.’” Read more

SNOWFLAKE ACT OF 2017 — “Florida state Rep. wants attacking ‘political affiliation’ to be hate crime,” by the Miami New Times’ Jerry Iannelli: “Florida finally has a champion to fight for the most unfairly treated group of people in America — white, Christian conservatives. State Rep. Joe Gruters filed a bill today that would add discrimination against ‘political affiliation’ to the list of infractions Florida classifies as hate crimes, and though he insists the law would apply to both liberals and conservatives, Gruters’ social media posts make it pretty clear which side he’s worried about.” Read more

ONE MORE TIME — “Senate education committee will hear Negron’s university agenda bill next week,” by POLITICO Florida’s Daniel Ducassi: The bill that carries Senate President Joe Negron’s agenda to boost Florida’s university system is slated for an early hearing next week in the Senate Education Committee. The bill, FL SB4 (18R), would make permanent a series of changes to the state’s higher education system — including restoring the top-level Bright Futures scholarship along with new funding aimed at hiring top faculty — that were included in the state budget but were vetoed as part of a broader policy package that also made changes to the state college system. Read more

LAND MONEY — “Bradley files bill to provide $100M for land conservation,” by POLITICO Florida’s Bruce Ritchie: Read more

NOT-SO-‘PUBLIC’ SERVICE COMMISSION — “Report criticizes PSC as ‘captured’ agency,” by POLITICO Florida’s Bruce Ritchie: A nonpartisan research group says Florida should consider electing members of its Public Service Commission and establishing more independence for the Office of Public Counsel. Integrity Florida issued a report on Monday, titled “Florida’s ‘Public Service’ Commission: A Captured Regulatory Agency.” The report asserted that investor-owned utilities have “extraordinary” influence over the Legislature and governor and have used that influence at the PSC to win decisions at the public’s expense. The Public Service Commission had three commissioners who were elected statewide until 1979, when the Legislature changed the board’s composition to five members appointed by the governor. The report notes that bills calling for elected commissioners have failed to pass both the House and Senate over the last 12 years. Read more

LAST CHANCE — “CRC sponsors early public proposals, extends submission deadline,” by POLITICO Florida’s Matt Dixon: The Constitution Revision Commission on Monday set a firm deadline for proposals to be submitted and sponsored for its first set of publicly submitted proposals. The CRC meets every 20 years to propose changes to the Florida Constitution. If a proposal makes the 2018 ballot, it will need the support of 60 percent of voters.” Read more


FLORIDA TIE — “Las Vegas shooting suspect spent two years in Florida,” by Miami Herald’s David J. Neal and Caitlin Ostroff: “Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock owned a home for two years in Melbourne, a one-hour drive from his niece and brother in Central Florida. The former accountant and Lockheed internal auditor managed Mesquite Central Park Apartments in Mesquite, Texas — not to be confused with Paddock’s current Mesquite, Nev., residence — before buying a brand new 1,773-foot stucco house in Lennar’s Heritage Isle development in May, 2013 for $246,000. His younger brother, Eric Paddock, and Eric’s daughter, Nicole Paddock, live in Orlando. Eric told The Orlando Sentinel Monday he has spoken with Las Vegas police and ‘We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened.’” Read more

FROM RUSSIA, WITH HATE — “Russia tells official who bought Trump-branded Florida condos: You’re fired,” by Miami Herald’s Nicholas Nehamas: “A Russian government official who bought South Florida condos branded by President Donald Trump has heard an unwelcome refrain: You’re fired. Igor Zorin lost his job running a state-owned Russian communications firm after a Miami Herald investigation revealed he owned multi-million dollar condos at Trump Palace in Sunny Isles Beach — and had ties to members of a South Florida motorcycle club dedicated to Russia’s special forces, the Spetsnaz. Russian officials aren’t allowed to own foreign corporations like the Florida limited liability companies Zorin used to buy the condos. They must also disclose any overseas properties, which Zorin failed to do.” Read more

SHADY BEACH — “Beach bigwigs gave $200k to a shadowy PAC. Now, they want a refund,” by Miami Herald’s Nicholas Nehamas, Joey Flechas and David Ovalle: “A shadowy political action committee secretly tied to Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco is refunding almost all of the $200,000 it raised from Beach bigwigs, months after it promised to return the money. ‘As of last week, all of the checks had been mailed out,’ said Eric Padrón, a criminal defense attorney representing the PAC, People for Better Leaders, which is under state investigation. In a June 12 letter to the state elections department, the PAC’s chairman, Brian Abraham, announced he was closing down the group and said remaining funds will be ‘returned to the contributors on a prorated basis.’ But the PAC dragged its feet — and the lobbyists, developers and city vendors who donated didn’t much like feeling air in their pockets. ‘I want the money back, of course,’ said Andrew Joblon, a Beach developer who now lives in Austin and hasn’t yet received the check. ‘But I don’t feel great about the whole thing.’” Read more

ART OF THE DEAL — “Art Basel to stay in Miami Beach for five years after city adds $2.8M elevator,” by Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas: “The deal marks a longer commitment than the usual yearly agreements between the fair and City Hall to keep the event, known for attracting well-heeled collectors and celebrities, in the convention center each December. The fair is agreeing to lease the facility for five years beginning in 2019, with a five-year renewal option. In April, commissioners agreed to add a $2.8 million elevator and escalator to the $615 million expansion of the convention center as part of a deal to keep Art Basel in the Beach for 10 more years. At the time, City Manager Jimmy Morales told commissioners of a possible 10-year extension floated by Art Basel to the city in exchange for the elevator.” Read more

RISING SEAS — “King tides could begin soaking South Florida on Tuesday,” by Sun Sentinel’s Ryan Van Velzer: “The highest tides of the year are coming to South Florida, starting as early as Tuesday. The king tides will begin their annual cascade over sea walls, out of drains and into the streets — with the region expected to see peak flooding Thursday through Monday, said Andrew Hagen, meteorologist with the South Florida National Weather Service. While higher-than-normal tides happen regularly throughout the year, king tides usually arrive in fall as an alignment of the sun and moon creates a stronger gravitational pull. It’s not yet clear how high the water will go, but residents who live in areas prone to coastal flooding should prepare to deal with the twice-daily tides, Hagen said. ‘If anyone has had king tides affect them in the last few years, then there is a significant chance that they can be affected sometime in the next week,’ he said. The king tides may last until Oct. 11.” Read more

DEATH OF A TOWN — “Struggling Hastings, potato capital of Florida, might soon vote town out of existence,” by The Florida Times-Union’s Matt Soergel: “The old town hall and community center, a once-vital building on a once-vital Main Street, dominates the downtown of this old potato- and cabbage-farming town. It’s two stories high and sprawling, and if you squint deeply you can imagine it in its heyday, many decades ago. Chris Stanton remembers going to the fancy Potato Balls that were held there. He remembers the basketball court he played on inside, and the library too, which his grandmother helped found. When he was president of the Rotary Club, they held meetings in the building. Now though it’s an empty shell with no doors and not much of a roof, and weeds grow where people once did business, socialized and checked out books. Flooding and time and neglect killed it, and a chain-link fence keeps out the curious.” Read more

AMEN? — “Federal judge says Brevard not allowing atheists to give invocations is unconstitutional,” by Florida Today’s Dave Berman and Wayne T. Price: “A federal judge has ruled against Brevard County, clearing the way for non-religious groups to give invocations at County Commission meetings. In his 69-page order, U.S. District Judge John Antoon II concluded that Brevard County’s actions violate both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution. Brevard County Attorney Scott Knox said he will recommend to the County Commission that the county appeal the judge’s ruling. ‘We don’t agree with the judge. We don’t agree with the reasoning at all,’ Knox said. ‘I’m highly recommending that they appeal it, because I think the judge was dead wrong.’ Antoon’s ruling is a victory for the plaintiffs in the case, including the Central Florida Freethought Community, whose members were denied the opportunity by commissioners to give opening invocations at commission meetings.” Read more

SLEAZE FILES — “Witness: Menendez ‘hostile’ on call on behalf of donor,” by AP:U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez reacted angrily and threatened to use his position on the Senate finance committee when his entreaties about changing Medicare reimbursement policy were rejected, a former Medicare official testified Monday at Menendez’s bribery trial. The New Jersey Democrat didn’t mention co-defendant Salomon Melgen in either a 2009 phone call or a 2012 meeting about the dispute, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official Jonathan Blum testified. But Blum said it was clear the Florida eye doctor’s billing dispute was the issue. An indictment charges Menendez with accepting private jet flights and luxury hotel stays from Melgen in exchange for political influence. Both men have denied the charges and say the gifts stem from their longtime friendship, which extends back to the early 1990s.” Read more

MORE SLEAZE — “City gets more time to ready Maddox records for FBI,” by The Tallahassee Democrat’s Jeff Burlew: “The city of Tallahassee has asked the FBI for more time to produce thousands of pages of documents involving communications of City Commissioner Scott Maddox and some of his closest former and current associates. City Attorney Lew Shelley said Monday the FBI granted the request. The subpoena, issued Sept. 6, asked that the records be delivered Tuesday to a federal grand jury meeting at the U.S. District Courthouse in Tallahassee or to the FBI’s local office. ‘The city attorney has been in conversation with the FBI and the FBI has agreed to extend the time to provide the documents requested by the subpoena,’ Shelley said in an email to the Tallahassee Democrat. ‘The city attorney will be in further conversation with the FBI at the end of the week as to when the documents will be provided.’ The subpoena was the third to become public in what is believed to be a long-running investigation into alleged public corruption in Tallahassee. Two other subpoenas, issued in June, demanded records about the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency’s involvement and communications with eight local business people and more than a dozen of their businesses.” Read more


GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER? — “EEOC sues Publix over dreadlocks ban,” by Orlando Sentinel’s Kyle Arnold: Publix Super Markets’ strict grooming standards have the clean-cut grocery chain in hot water with federal anti-discrimination authorities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the Lakeland-based grocer, alleging religious discrimination for telling a new hire to cut his dreadlocks to work there. Guy Usher, a Rastafarian, was hired to work at a Publix store in Nashville, Tenn. However, the lawsuit said, he was asked to cut his hair before he started work. Adherents to Rastafarianism often don’t cut their hair. He had to quit before he started because of the grooming requirements, the lawsuit said. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief, as well as back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, in Tennessee federal court. ‘Usher told the manager he could not cut his hair because of his religion and asked if he could wear his hair in a hat,’ a release from the EEOC said. ‘Management refused to allow the hat or any other reasonable accommodation, and he was forced to quit before his first day of work.’” Read more

— “NEW: Florida has 40 of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.” by Palm Beach Post’s Sarah Elsesser: Read more

— “OJ Simpson freed; parole official says he’ll live in Vegas,” by AP: Read more

— “Wastewater spill into Indian River Lagoon caused by power outage at sewage treatment plant,” by TC Palm’s Tyler Treadway: Read more

— “Las Vegas shooter’s brother: ‘There’s nothing anywhere that says why he did this,’” by Florida Today’s Caroline Glenn: Read more

— “Father accidentally kills son while cleaning handgun, Sheriff says,” by Herald-Tribune: Read more

— “Air Force says no — again — to Navarre Pass,” by NWF Daily News: Read more

— “What will Florida (and its water supply) look like in 2070,” by The St. Augustine Record’s Jake Martin: Read more

— “Ministry drops bias claims against charity-tracking website,” by AP: Read more

— “EXCLUSIVE: O.J. Simpson’s friend says ‘The Juice’ headed to Naples,” by Naples Daily News’ Jay Schlichter: Read more

DON’T SAY THE F WORD — @BillyCorben: “Definition of ‘fascism’: @MiamiDadeCounty @CommBovo ordering cops to remove a man from a public meeting for criticizing fascism.”

OUCH — “The penis and butt surgeries went way wrong. And a fake doctor will pay for it,” by Miami Herald’s David Ovalle: “Former South Florida plastic surgeon Mark Schreiber, notorious for botched plastic surgeries over decades, is headed back to prison — this time for butt enhancement and penis enlargement procedures gone awry in Miami. Schreiber agreed to spend 44 months behind bars on two counts of practicing medicine without a license. When he gets out, the 62-year-old ex-doctor will also have to pay $145,000 in restitution to the victim of the butt implant, according to the plea deal struck last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.” Read more

FOR MORE political and policy news, check out Politico Florida’s home page: And please follow our staff @mdixon55, @sbustosFL, @christinesexton, @dducassi, and @bruceritchie on Twitter.

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