JUICE - Florida Politics' Juicy Read -8.10.20 - Early Voting Slowdown - Gaetz and Stone Make Big Endorsement - Rubio Wants To Extend Electoral College Voting Period - More...

JUICE - Florida Politics' Juicy Read -8.10.20 - Early Voting Slowdown - Gaetz and Stone Make Big Endorsement - Rubio Wants To Extend Electoral College Voting Period - More...

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
August 10, 2020

Early Voting Slow Going

The first full weekend of early voting in Florida’s 2020 primary election is in the books and turnout was very low. Very low. In the liberal bastion of Broward County, of there was a very, very slow stream of early voters than took to the polls, many of them were actually absentee ballot holders that walked in their ballots.

What we are suspecting is that Republicans are not confident about mailing in their ballots because of all the fear of voter fraud and will be handing in their ballots or will be making a huge election day push at the polls.

Early voting ends on Sunday, August 16th.

Meanwhile, Conservative Journalist and congressional candidate Laura Loomer scored the endorsements of Rep. Matt Gaetz and veteran GOP consultant Roger StoneREAD MORE




***Your morning JUICE is also sponsored by Fran Flynn. Fran Flynn is a Republican running for Congress in Florida's 22nd congressional district. She's Pro-Trump, Pro-Gun, Pro-Life.***


Marco Rubio @MarcoRubio -Great move by @realDonaldTrump to strengthen the domestic supply chain for critical medicines. My bipartisan Strengthening America’s Supply Chain & National Security Act would build on this to combat U.S. dependence on #China for critical medical goods.

US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor -The #VRA became law 55 years ago, to prevent illegal actions by states that limit American’s fundamental right to vote. In 2013, SCOTUS in Shelby v. Holder dismantled critical provisions of the #VRA that opened the door for states to discriminate & disenfranchise American voters.

Congressman Ross Spano @RepRossSpano -These statistics from NYC show in tragic terms the impact of the Democrats’ defund the police movement, and how crucial it is that we support our law enforcement agencies who keep our communities safe. #BackTheBlue

Rep. Val Demings @RepValDemings- If your employer needlessly risks your health during this pandemic, you should have legal recourse. The GOP wants to make employers immune to this, allowing dangerous policies to continue. Our plan includes new OSHA protections to keep workers safe.

Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala -Thank you to the Rotary Club of Miami Airport for donating over 1,000 masks to people in need in our community. Wearing masks saves lives. If we all do our part to keep each other safe, we will get through this crisis together. #ThankfulThursday

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani @AnnaForFlorida-Anyone can experience depression, including First Ladies like @MichelleObama If you need help, seek it out.

National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK (8255)

You are not alone.

Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel -Americans shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their vote. Today, as we celebrate 55 years of the #VotingRightsAct, it’s vital that we give states the resources they need to #ProtectOurVote this November. #VRA55

FL Senate Dems @FLSenateDems- @FLSenateDems to @GovRonDeSantis "This is not the time for another premature victory lap." With FL's persistently high positivity rate, Senators are once again asking that he reconsider school openings. "What parent is prepared to play Russian roulette with their child’s life?"

Florida GOP @FloridaGOP -We won the voter registration war! Voter intensity on our side is through the roof and the love for @realDonaldTrump is off the charts. There’s no question that our voters are going to show up to Keep Florida RED!


Gov. Ron DeSantis

Roger Stone and Matt Gaetz ENDORSE Laura Loomer for Congress


THE SOCIALISTS >>> Anti-Socialist “MAGA Meetup” addresses Biden’s support of Socialism


MAKKIE SCORES POLLING WINS >>> Makki wins two straw polls in St. Petersburg


“Is Biden Down to Last two Choices for VP?” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Speculation continues to arise as former Vice President Joe Biden (D) still has not announced his running mate for the upcoming 2020 election. Since the beginning of the year, a number of candidates have been part of the conversation. One of those candidates is Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) who has a history with law enforcement in the sunshine state. However, a recent email sent to Democrats may signal that Biden might soon be announcing his Vice Presidential pick, and it seems that Rep. Demings may not have made the cut. In the email, Democrats are asked to pick between two tickets, which are Joe Biden and Susan Rice (D) while the other ticket is Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris (D). As well, Democrats are given the option to vote for another ticket that they believe is viable to beating President Trump (R) and Vice President Mike Pence (R). Senator Kamala Harris, who ran against Biden for the 2020 candidacy, has grown as the leading contender for his Vice Presidential pick. Most recently, Biden was pictured holding handwritten notes, and Harris’ name was written on his notes.

“Florida Democrats Not Happy With Trump’s “Bus Tour” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – A recent POLITICO article detailed how “Trump’s campaign knocks on a million doors a week” while “Biden’s knocks on zero” as the 2020 election draws closer. Jenn Ridder, the national director for the Biden campaign, however, provided some context as to why the door knocking has not taken place. “At first I was nervous, but our response rates on phone calls and texts are much higher and people are not necessarily wanting someone to go up to their door right now,” she explained. As well, “you get to throw a lot of the rule book out the window and try out new things.” That being said, the Trump administration announced this week that it was launching a bus tour in the sunshine state, which is a battleground state that President Trump (R) won in the 2016 Presidential elections. In response, Terrie Rizzo (D), the Florida Democratic Party Chair, released a statement criticizing the Trump campaign, questioning “how many more Americans have to die before Donald Trump takes the coronavirus pandemic seriously?” Rizzo commented that “Florida just had its deadliest month of the crisis, unemployment is still in the double digits, and the Trump campaign is recklessly endangering public safety to distract from Trump’s failed leadership.”

“Sarasota Democrats have big advantage over Republicans in mail ballots requested and returned” by Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson – Anyone wondering why President Donald Trump felt compelled to promote voting by mail in Florida recently need only look to Sarasota County, where Republicans typically outperform Democrats in absentee voting. The only time Sarasota Democrats requested and returned more mail ballots than Republicans over the three election cycles prior to 2020 was during the 2018 primary, when there was a highly competitive Democratic nominating contest for governor. Otherwise, Sarasota Republicans had advantages — often large ones — in the number of mail ballots requested and returned in every election since at least 2014, according to state and county records. That’s to be expected, considering there are 35,172 more Republicans than Democrats in the county. During the 2016 August primary election, Sarasota Republicans requested 27,930 mail ballots compared to 22,578 for Democrats, and that advantage carried over to the general election when Republicans requested 37,011 mail ballots compared to 32,130 for Democrats.

“Statewide early voting begins as Florida grapples with virus” by Associated Press’ Brendan Farrington – Statewide in-person early voting began Saturday in Florida while the state continues to grapple with a high number of coronavirus cases. Hundreds of early voting sites were open across Florida's 67 counties, though it appeared that many were seeing light traffic 10 days ahead of a primary election with no statewide races on the ballot. Voters are mainly choosing party nominees for Congress and the state Legislature, as well as voting in local elections. While both parties have pushed voters to cast ballots by mail in recent elections, this year there’s been a stronger push during the pandemic. Elections supervisors have noticed a huge increase in vote-by-mail ballot requests. “We are seeing a real uptick in mail-in ballots, that’s for sure,” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said. “We’ve gotten back more than 107,000 mail-in ballots, and that’s more than the vote-by-mail and early vote for the 2016 primary.” More than 4.2 million Florida voters have requested a vote-by-mail ballot, and nearly 1.5 million had been returned by Saturday morning, according to a Department of State website. That compares to nearly 1.3 million cast in the entire 2016 primary election. With 2.7 million ballots still not returned, this primary will far surpass the totals from four years ago.

“Northwest Florida's tourism industry continues to feel impact of COVID-19” by WEARTV’s Renee Beninate – Northwest Florida's tourism industry is continuing to be hit hard during the pandemic. That impact is also being felt by Escambia County who's reporting major losses in tourism tax revenue. Ryan Christopher owns Lazy Days Beach Service, renting out chairs, kayaks and paddle boards along Pensacola Beach. He told Channel 3 News his business is down at least 25% because of the pandemic. "Certainly stressful. I never imagined we would be navigating something like this, with beautiful weather. It's always been the fear of storms, recession or even the oil spill," said Christopher. Christopher said when the beaches reopened in May he did see a boost in sales. However, he said it's nothing compared to what he would typically be making this time of the year. "In July we started seeing a slowdown and this past week in August with school coming up I think a lot of people are distracted with that so it's not as full as it used to be," he said. Escambia County Clerk of Court Pam Childers is reporting the decline in business has led to major losses for the county's tourism tax revenue.

“50 Florida construction projects accelerated during coronavirus shutdown, governor says” by Click Orlando’s Adrienne Cutway – Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Orlando Friday to participate in a roundtable discussion about transportation, during which he touted the state’s efforts to speed up construction projects during the COVID-19 shutdown. In total, DeSantis said 50 road projects were sped up while there was less traffic during the months of March and April when many businesses were shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19. The construction industry was deemed essential, which allowed workers to continue making progress on road projects. “So we did a number of these things in that April and May time period, to really capitalize on the reduced mobility and, you know, we did the I-4, SR 408 interchange ramp in Orlando, which was obviously something that we highlighted a couple months ago, but in total we accelerated over 50 major transportation projects that collectively saved our state 650 calendar days of construction,” DeSantis said. According to the governor, Central Florida drivers have already seen an improvement at that interchange. “The I-4, SR 408 interchange in Orlando, we accelerated by more than three months, safety and mobility have been impacted in a positive way, but drivers have already told us how their daily commute here in the heart of Central Florida has improved, which is something that’s good,” DeSantis said. Also in Central Florida, the project to widen Sand Lake Road was accelerated by four to six weeks.

“'This is the biggest race in St. Johns County,' sheriff candidate says four days into early primary voting” by First Coast News’ Jeff Valin – Four days into early voting in St. Johns County’s primary elections and the vibe is good. At least, it appears to be, among those involved in the race for sheriff. “Just feeling really good, a lot of support,” candidate Rob Hardwick told First Coast News Sunday afternoon. “The race for St. Johns County Sheriff is the most important race right now in this county.” That’s a subjective matter. What’s not subjective is that it’s the first time since 2004 – when retiring Sheriff David Shoar was elected – that there has been heated competition for the job. St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes has a broader slate to think about. “We have some really important races on our ballot,” she said, pointing to congressional races in districts four and six, along with a public defender position, a county commission post in district one, a school board seat in district two, and three circuit judge slots to be decided. But Oakes acknowledged, “[The sheriff’s race] is the one we’re hearing most about pretty much, so far, yes.” Adding intrigue is that, like many of the other aforementioned races, the sheriff’s race is expected to be decided by the primary instead of the general election in November because of Florida’s closed primary structure. However, any rumors that a disproportionate number of St. Johns County voters have been changing their party affiliations ahead of the 2020 primary might be exaggerated. A comparison between the percentages of registered Republicans and Democrats between primary season 2016 and the present shows only about a percentage point of change in both parties.

“Marco Rubio Looks to Extend Period for Casting Electoral College Votes” by Florida Daily’s Devin Derby – Looking ahead to the general election, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is calling for extending the period for states to choose presidential electors. Rubio is championing a bill “to extend the federal safe harbor period for states to determine electors from December 8, 2020 to January 1, 2021 for this year’s presidential election” insisting it “would give states the flexibility needed in a pandemic to help ensure each and every legal vote cast is counted.” Rubio’s proposal would also have electoral college members cast their votes on January 2, 2021 instead of December 14. Pointing to hostile powers–namely China and Russia–Rubio warned about foreign interference in the upcoming election. “We cannot escape the pandemic-induced reality of increased mail-in voting, and the logistical challenges associated with it will be difficult for some states to resolve in the next couple of months,” Rubio insisted. “We should give states the flexibility to provide local election officials additional time to count each and every vote by moving the federal safe harbor deadline for states from December 8 to January 1. … [I] urge my colleagues to join me in giving states more time to collect, verify, and count votes without fear of having the results challenged in Congress.

“Florida officer feared for life before shooting, killing suspect who was choking her: sheriff” by Fox News’ Stephen Sorace – A Florida police officer who feared for her life shot and killed a suspect while he was choking her on Friday night, investigators said. Officer Alison Savarese, 32, fired two rounds at 55-year-old Jeffrey Haarsma while his hands were still around her neck, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told reporters at the scene. Haarsma was pronounced dead at a hospital. “This was a response to somebody attacking her,” Gualtieri said. “This was because her life was in danger, because she couldn’t breathe, because he decided he was going to choke her out. “She did what she had to do under the circumstances,” he added, “and we are very thankful that she is OK.” St. Petersburg police responded to a report of a dispute between neighbors at a condominium complex just before 9 p.m., the sheriff said. Haarsma allegedly threw some of his neighbors’ belongings off the second-floor balcony and then put them in a dumpster. Savarese was one of two officers called to the scene, Gualtieri said. He said Savarese was alone when she climbed a set of stairs and approached Haarsma on a second-floor landing outside his condo.

“How This Conservative Florida County Became A Surprise 2020 Battleground” by NPR’s Asma Khalid – Before COVID-19 and before the death of George Floyd, Monique Sampson said she thought Joe Biden and President Trump were "different wings on the same bird." The 23-year-old American history teacher with dangling earrings that proclaim, "A woman's place is in the struggle," had been hoping for a Bernie Sanders presidency. She still doesn't like plenty of Biden's policies — and she's not thrilled he's the presumptive Democratic nominee. But a summer of chaos has made her reassess her own politics. "For a very long time I wasn't going to vote for [Biden]," Sampson said. "And then COVID happened. And I was like, 'You know what, he sucks,' for lack of a better term. But he's not criminal. His actions aren't criminal in the sense that he wouldn't view 150,000 deaths as progress." Sampson's story is part of a larger shift underway in Florida's Duval County — one that mirrors many of the headwinds facing Trump in large swaths of the country. In a county that for more than four decades has been a reliable Republican vote, Democrats are sensing new optimism ahead of the November elections, thanks to intense anti-Trump energy among Black voters like Sampson, young voters and college-educated professionals in the suburbs.

“Florida Reports Drop In Coronavirus Cases As U.S. Hits 5 Million Mark” by WUFS’s Carl Lisciandrello – On a day when the country passed the 5 million mark in positive coronavirus cases, Florida reported a drop in the number of positive cases and deaths on Sunday. After a steady rise during the week, the Florida Department of Health reported in its Sunday report that 6,229 people tested positive in the last 24 hours. This brings the statewide total to 532,806. It's the lowest total since the state reported 5,409 people tested positive on Aug. 5, following the closure of testing sites run by the state in areas affected by Tropical Storm Isaias. Of the more than 85,300 test results the state received on Saturday, 8.46% came back positive. In the greater Tampa Bay region, 951 people tested positive since Saturday, including 319 new cases in Hillsborough County and 177 in Polk. The state also reported 77 deaths due to COVID-19 complications in the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 8,186. There were six deaths in the greater Tampa Bay region, including three in Pinellas County.






 “Sen. Ron Johnson denies getting dirt on Biden from Ukrainian lawmaker, blasts Blumenthal for 'twisting' classified briefings” by Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly – Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., is hitting back against a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., arguing that he never received documents relating to Joe Biden’s family nor did the CIA refuse to brief him on the matter. In a lengthy thread on Twitter, Johnson denied Blumenthal’s claims that he received documents relating to Joe Biden and his son's activities in Ukraine from the son of a former Soviet intelligence agent and blasted the Connecticut Democrat for his “twisting of classified briefings and repeating of false news reports.” “[Blumenthal’s] twisting of classified briefings and repeating of false news reports is beyond the pale,” Johnson tweeted. “It is a flat-out lie that I received the documents from Ukrainians that Democrats keep claiming. And they know it. It is unconscionable that Democrats and the press continue to report it.” Johnson’s Twitter screed continued: “It is a flat-out lie that I asked for the CIA to brief our committee and that they refused. We’ve already been briefed repeatedly on these issues, Democrats simply didn’t like what they heard.” In his op-ed on Friday, Blumenthal suggested that Johnson, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, may be using Russian disinformation to move ahead with his investigation into Biden’s family. Blumenthal cites a report from last week that says Johnson had been provided with tapes by Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker whose father was a KGB agent.

“Trump’s Stimulus Orders Set Off Squabble” by WSJ’s Sarah Chaney and Natalie Andrews – Democrats called President Trump’s plan to bypass Congress and extend coronavirus economic relief insufficient and unconstitutional, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the move and suggested efforts to block it could backfire politically. Mr. Trump’s plan, made public on Saturday after lawmakers and the White House had failed to reach a deal on another aid package, calls for among other things funding $300 a week in special unemployment benefits, with an additional $100 coming from states. Democrats had wanted to extend the $600 weekly additional benefits that were first approved in March and that expired last month, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and others said the plan not only didn’t go far enough but had breached congressional spending authority. “Children are food insecure, families are at the risk of being evicted, the virus is moving like a freight train, even though the president has ignored and delayed and distorted what that is,” Mrs. Pelosi said on “Fox News Sunday.” But with the November election approaching, any move to block the payments could backfire, Mr. Mnuchin suggested on the same program, adding that the White House was within its rights to move unilaterally. “We’ve cleared with the Office of Legal Counsel all of these actions,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of Covid, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

“Top White House economic adviser attempts to explain Trump's coronavirus executive actions” by CNN’s Kevin Bohn and Devan Cole – The White House's top economic adviser on Sunday tried to explain how states and the federal government will be able to work together to provide enhanced unemployment benefits prescribed by a series of executive actions for coronavirus economic relief that President Donald Trump signed a day earlier. Larry Kudlow told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" in an at times confusing series of answers that the administration expects states to be able to cover the portion of enhanced unemployment benefits that Trump ordered through executive action on Saturday. If states don't agree to participate and meet the financial requirement of paying 25% of the as much as $400 amount, people receiving benefits in those states will not receive any of the extra assistance. "At a minimum, we will put in 300 bucks and the states will continue with their 400 bucks. But I think all they have to do is put up an extra dollar and we'll be able to throw in the extra $100," he said. "But on average, Dana, it'll run to about $800." Bash questioned Kudlow's statement, saying, "But the executive action says $400 and that the state would pay 25% of this. You're talking about some other money that I don't know about." "Well, we will stand ready to re-purpose if states put in a little bit more is all it amounts to," Kudlow said. "Right now, that number's going to run around $700. I think they'll get to $800. Some states can get above $800 with our federal help."

“Former San Francisco mayor urges Kamala Harris to 'politely decline' VP slot, aim for AG instead” by Fox News’ Yael Halon – Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has urged Sen. Kamala Harris to "politely decline" a spot on Joe Biden's ticket if the 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee chooses her as his running mate. In an op-ed headlined "Brown: Kamala Harris should say no to vice presidency" published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday, Brown, who has openly discussed his past extramarital relationship with Harris, urged her to reject the vice presidency and request instead to be considered for the role of attorney general in a Biden administration. "Harris is a tested and proven campaigner who will work her backside off to get Biden elected," Brown wrote. "That said, the vice presidency is not the job she should go for — asking to be considered as attorney general in a Biden administration would be more like it." Brown continued, "Historically, the vice presidency has often ended up being a dead end. For every George H.W. Bush, who ascended from the job to the presidency, there’s an Al Gore, who never got there. If Biden wins in November, "the Democrats will be moving into the White House in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession," Brown wrote. "The next few years promise to be a very bumpy ride. Barack Obama and the Democrats saved the nation from economic collapse when he took office, and their reward was a blowout loss in the 2010 midterm elections.

“U.S. Agency Sidelines Planned $765 Million Loan to Kodak Amid Probes” by WSJ’s Rachael Levy – A federal agency has put a planned $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak Co. KODK -7.64% on hold after the deal came under congressional and regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. announced plans last month to loan Kodak the funds to produce drug ingredients at its factories. But in a tweet late Friday, the agency said that “recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared.” The action was earlier reported by other news outlets. Kodak declined to comment on the decision by the agency, known as the DFC. Kodak said on Friday it would launch an internal review. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Kodak controlled disclosure of the loan, word of which began to emerge on July 27, causing Kodak’s stock price to rise 25% that day. The SEC is also expected to examine the stock options granted to executives on July 27. The option grants instantly became profitable, at least on paper, after Kodak’s loan became public. Several Democrat-led congressional committees, meanwhile, have raised concerns about the “lack of pharmaceutical experience” at Kodak, which historically has been a photography company, and stock-option grants made to executives and board members before the announcement.

“Maxine Waters says she's confident Biden will choose a Black woman as a running mate” by CNN’s Paul LeBlanc – Rep. Maxine Waters said Sunday she's confident presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden will choose a Black woman as his running mate ahead of his anticipated announcement in the coming days. "It's going to be historic whomever ever it is. Do I believe that it's going to be an African American woman? I certainly do," the California Democrat told CNN's Jim Acosta on "Newsroom." Waters specifically cited influence from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn as well as "the way African American women have emerged in this country, showing they're the most reliable part of the Democratic Party" as the reason she believes Biden will select a Black woman. Since pledging five months ago to choose a woman to join his ticket, 11 potential vice presidential candidates have undergone vetting of financial records, personal backgrounds and medical histories. The search is conducted in secrecy, with even many senior-level campaign aides not directly privy to what Biden is thinking. But conversations with Democrats close to the process, along with party officials and donors who have also weighed in, suggest California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are among those he's seriously considering as he nears the end of his search. Biden isn't particularly close with most of the women on his list, people familiar with the search say, so he's taking considerable time studying vetting materials, watching their television interviews and following his own gut with the goal of finding someone whose loyalty he believes can blossom into a true governing partnership.

President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump-.@Scaramucci, who just made a fool of himself as he got taken apart by @SteveHilton , only lasted 11 days in his favorite of all time Administration, before being fired for, again, making a fool of himself. Anthony is a loser who begged to come back. I said “No Thanks”.

Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff-Once again, a principled, patriotic public servant has come forward to expose Trump's abuse of power. Once again, Trump sought to use the levers of power not to advance the country’s interests, but to help himself. Trump’s only foreign policy: line my pockets or help me cheat.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at Diversenewmedia@gmail.com

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